Monday, April 21, 2014

New York Theater Buzz: "Tragedy Tomorrow; Comedy Tonight!" April/May 2014

By Jacquelin Carnegie - (New York, NY)
Hurry, because THE LIBRARY is only up for one more week. But, after you've seen this intense play, relax with some comic fare.

(photo: Joan Marcus) 
The Public Theater (425 Lafayette St.) Until April 27, 2014 
Written by Scott Z. Burns; Directed by Steven Soderbergh; Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Lili Taylor, Michael O’Keefe, Jennifer Westfeldt
This is a really good and important play. While a school shooting is a very hard subject matter, it's brilliantly handled and the young actress, Chloë Grace Moretz, is outstanding! Fear and tragedy distort perception, then a media frenzy steps it up. Here, two teenagers survive a shooting in a school library each with a very different idea of what transpired. While the Rashomon effect is a factor, as the late great Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, "Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." Caitlin (Ms. Moretz), one of the surviving teens, is first battered by the experience then badgered by the adults--including her own parents--who'd have the truth. As the overwhelming momentum of piecing together the facts pushes forward, Caitlin--wounded and hurting on so many levels--stands strong like a seawall against an incoming storm.

Classic Stage Company (136 East 13th St.) Until May 11, 2014
Written by David Ives (adapted from Jean-François Regnard's play); Directed by John Rando.

(photo: Richard Termine) 
When done well, French farce is sheer delight and this production hits all the right notes. John Lee Beatty's lovely set takes you back to 18th-century Paris where Paxton Whitehead, as the family patriarch Geronte, is the spoke in the wheel of delicious performances. The household servants Crispin (Carson Elrod) and Lisette (Claire Karpen) aid and abet the young heir apparent Eraste (Dave Quay) in his quest for the family fortune and the hand of the lovely maiden Isabelle (Amelia Pedlow). But love and riches are almost thwarted by a meddling mother-in-law-to-be (Suzanne Bertish), but comic relief is restored by a bumbling lawyer, portrayed with great glee by the always-wonderful David Pittu. Written in 1708, this gem, updated by Ives, still charms and delights three centuries later.

St. James Theatre (246 West 44th St.) 
Written by Woody Allen; Directed & choreographed by Susan Stroman; Starring: Brooks Ashmanskas, Zach Braff, Nick Cordero, Marin Mazzie, Vincent Pastore, Betsy Wolfe, Lenny Wolpe, Heléne Yorke, Karen Ziemba 
(photo: Paul Klotnik)

Based on the 1994 film by Mr. Allen and Douglas McGrath, this show is a tribute to old-time Broadway musicals with pretty showgirls and dazzling song-and-dance numbers. Zach Braff, in his Broadway debut, is very likeable, but it's Nick Cordero as Cheech, a gangster with the gift of the Bard, who's just fabulous and steals the show. Along with ol' twinkletoes Brooks Ashmanskas as a chubby matinee idol and Heléne Yorke as the moll who wants to be a star, Bullets is just so much fun, you won't want it to end.

No comments:

Post a Comment