Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

The History Boys

Here we go - once again - BEST PLAY is in the works for this one! The ensemble cast - all from the original run in London on the West End - is here on Broadway for another go at it. This one is a Don't Miss. The boys are adorable and likeable and believable - and to say that Richard Griffiths is theatrical perfection understating his performance. The one-woman stand out in the play was Francis De La Tour. Her sardonic wit about academia and men was biting and yet, we all know, true.

The play is about the games of academia as played by the adults and the games of youth as played by the boys and how those two games often intersect and produce the unique consequences we call "life". Two parallel storylines yet really one story. Alan Bennett (playwright) has a true gift for humor, wit, and irony. All around an intelligent, well acted, and well written peice.

It's a great evening of theater - you'll truly be entertained - by at least 2 or 3 members of the cast. I really can't pick a favorite I must say. If you're in academia - this one is for you. The message is clear - Pass it On. (you'll get it when you see it, don't worry).

The name may have been The History Boys, but let me tell you, they sure did well in Chemistry too !

Thursday, May 4, 2006

The Pajama Game

What a treat! There is simply nothing musically better on Broadway right now! The leading roles couldn't have been cast any better - - Chemistry... yeah chemistry. Harry Connick, Jr. and Kelly O'Hara were simply glowing the entire performance.

The story, of course, is one of those saccharine, 1950's style musicals! (based on the novel 7 1/2 cents). Lots of singing and dancing for no particular reason! More than one great tune you already knew - - "Steam Heat", "Hernando's Hideaway", and the song simply made for Harry Connick Jr to sing - "Hey There" (you with those stars in your eyes)... The supporting cast is the best kept secret too. Roz Ryan (Chicago, Ain't Misbehavin', Dream Girls), Michael McKeen (Lenny from Laverne and Shirley), and a cast of wonderfully fun and colorful dancers and singers.

And when Harry Connick Jr. opens his mouth - - I can only compare it to perhaps watching Barbra Streisand in concert. He was magnificent. (ok, i'm not even going to mention the part when he takes his shirt off - - ooohh child!). The trade off, you see, is that HCJ can't really dance very well and the acting was ok (better than i expected!). But I tell you that it won't phase you one bit! He more than makes up for it with his voice.

Unfortunately, this one is sold out - - so unless you're scalping a very expensive ticket you're going to have to just trust me on this one.


Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Faith Healer

This is one tremendous peice of drama. Powerful, well written, brilliant storyline. Tremendous performances by all 3 stars - Ian McDiarmid, Cherry Jones, Ralph Finnes each turn in an extremely strong performance.

Never having seen or read this play before - I was mezmorized by the twist each character gave to the same story - - Who's truth is the real truth?

I must say that as powerful as the show was (Ralph Finnes was tremendous!) - I was a bit disappointed that the show was really 3 mini-monolouges - and none of the actors were ever on stage at the same time! With a smidge of regret - I also have to say the play dragged on a bit. Not that I would ever suggest changing anything, but perhaps shortening it up a bit (Ralph) might help even more.

But then again, who am I?