Shows for Days OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    June 29, 2015
    Closing:
    August 23, 2015

    Theater: Mitzi E. Newhouse / 150 West 65th Street, New York, NY, 10023

    Synopsis: 

    "Shows For Days" is set in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1973, when 14-year old Car, the play’s narrator and the author’s alter-ego, is introduced to the world of theater through his local community theatre, the Prometheus Theatre, and its devoted cast and crew which is led by Irene, an indomitable force of nature whose life is dedicated to putting on productions she directs, designs and stars in.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Shows for Days

    ‘Shows for Days,’ With Patti LuPone as a Diva With Depth

    Ben Brantley

    June 29, 2015: Though she has been known to chew scenery into sawdust, Patti LuPone shrewdly resists making a feast of her high-calorie role in “Shows for Days,” the unresolved new comedy by Douglas Carter Beane that opened on Monday night at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Ms. LuPone has a part that comes with full license for going over the top and staying there: Irene, a coercive community-theater diva and a showy specialist in blackmail, emotional and otherwise. She’s a character a less savvy actress would use to vamp and camp until the cows come home (or until the audience goes home). There are tasty elements of vampery and campery in Ms. LuPone’s performance in “Shows for Days,” which depicts the sentimental education of a 14-year-old boy (the appealing Michael Urie) in the mahvelous world of the theatuh. Yet she also locates a molten core of anger — and honor — in Irene’s affectations. This small-time tyrant may be a bulldozer wrapped in gold lamé. (And there is real gold lamé on hand, courtesy of William Ivey Long’s spot-on bourgeois-gone-bohemian costumes.) But as anyone knows who saw Ms. LuPone as Momma Rose in “Gypsy,” this actress does bulldozers with many gears. And she finds something genuinely and affectingly credible in a play that often taxes credibility.

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