MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW
Off Broadway

A Turtle on A Fence Post Climbing Ladders

A Turtle on A Fence Post Climbing Ladders

A Turtle on A Fence Post, comes from one of Bill Clinton’s favorite expressions: “when you see a turtle on a fence post, you know it didn’t get there by itself. It doesn’t belong there. You wonder who put it there”. The show is inspired by fictionalized events of Hank Morris, a democratic strategist for people like: Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein; his time in prison at the hands of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.  

The Company Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Directed by Gabriel Barre, Turtle at Theater 555 is a fun, easy going musical with great setting and costumes. Walt Spangler’s set is mostly a comedy club (Heckler’s) and the prison in which Morris spent two years trying to get paroled out of. The plot has him getting railroaded by Cuomo; but the music and comedy is much deeper. Lily Dwoskin’s lyrics for the most part are good as is Austin Nucklos music. Songs like “This is a Play About Prison”, “The Walls are Closing In”, “Look at the Stars”, “Leave it All Behind” and the end of the first acts: “I’m Out” are winners.

The Company Photo by Jeremy Daniel

The opening of the second act “There’s Always a Second Act” was campy and unnecessary in the first place; but the show picked up soon after with the help of fantastic lighting by Yael Lubetzky. His glam lighting as well as semi industrial lighting added to the intensity of the entrenchment of this musical. The second act really digs in with “Jewish Guilt”, here Hank laments about how much he loves his mother and how wise she was in her teachings. “How Can I help You” is warm and deep, as we see one persons love that is almost hopeless.

Garth Kravits, Kate Loprest Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Although the musical is about twenty minutes too long and some of the jokes fall flat, most of the performers were excellent. Garth Kravits and Kate Loprest were stand outs. Loprest in particular sang, danced and acted her way into the audiences hearts. Z(David Aron Damane), showed too that he can flat out sing as well as act. The interaction between Z and Hank was one of respect and admiration. Even though Z was a drug runner, Hank respected his brain; Z was a great chess player, a painter and had worldly as well as street wise as to how the world works. The banter between Hank and Z when they both describe how their worlds are the most persecuted..Hank being rich and white; Z being black and judged was spot on in both delivery and how their acting drove these points home.

Garth Kravits, David Aron Damane Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Hank Morris who wrote this story about his life brings out early how he was driven to succeed; both as a lawyer and a businessman. Morris took every advantage that he had in his grasp. Was he a victim because he simply said no to Cuomo? It will never be clear what the real story is behind him taking a guilty plea, but one thing is for certain, Cuomo managed to irritate even the people in his own party.

Garth Kravits, David Aron Damane Photo by Jeremy Daniel

The musical doesn’t dive to deeply into the Cuomo/ Morris dispute and here that is a good thing. The show is better served focusing on the interactions of husband and wife, son and mother as well as the quirky prison people that Hank interacts with during this period of his life.  

The Company Photo by Jeremy Daniel

For people not interested in politics, this may not be your cup of tea. The show, however does focus for a short  time on people who got caught up in a period of turmoil. 

Turtle on A Fence Post: Theatre 555 closed

Off Broadway

Robert Massimi is the Chief Drama Critic for Metropolitan Magazine.Chief Drama Critic for Nimbus Magazine.Chief Drama Critic for My Life Publications.Member of The Dramatists Guild.Member of The National Arts Club.Former Member of the Board of Directors Metropolitan Playhouse.I Have produced 14 shows both on and off Broadway.A Graduate of Manhattan College. Alpha Sigma Lambda and Triple Major :English, Government and Psychology.

More in Off Broadway

Stephen Sondheim Gone but Not Forgotten

Lawrence HarbisonNovember 28, 2021

He Says: Red Bull’s The Alchemist Rides Again with Wacky Fun

RossNovember 24, 2021

Food For Thought Productions Finishes 2021 Season with Arthur Miller, Bob Dishy & Blythe Danner

Suzanna BowlingNovember 24, 2021

The Dark Outside Leaves Little to be Desired.

Robert MassimiNovember 23, 2021

The Alchemist: There Is A Sucker Born Every Minute

Suzanna BowlingNovember 22, 2021

Theater 80 at 80 Saint Marks Place Is In Imminent Foreclosure

Suzanna BowlingNovember 21, 2021

Theatre News: First Look The Music Man, A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet, Project Shaw, Black No More and Park Avenue Armory 2022 Season

Suzanna BowlingNovember 21, 2021

Gone But Not Forgotten Theatres and Theatre Companies Part 6 The Final Chapter

Lawrence HarbisonNovember 20, 2021

Gone But Not Forgotten Theatres and Theatre Companies Part 5

Lawrence HarbisonNovember 19, 2021