This is all really a shame, because the Geffen show is a fine assemblage of talent. Daniel Sullivan directs his actors with obvious empathy, arming them with subtle gestures and tics that give the cast more depth than does the material (although Stern and Wilson make a suspiciously slender pair of middle-aged foodies). Kilner in particular navigates his Tom through some choppy waters. He is the last to appear onstage, after we have heard his character impugned, and he says the most straightforwardly narcissistic and selfish things -- yet he remains charming throughout it all. The production’s technical standards are similarly outstanding, while never becoming overbearing. Neil Patel‘s sumptuous sets, whether it be that gleaming kitchen or a wood-paneled Manhattan bar, lovingly capture both the look and feel of the characters’ worlds without overshadowing them. Perhaps Patel serves Margulies too well, confirming a celebration of affluence and comfort that tells us what we‘ve suspected all along -- that ”the Vineyard“ his characters so cherish is not a place where any grapes of wrath are stored, but which may as well have been named for Martha Stewart.
For a different view, see New Reviews in CalendarTheater.