Posted in comedy, drama, memory play

Sweet Memories

It is in the nature of memory to distort, however Shows for Days filters Douglas Carter Beane’s recollections of his teens in Redding, PA through a lens clearly. The play, at LCT’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater through August 23rd, is bright, shining and upbeat.

Shows For Days Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater Cast List: Jordan Dean Patti LuPone Dale Soules Michael Urie Lance Coadie Williams Zoë Winters Production Credits: Jerry Zaks (director) John Lee Beatty (scenic design) William Ivey Long (costume design) Natasha Katz (lighting design) Leon Rothenberg (sound design) Other Credits: Written by: Douglas Carter Beane
Shows For Days at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater
Patti LuPone in a scene from the play written by: Douglas Carter Beane, directed by Jerry Zaks. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Car (Michael Urie) narrates and illuminates on a bare yet cluttered set by John Lee Beatty. (You’ll see what we mean when you go to see the show.) Beane’s play is lighter and much funnier than say, a Tennessee Williams memory play, but it serves the genre well.

Shows For Days at the  Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Dale Soules and Patti LuPone. Costumes by William Ivey Long.
Shows For Days at the
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Dale Soules and Patti LuPone. Costumes by William Ivey Long. Photo by Joan Marcus.

In Shows for Days, Car joins the devoted coterie of players whom Irene (Pattu LuPone) directs, bullies, cajoles, mesmerizes and leads in a dizzying artistic passion. Maria (Zoë Winters), Clive (Lance Coadie Williams) and Damien (Jordan Dean) are lovingly caricatured. They are actors in a small-town, or rather a shrinking town. Their ambitions are Broadway; their reality is the abandoned storefront that is home to Sid’s (Dale Soules) and Irene’s community theater.

Under Jerry Zaks’ direction, the ensemble all give memorable performances. William Ivey Long has designed magical costumes for the characters and the characters they play in Shows for Days. (See a picture gallery here.)

Michael Urie does not let down his winning charm for a single moment. Fans, like us, of Patti LuPone will love Irene despite or maybe because of her conniving ways.

By the second act, Shows for Days really hits its groove. Car’s memory play and his remembrances turn more touching, lyrical and recognizable.

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For an opinionated woman such as I, blogging is an excellent outlet. This is one of many fori that I use to bloviate. Enjoy! Comment on my commentary.

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