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Showing posts from June, 2016

I'll Say She Is

I’ll Say She Is is a Marx Brothers musical revue that opened on Broadway in 1924. The book and lyrics were written by Will B. Johnstone; the music was written by his brother, Tom Johnstone. It was the Marx Brothers’ first Broadway show, and it was a big success.
Noah Diamond has adapted the review for the Off-Broadway stage. It’s been produced at the Connolly Theater by Rest of the Crew Productions, Loobit Ventures, Trav S.D., Deroy Murdock, Stephen Diamond and Gimme a Thrill Productions.
Mr. Diamond has given the original some considerable reconstruction. His chief source was a 32-page rehearsal script of the show – rough dialogue with song titles and cues. He’s added to this other scripts of scenes, “first-hand recollections”, material from other musicals by the original authors and material from columnists. He’s written some new lyrics to Johnstone songs from other productions, as well. In all, his original contributions make up half the lyrics and a third of the book.
The review is h…

I'll Say She Is

I’ll Say She Is is a Marx Brothers musical revue that opened on Broadway in 1924. The book and lyrics were written by Will B. Johnstone; the music was written by his brother, Tom Johnstone. It was the Marx Brothers’ first Broadway show, and it was a big success.
Noah Diamond has adapted the review for the Off-Broadway stage. It’s been produced at the Connolly Theater by Rest of the Crew Productions, Loobit Ventures, Trav S.D., Deroy Murdock, Stephen Diamond and Gimme a Thrill Productions.
Mr. Diamond has given the original some considerable reconstruction. His chief source was a 32-page rehearsal script of the show – rough dialogue with song titles and cues. He’s added to this other scripts of scenes, “first-hand recollections”, material from other musicals by the original authors and material from columnists. He’s written some new lyrics to Johnstone songs from other productions, as well. In all, his original contributions make up half the lyrics and a third of the book.
The review is h…

Peer Gynt

Henrik Ibsen wrote Peer Gynt before he wrote the realistic dramas he’s so famous for (Hedda Gabler, A Doll’s House). It’s a verse drama, published in 1867, based on a Norwegian folk myth. Its 40 scenes are sometimes realistic, sometimes surreal, and its many characters populate the stage for five hours or so. It’s enormously whimsical and theatrical, and it was originally paired with Edvard Grieg’s incidental music (which included “In the Hall of the Mountain King”).
We first meet Peer as an impetuous young braggart who runs off with a bride not his own before her wedding. He has a long series of adventures and misadventures, including seducing the troll king’s daughter, becoming a slave merchant, and incidents at sea. Finally he assesses his life just before his death – and Ibsen dwells on discussion.
At The Classic Stage Company, John Doyle has adapted the script into a drastically abridged form, running just two hours without intermission. Ibsen’s verse has been translated into prose…

Prospect

In Octavio Solis’ play Prospect, Vince and Liza pick up Scout at a bar. Vince brings the two others home to meet his wife. Scout is intended to screen Vince’s relationship with Liza by appearing to be her date. Scout’s a bit of a dupe. But he and Vince’s wife, Elena, bond over being Hispanic and create a complex and subtle relationship.
Boundless Theatre Company gives us a first-rate production of this script. In the masterful hands of director Elena Araoz, every scene is vital, replete with conflict. The drama is fluid and intense. Indeed, she might have eased up on the intensity a bit from time to time if only to let us catch our breath.
The entire cast in this production is terrific – Oscar Cabrera as Scout, Keira Keeley as Liza, Cliff Rivera as Vince. Danielle Skraastad and Terrell Donnell Sledge play bar staff – and familiars of Vincent and Elena – with the same skill. The acting throughout is fluid and dynamic; the analysis is careful and specific.
Monica Steuer is particularly str…