Thursday, August 25, 2011
In this incarnation, Mr. Moses has penned a complex work that entangles our quest for love and relationship with science and mathematics. Fear not, his clever dialogue is both instructive and engaging - to the point that you begin to think you are going to walk away being able to solve the TSP (Traveling Salesperson Problem, for those of you who might know).
One very awkward moment near the end of the play arrives at a time in the play when both the relationships AND the math/science "blow up". The play literally stops, and two other characters come out and talk to the audience to allegedly "stall for time" while the show takes a technical break to "reboot the board". Quite unusual - and by a poll of various people who said they knew - it was part of the play - not a real glitch. Symbolic, perhaps. Thoroughly distracting - yes. I wanted to be talking about so many other aspects of the play afterwards but just couldn't leave this "moment" alone.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
What makes the journey so effortless and so incredibly enchanting is most certainly due to the cast of characters - which includes, on such a small stage, a plethora of veteran Broadway talent in addition to some fresh, young blood - all perfectly cast in their roles. Jill Paice (Grazia) pulls you into her heart with her song from the very first moment and refuses to let you go the entire show. Kevin Earley (Prince Nikolai Sirki/Death) quietly sneaks into the picture and sweeps you off your feet. His flawless vocals packed a punch and quite literally blew the roof off the house. Of note, Mr. Earley stepped into the role shortly after the original lead, Julian Ovenden, stepped out due to an ongoing throat illness. The very fortuitous Mr. Earley played the opening night and has done so every night since.
The comparison to the juggernaut, Phantom of the Opera, is inevitable, but this show succeeds without all the weight and unnecessary baggage that Phantom brings along with it. Operatic, yes, oppressive, no. Hughes injects the story with dashes of comedy, a modern sense of love, family, and frivolity. A fine example of this clever infusion is the character of Fidele - played to its maximum effect by a quirky and adorable Don Stephenson.
The story, quite simply, is a love story. Death takes on a human (and quite handsome) role to find out what all this living and loving nonsense is all about. He, quite literally, takes a holiday from the his daily grim tasks. As you would expect, he falls in love and what happens next is... well... I think you know. While Death might be eternal - you only have a limited time to catch it on Broadway - playing now thru September 4th.