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  • ‘The Big Knife’ Cuts Sharply and Deeply

    Roundabout Theatre Company adds to Broadway’s Clifford Odets renaissance with the first Main Stem revival of his 1949 drama about Hollywood, “The Big Knife.” If the show doesn’t quite rise to the level of Lincoln Center Theater’s terrific productions of “Awake and Sing” and “Golden Boy,” that’s probably because “The Big Knife,” though a sturdy piece of writing, isn’t top-drawer Odets. Still, in director Doug Hughes’ tough-minded, well-acted production, this gimlet-eyed look at the cost of selling out builds to a climax of harrowing emotional devastation.
    Tough-guy movie star Charlie Castle started out as manly but sensitive theater actor Charlie Cass, with big ideals and even bigger ambitions. After 10 years in Hollywood, a succession of simple-minded action movies has made him his studio’s number one box-office draw while increasingly filling him with self-disgust. He is separated from his wife, Marion, a liberal New Yorker who hates what her husband has become but still loves him. Charlie’s contract is up for renewal, and he has been stalling. Marion wants to quit L.A. and take her husband and young son back to New York City, where

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