Glenn Close has received mixed reviews for her first Broadway role in 20 years in a revival of Edward Albee drama A Delicate Balance, which has been branded both "blistering" and "blunt" by New York's notoriously tough theatre critics.

Onstage, the veteran actress and John Lithgow play a married couple trying to keep their sanity during a dysfunctional family reunion, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play was both lauded and panned as it launched at the John Golden Theater on Thursday (20Nov14).

The Wall Street Journal reviewer Terry Teachout noted the drama "takes a long time to get moving", while he writes of the Fatal Attraction star's portrayal, "Ms. Close's performance is quiet, tasteful and underprojected, not surprising for an actor who has been absent from the stage for so long."

The New York Daily News' Joe Dziemianowicz was also a little critical of Close, adding, "Close's unintentional habit of tripping over Albee's dialogue doesn't help."

Other reviewers warmed to Close's performance as retired matriarch Agnes, with Variety's Marilyn Stasio describing her as "positively regal", but most of the praise was reserved for Lithgow, who Teachout claims is "in extraordinary form".

Entertainment Weekly's Marc Snetiker adds, "Close exudes the kind of veteran flair and magnetism you'd presume from such a marquee name. But although this seems to be Close's marquee, it's John Lithgow who runs away with the show."

A Delicate Balance, directed by Pam MACKinnon, also co-stars Martha Plimpton, Bob Balaban, Clare Higgins and Lindsay Duncan.