Mini-review of Ayn Rand’s “Ideal,” playing in NYC

From Don Hauptman:

Iâ??m not writing a formal review of Ayn Randâ??s Ideal, in part because the limited run ends soon, but several people asked me for my comments. The cast and crew, not Objectivists but young people who apparently are recent graduates of local theater schools, treated the material respectfully and enthusiastically. But the play has its problems, as even Dr. Peikoff conceded in his published Introduction. Itâ??s static, repetitive, and lacking a strong dramatic arc. Though many of the performers were admirable, the gal in the key part of Kay Gonda was miscast; she looks like a comedienne, while I suspect that only Garbo would be right for this role. Notwithstanding the negatives, the production doesnâ??t deserves the smears it received from the major New York newspapers. The play does have a brilliantly ingenious and original premiseâ??Rand came up with those in abundanceâ??and it provides some fascinating insights into her early philosophical ideas, which would be dramatized more effectively in her mature fiction. Iâ??ve always said that Rand is a far better novelist than playwright. Still, as I noted archly in my review of her play Think Twice some years ago, even second-rate Rand is superior to a lot of first-rate everyone else.