Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dead Accounts

Roma was right.  This play stinks.  And when I say "this play", I mean the actual script itself.  Theresa Rebeck got thrown off SMASH after the first season and someone should now officially throw her off Broadway too.  Dead Accounts amounts to nothing more than a bad sit-com that doesn't come close to cutting it on stage.  Most of the characters are way overly-exaggerated to be believed.  While perhaps a common trait in 30 minute situation comedy writing, it's not at all a good idea for a 2 hour stage play charging upwards of $100 per seat.

What about the acting, you might ask?  Well, that was mixed but decent.  Norbert Leo Butz, plays his sweet spot to the nines - a hyperactive, neurotic, mess.  Katie Holmes turns in a decent performance despite the trite material which has her vacillating between dumb and kind to just plain dumb. Jane Houdyshell shines in the role of dowdy and typical aging mid-western mother with limited brain capacity for independent thought and therefore fixated on God.  Josh Hamilton (Phil) had nothing more than a cameo-type role (think guest star on a SNL skit) and Judy Greer turns in what I would consider the worst performance of the evening.  The buildup to her character's arrival was substantial and the meek, baby-talking, inappropriately innocent girl that showed up was disappointing to say the least.

The New Yorker "observations" penned by Ms. Rebeck were marginally entertaining but like everything else, unnecessarily over-the-top.  The out-of-towners seemed to get most (but not all) of the jabs. And when it came to Ms. Holmes' scene stealing melt-down about the greed of banks, the audience clearly showed their mid-western ignorance.  (And by 'audience' I mean the gaggle of noisy out-of-town tourists straight off the big white bus who filled the last two rows of the mezzanine (read, cheapest seats) just because Katie Holmes was on the marquis while there were over 12 empty rows of seats  in front of them).  

Roma was right - and the word is out.  Dead Accounts is indeed dead.   Dead on Arrival.