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- The Heiress
- Henry James was a great writer, but let's face it, a bit draggy
for the TV Generation. This stage adaption of Washington
Square was great in 1947. The 1949 movie collected a slew of
Academy Awards. This revival is great, far better than the movie, for
- Hollywood couldn't resist casting the beautiful Olivia de
Havilland as the ugly, awkward rich girl. They also couldn't resist
dragging everyone on the payroll out into a big ballroom scene. The
play stays in the doctor's drawing room and is much more intense, much
harder to watch. The father is much crueller, the daughter's plight
more searing, the daughter's eventual triumph more bitter and empty.
Broadway at its best.
- Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., 239-6200.
- How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
- Well worth $150 if you've had to suffer fools in the management of
a large corporation (which haven't changed since 1961, when the show
first ran). You'll cry when the secretary sings "Happy to Keep His
Dinner Warm", about her aspirations to be a neglected housewife in New
Rochelle. Matthew Broderick is excellent.
- Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St., 307-4100
- All the New York financial types loves Tom Stoppard's latest
because it seems so scientific. That's just because the standard of
science education is so low in this country. You can be completely
uneducated by MIT standards and still make $250,000/year. Despite
what seem to a moderately technically educated person to be rather
shallow observations on the world of chaos, Arcadia is
worthwhile because of its lampooning of academic historians. You'll
die laughing as an Oxford don tries to reconstruct the events of 200
years ago in an English country house, because you've seen the
originals as the play jumps back and forth in time.
Light entertainment, worth $40. Just don't trot off to a CalTech
party hoping to sound profound.
Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, 150 W. 65th St. 239-6200.
- The Food Chain
- My friend Ben did the sound for the show. "Nobody ever talks
about the sound in the reviews," he observed, "except to say that it
was too loud or too soft." The reviewers loved this show. Ben's
girlfriend hated it, even though she got in free.
- Nicky Silver's script has a few rough spots. It is tough to
believe 100% in the spoiled poetess who opens the first act, but
afterwards one is carried away by the black comedy and the believably
insane characters. The Jewish mother is my favorite character. Asked
to justify her qualifications to counsel hotline callers, she answers
"when you're been snailed up on the kitchen floor, believe me, that's
as low as a human being can get. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps
after that. Those are my qualifications."
- Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St., 307-4100
Some to avoid at all costs...
- Miss Saigon
- If you haven't seen Madame Butterfly, you'll say
"what an original story!" If you have seen Madame
Butterfly, one quarter way through, you'll say "this seems
vaguely familiar." Three quarters of the way through, you'll say
"almost exactly like Madame Butterfly". At the end,
you'll say "What a cheap ripoff!"
Some to see when they come around next time
- Three Tall Women
- OK, with a Pulitzer Prize for Best Play, Edward Albee doesn't need
an MIT nerd to say this was a good play. Still, it has the bite of
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf with more of the richness
and texture and variety of life.