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BROADWAY REVIEWS 39 Steps, The
A Steady Rain
Billy Elliot
Burn the Floor

Bye Bye Birdie

Chicago
God of Carnage
Hair

Hamlet
In the Heights
Jersey Boys
Lion King, The
Mamma Mia!
Mary Poppins
Mary Stuart
Next to Normal

Oleanna

Phantom of the Opera, The

Royal Family, The
Rock of Ages

Shrek
South Pacific
Superior Donuts
West Side Story
Wicked

Wishful Drinking

 

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Altar Boyz
Avenue Q
Blue Man Group
Celebrity Autobiography
Fuerzabruta
Perfect Crime
Stomp
Toxic Avenger

NEWSDAY [TITLE OF SHOW] REVIEW

 


Newsday Review

 

Review: [Title of Show]

by Linda Winer

 

"Title of show," which opened on Broadway last night after four years of writing and waiting, may be the ultimate let's-put-on-a-show musical.

 

Created and performed by two self-described "nobodies in New York," the first entry of the new season is a clever and often adorable little invention about writing a musical about two nobodies writing a musical while performing the musical. Got that?

 

The title is what composer Jeff Bowen and author Hunter Bell - both show-biz obsessives - called this meta-project while filling out the application form for the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2004. The men and their two self-described "secondary characters" - Heidi Blickenstaff and Susan Blackwell - were a hit at the festival and Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in 2006.

 

Their inside-baseball humor, their sardonic attitude and their Cinderella story arrive at the creators' mainstream fantasy fulfillment with a passionate fan base, nurtured on the Internet by a come-on-along YouTube series about the show.

 

Everyone in Michael Berresse's production is quick and charming. The setup - four mismatched chairs, street clothes and a grimy rehearsal room - has a prepossessing anti-spectacle ordinariness. The show-tune pastiche - think Laura Nyro as interpreted by William Finn - is accompanied by the amusing Larry Pressgrove on a lone keyboard.

 

How I wish I could love the show. I wish I didn't feel that I was being manipulated by long-struggling talented people on a guilt trip. Most of all, considering the risk, I wish the offbeat and low-budget show belonged on Broadway - not incidentally, at the same ticket price as the magnificent and massive "South Pacific."

 

The producers are responsible for having brought "Rent," "Avenue Q" and "In the Heights" from Off-Broadway to the commercial theater. Clearly, they have antennae for original material that appeals to both young and crossover audiences.

 

But the show is so desperate to be loved - and yet so defiantly defensive and so oddly pleased with its success - that there's no room for audiences to discover the endearing smartness for themselves. I keep trying not to remember that classic National Lampoon cover, the one with a gun pointed at a dog's head and the threat: "Buy this magazine or we'll shoot this dog." Finding fault with the show is a bit like kicking a puppy that bites.

 

WHERE Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St.

LENGTH 1:45

BOTTOM LINE Shameless emotional blackmail, but with charm



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UPCOMING SHOWS:

OCT 2009
19 - Memphis
22 - After Miss Julie
25 - Brighton Beach Memoirs
29 - Finian's Rainbow

NOV 2009
15 - Ragtime
19 - In The Next Room . . .
23 - Fela!

DEC 2009
6 - Race
10 - Broadway Bound
13 - A Little Night Music

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SHOW INFORMATION:

Perf Schedule:

Mon-Fri at 8pm

Sat at 3pm & 8pm

Sun at 3pm & 7:30pm

 

Tickets:
$26.50 - $111.50
Call: 212-239-6200
Click here to buy now.

Show Run Time:
Ninety minutes, with no intermission

 

Theatre Information:
Lyceum Theatre
149 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036

 

 
 

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