Style blogger and Rookie editor Tavi Gevinson had a lot more on her mind this month than just Fashion Week. The teenage phenom acted for the first time on Broadway alongside with Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin in Kenneth Lonergan's play "This Is Our Youth," which premiered yesterday. You know, just the natural trajectory for a preteen style star-turned-editor-turned-successful teen actress. Gevinson, Cera, and Culkin first appeared in "This is Our Youth" in Chicago, and yesterday's Broadway production received stellar reviews. But how did the New York critics respond to Gevinson's acting?
The New York Times reviewer said: "Ms. Gevinson nails exactly the aggressive defensiveness of a girl who sees boys as both the enemy and salvation." The Hollywood Reporter notes: "The 18-year-old, waif-like Gevinson has no such problem in terms of age...But the awkwardness she displays onstage, whether intentional or not, works beautifully for the role of a young woman struggling with a transition into adulthood, and her off-kilter line readings are consistently engaging."
New York Daily News writes: "The lesser-known Gevinson, who's famous in fashion circles, is the show's wild card -- and she's an ace. She brings a weird and wonderful vitality as the pretty and opinionated Jessica." The New York Post likes Tavi, too: "Gevinson has only limited acting experience, but she's blessed with genuine presence...That we end up caring so much for her -- and Warren, and Dennis -- is why this show works so well. We just want to know the kids are all right."
Not all raves though: USA Today said: "Sadly, Gevinson, who plays Jessica, is the production's weak link. Squirming and shouting her lines in a high-pitched whine that suggests barely repressed hysteria, she overplays Jessica's feigned confidence and confusion, making Warren's enduring attraction to her less convincing."
Deadline writes: "This may have to do with fine performances that nonetheless fail to connect. Culkin exudes energy but not the menace that makes Warren interesting; Cera raises blankness of expression almost to the level of art and Gevinson is simply out of her league on the Broadway stage."