April 2004 Archives

Assassins

Cheap Assassins Tickets: Volunteer Usher (sign up at box office M-F 10-5) or
get $36 day-of Hiptix (make sure to click on the fine print)
At any given time, there's one broadway show I'm anxiously awaiting long before it hits the mass public eye. Back in 1999, when I found out that on The Producers (one of my favorite movies) was going to be on Broadway, I followed its development closely for two years. Two years later, when the Producers from "did you know they're making..." to "giant commerical success", I switched to researching the details on Assassins' upcoming opening, which was supposed to finally make it's Broadway review in fall of 2001.

I thought that 9/11 might affect this production, but I feel like the show works regardless. The only thing is, I think Assassins works better as a dark comedy than a partially-serious look at the subject, which is what Joe Mantello has somewhat done with this production. For example, every time an Assassin kills his or her president, they move into the back and sit onstage, one by one becoming some sort of a carnivalesque freak-show. The concept for this is great save one thing: while they're onstage, they have this absolutely horrifying look. Even John Hinckley, who looks absolutely harmless onstage, appears like a nightmare once he's sitting in the back. This makes it a lot harder to laugh at some of the scenes going on in the front of the stage.

When you have Assassins as a dark comedy, you get the posion cookie effect. In other words, for the first hour and a half you're enjoying it so much (the "cookie") that it isn't until the very last scene that you're suddenly jolted into reality (the "poison"). Much like the recent Cabaret revival, actually. Maybe, post 9/11, they thought that an audience wouldn't be able to handle that much dark humor.

I just give them praise for finally getting one of the most fantastic pieces of musical theatre (regardless of how imperfect) onto the Broadway stage after so many years. Anyway, enjoy the Abridge, and thanks to Amy for her help in writing it.
Cheap Mr. Fox Tickets: Volunteer Usher. 212-244-PLAY.
Cheap Mousetrap Tickets: 28 pound tickets in the back

I only have one word to say about the long-running London production of The Mousetrap: stale. Well, one word besides the script, that is. If anybody thinks I might enjoy this show in a more revitalized production, do let me know.

So in my quest for quality off-broadway I've recently gotten interested in the Signature Theatre Company. Each season they commit entirely to a single artist's work; this year's was funnyman Bill Irwin. A few years ago I saw him in "Texts for Nothing", one of the less-dramatic works of Beckett, and over the course of ten minutes I watched him deliver a speech as he slowly sunk into a hole of quicksand, starting at knees and ending at his neck. Only after the play was over did I get to walk over to the hole and look at it. There was no machinery, it was him sinking down to the ground on his own. Much the same way that when he's being pulled offstage by a cane, nobody's pulling the cane from the other side.

In the second of today's updates, Broadway Abridged entry tackles Irwin's final entry in this year's Signature Season, Mr. Fox: A Rumination. Not a bad look at clowns, but it's nothing compared to him in January's "The Regard Evening". However, if you've never seen this man perform live, you are seriously missing out on one of the most genius minds of our time.

I'll be putting Assassins up by the end of the week. I promise; it's almost done. As for other shows, expect scripts for Sly Fox, Caroline or Change, Jumpers and Sarah Sarah as I get them in on my "list of plays to see this month".

RECENT BLOG ENTRIES

Assassins: Abridged
ASSASSINS: A "Broadway Abridged" Script By Gil Varod SCENE: STUDIO 54, FORMER HOME OF "CABARET" AND WHERE YOU VERY…
Assassins
Cheap Assassins Tickets: Volunteer Usher (sign up at box office M-F 10-5) or get $36 day-of Hiptix (make sure to…
The Mousetrap: Abridged (London)
MOUSETRAP: A "London aBridge" Script By Gil Varod SCENE: ST. MARTIN'S THEATRE IN LONDON, WHERE THE MOUSETRAP HAS BEEN…
"Mr. Fox: A Rumination" (Off-Broadway) and "The Mousetrap" (London)
Cheap Mr. Fox Tickets: Volunteer Usher. 212-244-PLAY. Cheap Mousetrap Tickets: 28 pound tickets in the back I only have…

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BROADWAY ABRIDGED LIVE! (THE CD)


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