Posted in comedy, drama, musical theater, theater

More Year end review: ‘Tis the season…For lists,

Looking back on the year about to pass is a time-honored activity. Critics make lists of the past year’s favorites and share them. Seems like a good time for T and B On the Aisle to do that, too. Part 2:

Fool for Love at MTC kept our attention, especially with Arianda and Rockwell in the lead. Props, also, to their co-stars, Gordon Joseph Weiss and Tom Pelphrey for their support in this Sam Shepard enterprise!  Was I alone in feelng giddy from all the subtle flirtation in Old Times?

Roundabout’s Thérèse Raquin, playing at Studio 54 through January 3rd, while not destined for greatness, is a solid and haunting production.

Clever Little Lies  at the Westside Theatre through January 3rd, is a very dark comedy, with some of the finest performances in town. Greg Mullavey is simply fantastic. Marlo Thomas has impeccable timing.

To complete the list of musicals we started in the Year end review:

The Cast of On Your Feet! (c) Matthew Murphy
The Cast of On Your Feet! (c) Matthew Murphy

Dames at Sea, constructed to make us feel like we were at one of those “let’s put on a show” films, succeeds at this conceit. This bit of fluff is definitely cute and the tap dancing is invigorating. Dames at Sea is at the Helen Hayes Theatre through January 3rd.

On Your Feet! will have you standing to dance along to Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s inspiring story.

Posted in comedy, family drama, love story, theater

Mother knows best

How much do you sacrifice for your children? The promise of greener pastures? The lure of youthful indiscretions?

Kate Wetherhead, George Merrick and Marlo Thomas in a scene from Joe DiPietro's Clever Little Lies directed by David Saint at the Westside Theatre. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)
Kate Wetherhead, George Merrick and Marlo Thomas in a scene from Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies directed by David Saint at the Westside Theatre. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)
595_Greg_Mullavey__Kate_Wetherhead_and_Marlo_Thomas_in_CLEVER_LITTLE_LIES_(Photo_595_by_Matthew_Murphy)
Greg Mullavey, Kate Wetherhead and Marlo Thomas in a scene from Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies directed by David Saint at the Westside Theatre. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our self-interest, two-time Tony-winner Joe DiPietro tells us in Clever Little Lies, at the Westside Theatre/Upstairs through January 3rd, is subsumed in our parental care for our offspring. Our lives and how we live them are comprised of the choices we make; being content with those choices may be the best recipe for lifelong happiness.

Kate Wetherhead, George Merrick, Marlo Thomas and Greg Mullavey in a scene  from Joe DiPietro's Clever Little Lies directed by David Saint at the Westside Theatre. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)
Kate Wetherhead, George Merrick, Marlo Thomas and Greg Mullavey in a scene
from Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies directed by David Saint at the Westside Theatre. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Is confession good for the soul? Ask Alice (Marlo Thomas) or her son, Billy (George Merrick). When Bill, Sr. (Greg Mullavey) beats Billy in a Friday tennis match, he senses that something is wrong. Sworn to secrecy over Billy’s confidence, Bill is unable to keep Alice from finding out what the two men discussed. What does Billy’s wife Jane (Kate Wetherhead) guess about what’s going on?

Sometimes, it’s all about the pauses. Noone is better at the pregnant pause than Greg Mullavey. He expresses shock and pain with tense and well-orchestrated stillness.

The cast, under David Saint’s direction,  are terrific. Kate Wetherhead exposes her cluelessness in such a knowing way that rooting for her comes naturally. Marlo Thomas gives a poignant, intuitive and funny performance. George Merrick runs a gamut of emotions as naturally as if he were revealing his faults and weaknesses to us. Everything–and everyone– on the stage rings true.

Yoshi Tanokura (scenic design) and Christian J. Bailey (lighting) play with the limits of the stage by using cinematic effects. The scenic design is bolstered by a wonderful series of films pinpointing the places where Clever Little Lies takes us. This is a sophisticated production of an intelligently-written play.

For more information about Clever Little Lies, please visit http://www.cleverlittlelies.com/