Posted in acting, witty

Sophistication — Take Note

via Daily Prompt: Witty There is the kind of sophistication in which the Brits specialize; they present reams of witty dialogue. This is snappy chat that is truly old school. Of course, it’s not entirely limited to exchanges between Bond, James Bond, and Miss Moneypenny, or to Fawlty’s under his breath mutterings. Witty is not necessarily […]

via Sophistication — Take Note

Sharp, smart, quick dialog are the hallmarks and benchmarks of witty writing.

Posted in classic, comedy-drama, JM Barrie, Neverland, Peter Pan, satiric, two one-act plays, witty

A Trip To "Neverland" In Long Pants

Bradford Cover as Sir Harry and Rachel Botchan as Kate in “The Twelve Pound Look” from  The Pearl’s This Side Of Neverland. Photo by Al Foote III.

If it weren’t for Walt Disney, the flying, Tinker Bell and Captain Hook, “Peter Pan” would be widely recognized as the adult fairytale it truly is. Children for the most part aren’t that interested in not growing up.

Sean McNall as Charles and Rachel Botchan as Mrs. Page  in  “Rosalind” from  This Side of Neverland. Photo by Al Foote III.

In J.M. Barrie’s two one-act plays, capping the 29th season of the Pearl Theatre Company as “This Side Of Neverland,” and playing through May 19th, the tales are definitely for grown-ups.

J.M. Barrie (Sean McNall), narrating with a deep Scots brogue and a very merry twinkle, is the glue that binds “Rosalind” with “The Twelve Pound Look” in “This Side of Neverland.” The Pianist (Carol Schultz) leads a mostly failed (through no fault of hers) audience sing-along to aid in the transition between the acts.

Extended to May 26th
Rachel Botchan as Kate and Vaishnavi Sharma as Lady Sims in “The Twelve Pound Look “ from This Side Of Neverland at the Pearl Theatre. Photo by Al Foote III.

The production under J.R. Sullivan’s direction strikes the charming note of Edwardian celebration. J.M. Barrie makes mischief in the neatly-drawn, sweetly satirical two parts of “This Side Of Neverland;”although the little plays feature adult-language and adult-situations, “This Side Of Neverland”gets its PG rating. Of course, youngsters will not appreciate its mature wit nor its intelligent wisdom..

Sean McNall as Charles in “Rosalind,” the opening act of This Side Of Neverland. Photo by Al Foote III.

In the excellent small ensemble, Rachel Botchan is as delightful as Kate, the escaped wife in “The Twelve Pound Look,” as she is as the aging-ageless ingenue in “Rosalind.” Sean McNall is equally excellent in all the roles he undertakes, here as Barrie, and then as the boyish Charles, and the reserved slightly supercilious butler Tombes.

For more about The Pearl Theatre Company, and “This Side Of Neverland,” please go to www.pearltheatre.org

Posted in dark comedy drama, hell and heaven, Hell: Paradise Found, whimsical, witty

"Hell: Paradise Found" is– dare I say it– Heavenly

Stacy Panitch as Mother Maria Theresa with Matt Lewis as Simon Ackerman in “Hell: Paradise Found” Photo © Chip Cooper

Is Hell the thinking man’s Heaven?
In “Hell: Paradise Found,” at 59E59 Theaters through July 22nd, playwright Seth Panitch envisions an alternative view of Hell and Heaven.
In Panitch’s minority report, there’s less brimstone and more brainstorm, as it were, in his Hell. Hell is the destination for “the originals,” as The Interviewer (Seth Panitch, who directs) puts it while inducting Simon Ackerman (Matt Lewis) into the afterlife.
Simon is reluctant to go to Hell even though Heaven is dull. “Who do you suppose goes to Heaven anyway,” The Interviewer asks. “Anyone…. anyone who defers to another explanation, anyone who believes because they are told to believe… or stops questioning,” he says, ” because they are told to ‘have faith.'”
In this witty play with music, Hell is peopled with luminaries from Vlad the Impaler (Chip Persons who also plays Lucifer, a Dapper Devil in the opening dance number, and a judge), Don Juan and Hitler (Lawson Hangartner who also has a turn as Adam and Elvis), Eve and Lizzie Borden (Alexandra Ficken), Mother Maria Theresa (Stacy Panitch) and Einstein, Shakespeare, Sinatra (all Peyton Conley who also portrays a childish and narcissistic archangel Gabriel.)
The Devil and God (Dianne Teague) ultimately have an old-fashioned tousle over Simon’s immortal soul, but this “Hell…” is not for humbugs.
For more information about “Hell: Paradise Found” at 59E59 Theaters, go to http://www.59e59.org/ 
Posted in classic, comedy, witty

Private Lives: Short-Lived on Broadway

Noel Coward’s wit is crisp and elegant. It’s a genuine shame that his classy comedy, “Private Lives” is closing at the end of the month.

So, our recommendation, hurry to see it if you possible can.

Kim Cattrell (Amanda) with Simon Paisley Day (Victor) in a photo © by Cylla von Tiedemann

“Private Lives,” at The Music Box in a run shortened to December 31st, takes us on a honeymoon to Deuxville France where Amanda (Kim Cattrell) and Elyot (Paul Gross) rekindle the sparks of their very fiery first marriage while on their honeymoons with Victor (Simon Paisley Day)
and Sybil (Anna Madeley).

See videos from “Private Lives” on YouTube

Amanda’s haplass spouse Victor and Elyot’s new bride Sybil don’t stand a chance once the old lovers meet again on the balcony of their honeymoon suites. Elyot is already bored by his young wife when he and Amanda share a cocktail outside their adjoining rooms.

Paul Gross as Elyot and Anna Madeley as Sybil in a photo © by Cylla von Tiedemann

The production does Noel Coward proud. Under Richard Eyre’s direction. “Private Lives” is well-paced and utterly enjoyable. The splendid set, by Rob Howell (who is also responsible for the wonderful costumes) includes the most marvellous apartment in Paris. The actors are all charming and mannered without affectation. Simon Paisley Day is extremely funny as the bombastic and conventional Victor. Kim Cattrall cavorts and dances with abandon; her Amanda is not given to humbug.

So, recap here, closing very very soon. Go… See it before it does.
There’s an opening night video on YouTube

Paul Gross as Elyot and Kim Catrell as Amanda in a photo © by Cylla von Tiedemann

For more information, visit