The Starry Messenger
About The Starry Messenger
Hollywood star and multiple Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Matthew Broderick makes his West End debut in The Starry Messenger by Kenneth Lonergan, Academy Award-winning writer of Manchester By The Sea.
Mark Williams is lost. An astronomer at New York City’s Planetarium, he feels a closer connection to the infinite, starry sky than to his job or even to his wife, Anne. Mark doesn’t believe in fate or divine intervention, but the universe has other ideas.
After a chance meeting with Angela, a young single mother, Mark feels starry-eyed. But when a catastrophic event rips through their lives, Mark is forced to re-evaluate his life, his faith and his place in the universe itself.
Starring Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Mel Brooks’ The Producers), and Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey, The Handmaid’s Tale), this bittersweet, comic drama is an unblinking exploration of love, hope and understanding our place in the universe, by one of the most celebrated writers working today.
Tell Me More
Reviving a role he originated in 2009, Tony Award-winner Matthew Broderick (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “The Producers”) makes his West End debut with his delicate and touching performance in Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Starry Messenger.” Broderick plays Mark Williams, the bright but bumbling astronomy professor who is consistently more adept at investigating constellations than navigating conversations. Beleaguered by the numbing routine of daily life and a collapsing marriage, Mark’s spirits are lifted when he meets a nurse who finally seems to understand him – at least for a short while.
When reality is so astutely reflected as it is in Lonergan’s poignant drama, fleeting human connection is not enough to overcome the flaws of human communication. The New York Times says Lonergan has, “a critical mind, an empathetic heart and a musical ear that hears whole lives in sentences.” Each character in this play is drawn in loving and painful detail, revealing the inadequacies of their own attempts to communicate through various blunders and missteps. Ultimately, “The Starry Messenger” reminds us that humans remain staggeringly distant from those we love, but much like with the stars themselves, we’ll never stop trying to reach them.
What To Watch For
- When “The Starry Messenger” previewed in 2009, Lonergan’s script was reportedly “fuzzy” and the cast didn’t seem to have fully memorized their lines. In classic theatre fashion, however, when the play opened a few weeks later, the rigorously reworked production was critically acclaimed and a New York Times “Critic’s Pick.”
- The title of the play comes from a common translation of Galileo’s “Sidereus Nuncius,” the first publication of scientific observation of the stars seen through a telescope. The astonishing conclusion of the pamphlet was the overall discovery that everything is more complex than it appears when examined up close.
- Although “The Starry Messenger” at the Wyndham’s Theatre marks Broderick’s debut in the West End, he is considered a legendary Broadway star. He won his first Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play when he was just 21.