No, not that Jerry.
I traveled up to Vassar College to see Jerry Christmas, one of the offerings from New York Stage & Film this year. Stage & Film has had a lot of transfers in recent years, and this was one of the most buzzed-about shows of the season, so I was pretty pumped to see this new Andrew Lippa/Daniel Goldfarb musical.
The show was a fun romp through super-Jew-land, but ultimately I found it sadly underwhelming. The cast was excellent, especially Leslie Kritzer, David Reiser, and Adriane Lenox, but the show just feels flat, doesn't really hit its marks, and never becomes three-dimensional. With a heaping portion of yiddish jokes and torah humor, the comedic element is solidly in place, but after a while the repetition of this one topic wears thin and becomes obvious, and it's plain to see that the show is really missing a heart behind the humor.
The tuner is basically about Jerry Barron, a failed film star of the 60's who has been pegged as too "jewey" and too different, who attempts to make his big comeback on a live televised christmas special, sacrificing his (and his family's) religion and identity. Unfortunately, Jerry is a narcissist of epic proportions, and it's impossible to root for him. Without a sympathetic main character, the show lacks any heart. I'd say with a rewrite that adds more characters to make the stories more three-dimensional, and changing Jerry's wife into a real brass-tacks Jewish mother with a strong backbone and a big heart, the show could really take off.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Daniel Radcliffe, star of Harry Potter, has just been announced as the star of a new London revival of Equus. Richard Griffiths will co-star as the therapist who attempts to understand the 17-year-old stable boy who has blinded a stablefull of horses. Just the fact that the play is being revived is fantastic (and overdue), but I wonder about The Boy Who Lived's theater chops. This role is extremely challenging, incorporating a lot of strange and visceral religious themes in his journey into madness. The role also will require Radcliffe to get totally nude, completing the visual started in the fourth Harry Potter movie, in an uncomfortably long and bizarrely erotic bathtub scene. Nevertheless, it's a tour de force role for Richard Griffiths, and I'll be hoping for a transfer to New York, with or without the Potter boy.
at 12:01 PM