Photo by Don Kellogg

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Important Hats of the Twentieth Century

My reaction after about 10-15 minutes of bewilderment in Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II at NY City Center was one of utter confoundment (if that's a word).  What on earth possessed MTC to choose this play to produce?  It appears to have been written by someone with the mind of a 13 year  old.  Why was I being forced to pay to watch this crap?

Let me be clear here - the actors were magnificent at the character acting contained throughout- not the least of which was the uber adorable and talented Carson Elrod (Sam Greedy) as an over the top fashion designer.  The other actors all played multiple characters - including a single woman who played all the female parts.

The trouble here isn't the lighting (it was great), sound (it was great)  or fairly good direction and blocking (very creative use of the stage) on a small stage with limited scenery (Moritz von Steulpnagel).  It's that the play itself by Nick Jones is a poor rip off of Back to the Future.  Its humor is immature, dare I say childish.  And the story goes on and on like a Saturday cartoon and really ends up nowhere.  It's a silly premise that contains a hairy gorilla and never really gets much resolution - what ever happened to the sweatshirts/track pants that got introduced before their time?  Finally, both the show's marketing and hype about the play gets you to believe it is about actual HATS.  While it is about ONE HAT (that's not really a hat in the way you would think), it's really more about fashion and still time travel in general than hats.

Don't waste your time on this silly play that never should have made it to a stage - unless of course you want to travel back in time to one of your high school productions.  Better the glowing orbs that nobody seems to mind blow it up in the river.