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He Says: Gary A Sequel to Titus Andronicus Slays Big Time

He Says: Gary A Sequel to Titus Andronicus Slays Big Time

This is pure foolery and fun, this Sequel to Titus Andronicus, namely Gary that is getting a full forced treatment at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. It is by no means your average kinda Broadway play or comedy, that I will tell you first off. From the moment Julie White (Broadway’s A Doll’s House, Part 2Sylvia) steps out from behind the curtain, sprouting off and on about something or another as Carol, the midwife, one has to sit up straight and wonder how any of these three master comedians of the sorting class can keep a straight face. It’s a spectacle of riveting and ridiculous savagery, hilariously written with bemused wonderment by the whip smart Taylor Mac (HIRRed Tide Blooming) and directed with a vaudevillian sense of indecency by George C. Wolfe (Broadway’s Shuffle Along…The Iceman Cometh). White is wickedly Shakespearian in her wonderfulness, and just the right dash of liquid abstractionism to lead us into the bloody mess that awaits us behind curtain number 1. It’s dastardly delicious in its absurdity, craftily crazed but hard to dig deep in that shallow end of the pure waters of brilliant nonsense.

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
Kristine Nielsen, Nathan Lane. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Disturbingly demented in its blood, bile, flatulence, and penile jokes, the comedy spectacle, designed to deadly delight by Santo Loquasto (Broadway’s Carousel), with spot-on lighting by Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer (Broadway’s Pippin) and sound by Dan Moses Schreier (Broadway’s Falsettos), brings forth the clowns one by one as summoned with Nathan Lane’s (Broadway’s Angels in AmericaGary in the lead, with Kristine Nielsen’s (Broadway’s Present Laughter) Janice overtaking and demanding the authority of folly. They both deliver and speechify at the highest of the low order, all to the sound of applause; much deserving. He’s a clown who hates clowns, but he’s also one with a fool’s ambition. Ridiculousness, or so thinks Nielsen’s gloriously cantankerous cleaning lady, with a resume of orderly perfection to prove it. They have come together, summoned by Emperors to clean up the mess created by this little mission of the revenge of the revengers, and we couldn’t be more pleased with their arrival.

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
Julie White. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Did someone say pie?” and all of a sudden we are re-blessed with the wondrous White and one strange and marvelous floor show that takes us ambitiously forward toward the end of all this everyman clowning about.  “It’s just a theory“, but I couldn’t stop smiling. I did have visions of the magnificently talented Andrea Martin pumping and prodding corpses on stage with Lane, but within minutes of Nielsen and White, I couldn’t envision anyone else. The glee with which they have taken on the challenge, cleaning up a mess left by others, and finding comedic gold is inspiring and Tony worthy. With Taylor miraculously finding the hope and hard truths amongst the dead, this bloody comedy delivers more than just a hefty body count, and even with the jokes being as guttural as they come, the laughs never stopped. Did I understand everything that was going on? Not really, but it was the funniest cleanup crew in the history of Shakespearian tragedy and Broadway comedy. This crew, all around, performing to the dizzying heights of bloody perfection, gives us a master class of geniusness of the art of comedy and the mop.

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
Nathan Lane in GARY. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

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My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to

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