“The Lifespan of a Fact” previews are out on Broadway and it is a must see


Jessica La France

On September 20, the first preview of an upcoming Broadway show hit the Studio 54 Theatre. Plastered along the walls of subway stations are advertisements for “a new play,” featuring three familiar faces, yet one cast member who stands front and center, catching the eyes of most.

“The Lifespan of a Fact” stars Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his classic role as Harry Potter. Although Radcliffe is most famously known for his work in film, this play is his sixth stage production. Alongside him on stage, are Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannavale, who also have a reputation in film and theatre.

Through a University class, Current Theatre in New York, students have the opportunity to explore the present theatre season while discussing and writing about it. According to Professor Ruis Woertendyke, of the theatre class, a University alumnus is a producer of the show.

“The Lifespan of a Fact” is based on a non-fiction book of the same name written by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal, who are characters in the play, portrayed by Cannavale and Radcliffe respectively. The tale begins with Jim Fingal (Daniel Radcliffe) being hired as a fact-checker for one of the biggest magazines in the country. His boss, Emily Penrose (Cherry Jones), gives him until Sunday morning to edit a piece written by prestigious author John D’Agata (Bobby Cannavale). However, this seemingly simple task results in utter chaos.

This predominately three-person cast creates an interesting dynamic on screen. Radcliffe, as an English actor, plays a young American with extreme perfectionist tendencies that annoy the audience in the most heartwarming way. As Radcliffe delivers a convincing and authentic performance, co-star Cherry Jones develops character, Emily, as a stern and partially shallow woman in the beginning, but ultimately exposes a caring and maternal side of her in the end. Quite similarly, John D’Agata is introduced as an intimidating, pretentious man who believes he can do no wrong. For instance, he refuses Jim’s factual edits because they ruin the aesthetic of his article, which he refers to as “essays.” Between the twists and turns of John’s character, and Bobby Cannavale’s performance, he seems to be an audience favorite. Writers, Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell composed complex character interactions that leave audiences satisfied.

With tones of death and suicide embedded into the core of the production, audiences will both enjoy the aesthetics of the show and leave with a deep connection to the plot and its characters. “The Lifespan of a Fact” is currently in previews, and officially opens on October 18th. It will be on Broadway for sixteen weeks only, so be sure to purchase tickets soon.