Friday, September 09, 2005

Brothers On and Off of Broadway

You know how life tends to operates on a feast or famine or wave-like manner? Well this week theatrical outings are all colliding for yours truly. I somehow found myself in possession of tickets to four shows all within one week's time. I'm halfway through the stage journey.

On Wednesday I tried valiantly to enjoy the new Off Broadway musical The Miracle Brothers, but the musical itself conspired against said enjoyment. The basic gist of the show seems to be that slavery is bad. I love it when artists really challenge the audience with their messages (snort). But seriously -- that simplistic. I also learned that Tyler Manard, an actor I found hilarious in Altar Boyz (he played the nelliest member of the Christian boyband) doesn't seem to have much range. Either that or he just transposed his character there into this very different musical about Brazil, magical dolphins, and slavery. Now, you can have musicals with lame plots that still work provided that the music is great. But, no luck there either. The actors were having a good time but I wasn't. The only enjoyment I got out of the evening was hearing Kerry Butler's belt (of which I am overly fond).

Those brothers didn't do it for me so the following night I caught one of the last performances of The Pillowman, another show about two brothers. This intelligent gothic Tony nominee closes on September 18th. If you're in NYC, see it while you still can. This was one of those rare blind outings for me. I knew it was critically acclaimed, knew the details of the Tony nominations, and I knew it was Doubt's only real (if distant) competition for the prize. Other than that I had zero knowledge. I happily knew nothing about the play itself. So, it was very surprising for me...and I'll let it be for you too. That's ideal when you have a play as twisty, twisted, and sharp as this one. It's really special. Crudup earns his Tony nomination as a writer in peril. Jeff Goldblum is excellent as a detective. The whole thing is enthralling.

Next up is Edward II but I shan't be writing about that one since I'm friends with the director. (That would be an obvious conflict of interest so instead I will just say: Go See It! I'm sure it will be fabulous). After that I've got Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on tap. That one I'm looking forward to as well since I loved the film as a kid and I love Raul Esparza who plays the Dick Van Dyke role.

Have I mentioned that I love living in New York City?