Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, July 10, 2008

[Title of Show] on Broadway

The little show that could... The show about a show - about writing an original Broadway musical and the dream of bringing it to Broadway... has finally made it to Broadway!!   It's quirky, amusing, honest, insider-joke-driven, and straightforward as it always was. Of course, for this Broadway run, they've update the show. The journey and story beyond the off-Broadway run at the Vineyard Theatre had to be incorporated - and what a clever job they have done. (Is this Broadway's new reality show?). The new sections chronicle the closing off-Broadway, the lull experienced by the cast, TitleofShow.com web episodes (there were 9 in total) and the trials and tribulations of what to change and what to keep as the show morphs into it's Broadway run.

The humor is as clever, witty and as dry as ever. The jokes and characters remain mostly the same ("Is what we are saying right now going to be in the show?" --echo the line on stage - laughter follows). Kudos to keeping the solo spotlighted celebrity

answering machine recordings - Christine Ebersole, Sutton Foster, Patti Lupone and Kerry Butler each brought raucous laughter to the theater. Tourists, fear not, the inside jokes are often explained subsequently (They discuss whether a "Broadway" audience will get the obscure references to Mary Stout being hit by a hot dog cart, Roma Tory and NY1, and the medley of flopped shows in the song Monkeys and Playbills among others)

Perhaps in seeing this early in the run (first preview was July 5) , i was part of a theater audience of friends, industry folks, and the cult-like fans the show garnered over the last two years - but i have to imagine that the brand of humor and the talent on stage will fill the house for quite a while. Jeff Bowen still adorably cute as ever picks apart Hunter's grammar. Heidi Blickenstaff still brings down the house with her vocal prowess. Susan Blackwell is as darkly funny as ever, and, of course, Hunter Bell is as awkward, clever, quirky, and dry as ever. This quartet telling us the story of their story of making a journey to Broadway entertains for over 90 minutes.

Pull up one of your diamond crusted chairs to the Lyceum Theatre and spend a few hours with this entertaining cast before it gets too darn hot!