Friday, December 19, 2014

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night" - Broadway and Off-Broadway Shows of Note



This is not a review, but rather an audience alert to make you aware of several Broadway and Off-Broadway shows for which I feel a particular personal connection.
  • I was recently able to snag a Rush ticket to see "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night" at the Barrymore Theatre.  Wow!  This show is almost guaranteed to garner 8-10 Tony nominations. Alec Sharp, the young actor who plays the protagonist, may go in short span of one year from graduating from Julliard to winning a Best Actor Tony nomination. The set design is brilliant, and helps the audience learn to see the world through the eyes of an autistic teenager who is trying to solve the mysterious killing of his neighbor's dog.  It is a deeply moving and thought-provoking bit of theater.
  • My beloved "Pippin" will be closing on January 4.  If you have not yet seen it, tickets are available for the final performances.  After that date, the national tour will be another way to see the show.
  • "Side Show" will also be closing on January 4, and should be a destination if you plan to see a show in the next few weeks.
  • Off-Broadway, I recommend "Horse Girls"
  • Here are some things coming up early in 2015 to keep your eyes open for:
    • Coming to Broadway, "Fish In The Dark" by Larry David.  One of the cast members is my friend, Jonny Orsini, who is always worth watching.  Previews begin at the Cort Theatre on Feb. 2 and official opening will be March 2.
    • "Nevermore" tells the story of the life and death of Edgar Allan Poe.  It will open Off-Broadway at The New World Stages with previews beginning on January 4 and an official opening on January 25.  The cast includes my friend, Stephen Cerf, as a Swing.
    • Another friend, Tony Award-winning Producer, Andy Sandberg, has co-authored a new play which he will direct Off-Broadway.  "Application Pending" will begin previews at the Westside Theatre Downstairs on 26 January 2015, before an official opening on 10 February, and will continue its limited engagement through to 19 April 2015.The new comedy about "the hilariously cutthroat world of kindergarten admissions at New York private schools" will star YouTube Sensation Christina Bianco, who will play rookie admissions officer Christine Evans (as well as forty other roles).
    • "Finding Neverland" will make its transition from the A.R.T. in Cambridge to Broadway in the spring, in time to be eligible for Tony nominations.
    • Also transitioning from the A.R.T. will be the amazing "The Heart of Robin Hood" that will open at the Marriott Marquis Theater.  Broadway previews begin March 10.
    • White Rhino Report Review of The Heart of Robin Hood

So, if you are going to be in NYC in the next few months, you have lots of good choices for theater events.  Keep your eyes open.  You may just spot a rare White Rhino!

Enjoy!

Al

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mini-Review of "The Painted Veil" by Somerset Maugham



I ordered this volume primarily because I was eager to read "The Razor's Edge."  Once I finished reading that novel, I was so taken by Somerset Maugham's literary style that I kept reading.  I have reviewed separately the other novels in this compendium.  In this review I will concentrate on "The Painted Veil."

I found "The Painted Veil" to be among the most tender of Maugham's novels.  His style tends to be quite cynical - often poking fun at the antics and the mores of the aristocracy, the literati, the world of actors, etc.  In this novel he certainly does that as he follows British diplomats to Hong Kong and beyond in Asia.  But in this work there is a fascinating relationship between Kitty and Walter  Kitty is the daughter of a family of some means, but she has failed to attract the right husband.  In desperation she marries Walter, a microbiologist with a verse terse and taciturn personality.  She follows him to his post in Hong Kong, where she has an affair with the second in command to the Governor of the colony, Charlie Townsend.  Walter learns of her infidelity, and repercussions of stunning proportion ensue.  Walter and Kitty go off to fight a cholera epidemic in the hinterlands, and both of their worlds change forever based on what they encounter in rural China.

The novel is a complex exploration of infidelity, reprisal, grudges, forgiveness, and the process of rebuilding from tragedy.  It is rich in its portrayal of conflicted characters, and was a very satisfying book to read.

Enjoy!

Al