Unlike professional reviewers, I don't have an editor breathing down my neck. (Just a boyfriend.) I also don't get paid, so it doesn't behoove me to be bitchy when something is good or gush when something is bad.
I also don't care if the show is still running by the time I get the review up!
TheBrit and I were in New York to give him some time to see his grandmother. (She passed shortly after he saw her. I'm very glad we went to New York so he could see her.) Accent on Youth came up as an option because TheBrit knows I love seeing shows (though he's not as in love with musical theatre as I am) and suggested that we catch a Broadway show and sent me a short list of what he thought we would both be interested in.
I admit that I am a David Hyde Pierce fangirl. No, he doesn't solve poverty in his spare time (that I'm aware of) but he's an actor of the old school, when it felt like a craft, not an industry.That, and DHP has awesome comedic timing while still being erudite. I love that.
The play consists of one of the standard plotline setups - discovery of young ingenue, love found, love lost, bla bla bla...
It's formulaic. It's ancient. And it is the easiest storyline to write and screw up. This was not screwed up. I liked it so much that I actually want to own the script so I can look at the lines and the stage directions.
The stage opens on a late 1920s/early 1930s New York City brownstone (or so I assume) sitting room. To the left is a double desk (the type where two people sit opposite each other) with a secretary. To the right is a couch, chair, and the ubiquitous wall bar with a decanter of scotch/whiskey/bourbon. Charles Kimbrough (Jim Dial im Murphy Brown) is playing the sidekick/butler. DHP comes on stage from what is inferred to be the bedroom and the audience applauds. (I will comment on this later.)
The play was rife with commentary on the duplicitous nature of theatre/film and how people will say anything to have the sensitive actors think they're loved and impressive and to soothe the egos. And then, out of nowhere seems to come a snide but completely accurate comment about the audience. (I believe it was "theatre would be fantastic if it weren't for the audience" or something similar.) The whole thing was suitably meta and probably broke the fourth wall a little too much for people during the original run in the 1930s.
In a lot of ways, it what your typical May/December romance theme has been since the origins of theatre. It has the additional flavour of the young love theme so popularized in Romeo and Juliet and the like.
Reviewers hated this play. They considered it to be humourless and stilted. The audience I saw it with found it suitably amusing. I liked it. So neener, professional reviewers.
(I secretly suspect that professional reviewers are supposed to hate everything that I'd love and love everything I'd hate. At least in the US.)
Because I can.
5 years ago