The Man of the Hour OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Tahiat Mahboob
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    February 20, 2015
    Closing:
    March 22, 2015

    Theater: Metropolitan Playhouse / 220 East Fourth Street, New York, NY, 10009

    Synopsis: 

    In 1906, George H. Broadhurst threw down a political gauntlet with "The Man of the Hour." The political bosses of an American Great City are ready to put careless playboy Alwyn Bennett into the mayor's mansion--provided he will do their bidding in office. An inspired campaigner, he wins the people's mandate with surprising ease. When a crooked bill lands on his desk, his choice to sign or veto is not just between cronies and constituency, but between his political fortunes and his family's reputation, and in the balance lies the faith of the woman he loves. But when a man has earned the trust of the people, can he so easily reward the men in the backroom?

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Man of the Hour

    In ‘The Man of the Hour,’ Back-Room Politics Is Ageless

    Andy Webster

    March 10, 2015: George H. Broadhurst’s 1906 political drama, “The Man of the Hour,” a long-running Broadway hit in its day, has good bones, and the Metropolitan Playhouse does it justice in its current revival. Inspired by the historic cronyism of Tammany Hall, the story, about the temptations facing an honest politician, runs the risk of resembling a civics lecture, which the production nimbly sidesteps. The play’s lessons bear repeating, and the actors infuse them with life. The setting is “any large city in America”; Alwyn Bennett (an upright, understated Eric Loscheider), a playboy, is installed as mayor by Alderman Richard Horigan (Kelly King) and the magnate Charles Wainwright (Bill Tatum), back-room players who take him for a malleable puppet. But Bennett has a strong motivation for taking the job: impressing Wainwright’s niece, Dallas (Kathleen Littlefield, displaying graceful backbone), who holds Bennett’s heart but dismisses him as a dilettante. The play centers on a bill about ownership rights to a streetcar franchise that could make Wainwright richer — or, he says, will bankrupt him (and cost Dallas dearly) if Bennett does not sign. The many satellite characters include Bennett’s rival for Dallas’s hand (Matthew Sanders); Dallas’s brother, Perry (a spry Ashley Springer); Perry’s love interest (Taylor D. Martin, transcending the coquette template); a good-hearted alderman (Dared Wright); a simpering judge (John Rengstorff); and an assistant to Wainwright with a secret (Jed Peterson). Broadhurst, a gifted plotter, integrates them nicely into the narrative engine, which the director, Leonard Peters, keeps humming.

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