Holly Golightly returns to the pop culture consciousness this month in the form of a new Broadway adaptation. This time, Game of Thrones’ very own Mother of Dragons Emilia Clarke plays this iconic character opposite rising star Cory Michael Smith’s Fred. Closely adapted from Truman Capote’s classic novella, this new stage production sparkles with charm and wit (and fabulous costumes).
Starting in 1957, Fred returns to the old bar he used to frequent when his bartender buddy Joe (George Wendt) informs him of a new Holly Golightly spotting. Although apprehensive about the photos (provided by his old neighbor I.Y. Yunioshi—James Yaegashi), this does prompt Fred to regale the audience with the story of his dealings with Holly back in 1943 that led up to her disappearance. As Fred got enmeshed in the zany world of Holly and her friends, he had to face not only his seemingly romantic feelings for her but also his romantic feelings towards men.
With sliding sets and the expositional use of projected images, director Sean Matthias is able to keep the action and story moving at a delightful pace. Smith is a cool narrator, almost effortlessly jumping between speaking to the audience and interacting with the characters. Clarke is equally compelling as she emphasizes the charm and whimsy of Holly along with her darker past. And with the addition of Colleen Atwood’s costume design, this is a visually stunning production. (Also visually stunning are Smith and Clarke when they strip down for a bubble bath.)
The play is full of zany characters whose affectations are perfectly encapsulated by the actors playing them. Writer Richard Greenberg also draws on the darker themes of Capote’s novel to give audiences a different glimpse into this story than they are familiar with from the film. Ultimately, Breakfast at Tiffany’s strikes just enough comedic and dramatic chords to provide a perfect Broadway theatre experience.