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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Report Card And Obituary: "Cheers Live On Stage"

This past Saturday, I went to see the production of "Cheers, Live On Stage".
It was very much what you might expect.
I thought at first that it might be a musical adaptation, otherwise why bother.
I quickly learned that it was simply a straight version of the original pilot, and the first few episodes,
cobbled together.
I learned this because I knew someone in the cast:
A terrific actor named Barry Pearl.
He played the Coach.
This is why I attended.
If a friend of mine is in town doing a play, I go.
The first tryout was in Boston.
Then they came here to Chicago.
So I went.
It was the only reason I went.
I was a huge fan of "Cheers" when it first came on.
But after a couple of years, I felt the desperation of the actors to have to get a laugh every eleven seconds.
But the material that they used for cobbling was the show at it's best, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Always.  And they recreated the original set perfectly.  And I didn't remember any of the material.

Compelling even?

Not really, but it didn't need to be.  You knew what you were getting, and you could just relax and luxuriate in it.

Is it controversial?

Only in that this kind of thing hadn't been tried before this well.  Unless you count "The Jeffersons". 
I'm not. 
Quickly, my attitude became "Why shouldn't they do something like this?

Is it a story worth telling?

It was originally, it is now.

Is it good storytelling?

It always was.

Is it well written?


Is it well cast?  Well played?

Here's what puts it over the top.  Neither Shelley Long nor Rhea Perlman were in it.
The mere presence of Rhea Perlman made me ill, right from the get-go.
It took a while for Shelley Long to become unbearable to me.
When I was doing my series at Paramount,  "Cheers" was shot right next door to me.
We were always hearing what it how it was on the set.  Apparently, Shelley Long was really like that.
The current replacements were much more appealing, and of course much younger, and were assets.
My friend Barry was sensational.  Easily the best timing of anyone.  He's a few years younger than me and has grown into the right age bracket for the Coach.
Well cast, up and down the line.

Well staged?


Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

No, but it didn't need one.  There were no mistakes made.

How long does it take to establish the show's locale and time period?

It wasn't even addressed.  It transcends time.

Is it too long? Too short?

At about two hours  with an intermission, it was perfect.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

If you ever did, you still will.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Vaguely predictable, but it mattered not at all.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Only about how much I enjoyed it.

Is it funny?


Was it  worth the twenty-five bucks it cost to see it?


Is it impressive?

Utterly.  Anything done that well is wildly impressive.

Overall grade: A+.

That's the good news.  Barry accompanied my wife and I to a late lunch after we saw the matinee,
and informed me that he was just told that they are closing the show after tomorrow's matinee.
There were about three hundred people in a house that held about five hundred.
They just couldn't sell enough tickets.
They were booked to play like nine more cities, like St. Louis and Pittsburgh, but now he was already packing his bags to check out the next morning and head back to L.A. where he lived.
He hid it well, but he was practically in tears.
It certainly took much of the joy out of the day.
This really deserved a better fate.


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".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, If and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



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About Me

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 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."