Katie Holmes in ‘Dead Accounts’: The Reviews Are In
After appearing in a 2008 revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, the actress returned to the Great White Way in the Thursday night debut of Theresa Rebeck’s star-studded comedy, Dead Accounts.
In her first acting gig since her divorce from Tom Cruise, Holmes stars as Lorna, a Cincinnati woman whose con-man brother Jack — played by two-time Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz — unexpectedly returns home from New York City only to turn their family upside down.
While the play on a whole has been mostly panned, Holmes earned mixed reviews. Some critics offered up tepid commendations, as others wondered if Holmes was right for the role of an unglamorous, stay-at-home Midwestern woman.
Here’s a rundown of the reviews:
The Associated Press: “In Dead Accounts, Holmes plays an ‘old but pretty’ woman who ‘seems like a loser’ and lives at home with her parents. She only flashes her beauty once, freeing her hair and looking seductive — enough to remind you what a head-turner she can be. It’s a brave move for the 33-year-old, who deserves credit for trying hard. But she mostly tries hard to keep up with stage veterans Norbert Leo Butz and Jayne Houdyshell in Rebeck’s oddly thin new play, which opened Thursday at the Music Box Theatre.”
Vulture: “Holmes is insanely miscast but sunnily game in the role of a ground-down never-was with body-image issues and a crater where her confidence should be”
The Los Angeles Times: “This isn’t to suggest that Holmes’ acting is only skin deep. She’s charming, natural and, yes, about as fresh-faced as a moisturizer model…. Holmes isn’t able to give dimension to Lorna, the all-grown-up pretty girl still smitten after all these disappointing years with Phil, her high school love interest who’s still too petrified to ask her out.”
The Hollywood Reporter: “After appearing in a supporting part in the 2008 revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, the actress brings a lovely naturalness to her first starring Broadway role, along with frazzled warmth and judicious glimmers of a more brittle edge. Heretofore unlucky in love, and stuck at home with her aging parents, her character, Lorna, remains mostly reactive until the second act. But Holmes animates her with an appealingly fresh stage presence”
Chicago Tribune: “It’s impossible to watch Holmes — who somehow has retained an air of fresh-faced Midwestern guilelessness — without wondering how she actually feels playing lonely but lovable Lorna of Cincinnati, who is what Holmes perhaps might have become had life taken a very different turn…. Holmes was struggling vocally Wednesday night and generally lacks sufficiently expansive definition, but, in the few moments of actual revelation, she finds some poignancy in her relationship with her character.”
Businessweek: “Katie Holmes is fine, if oddly cast, as the diet-obsessed homebody sister of a hopped-up embezzler in Dead Accounts, an all-too-aptly-titled entry in one of the worst seasons in memory for new shows on Broadway.
USA Today: “As for Holmes, she appears more at ease than she did in a 2008 revival of All My Sons, and shows an affinity for goofy comedy; but her restless, shouting Lorna is too much of an overgrown kid. That’s certainly part of the character, but you can’t help but wonder what a slightly more mature, nuanced actress might have brought to the role.”
The New York Times: “Let me assure you that Ms. Holmes, who was a tad unsteady in her Broadway debut four years ago in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, appears much more at ease playing a worn-down country mouse to the hyped-up city mouse of Mr. Butz. Gamely unkempt and lumpen, Ms. Holmes suggests what might have happened to Joey Potter, the ultimate girl-next-door she once portrayed on TV in Dawson’s Creek, had she never found true love or left town…. You may even forget that Ms. Holmes is Katie Holmes for a moment. Then again, Dead Accounts makes you forget a lot of things, like why you’ve bothered to come to the show to begin with.”
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