I only had the opportunity to see two shows this past Broadway season, so naturally I made one of them the one Nathan Lane was starring in.
It was better than "The Addams Family"
But that's not saying a lot.
Nor does much more positive deserve to be said than that.
It was all about homosexuality and burlesque in the late 1930's.
I am a fan of burlesque, and it was performed very well.
I am not a fan of, nor an expert about, homosexuality.
So, as far as my limited knowledge will take me, it was not performed very well.
It was more graphic than I thought it needed it to be.
But Nathan Lane was superb, as always.
On to the scoring:
Is it interesting?
In its own rather perverse way.
No. It was rather diffusely told.
Is it controversial?
It would have been, about twenty-five years ago.
The times have diminished its impact.
Is it a story worth telling?
It's a fascinating theme. A homosexual pretending to be a "Pansy" on stage, as burlesque was dying because of such acts.
Is it good storytelling?
No. This is the problem. It is unfocused and ramshackle. And unmotivated. Lane's character is a staunch conservative Republican. The Republicans then and now are the least likely to tolerate Lane's lifestyle, and what he does onstage. It's kind of like blue collar workers voting for Romney.
The difference is that Lane's character is supposed to be intelligent. And Republicans are mainly responsible for his downfall.
Is it well written?
The dialogue is not uninteresting, and not the problem.
Is it well cast? Well played?, Well staged?
Is it too long? Too short?
It runs about two hours and seems interminable. This is because the story rarely plows forward.
There is one extended scene where Lane works in drag on stage. It is perhaps the best scene in the play.
But it also symbolizes it. The play itself is a drag.
Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?
You believe, and you care. If you're homosexual, you probably believe and care a lot more.
Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?
This is a tough one, because after a while, you really don't care where it's going.
Do you think about it after you've seen it?
Only about Nathan kissing another man openly on the lips. it's a tough image to get out of my mind.
Is it funny?
The burlesque scenes are authentic and hilarious.
Was it worth the fifty bucks it cost?
Can't say that it was.
Is it impressive ?
I'll give them that one. It was a big try. With better construction, it could have been great.
Overall grade: C+.
Nathan keeps acting, I'll keep coming.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
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I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."