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Here's what I've enjoyed seeing or reading so far...hope you enjoy them as well!

      

 

Entries in Play (11)

Friday
Aug182017

Adam's Call: The Government Inspector: Funniest Show Off-Broadway

There are just four chances left to see, Red Bull Theater's The Government Inspector, the funniest show Off-Broadway! I have seen this show twice and was doubled over in laughter both times. The Government Inspector is about the crooked leadership of a provincial village who discovers that an undercover inspector is coming to root out their commonplace corruption (where is this Government Inspector for you know who). When the town learns of his impending arrival, they weave together a web of bribery, lies, and utter madness.

While I'll highlight each person's brilliance below, this show is truly an ensemble production! Everyone is given their moment to take the lead, but it's their combined talents that really make the laughter ensue!

Mary Testa, Michael McGrath, Michael Urie, and Talene Monahon in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggMichael Urie and Arnie Burton in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggMichael Urie's physical comedy in this show reminds me of Chevy Chase in the heyday of Saturday Night Live. Michael is a comedic genius as is the rest of the cast, getting the laugh every time! Mary Testa ("Anna Andreyevna") takes the spotlight whenever she is on stage, with a delivery like no one else can do! Arnie Burton steals every scene he is in, jumping between his two roles effortlessly! Arnie gives such distinction to each character, that often times, I had to remind myself, that the same actor was playing both roles.

Ryan Garbayo, Michael Urie, and Ben Mehl in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggThe cast of "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggMichael McGrath kicks the laughter off from the minute the curtain rises. He is hilarious as "The Mayor." Ryan Garbayo and Ben Mehl are perfectly cast as twin brothers "Bobchinsky" & "Dobchinsky." They took me back to the 80s cartoon G.I. Joe when the "Crimson Guard Commanders ("Tomax" and "Xamot") were on the show...while each one posesses their own talents and traits, together, they are a winning team! Stephen DeRosa had me in stitches as the "Hospital Director" while Kelly Hutchinson had me peeing in my pants in the role of "Innkeeper's Wife." Her accents, facial expressions, all won me over. David Manis ("School Principal"), Luis Moreno ("Svetsunov"/"Imperial Messenger"), James Rana ("Doctor"), and Tom Alan Robbins ("The Judge") keep the laughter going, often in scenes together, they played off of each other very well.

Kelly Hutchinson, Stephen DeRosa, David Manis, Michael Urie, Tom Alan Robbins, and Mary Lou Rosato in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggMichael McGrath, Mary Testa, and Talene Monahon in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggLet's not forget Mary Lou Rosato ("Grusha"/"Locksmith's Wife"/"Waitress"). She killed each role she played! I thought I was going to have a permanent smile imprinted on my face from the amount of laughter she provided me. She really knows how to make each character their own landing the joke at just the right moment. Saving the best for last is Talene Monahon. She is great as "Marya," the daughter of "The Mayor" and "Anna Andreyevna." Her character's traits of defiance, yearning to get away from her family, and longing to win over the heart of Michael Urie's "Hlestakov" had all the ingredients of Winona Ryder's character in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice that I adored! Talene tackled each of these moments with raw emotion and ease. If Beetlejuice were to be re-done, she would be the ideal choice for "Lydia."

Talene Monahon and Michael Urie in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggArnie Burton, Mary Lou Rosato, Mary Testa in "The Government Inspector", Photo Credit: Carol RoseggFor a show written in the 1800s, it sure stands the test of time. I have been recommending this show to everyone I can. In these trying times, laughter is so important. The Government Inspector will make you laugh more than you know! So, treat yourself this weekend to the funniest show Off-Broadway!

The Government Inspector plays at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) through August 20 only! Click here for tickets!

For more on Red Bull Theater be sure to visit http://www.redbulltheater.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Thursday
Jan262017

Adam's Call: Yours Unfaithfully: Still holds court in today's world

I recently took in the world premiere of Yours Unfaithfully, by Miles Malleson, playing at The Beckett Theatre on 42nd Street. Presented by The Mint Theater Company, Yours Unfaithfully stars Todd Cerveris, Elisabeth Gray, Mikaela Izquierdo, Stephen Schnetzer, and Tony nominee Max von Essen (in his play debut), Yours Unfaithfully takes a look at the life of a couple in an open marriage and the after effects of this decision.

Yours Unfaithfully may have been written in 1933, but it stands the test of time, still holding court in today's world. I have encountered many couples in an open relationship, so this story really fascinated me. Max von Essen and Elisabeth Gray play husband and wife "Stephen and Anne Meredith." "Stephen" is an author who's creative juices have stalled, so as a way to get them flowing again, "Anne" encourages him to find excitement outside their marriage. This is where the drama starts. Lines are crossed, feelings are hurt, and emotions are high. It's very interesting to see how the one who encouraged opening up the relationship is the one who's most affected. "Anne" has a very hard dealing with "Stephen's" play time. While "Stephen" may be happier, "Anne" is suffering and starts playing around herself, which causes even more drama.

Max von Essen and Todd Cerveris in "Yours Unfaithfully", Photo Credit: Richard TermineMax and Elisabeth's chemistry is terrific! They really play off of each other very well. From the loving moments to the painful ones, Max & Elisabeth feel like a real married couple. Mikaela plays the part of "Diana" very well, the friend of "Anne" who is ultimately seduced by Max's character of "Stephen." Mikaela and Elisabeth do a great job of portraying rivals. Some of their scenes reminded of just why I love soap operas. Joining in the choas is Todd Cerveris who plays "Dr. Alan Kirby," a friend of "Stephen's" and old flame of "Anne's," who's also affected by "Stephen and Anne's" open marriage. I wish the depths of his hurt were explored more, but you get a sense of it. Rounding out the cast is Stephen Schnetzer who plays "Stephen's" father "The Reverend Canon Gordon Meredith" who tries to mend the breaking down of "Anne" and "Stephen's" marriage as well his relationship with "Stephen," his son.

Elisabeth Gray and Mikaela Izquierdo in "Yours Unfaithfully", Photo Credit: Richard TermineAs the show progresses, the drama and pain get deeper, while constantly wondering if "Stephen" and "Anne" will remain open or close things back-up. I think Miles made a good choice in how the show ends, but the questions continue long after.

Yours Unfaithfully raises many questions about love, monogamy, and relationships. What makes a couple decide to open up their relationship? Is it better to open things up rather than break-up? Is the decision to open up based upon one event or several events? Does the love you once had for each other remain or is lost when a relationship expands? Once the relationship is open, can it ever be closed? The answers won't be found in this three act, but only 2 hours 15 minutes show. They will need to be considered and thought about by you and your partner, for everyone must come to their own conclusion. What works for one couple doesn't necessarily work for another.

Yours Unfaithfully plays at The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) through February 18th only! Click here for tickets!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Sunday
Aug072016

Adam's Call: "The Divine Sister" at Bucks County Playhouse: Still Heaven Sent

Bucks County cast for "The Divine Sister," from left to right: Erin Maguire, Alison Fraser, Charles Busch, Jonathan Walker, Jennifer Van Dyck, and Julie Halston, Photo Credit: Joan MarcusIt's been five years since Charles Busch's The Divine Sister closed in New York City. Over the past five years, this world has changed so much that I longed for the joy and laughter this show brought me. When I heard that Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA was going to mount a production of The Divine Sister, featuring the majority of the original New York cast, I was beyond excited!

This past weekend I had the privilege of heading to Bucks County Playhouse to see The Divine Sister, once again directed by Carl Andress, and I am pleased to say, it's still heaven sent with laughter, campiness, and lots of talent! Sure, there are a few slight changes, like a 15-minute intermission and the addition of Erin Maguire in the role of "Agnes," but other than that, The Divine Sister is as funny and brilliant as ever.

Charles Busch as "Mother Superior" in "The Divine Sister" at Bucks County Playhouse, Photo Credit: Joan MarcusJennifer Van Dyck and Jonathan Walker in "The Divine Sister" at Bucks County Playhouse, Photo Credit: Joan MarcusThe Divine Sister pays homage to Hollywood's "nun" movies telling the story of "Mother Superior's" determination to get The Convent at St. Veronica’s of Pittsburgh a new school no matter what. Charles Busch is such a strong playwright that the story and jokes held up just as well today as they did five years ago. Some of them even landed better in this election year.

It was great to see Charles Busch, Julie Halston, Alison Fraser, Jennifer Van Dyck, and Jonathan Walker all reprise their roles. The chemistry they have together is timeless! I could tell they all love performing together. Knowing how strong their bond is with each other, I did wonder how Erin would fit in to the mix. Well, Erin fit in perfectly. You'd never know she wasn't in the original New York production. It's such an ensemble driven show that everyone gets their moment to shine.

Alison Fraser and Julie Halston in "The Divine Sister" at Bucks County Playhouse, Photo Credit: Joan MarcusErin Maguire and Charles Busch in "The Divine Sister" at Bucks County Playhouse, Photo Credit: Joan MarcusThe Divine Sister really transported me to another place. It made me forget my troubles and hard times we live in. It brought me to a place where laughter ensued for two full hours. I pray everyone reading this write-up will get tickets and take the ride to Bucks County Playhouse to see this hilarious show! It's the closet to heaven we'll get anytime soon. The Divine Sister plays through August 13! Click here for tickets! 

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Saturday
Apr182015

Adam's Call: JANKA A-20398: I Say See It!

There is a powerful new Off-Broadway show happening in NYC at the June Havoc Theatre entitled JANKA: A-20398 written by playwright Oscar Speace and starring Janice Noga (Oscar's wife). Inspired by a 60-page letter Oscar's mom wrote after she was freed from the Nazi concentration camps, this show recounts Janka's liberation and time spent in the concentration camps.

Oscar didn't know much about his mom's time in the camps as Janka never spoke of it. This was a time in her life she wanted to forget. So, when the show opens, Janka asks the audience if she should tell her son her story and then says that she will first tell us and let us decide. So right from the start, the audience is sucked into this play. Oscar's writing style for this show is very cool in that it really is like sitting in Janka's living room listening to a story as opposed to a written script. While it's Oscar's words we are hearing, Janice Noga, should be commended for her terrific acting and making Janka so accessible to the audience.

Janice Noga as JANKA, Photo Credit: Raymond ReillyJanice's performance was mesmerizing. From the moment she opened the show, Janice, I mean Janka, invited the audience into her life. Going between the present to her time just before going into the concentration camps to her time in the camps to her liberation, Janice easily guided the audience through the time period she was in. I will say I was most moved by Janice's performance when she was taking us through the concentration camps. There was a very vivid transformation in her character and it was quite moving. The horror she suffered, I still don't fully know how she made it through. How did she not speak of it? I guess it was just too painful. I often wonder if I would have what it takes to survive something like the Holocaust? If I made it out alive, would I be able to talk about it? I just don't know. But I am so glad Janka did survive and she did write this letter and that Oscar found it and made it into this show!

Janice Noga as JANKA, Photo Credit: Raymond ReillyJANKA: A-20398 is so important to have on stage as we must NEVER FORGET what happened to the six million Jews who perrished in the Holocaust along with many other minorities the Nazis wanted to annihilate. This is not an easy show to sit through, but it is an important one, especially during this time of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Rememberance Day. 

This show is also important because it's so easy for a Holocaust or something like it to happen again, as we have seen with everything happening in the world. While most people will say I don't want to see a show like this, I say, see it! Challenge yourself and allow yourself to feel all the emotions this show brings up. We must not stop talking about the Holocaust as we must never let this happen again!

JANKA: A-20398 plays at The June Havoc Theatre in NYC (312 West 36th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue) in New York City through May 2. Click here for tickets!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!

Thursday
Mar262015

Adam's Call: George Street Playhouse's "Buyer & Cellar" starring Emmy & Tony nominee John Tartaglia: Definitely Worth The Trip!

I had seen the original Off-Broadway production of Buyer & Cellar starring Michael Urie at Barrow Street Theatre, so when I heard that George Street Playhouse was mounting a production starring Emmy and Tony nominated actor John Tartaglia (Avenue Q, Johnny & The Sprites) I jumped at the opportunity to go see this production.

John Tartaglia in "Buyer & Cellar" at George Street Playhouse. Photo Credit: T. Charles EricksonJohn Tartaglia in "Buyer & Cellar" at George Street Playhouse. Photo Credit: T. Charles EricksonLet me say, the trip out to George Street Playhouse was definitely worth it! John Tartaglia did a FANTASTIC job bringing Jonathan Tolins' show to life! This fictious show inspired by Barbra Streisand's book My Passion for Design, tells the story of "Alex More," an out of work actor, who takes a job in Barbra Streisand's "basement mall."

Buyer & Cellar was very entertaining with a lot of laughs, but also touched on a variety of universal subjects such as celebrity and what that means, what one will do to survive, and how certain decisions affect our lives. John Tartaglia embodied this well-written work of art! He effortlessly segued between characters and emotions and I loved the way John used his various talents (from character voices to his singing) to take Jonathan Tolins' words to a whole new level. I left this show with a huge smile on my face from laughing, but I also left with a lot of questions about the world we live in.

John Tartaglia in "Buyer & Cellar" at George Street Playhouse. Photo Credit: T. Charles EricksonJohn Tartaglia in "Buyer & Cellar" at George Street Playhouse. Photo Credit: T. Charles EricksonWith just four shows left (through March 29), I highly recommend going to the George Street Playhouse to take in their production of Jonathan Tolins' Buyer & Cellar starring John Tartaglia! Click here for tickets!

That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment