7:30pm: Songs of Hope 2021 Annaleigh Ashford, Teal Wicks, Telly Leung and more stage stars perform at this benefit concert supporting the Find your Light Foundation.
7:30pm: Beethoven’s Fidelio Even if for nothing else, Fidelio would command our attention by virtue of being Beethoven’s only complete opera. But beyond this, its unusual structure, glorious score, and life-affirming aura make it a unique theatrical experience. In it, Leonore, whose husband Florestan has been taken as a political prisoner, disguises herself as a man named Fidelio and finds work at the prison where she believes Florestan is being held. She ultimately saves him from execution, and the work ends with a rousing celebration of liberty and marital love. The work’s magnificence does not depend on psychological nuance or development but rather lies in the music’s ability to overwhelm the audience with the power of genuine emotion.
8pm: Rock of Ages: All-Star Reunion Concert Constantine Maroulis, Laura Bell Bundy, Frankie Grande, Kerry Butler, James Snyder and more, is reuniting for this bi-coastal jamfest. The concert includes performances of the greatest hits of the 1980s live from the Rock of Ages Hollywood stage at the Bourbon Room, with a special surprise performances from New York City.
8pm: Clu-eth at Radial Park (and from home) Resounding’s outdoor festival of in-person immersive audio returns to NYC’s Radial Park—and you’re invited to enjoy in-person or from home.
Resounding Creative Director Steve Wargo, who also directs, wrote the parody of the cult classic screenplay in iambic pentameter. The play resets the story to 1606 England and is written as though Shakespeare had originally penned the film based on a popular board game.
Leading the cast will be Manu Narayan as Goodman, Brian Charles Rooney as Lady Larkspur, and Thom Sesma as Lord Colonel Daffodil with Jordan Kai Burnett as Mistress Poppy, Victoria Huston-Elem as Amee, Jillian Louis as Lady Lily, Christian Elan Ortiz as three victims, Dick Terhune as Doctor Pansy, and Stuart Williams as Master Ivy.
8pm: Stars in the House Game Night with Mandy Gonzalez and Andrea McArdle
8pm: Virtual Rule of 7×7: April Edition By The Tank RULE OF is an ongoing series that premieres 7 brand-new 10 minute plays by 7 different writers. For each show, every playwright comes up with one rule, then the 7 playwrights create new plays using all 7 rules. Hosted and produced by Brett Epstein.
10:30pm: Underneath the Freeways of Los AngelesClue meets Chinatown in Underneath the Freeways of Los Angeles, a live-streamed, interactive murder mystery experience inspired by historical events. It’s 1960, and two bodies have been discovered in the lake at East L.A.’s Hollenbeck Park, right below the newly-built section of the Golden State Freeway that runs directly overhead. You, the audience, will question the witnesses and persons of interest. Who is the guilty party? Each virtual performance is live. Every performance is different.
• Written by Matthew Paul Olmos
• Directed by Michael Alvarez
• Starring Mia Ando, Morgan Danielle Day, Amy K. Harmon, Gloria Ines, Roland Ruiz, Darrett Sanders
• Produced by Alana Dietze and Chris Fields for The Echo Theater Company
• Commissioned by The Echo Theater Company
Romeo & Juliet Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor star in a film of London’s National Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet. It premieres on PBS as part of the Great Performances series.
Proof A filmed production of David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play is available to stream through April 25. Directed by Sara Laursen, Proof tells the story of Catherine, a troubled young woman who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, and how she copes with his death.
A Letter to Harvey Milk The filmed production of A Letter to Harvey Milk, which played at off-Broadway’s Theater Row in 2018, is available to stream through April 25 in benefit of The Actors Fund and HIAS. Based on Lesléa Newman’s short story of the same name, the musical follows Harry, someone who completes a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone from his past who’s dead, and instead of writing to his late wife Frannie, he writes to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California.
I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical West End regulars Luke Bayer, Charlotte O’Rourke, Lucas Rush and Charlotte Anne Steen star in this streaming production of Alexander S. Bermange’s musical revue. Audiences can watch the journey a wide-eyed drama school graduate takes to become a difficult diva through May 12.
The Woman’s Party Clubbed Thumb presents the world premiere of The Woman’s Party. Originally slated to premiere as part of the 2020 Summerworks Festival, the piece will now premiere virtually.
Written by Rinne B. Groff and directed by Tara Ahmadinejad, The Woman’s Party has been divided into three 30-minute episodes.
1947 is the year that the savvy politicos of the National Woman’s Party will finally get the ERA passed once they quash that insurgency—or oust the old guard. The Woman’s Party takes place 27 years after the ratification of women’s suffrage, when the Equal Rights Amendment was poised for passage.
The cast includes Rosalyn Coleman, Alma Cuervo, Laura Esterman, Marga Gomez, Marceline Hugot, Emily Kuroda, Lizan Mitchell, Socorro Santiago, Rebecca Schull, and Connie Winston.
Created and written specifically for the zoom platform, Lia Romeo’s charming, deeply heartfelt play follows a man and woman in their 60s as they navigate the vulnerable, awkward, and sometimes hilarious path to companionship via online dating during quarantine.
Two Sisters and a Piano Emmy winner Jimmy Smits and Daphne Rubin-Vega star in a streaming production of Nilo Cruz’s 1999 play presented by the new streaming theater company New Normal Rep. Cruz also serves as director for the work that follows follows two sisters serving time under house arrest in Cuba, and the lieutenant assigned to their case who falls in love with one of them.
Cheyenne Jackson, Ted Sperling, More Sing Adam Guettel’s Myths & Hymns (Episode 3) By MasterVoices The central project of MasterVoices’ 2020-2021 season will be a virtual rollout of award-winning composer Adam Guettel’s theatrical song cycle, Myths and Hymns, in an online staging conceived by Ted Sperling.
The Wandering an immersive theatrical experience inspired by the music of Franz Schubert, is set to premiere online and in real life on April 15–May 15.
Part visual album, part queer drama, and part communal live experience, The Wandering transports participants into a wonderous environment that unfolds both online and via physical tasks and ephemera shipped directly to audiences.
At its heart, The Wandering uses a queer lens to examine the love and pain that divided Schubert while taking guests on a journey that radically reshapes how classical music can be presented.
The Wandering is created by newcomers Calista Small and Jeremy Weiss in collaboration with filmmaker Lara Panah-Izadi, designer Charlotte McCurdy, animator Zach Bell, theater artist Christine Shaw, graphic and print designer Irina Wang, web designer TanTan Wang, and executive producer Max Sauberman.
Neat: Manhattan Theatre Club presents a virtual performance of Charlayne Woodard’s play that originally premiered in 1997. Neat is an inspiring portrait of a young woman’s coming of age, and her realization that some of life’s most difficult times can also be the most fulfilling.
Zoo Motel Step into this virtual odyssey that combines interactive live theater, gripping storytelling, cinematic illusions, and magic all in one creative hour of surprises.
Theatre Exile invites you to check into Zoo Motel, devised by director, designer, and performer Thaddeus Phillips in 2020 as a quarantined experiment that offers a window into what’s possible for live performance — a world where audiences from around the globe can share a mind-bending adventure in the comfort of their own home.
Broadcast live and online from one room in a South American village, Zoo Motel takes you on a journey to Spain, Japan, the Mojave Desert, and other parts of the world alongside fellow motel guests.
Islands of Contentment Co-produced by Hypokrit Productions and The Tank in association with Autonomous Works, Dipti Bramhandkar’s Islands of Contentment is a moving meditation comprised of thirteen monologues.
An elegy to the (dis)harmony of romantic relationships, each piece invites us into the intimate, poignant, and hilarious interactions with significant others in the form of modern-day confessionals.
Thirteen characters reflect on moments that feel strangely familiar: the break-up dream, the plight of the nice guy, the ex who unexpectedly shows up, and even a baking fetish. No one writes love songs about this stuff.
Shadow/Land Michelle Wilson, Te’Era Coleman, Lizan Mitchell, Lance E. Nichols, Lori Elizabeth Parquet and Sunni Patterson star in the world premiere of Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s audio play. The drama is set amidst the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and is part of the Public Theater’s digital stage.
Reverb Theatre Arts Festival through May 20th. Reverb Theatre Arts Festival presents the voices of artists with disabilities on the virtual stage. Artists from around the country submitted their works of original theatre—monologue, spoken word, dance, or music—based on creative prompts on the theme of Connection. The work is the result of twenty-four collaborations between Participating Artists and Collaborating Artists.
John Cullum: An Accidental Star Two-time Tony winner stars in a streaming production of his new solo show that features songs and stories from his six-decade career. Extended through May 6th.
Row Grace McLean, John Ellison Conlee, Tamika Lawrence, John McGinty and more star in the world premiere of this musical. With a book by Daniel Goldstein and music and lyrics by Dawn Landes, Row is inspired by A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure and is part of the partnership between Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Theater.
The Last Five Years (Encore) The Last 5 Years, with book, music and lyrics by three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown, stars Nasia Thomas (Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) and Nicholas Edwards (Frozen, Berkshire Theatre Group’s Godspell), and is directed and musically directed by Tony Award winner Jason Michael Webb (Choir Boy).
The production, which was rehearsed remotely and filmed in a New York apartment, following all COVID-19 safety protocols from Actors’ Equity Association, the state of New York and federal guidelines, was produced by Out of the Box Theatrics, Holmdel Theatre Company, and Blair Russell (Slave Play).
An emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years, The Last 5 Years’ unconventional structure consists of Cathy (Thomas), the woman, telling her story backwards while Jamie (Edwards), the man, tells his story chronologically; the two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.
Amour, Starring Derrick Baskin, Adam Pascal, Christiani Pitts, More Be a part of our Playbill Opening Night Celebration for the virtual revival of Amour. Join host Felicia Fitzpatrick who will take us to the “red carpet” to talk to the stars of the show and hear from behind the scenes how this special event was inspired and came together. Beyond the show, enjoy the party with tips on cooking your own French meal and learn a bit about wine.
Ailey All Access: Blues Suite Ailey All Access releases a recorded performance of Blues Suite from 1985 PBS Great Performances.
“Blood memories” of rural, Depression-era southern Texas, come to life in Blues Suite, which launched Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 and defined Alvin Ailey’s choreographic genius of presenting real people on the concert dance stage. With the rumble of a train and the toll of distant bells, a cast of vividly-drawn characters from the barrelhouses and fields of his Texas childhood are summoned to dance and revel through one long, sultry night.
Ailey’s classic is set to songs of lost love, despair, and protest, expressing the sorrow, humor, and humanity of the blues, the heartfelt music that he called “hymns to the secular regions of the soul.”
Manahatta This 2018 world premiere by playwright, activist, and attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle illuminates the consequences of commercial exploits, including the removal of the Lenape people and the attempted eradication of their culture that gave rise to the America we know today.
This Oregon Shakespeare Festival production is directed by Laurie Woolery.
The cast of Lilies features an all-male ensemb
The Thanksgiving Play Spotlight on Plays returns with Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, directed by Leigh Silverman. The cast features Tony nominees Heidi Schreck and Bobby Cannavale, along with Keanu Reeves and Alia Shawkat.
Whiterock Cliff Goode Productions presents a streaming production of Ryan McCurdy’s one-man Off-Broadway musical Whiterock Cliff will be performed live at New York’s Funkadelic Studios for a five-week virtual run.
The show features a book by Ryan McCurdy and Ellie Pyle, music and lyrics by McCurdy, and directed by Mary Chieffo.
Whiterock Cliff weaves together memory, music, mental health, the creative process, the stories we tell ourselves, and the ones we tell to each other.
This act is performed live each night with the permission of Actors’ Equity from a Times Square studio with one performer, three cameras, and eight musical instruments.
Wish You Were Here: The world premiere of Sanaz Toossi’s new work releases as part of the partnership between Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Theater. Nikki Massoud, Marjan Neshat, Nazanin Nour, Artemis Pebdani, and Roxanna Hope Radja star in the podcast production directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.
Gutenberg! The Musical! A newly filmed presentation of Gutenberg! The Musical!, starring Bobby Conte Thornton and Alex Prakken, will stream as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The performance, recorded by Pierre Marais at Open Jar Studios, features piano accompaniment by Andrew Callahan and choreography by Kaitlyn Frank.
The musical follows two aspiring playwrights, Bud and Doug, as they attempt to secure producers for their new musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg. The pair sing all the songs and play all the parts in the hope of a Broadway contract.
The Sound Inside Mary-Louise Parker and Will Hochman reprise their roles in this audio production of Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside, which earned six Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, for its 2019 Broadway run.
Romeo y Julieta Lupita Nyong’o and Juan Castano star in this free bilingual audioplay of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, presented by the Public Theater and WNYC Studios.
Lights on the Radio Tower Originally developed at the Adirondack Theatre Festival and Bloomington Playwrights Project, this thrilling two-hander rock musical tells the story of Molly and Jesse, a brother and sister who, after eighteen years apart, reunite at their decaying childhood home following the death of their father. The estranged rock duo’s competing recollections of their childhood, their last night together, and their final gig force them to face the painful truth of their past.
La Femme Theatre Productions: The Night of the Iguana The show will feature Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Dylan McDermott (Netflix’s “Hollywood”) as Reverend Shannon, Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad (Broadway’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Maxine, Roberta Maxwell (Broadway’s Summer and Smoke) as Judith Fellowes, Tony nominee, Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Austin Pendleton (Broadway’s Choir Boy) as Nonno, and Jean Lichty (Off-Broadway’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, The Traveling Lady) as Hannah, with Keith Randolph Smith (Broadway’s Jitney, American Psycho) as Jake, Carmen Berkeley (Off-Broadway’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord) as Charlotte, Eliud Kauffman (Roundabout Theatre’s 72 Miles to Go) as Hank, Julio Macias (Netflix’s “On My Block”) as Pancho, Stephanie Schmiderer (No Exit, The Human Voice) as Frau Fahrenkopf, Bradley James Tejeda (Broadway’s The Inheritance) as Pedro, and John Hans Tester (Amazon’s ”Hunters” ) as Herr Fahrenkopf.
The New York Pops Up Festival a thousand in-person performances throughout the state from now through June. Most events associated with NY PopsUp will be unannounced (and unticketed) and will be designed so that New Yorkers happen upon them in their everyday lives. (Since we can’t have large gatherings right now, we want to bring a lot of small things to the public where they are) NY PopsUp is a surprise that you happen upon, rather than an event or concert you are alerted to via a notification or a schedule.
Julius Caesar, Starring Patrick Page By Shakespeare@ Tony nominee Patrick Page (Hadestown) stars in the title role with Jordan Barbour (The Inheritance) as Brutus and Keith Hamilton Cobb (American Moor) as Cassius. West End Harry Potter and the Cursed Child performers Jamie Ballard and James Howard co-star as Mark Antony and Metellus Cimber, respectively.
The production is also be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Stitcher.
Produced by Jersey City’s Shakespeare@, this audio production is the third installment of the season, produced and adapted by Artistic Director Sean Hagerty.
Hagerty has crafted the production into four weekly parts and partnered with the Emmy-winning team at Sonic Designs to capture the lost art and thrill of radio drama all without leaving the confines of quarantine.
Julius Caesar features original music composed by Joan Melton with sound design by the Emmy-winning team of Dan Gerhard and Ellen Fitton of Sonic Designs. Justin Goldner is the music producer and supervisor, and casting is by Robin Carus. Sydney Steele serves as the associate producer.
Assassins Reunion: Original Off-Broadway Cast The original cast and creative team of the 1991 Off-Broadway debut of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Tony-winning Assassins will reunite virtually to celebrate the musical’s 30th anniversary.
The free online event is part of the Studio Tenn Talks: Conversations with Patrick Cassidy series and will feature Studio Tenn Artistic Director Cassidy as well as other original cast members Victor Garber, Greg Germann, Annie Golden, Lyn Greene, Jonathan Hadary, Eddie Korbich, Terrence Mann, Debra Monk, William Parry, and Lee Wilkof plus Sondheim and Weidman, director Jerry Zaks, musical director Paul Gemignani, and orchestrator Michael Starobin.
SuperYou Musical the new musical that last year pivoted from its traditional opening to a drive-in concert in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, is now heading online. A filmed version of the drive-in presentation will stream on Broadway On Demand
The musical, penned by Lourds Lane, tells the story of a woman and her superheroine creations that suddenly come to life, reminding her of the power of her own voice.
Prior to the 8 PM stream, Playbill will host a virtual red carpet event, with interviews with the cast and creative team. A digital afterparty will also take place at 9 PM.
An Iliad (Streaming) Court Theater. A film of the site-specific production at Chicago’s Oriental Institute by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare.
The Things Are Against Us Susan Soon He Stanton’s The Things Are Against Us will be the next production in MCC’s LiveLab one-act digital reading series. Ellie Heyman directs the cast, which includes Juan Castano, Emily Davis, Susannah Flood, Babak Tafti, and Danny Wolohan, in tthe play set in a mysterious house with a mind of its own.
SoHo Playhouse Presents Typical Soho Theatre and Nouveau Riche present the world premiere of Typical, the film version of the stage play, released exclusively on Soho Theatre On Demand
Written by Ryan Calais Cameron and directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, Typical uncovers the man and the humanity behind the tragic true-life events of Black British ex-serviceman Christopher Alder and the injustice that still remains twenty years since his story emerged.
The Manic Monologues Current Slave Play Tony nominee Ato Blankson-Wood, Rent Tony winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Accidentally Brave playwright Maddie Corman, and more stage favorites will explore mental health this winter in a new digital production from the McCarter Theatre Center.
The Manic Monologues debuts February 18 with 21 true-life monologues that users can explore at their own pace and through an interactive element virtually respond to.
Broadway’s Harmony Sounds Great But Lacks Emotive Power
I don’t think I knew, going in, that Harmony, the new musical from book/lyric writer, Bruce Sussman (Ted Tally’s Coming Attractions) and music writer Barry Manilow now on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, is based on a true story. But as it sings itself out to us, it starts by taking us back to the Carnegie Hall stage of 1933, but then shifts even further back to Berlin, Germany 1927, giving us a clearer picture of what might be coming at us. Panning out in tones not so subtle and utilizing the narrative structure of a standard memory play, a narrator, played by the endearing Chip Zien (Broadway’s original Baker in Sondheim/Lapine’s Into the Woods), stands forward, center stage, ushering us into the past and this story. His name, he tells us, is Rabbi, and he once was, back in the day, a member of a comedic singing group in Berlin made up of six young men who could harmonize and craft a joke like few others could. The group, ‘The Comedian Harmonists‘, was an internationally famous, all-male German close harmony ensemble that performed between 1928 and 1934. As one of the most successful musical groups in Europe before World War II, they steadfastly rose to fame and fortune as the Nazis came to power in Germany, and within that historic framework, the dye has been cast and the stage set.
Zien is most definitely an affable figure, one guaranteed to take us through this complicated and emotional story with expert ease, and we feel safe in his testimony. The elder Rabbi pulls us in, ushering us back to the first days of the group, and joining in with the fun whenever he can. It’s a tender beginning, and as directed and choreographed with energy by Warren Carlyle (Broadway’s After Midnight), we are forever cognizant of where this all will be heading. Zien quickly lets us into the framework, informing us that he is the only surviving member of this long-forgotten troop of singers, and he’s here to tell us their story so they won’t be forgotten. Noting the historical landscape, we can’t help but know where we are being delivered to, and it’s not all that shocking where we will end up.
With a group name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, they come together with a joyful clarity, delivering the cool notes of a well-cast harmonic group. The crew of six, including a very good Matthew Mucha (CFRT’s Memphis)-an understudy for the absent Danny Kornfeld (Barrington’s Fiddler on the Roof) who usually plays the parallel part of Rabbi, younger and sweetly entwined with the other five; Sean Bell (HBO’s “Succession”) as Bobby; Zal Owen (Broadway’s The Band’s Visit) as Harry; Eric Peters (National tour: Motown the Musical) as Erich; Blake Roman (Paramount+’s “Blue Bloods”) as Chopin; and Steven Telsey (National tour: The Book of Mormon) as Lesh; come together neatly. They all fit into nicely categorized stereotypes that sing, make scene jokes, and travel the world entertaining their audiences with an ever-increasing amount of success, all under the watchful, but pseudo-approving eyes of the Nazis.
The six singers, all delicious and delightful to watch, deliver the goods solidly, even with songs that aren’t exactly memorable. But they sure look and sound good (and sometimes even great). No wonder they are seen as good public relations personas to the world, especially with their diversity, but as an audience member who knows what’s coming, it doesn’t sit so easily in the pit of our stomachs. The Nazis, as embodied by Andrew O’Shanick (“Pitch Perfect“) as Standartenführer – who claims to be a fan – don’t even seem to mind that a number of the group members, but not all, are in fact Jewish. This comes as a surprise, as most Jews and their equivalents were being robbed of their livelihood, their money, and their passports. But not these boys. Even when they push the boundaries of their PR protections outside of Germany, nothing happens, at least not right away.
The drama of the musical’s story is played out with conviction on a straightforward uncomplicated set by scenic designer Beowulf Boritt (Broadway’s New York, New York), with formula costuming by Linda Cho (Broadway’s Take Me Out) and Ricky Lurie (Gallery Players’ Godspell), inventive lighting by Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer (Broadway’s Gary), and a solid sound design by Dan Moses Schreier (Roundabout’s Trouble In Mind). It charges forward, but oddly, doesn’t hold us emotionally tight in its arms, running too long, and feeling soft-focused and sometimes generic in tone and form.
Can’t Wait For Boop To Come To Broadway
At the CIBC Theatre in Chicago, BOOP! The Musical, the new Broadway-bound musical extravaganza is making its debut . Actress Jasmine Amy Rogers is currently bringing her to life in Chicago, as she proves in this exciting song “Where I Wanna Be”.
The show is created by Tony Award®–winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, La Cage aux Folles, Hairspray) who brings the Queen of the Animated Screen to the theater with celebrated multiple-time Grammy®-winning composer David Foster (“I Have Nothing,” “After the Love Is Gone,” “The Prayer”), Tony-nominated lyricist Susan Birkenhead (Working, Jelly’s Last Jam), and Tony-winning bookwriter Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone, The Prom).
I am obsessed with the songs already. First was “Something To Shout About” and now “Where I Wanna Be”.
For almost a century, Betty Boop has won hearts and inspired fans around the world with her trademark looks, voice, and style. Now, in BOOP!, Betty’s dream of an ordinary day off from the super-celebrity in her black-and-white world leads to an extraordinary adventure of color, music, and love in New York City—one that reminds her and the world, “You are capable of amazing things.” Boop-oop-a-doop!
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Michael Urie and Ethan Slater
With the holidays, my caricature of Spamalot is taking time, so I decided to highlight the two performers who for me stood out.
I have drawn Michael Urie several times, but I love this picture with him and my drawing of him in Buyer and Seller. Urie as Sir Robin, shows a new side of him that is truly funny.
Ethan Slater should have won a Tony for Sponge Bob Square Pants. My guess is he will be nominated again for his multiple roles in Spamalot.
Up next my caricature of Spamalot
Spamalot Gives Them The Olde Razzle Dazzle
Somehow I missed the original Monty Python’s Spamalot, based on the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” that played 18 years ago. So seeing this production at the St. James Theatre was fresh for me.
This show which runs over 2 1/2 hours is jammed packed with frat boy jokes, an uber talented cast and lots of razzle dazzle by director/ choreographer Josh Rhodes.
Satirizing the Arthurian legend, written by Eric Idle with music and lyrics by Idle and John Du Prez. The plot follows King Arthur (James Monroe Iglehart), as he is searching the kingdom for his Knights of the Round Table with his trusty sidekick Patsy (Christopher Fitzgerald). This is much like Don Quixote and Sancho, without those glorious songs. Instead we get “Look On The Bright Side Of Life.”
Arthur recruits Sir Bedevere the Wise (Jimmy Smagula), Sir Lancelot the handsome and incredibly violent (Taran Killam), Sir Galahad the Pure (Nik Walker) and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave (Michael Urie). Arthur leads the knights to Camelot, but, after a Las Vegas Style review, he changes his mind, deeming it “a silly,” and they go off to find the Holy Grail.
In the meantime the Lady of the Lake (Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer) is rather peeved that her role has been cut. Kritzer tears down the house and the scenery with her vocal pyrotechnics and her attitude. She almost steals the show.
Ethan Slater plays the historian, not dead Fred, a baby, a nun, a mine and a minstrel, as well as wimpy Prince Herbert, and a demonic killer bunny. To each of these roles, he is like a chameleon and morphs into a comedic clown. He is truly funny.
Michael Urie, as Sir Robin, is hilarious and has the politically incorrect number “You Won’t Succeed On Broadway,” (if you don’t have any Jews). I am seriously surprised it has not been pulled considering parodies seem to be no longer appropriate.
Paul Tate dePoo III’s set is serviceable, but the projections are fabulous.
Many will like this show and if I had watched their performance on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I too would be buying tickets.
Monty Python’s Spamalot: St. James Theatre, 246 W 44th Street.
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