Posts Tagged ‘Tony Shalhoub’

Broadway’s “Act One” – a springtime treat!!

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

NEW YORK THEATRE REVIEWS

Act One: a springtime treat!!

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Tony Shalhoub and Santino Fontana in ‘Act One’

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By Joseph Yranski

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I had the great pleasure in seeing James Lapine’s new play Act One, based upon theatrical-legend Moss Hart’s 1959 autobiography. The play adheres to his original book, which is a fictionalized reworking of events of his life – perfect in presenting life not as it was – but how Mr. Hart would have preferred it to have been. In addition, the second act is a must see for all future toilers of the theater – presenting the amazing and difficult process of the evolution and heartbreaks of creating any show on Broadway.

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The enormous revolving set by Beowulf Boitt is a treat to the eye, presenting the various degrees of poverty and affluence of the stages of Mr. Hart’s life up to the opening of his first great hit Once in a Lifetime. The large cast is remarkable and quite talented as they double and triple play various roles. But three must be singled out for their exceptional performances: Santino Fontana as the adolescent to adult Moss Hart is amazingly adept at portraying the rather Dickensian existence that Hart traveled from his youth in the Bronx to his almost impossible escape to the magical world of Broadway and the icons who existed there. His portrayal is both gleeful and exhausting to watch.

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Mr. Tony Shalhoub’s appearance in the second act as George S. Kaufman was so surprising that I almost didn’t believe that it was him, after seeing him appear as Papa Hart, and as the narrator — middle aged Moss Hart. He managed to incorporate all of the phobic mannerisms of the celebrated actor/director/playwright, along with comical moments that he managed to convey without uttering a single word. Finally, Andrea Martin of whom I have been a fan for decades, was perfection as she played the totally daffy Aunt Kate and as the urbane and charming Beatrice Kaufman. She never disappoints. Act One is a great Spring-time treat for all New Yorkers and is not to be missed!!

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Act One, now playing at Lincoln Center Theater, Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St. ($77-$137), 212-239-6200, closes June 15

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ACT ONE is nominated for five 2014 Tony Awards!
Best Play; Tony Shalhoub – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play; Best Scenic Design of a Play; Best Costume Design of a Play; Best Sound Design of a Play

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