Playing at the City Center located at 131 West 55th street. It runs two hours and ten minutes with one intermission. The play closes January 13, 2013.
Terrence McNally is the playwright. He has won four Tony Awards ”Ragtime” (1998), “Master Class” (1996), ”Love! Valour! Compassion!” (1995), and “Kiss of the Spiderwoman” (1993). Terrence was nominated for a Tony Award in 2001 for “The Full Monty”. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1996 for “A Perfect Ganesh”. In 1990 he won an Emmy for the television miniseries “Andres Mother”.
Walter Bobbie directed this production. He won a Tony and Drama Desk award in 1997 for “Chicago”.
Santo Laquasto is the scenic designer. He has won a Tony Award In 1997 for “The Cherry Orchard” (tied with Theoni V. Aldredge for ” Annie”) , 1990 for “Grand Hotel The Musical” and 1989 for “Café Crown”.
Bebe Neuwirth won a Tony Award for “Chicago” (1997) and “Sweet Charity” (1986).
The play takes place backstage at the Theatre-Italian in Paris on the evening of January 24, 1835, the first performance of Vincenzo Bellini last opera I Puritani.
The play opens as flowers are arriving for the opening of the opera. Cast members are discussing their role wondering where the composer is. Vincenzo Bellini (Lee Pace) arrives late as usual.
While the show goes on above cast members come below to talk about the opera and how the audience is reacting.
One of Vincenzo lead singers Maria Malibran (Bebe Neuwirth) is performing out of town . This is fine for the female actress in this show Giulia Grisi (Diedre Friel). She does not want her there. However Maria shows up near the end of the first act. This causes a diva problem.
The show revolves around the three acts of the opera and what happens during each act.
The cast works well with other. It has its funny moments. I just felt it was too long and some scenes could have been left out.
Bebe Neuwirth was divine as the talented diva. She has such a cool, aloof façade, like ice. We have a word for that type of women. Well I’m not saying it.
Lee Pace is convincing as the pompous but talented Italian composer. He did a great job.
I’m not an opera fan nor do I know anything about it. I think if you are you will enjoy the show even more. This is a cast worth seeing especially Antonio Tamburini (Lorenzo Pisoni) antics about his manhood.
I was disappointed that F. Murray Abrams was no longer in the show.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
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