Thursday, March 2, 2006

HERE I AM ST. VALENTINE, MY BAGS ARE PACKED, I'M FIRST IN LINE: It's been a while since I've posted about anything theatre-related -- mostly because I haven't seen much of anything lately that's gotten me really excited. The last play and musical that were worth a little rapture were Doubt and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, respectively, and those were ages ago. So I've pretty much stopped buying tickets for anything that doesn't really make me squirm with anticipation. But I do have a couple of squirms to share -- the revival of Faith Healer and the Broadway premiere of The Drowsy Chaperone.

Faith Healer does have one big strike against it -- it's an Irish play being staged in a city that has seen far more than its fair share of Irish plays. Some have been enjoyable, some have been tolerable, some have just been alcohol-sodden and depressing. Faith Healer has a fair amount of cred, coming from Brian Friel, playwright of the multiple Tony, Drama Desk, and Pulitzer-winning Dancing at Lughnasa (you'll have to imagine the terrible Irish accent I conjure up whenever I speak the name of this particular play, which was, I believe, the first Irish play I saw in New York). But the squirminess factor comes from the cast: Ralph Fiennes and the always-miraculous Cherry Jones. Squirm.

As for The Drowsy Chaperone, I have to confess that I know very little about it except that it stars Sutton Foster (who is squirminess personified) in a musical mostly set in the 1920s. None of this "I shall portray Jo March and walk around in drab clothing" business -- we're back to Sutton doing the Charleston, which is, of course, what she's supposed to be doing. A reviewer of the LA tryout characterizes The Drowsy Chaperone as a "love letter to people who love musicals." Um, hi. Squirm squirm squirm.

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