Sunday, April 09, 2017

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG ('Wrong' is supposed to be red - can't change the color so even the title here is WRONG





THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

        This is my kind of play to write about because if I my grammar or spelling is wrong, “Hey, everything goes wrong in this play. I’m Just going along with the theme.” 

     Full disclosure - I have a teeny investment in this play. What sold me? 

  1. It’s in it’s forth year in the West End playing to a packed house each night.

  1. It won the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy (England’s Tony award)

  1. The Lyceum Theatre is small and intimate (950) Not a bad seat in the house. 

4. Theatre goers need mindless and silly these days.

   And, mindless and silly it is! I took my friend Debbie to opening night. I knew she’d love it. She’s been laughing at my jokes for thirty years, so she obviously has a highly developed sense of humor. 

  The show is a show within a show. The Murder at Haversham Manor is the play that’s doomed by dead bodies moving, scenery collapsing, actors colliding and lines muddled. 

   It’s hilarious to see and best of all each movement is done with incredible precision. It’s a circus in the best sense of the word. 

   Written by three crazy Englishmen, Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, who I couldn’t wait to see at the afterparty at GUSTATINO’S (a very cool place that is actually underneath the foundation of the 59th Street Bridge.) When else would I be able to use the word “bloody” as I rave about a performance? 

   I wasn’t able to catch them, but I did see Director Mark Bell, and a few of the the producers, Kevin McCollum, J.J. Abrams, Kenny Wax, Catherine Schreiber, Ken Davenport, Corey Brunish and Jamie deRoy. 

   None of them are English so throwing in “bloody” every other word kinda made them stare at me oddly and move away quickly.

   I was having a ball, anyway, first taking a photo with Debbie, then stalking Stephen Colbert for a selfie and by tackling J.J. Abrams I got a reddish bluish photo with him. (there was reddish bluish lighting in the room and of course, I don’t know how to adjust the color) I turned to ask J.J. but he was already gone. 

    Buy a ticket to THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG. I will make about four cents on it, and you’ll have a bloody good time.


    


     

Monday, April 03, 2017

SIGNIFICANT OTHER ON BROADWAY

My significant other, Mickey, was out of town, so my old high school buddy, Lily, dragged herself from Brooklyn in a downpour to meet me at the Booth Theatre to see Broadway’s SIGNIFICANT OTHER.

    From what she had read she couldn’t relate to the premise of the story. I had to promise her Kit Kats and M & M’s.

   “Barbara Barrie plays a widowed grandmother to a twenty something grandson” she whined. “Who cares? I’m not there yet. And I don’t need to listen to kids younger than mine grumble about finding thee one. Been there and done that.” 

    Finally, the play began and finally Lily shut up. By the time Sas Goldberg (Kiki) spoke her third line Lily was laughing and choking on her M & M’s. I was laughing, too, and bursts of howls bellowed from around the theatre. 

   There were soft, teary times too and because the cast was extraordinary those moments were genuine.

    Jordan Berman, a gay 29 year old is played by Guideon Glick, a gay 28 year old. Yes, acting was still required. He was charming and vulnerable as he cried and ranted each time his best friends Kiki, Vanessa (played by the fabulous Rebecca Naomi Jones and Laura played by the very talented Lindsay Mendez) found the love of their lives and beat him to the alter. 

    Barbara Barrie, (Helene Berman) plays a widow who are like many widows I’ve counseled, not quite broken, but not quite whole. She attempts to be to Jordan what all of us grandparents strive to be, wise and beloved. 

   In the end she persuades her grandson to imagine his life like chapters in a book and his next best thing could be a page away.

    As the audience jumped to their feet to give the cast a standing ovation Lily stood right along with them. After she wiped the chocolate from her teeth, my buddy, producer Jamie deRoy led us backstage to meet the cast. 

    I am excited to report to you that Ben Stiller, his wife and teenage daughter were there! They were friendly and outgoing and I overheard Barbara Barrie say as she hugged Ben, 

   “Remember how we used to call you Benji?” She squeezed his cheek and looked at him lovingly like he was still six years old. I could tell he loved it. He may have blushed, but he had a deep tan so it was hard to tell.

   It must be cool to be ‘babied’ by an actress who was nominated for an Academy Award, an Oscar and three Emmy Awards. The closest I ever came to being babied by a celebrity is when Hugh Jackman accidentally stepped on my foot and said “Sorry, Baby…” 

    We all took photos and got a chance to tell John Behlmann how great he was playing three roles, Will, Conrad and Tony. Also, we posed with Luke Smith who was fantastic as Zach, Evan and Roger. 

   SIGNIFICANT OTHER turned out to be a wonderful theatre experience. Someone please tell Joshua Harmon, the playwright that Lily gave it two thumbs up. I’m sure he’s been holding his breath.