The Great Gatsby

L.A. Theatre Works. Oct. 2023. adapted by Anna Lyse Erickson. 1:51 hrs. ISBN 9781682661789. Audio. $4.99. DRAMA
Fitzgerald’s tragic tale of love not fulfilled finds new life in Erikson’s stage adaptation, directed by Rosalind Ayres. The production is a fresh gem. It opens with sweeping orchestral music and seagulls squawking in the distance, setting the tone as objective observer Nick (played by Nate Corddry) begins to tell his story. Corddry imbues charming Nick with just enough naivete that listeners will want to know more. Sarah Drew sparkles as Nick’s cousin Daisy, particularly as she gushes about her fabulous life and baby. Matthew Wolf provides plenty of braggadocio in his portrayal of Daisy’s husband, Tom. Tom’s lover Myrtle (voiced by Moira Quirk) oozes desperation as she tries to move up in the world. The nebulous Jay Gatsby is perfectly portrayed by Rufus Sewell. Transitions sometimes feel abrupt, such as when Daisy’s demeanor changes from suspicion to lightness too quickly, but the action propels the story forward. Occasional sound effects (car and night noises, a bell ringing as a door opens, footsteps on gravel, period music, and crowd sounds) add depth to the action.
VERDICT A satisfying revamping that hits the highlights of Fitzgerald’s classic novel.
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