Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Charming. Simply Charming. If you like tennis you'll like this one. If you like Angela Landsbury, you'll like this one. If you like both - it's a match made in heaven - you'll love this one!

Two old tennis players - formerly 5 time repeat doubles champs - meet up at a tennis match today and let us inside their old professional relationship, give us their thoughts on tennis today, and fill in the gaps with a whole bunch of great names from the past. This gab fest is filled with the fiction of the two tennis players wrapped around a whole bunch of real tennis history and the charm and honesty of these two old gals.

100 Minutes - no intermission - it's okay for me - but for Angela, an 80 year old actresses, 8 shows a week - it just proves she is a legend - just like her character on stage! Run don't walk to this one! The chances of seeing a legend like this on stage again is low. And what a treat it turns out to be.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Roundabout - you are officially off the hook in the category of worst show I have ever seen. Please congratulate the Manhattan Theater Company - for producing a musical (bet they learn from this big mistake) that SUCKS!!

Donna Murphy - Brava! And I'm sorry you had to suffer thru this!
Hal Prince - the jury is out - bad material is hard to work with!
Beowulf Boritt - your sets were great - too bad nothing else was!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Some Men

Terrance McNally's new work is both charming and witty. Played out on stage as a series of vignettes emanating from the the flashbacks, back stories, and thoughts of a group of men at a gay wedding - it chronicles the lives of gay men over the past 80 years. Many of the stories are interconnected (shades of "the chart" from the L-Word). History indeed shows that we indeed have come a long way.

I found one of the most poignant scenes to be the one between the "young kids" of generation Y interviewing the "old guys" in the park for their college journalism project. The old couple seem to look back on their own experiences fondly and with great joy. Of course, in hindsight, a gay teen today would find their experiences very closeted, oppressive, and unimaginable in today's world.

"You mean you could be arrested for being at a gay bar? "Why didn't you protest more"? The questions seem logical if the same things were happening today - but the point being made was that at that time, in that era, it just wasn't what seemed appropriate. The older gay men really remember the good times - the "golden era" they were part of.
Times change. Acceptance abounds. We've definitely come a long way. Some Men reminds just how far even in my own lifetime.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Howard Katz

Alfred Molina holds court on stage at the Laura Pells Theater in what we quickly learn is the extreme downward spiral in his life. Touching, emotional and well performed by Mr. Molina. The supporting cast was average. No stand out performances, mostly due to the lack of material. This play truly centers around the main character. Thankfully Molina shone brightly and gave a stellar performance.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


In 2007, you're bound to find more than few people alive that have no or very little knowledge of Richard Nixon, his presidency, and Watergate. I was only 3 at the time, myself. This play focuses on the story of the David Frost/Richard Nixon interviews - the first ones granted by Nixon after his infamous resignation. The Nixon camp assumed that the almost washed up Australian talk show host David Frost would be a pushover and Nixon would use the interviews as a way to get back into the public favor. The Frost camp, as you would imagine, thought the same thing but with respect to David Frost.

Frank Langella portrays Richard Nixon so well that you would think he rose from the grave to play the part himself. Not being as familiar with David Frost, I do think Michael Sheen played him well based on what other people tell me he was like.

As far as the play itself goes - too long! You do not keep an audience in the seats for 2 hours without intermission! Aside from that insult and injury - the play also had far too many filler and back story elements. Yes, we needed to know that back story to both sides, but possibly not as much as we were given.

Maybe this was just my expectation, but I thought we would see more of "the interview". I mean the play is billed as "The Face Off of the Century - Live on Stage" I think if they flipped the balance, the play would naturally build up to this important interview and you would be absorbed in it's progression and the drama could have unfolded within it. Instead, by the time the interview rolled around after 1 Hour and 30 minutes - you were anxious and trying to figure out how much longer this thing was going!

The rest of the cast was marginal - partially because some of the parts were written as marginal characters, but the the other ones were just played by marginal actors i suppose. I felt a vast crevasse between the talent of Frank Langella and everyone else. Or perhaps that was done on purpose? Isn't that how Richard Nixon was in real life - larger than everyone else?

In summary, a superb performance by Frank Langella that was neither matched by the rest of the characters in the play or the actors cast in those roles.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A Moon for the Misbegotten

Kevin Spacey brings A Moon for the Misbegotten from the West End (London) to New York with much pomp and circumstance. He even stars in the production as Jim Tyrone - which for him isn't odd. He performed in 3 other plays at the Old Vic - all the while being the artistic director at said theater.

This play was written by Eugene O'Neill - so expect long winded, sometimes boring, many times exceedingly drawn out, but all the while intelligent dialogue. Colm Meaney plays the drunk Irish father (redundant, i know) exceedingly well. Eve Best, appearing with permission of Actors' Equity, commanded the stage with her booming voice and emotional portrayal of Josie Hogan - the only daughter of 3 children in a poor farming family in 1923 Connecticut.

Kevin Spacey actually appeared to be the weakest link in the ensemble. Overacting at times, and at others - going for the comic relief just a little too much. Sure, his character has quirks, but he actually seemed to break character on several occasions just to go for the one word joke or gesture. At the time you chuckle, but when all is said and done, it really didn't seem what Eugene O'Neill might have imagined in the character. On the other hand - Who Knows? - I don't know Eugene O'Neill either -but he sure did have the knack for writing about drunk, Irish, dysfunctional families (i know, redundant again).

Get a discount ticket for this one and see it. Don't pay full price. It's not worth it. Then again, with all the Ticketmaster fees - even the discount isn't worth it.