Jason Sudeikis in ‘Dead Poets Society’ (Photo: Joan Marcus) By Frank Rizzo, Variety Romantics will find much to embrace in writer Thomas Schulman’s stage adaptation of the 1989 film he wrote, Dead Poets Society, receiving its world premiere production at Off Broadway’s Classic Stage Company. Director John Doyle’s clever, simple-truths staging beguiles audiences much in the same way English teacher John Keating, portrayed here by Jason Sudeikis in a remarkable performance, leaves a mark on his impressionistic students with his motto of “Carpe diem!” Problem is, what we’re seeing is the same script, still with its inspirational intentions but also with its flaws of underwritten characters, villainous antagonists and easy sentimentality. But just as many were moved by the Peter Weir film and the dazzling performance of Robin Williams as the unconventional instructor at a boys prep school in the 1950s, many will be touched by this production, too.
Ethan Hawke is glad he didn’t achieve “instant celebrity.” The actor says he feels for actors like Julia Roberts and Matthew McConaughey, whose rapid ascent to stardom came with its share of difficulty. “It must be so hard,” Hawke tells Yahoo Movies as we revisit his breakout role in 1989’s Dead Poets Society.