Toast OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    May 1, 2016
    Closing:
    May 22, 2016

    Theater: 59E59 Theaters / 59 East 59th St., New York, NY, 10022

    Synopsis: 

    Another Sunday night shift. The smell of bread baking. The industrial thump, thump, thump of the machines that never stop. The ovens are cranked up to full blast, the factory is humming, and everyone wants to be somewhere else. But this shift is going to be different, because when a crisis hits the factory, the men have more to lose than just their wages.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Toast

    ‘Toast’ Blends Farce With Kitchen-Sink Realism

    Ben Brantley

    May 2, 2016: Walter Nelson — known to his co-workers as Nellie — has the stunned appearance of a leprous Lazarus, newly wakened from the grave. His eyes are rheumy, his body is crusted in gluey globs of white; and when he speaks, it is usually in monosyllables (“Ay, “Yah,” “Nah”) that sound bewildered or alarmed. That’s what 45 years of working in a bread factory can do to a man. Played by Matthew Kelly in “Toast,” Richard Bean’s trenchant 1999 comedy of the rhythms of a blue-collar workday, Nellie is treated as a sort of mascot by the men who toil alongside him, mixing and shoveling dough. He is also the image of their probable futures, which you would think would give them pause. Yet the characters in “Toast,” which opened on Sunday night as part of the Brits Off Broadway festival at 59E59 Theaters, don’t seem disturbed by this lumbering vision of what their work might make of them in time. What scares them is the prospect of losing that work, and not just for financial reasons. It’s more the daunting question of how they’d ever be able to fill all those empty hours. Mr. Bean, a playwright of wide-ranging satirical scope, is best known on these shores for “One Man, Two Guvnors,” his knockabout transposition of an 18th-century Goldoni comedy to the British seaside of the 1960s (seen on Broadway in 2012), which made a star of its leading man, James Corden. The current production of “Toast,” which toured Britain this year, definitely has its farcical side.

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