Sunday, January 13, 2008

Off Book

New Group Theatre Co.
January 10 - February 2, 2008

Review by Thursday

Pirandello meets The Actor's Nightmare meets Jasper Fforde. Well-written, combining intellectual and physical comedy, although sometimes weighed down by numerous theatre, film, and pop-culture references. Some light and set changes unnecessary and distracting. Writer Gallic plays main character Corgan; all actors except Director shine. A fun, enjoyable evening of theatre.


Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree but I found the evening rather dull and boring. The play feels like what it is, a one-act expanded to a full length show, and at 2 hours long it feels about 90 minutes too long. Some of the jokes work well but the general conceit( a character questions his role in a play) seems borrowed and tired, with no real improvement upon the genre. Cast is game, and most are quite good, but the director (who coincidentally plays the director in the show) doesn't give them much to do.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the comments made in the review about there being an awful lot of (and by that, perhaps too many) theatre, film, and pop culture references, I'm going to have to disagree with the previous comment. I found the show enjoyable and quite fun to watch. Not a continious laugh out loud comedy, but plenty of humor and nice moments to keep the momentum of the show going. I especially enjoyed the religious symbolism (?) - I'm not sure that would be the right term, but I found the parallels to religion quite entertaining and fun. I would also say that I thought the cast was quite good (even the director). The only slightly weak link I saw was the best friend character. Some of the set changes seemed to take a bit too long and it seems that could easily be fixed and there are moments of the show that could go a little quicker (of course, I realize some of these moments might have been slower due to the fact that when I saw it there was a replacement actress with the script on stage since the original actress couldn't perform due to illness), but overall I was thoroughly entertained and would recommend this show.

Anyway, just my two cents. Take it for what you will.

Anonymous said...

First off, (carrot then stick) I enjoyed the show. There were some good ideas, and I think that the cast was able to elevate the script. Not a show I'd see more than once, but one that I would recommend.
I felt the two weak links were the director and the best friend character.
Overall, I thought that some script edits and some better blocking would have helped. Both the plot and the staging got bogged down in the second act.

Anonymous said...

I saw this show tonight (Saturday, the 26th) and thought it was a great play. Great cast, great script, just a great evening. I thought everybody did an exceptional job. I don't see why director and the best friend are getting the heat because I thought they were both very entertaining.
To be honest, though, there were times I didn't get all the references, but I sure did love the Star Wars references.
I thought the script was quite clever and kudos to the playwright on his first production.
I do think that some of the actors could hold for laughs a little more. I missed lines here and there because the dialogue just kept going, and the scene changes were awkward at times, but a couple minor negatives in an evening of positives.

Good job New Group Theatre. I would highly recommend this show.