One great thing about being largely in control of our own time is that we can commit to showing up. Gone are the days when we sent emails to the office asking whether anyone wanted our tickets because we had to work. We now actually go to the theatre--even matinees. We can even plan ahead and get bargain tickets (see www.broadwaybox.com) or tickets before the reviews. Recent shows and reactions:
Come From Away. We loved this musical about the hospitality of the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland, where thirty eight planes and seven thousand passengers landed after U.S. airspace was closed on 9/11. The story, especially in our dystopian times, is rollicking and inspiring. The staging is clever. The voices soar. We particularly loved Jenn Colella, an actress who plays a pilot. We understand she and the actual pilot, yes, a woman, have become good friends, which only adds to the warmth of the tale.
Oslo. A true story of the Norwegian diplomats who organized peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine in 1993. A compelling and timely story. A great play. Well acted, including by the amazing Jefferson Mays. Definitely worth seeing.
Present Laughter. Kevin Kline is a marvel. His comic timing, facial expressions, and ability to make his body part of the story is something to behold. Definitely a great evening at the theatre. Makes you laugh out loud.
Little Foxes. Precisely acted by Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney who switch roles every night. Marvelous writing about two radically different women in the same family. Worth seeing.
Natasha, Pierre: The Great Comet of 1812. A very long title for a campy musical adaptation of War and Peace. Great costumes. Decent music. An entertaining take on Tolstoy’s drama.
War Paint. Great hopes for the musical about two iconic business women played by actresses we have long admired wearing splendid costumes and, of course, makeup. But we didn’t love it. The play didn’t make their trail-blazing careers or their differences all that interesting. The awkward interjection of casual anti-semitism and racism and homophobia was likely reflective of the time but seemed gratuitous. Too long. Disappointing.
Hello Dolly. If you like old fashioned musicals with old fashioned staging and/or Bette, you will love this. Though the role doesn't seem made for her (Lady Gaga, any interest?), she camps it up just enough to make it work.
Dear Evan Hansen. An adolescent has a chance to be a different person and finally to fit in. Well liked by adolescents.
Front Page. A well known story, but this production seems tired. Nathan Lane picks it up but not by enough.