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Thoughts on MUSIC MAN, MINUTES, AMERICAN BUFFALO, and COMPANY
Posted by: student_rush 10:30 am EDT 06/26/22

Big few days of theatre-going, thanks in no small part to online lotteries, rush programs, and TDF. All tickets were purchased for $50 or less. Broadway prices may be out of control, but seeing shows on a budget is possible for those in the tristate area ... just requires a bit of flexibility.

MUSIC MAN: Saw it with Max Clayton. Agree with those that this may be entertaining, but it isn't MUSIC MAN - I keep describing it as a "Music Man-themed Variety Show." Sutton Foster is giving us a "Best Of" performance, mostly in her 'Princess Fiona' energy. It's pretty amazing how she wrapped herself around the role and made it whatever she wanted it to be (but it certainly isn't Marian Paroo). Clayton was fine, particularly in the dancing. The entire production seems to steamroll any actual storytelling so they can get to the masturbatory dance interlude that's been added to every. single. song. Pretty great to hear the score played with such a large orchestra.

MINUTES: Letts was out, which was a bummer. The play is incredibly interesting and often laugh-out-loud funny ... Austin Pendleton is a fucking treasure. Jesus, so incredibly funny. Really appreciated the blend of small-town politics and Twilight Zone/Black Mirror stylized absurdity. Rush tickets for this are $39 (including fees), open to everyone on TodayTix. Great orchestra seats. See this show!

AMERICAN BUFFALO: Totally understand why this gets revived every few years ... it's sleek, efficient, simple. As with THE MINUTES, it's nice to laugh in a theatre with a text that respects its audience. Rockwell is completely at ease with the language and the character and there is much delight from watching him just chew every bit of that pawn shop scenery. Fishburn is an incredible anchor to the evening. Criss is miscast but fine.

COMPANY: Interesting to see this after all the debate on this site. I believe it makes the case for a female Bobbie, just not Katrina Lenk - far and away the weakest part of the show. In a cast of effortlessly entertaining actors and comedians, Lenk is WORKING. HARD. and it shows. I liked the design, just not the darkness at the edges ... too much meandering on a blank black stage. The orchestrations often reveal the smallness of the orchestra, which I found odd. What a stellar cast. As with MUSIC MAN, this production is busy busy busy: I pretty much hated the staging of 'Ladies Who Lunch' at a gay bar from the 1990s?, and 'Another Hundred People' is completely overwhelmed with dumb en masse choreography. I missed the simplicity of the Doyle revival.
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