Theater: Fortune's Fool

By Ivan Turgenev, Adapted by Mike Poulton

Veteran director Arthur Penn brings warmth and clarity to this little seen play by the Russian novelist. It's set in a country estate upon the return of the newly married daughter of the house. Frank Langella, center, is an amusing pillar of hauteur as the neighborhood's social arbiter, while Alan Bates, right, is his hapless, hand-wringing counterpoint as a friend of the family who is hiding a secret. It's Chekhov with a ray of sunshine; a refreshing patch of blue in an otherwise gray Broadway season.

--By Richard Zoglin

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