HERE'S WHAT'S NEW ON THE SITE:

CLICK/TAP THE TABS ABOVE TO ACCESS OUR ARCHIVE OF SHOW AND MEDIA REVIEWS, AS WELL AS FEATURES LIKE BROADWAY WHO'S WHO AND ONE THAT GOT AWAY. COLLECTORS WILL BE INTERESTED IN OUR LIGHTS OF BROADWAY CARDS AND PLAYBILLS FOR SALE!

BROADWAY RETURNS: Aladdin - Resumes 9.28.21 To Kill a Mockingbird - Resumes 10.5.21 Tina - Resumes 10.8.21 Girl From the North Country - Resumes 10.13.21 Ain't Too Proud - Resumes 10.16.21 Jagged Little Pill - Resumes 10.21.21 The Phantom of the Opera - Resumes 10.22.21 The Book of Mormon - Resumes 11.5.21 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Resumes 11.12.21 Dear Evan Hansen - Resumes 12.11.21 Beetlejuice - Resumes 4.8.22

NEW ON BROADWAY: Lackawanna Blues - Opens 9.28.21 SIX - Opens 10.7.21 Freestyle Love Supreme - Opens 10.7.21 Chicken & Biscuits - Opens 10.10.21 Is This a Room - Previews 9.24.21 Opens 10.11.21 The Lehman Trilogy - Previews 9.25.21 Opens 10.12.21 Dana H. - Previews 10.1.21 Opens 10.17.21 Thoughts of a Colored Man - Previews 10.1.21 Caroline, or Change -Previews 10.8.21 Opens 10.27.21 Trouble in Mind - Previews 10.8.21 Opens 10.27.21 Diana - Previews 11.1.21 Opens 11.17.21 Trouble in Mind - Previews 10.29.21 Opens 11.18.21 Clyde's - Previews 11.3.21 Opens 11.22.21 Mrs. Doubtfire - Previews 10.21.21 Opens 12.5.21 Flying Over Sunset - Previews 11.11.21 Opens 12.13.21 Company - Previews 11.15.21 Opens 12.9.21 Skeleton Crew - Previews 12.21.21 Opens 1.12.22 MJ: The Musical - Previews 12.6.21 Opens 2.1.22 The Music Man - Previews 12.20.21 Opens 2.10.22 Paradise Square - Previews 2.22.22 Opens 3.20.22 Take Me Out - Previews 3.9.22 Opens 4.4.22 Birthday Candles - Previews 3.18.22 Opens 4.10.22 The Minutes - TBA Plaza Suite - Previews 2.25.22 Opens 3.28.22 American Buffalo - TBA 1776 - TBA Sing Street - TBA Our Town - TBA

COMING UP THIS WEEK: Broadway Play Show Art Tournament: The Eliminations Part 1! - Performers We Can't Wait to See More Of - Broadway in a Box: Guys and Dolls (1992) - One That Got Away: Neil Simon's Rumors - Broadway Games!

Contact us: jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Email); @jkstheatrescene (Twitter); jkstheatrescene (Instagram)

Friday, October 17, 2014

GUEST BLOGGER REVIEW: It's Only a Play

It is my pleasure to introduce a fellow theater-blogger, Krloz Ruben!  He had the good fortune to catch a preview of one of Broadway's hottest tickets, It's Only a Play.  Here's what he thought of the show:

Grade: A-

Forget about pathos and logos: ethos the word! 



After an unsuccessful 2014 Spring season, with his play Mothers and Sons, karma is once again kind to Mr. Terrence McNally. For those of us who witnessed the tragedy that Mothers and Sons was, I can't help but to feel happy for Mr. McNally's current hit, It's Only a Play, which is currently playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater to packed house every night. This is the man who penned such TONY winning hits as Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class', and Kiss of the Spider Woman among other successful plays. Although Mothers and Sons is a good choice for a Sunday afternoon reading, a staged production, like the one seen last season, just didn't do it for me.

Now that I got that off of my chest; let's talk about It's Only a Play

What was more awaited: the stage reunion of Mr. Lane and Mr. Broderick; or the Broadway debut of once wizard Rupert Grint? Stand outside the stage door and find out. The entire ensemble gave an astounding performance. Perhaps the thought of seeing Matthew Broderick (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - TONY Award) and Nathan Lane (The Producers - TONY Award) in yet another show that has to do with Broadway and opening nights, brings a certain déjà vu feeling. Admittedly, [I was] in search of that déjà vu as my reason for seeing the show. [There was] no similarity between either production. Maybe we will see the similarities during the TONY Award season; then again, with British shows like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time currently playing on Broadway, we might not.


The show opens, and closes, in a luxurious bedroom of a Manhattan townhouse that belongs to wealthy Broadway producer Julia Budder. Every detail of the room, and the entire scenic design, are a masterpiece [from] Scott Pask (The Coast of Utopia - TONY Award). A fun and spontaneous lighting design and sound design - when you see the show you will get the meaning of this- are created by Philip S. Rosenberg (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) and Fitz Patton (The Other Place), respectively. With an A-list opening night party going on downstairs, and chaos slowly unraveling upstairs (in the bedroom), Jack O'Brien (The Coast of Utopia - TONY Award) directs with perfection a starry cast of Broadway veterans and "muggles" alike. 

If you know much of Mr. McNally's plays, then you already know how he likes to involve current social issues and pop culture in his plays to bring in some strong comedy; perhaps this is what makes him so accurate and successful in his writing. [So it] was no surprise when he focused some of his strongest jokes on Ben Brantley from The New York Times, and threw a few at Harvey Fierstein, the latter with a sense of admiration. And what could be funnier than watching Mr. Lane in character as James Wicker, not Wacker!, refer to his real-life-self in a play: "Nathan Lane I'd understand; BUT HARVEY FIERSTEIN?" The jokes perhaps are a little too much of an inside joke for people who know little of show biz; but with its pop culture references that [range] from Lady Gaga to Barbra Streisand, the show is bound to be an exhilarating night at the theater for everyone. What ever happened to Barbra, the world will never know.

                             

One would think that with such a star-studded cast everyone on stage will be bouncing over each other to grab those scene-stealing moments; but the truth is, they don't. Harmoniously, figuratively speaking, each character has his/her scene-stealing moment. From a diva's lament, to a self-doubted British director, you can see how there's many scene-stealing moments to grab from. We all know Matthew Broderick as an actor who portrays roles of shy characters that towards the end of the show finds [their]true selves, well that's precisely what happens here. Nathan Lane is truly a comedic legend, and he puts everything he's got in his funny bag on that stage. He knows the trick of how to bring an audience to laughter over and over without feeling forced. Please teach that trick to Isabel Keating, who portrayed the role of Virginia Noyes (usually played by Stockard Channing) the night I went to see the play. I don't know if Ms. Keating (The Boy From Oz) was trying to summon the diva madness of the role, or if she was trying to reincarnate Ms. Channing. Critic, and frustrated writer, Mr. Ira Drew was played hilariously by F. Murray Abraham ('The Grand Budapest Hotel'). In the role of Broadway producer Julia Budder was Megan Mullally (Young Frankenstein). No resemblance what so ever to one Mrs. Karen Walker! Ms. Mullally is such a delightful to watch. Although she doesn't have the knock-out jokes of the night, she's so subtle and brings such elegance to her character. Rupert Grint (Harry Potter films), as previously mentioned, makes his Broadway debut in such a complicated, yet so perfectly executed, character. Mr. Grint gives an electrifying, energy-filled performance. In another Broadway debut, Mikah Stock (off-Broadway's And Away We Go) gives a charming and heartwarming performance as coat check boy Gus P. Head. If you're indecisive [about] whether seeing Wicked, or seeing It's Only a Play, see It's Only a Play. Micah Stock's rendition of 'Defying Gravity' brings it home every time. Look out Idina Menzel! There's a new Elphaba in town.
Truly this is Terrance McNally's year on Broadway. With constant uproarious laughter and a full house standing ovation, It's Only a Play exceeded all my expectations, which from the beginning were high. 


Have a review you'd like to share?  Email me at jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com.

Jeff
6.026

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...