Monday, April 22, 2019

Weekly Margin 2019, W16: Stephen Mosher: The Story Teller, Nantucket Sleigh Ride, Tootsie

4/19/19: Stephen Mosher: The Story Teller
What: My friend Stephen Mosher's cabaret, a mix of songs that make him happy and stories from his career, and his family.
And? Absolutely lovely. Stephen is an engaging storyteller (and oh boy, does he have some good stories to tell) with a sweet voice and a disarming humor. I missed the last time he did a cabaret, so I'm grateful I got to catch it this time around.

Stephen Mosher. Photo by Bob Bowen.

4/20/19: Nantucket Sleigh Ride
What: Lincoln Center presents a new work by John Guare, a memory play about a memory play where the memory of everything is incredibly fallible (I think?).
And? I really don't know what to make of this play. It felt deliberately incoherent. John Larroquette seemed almost apologetic at curtain call. There was some talent in the cast (Douglas Sills and Will Swenson were both delightful, but what were they in?) amidst the confusion, but the whole play was just annoying coy about everything.

John Larroquette and Will Swenson as Edmund Gowery and McPhee.
Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

4/20/19: Tootsie
What: A new musical adaptation of the 1982 Dustin Hoffman film about an out of work actor who breaks his way into the business by posing as an outspoken actress who charms everyone around her.
And? It was fine. Some of it was clever. For those who've questioned the wisdom of revisiting a property where a man, unable to get work, poses as a middle aged woman and instantly books, because wow was that written by a man, yes the show--updated to contemporary times and shifting the role from one in a soap opera to a Broadway musical--calls him out on how this is the absolute worst. It even calls him out on his now-I-know wokeness acquired from posing as a woman for a few months. The cast is pretty good, with standout performances (besides Santino Fontana, who is unsurprisingly great as Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels, with a surprisingly sweet singing register for the latter) by Andy Grotelueschen as Michael's wry best friend Jeff and Sarah Stiles as Michael's beyond neurotic ex (she has indisputably the best number in the show, with David Yazbek giving us a hilarious patter song to rival his "Model Behavior" from the short-lived Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown). So yeah, it was fine. But it's not sticking to my ribs in the way I hoped it might.

Santino Fontana. Photo by Robert Trachtenberg.

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