So Many Plays!

Alright everybody, it’s go time! Tony noms are out, Broadway and Off-Broadway are humming with activity, and the rush to see everything is overwhelming. I’m right there with you, cramming it in as best I can. Here are some cliffs-notes, hodgepodge observations from the front lines:

1. Leap of Faith recently opened to some not-so-nice reviews (here’s lookin’ at you, Ben) but few folks mentioned what I found to be the most unusual part of the production, namely, the cameraman who runs around the stage filming the big numbers. (I thought the guy was shooting B-roll, but an usher at intermission set me straight.) The device presumably helps the entire audience see all parts of the sprawling set (video is broadcast on big monitors around the proscenium), or is meant as a kind of postmodern comment on media manipulation. But really… it’s just a guy running around a stage with a camera.

2. In the category of “unprintable titles” comes Cock, a British import now in residence at the Duke. The Times has taken to calling it ______, the Cockfight Playthat big blank is reminiscent of previous seasons’ The _________ With the Hat and ________ A (that would be The Motherfucker With the Hat and Fucking A, thank you very much). Can you think of any other censored titles?

3.  You know that awesome moment when you realize your apartment features the same piece of furniture used in a play’s design? I had said experience twice recently: I totally own the striped “Turkish” rug from Tribes (the Barrow Street), as well as the mounted coatrack from An Early History of Fire (the New Group). Both items came from… wait for it… IKEA. Glad to know that stage designers are as budget-conscious and Sweden-enamored as I am.

4. Smash observation: Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s songs are gorgeous and criminally hummable. For example…

And with that, I’m off to the theater. The April/May sprint continues…

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