Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The People In The Picture

Too Cliche?  Maybe.  Another installment in the "thou shalt never forget" series?  Perhaps.  Delightfully entertaining?  Absolutely.   In any other season, I think this show would be receiving above average acclaim.  Well, at least it would be receiving reviews that said "if you clean up Act I and speed up the dying old lady scene in Act II - you're got a hit on your hands."  But alas, strong competition this season has placed this possibly underrated show on the back burner.   It's either that or we're just tired of the the genre.  You decide.

Donna Murphy (Bubbie/Raizel) is sublime.  Clearly the star of the show.  Clearly the mistress of character acting.    I can't say anyone else in the cast was a stand-out, but they were a strong ensemble and put Bubbie on a golden pedestal the entire evening as she seamlessly slid between her younger self in 1935-1946 Warsaw, Poland and her older self in New York circa 1977   Overwrought with Yiddish and old Jewish humor, perhaps, but that's the story, for heaven's sake.  I have a few friends who actually saw it early in the run.  They got very bored during Act I and left.  They never found out who, exactly the people in the picture are.  Alas, the story is about the title of the show and Act II cleverly reveals all.

Sets by Riccardo Hernandez  - a decent job at recycling previous Roundabout materials.  And heaven knows, the Roundabout must have invested a boatload in the video projection equipment for Sunday in the Park with George and Brief Encounter - so why not drag it out again.  But since there's money at the Roundabout - it's always a top notch, class-act.  Costume and lighting - up to the usually high Roundabout quality too.

So who are the people in the picture?  I won't spoil it - you'll have to get your own ticket and let the divine Donna Murphy tell you herself.   Tape recorders, at least in the audience, not allowed.