Little did Kristen and I know that when we purchased our tickets to Oh, Hello! how much we would need a laugh that night. It was the day after the election and we were in shock, like much of the country. I’d been told that it was about two old guys talking about theatre for 90 minutes. I thought this sounded great – like The Drowsy Chaperone minus the plot line with Sutton Foster. Just perfect.
I have to say, we laughed our asses off. The irreverent, inappropriate humor written by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney was just what was necessary to end such a depressing day. Now before you come at me and ask why it’s OK for a Broadway show to include crude and somewhat-racist humor but not our President-Elect, I’ll tell you: These comedians weren’t (and aren’t) running for president of one of the most powerful countries in the world. Thank you very fucking much.
“It’s the day after the election and Donald Trump has just won. LET THAT SINK IN.”
I can’t remember any of the jokes now, and I’m pretty sure at least 50% of the show is improvised. They commented on the election apologizing in advance to people who thought they’d have a night of escapism after it, but no such luck. They categorized the audience as theatre nerds, New Yorkers, tourists, and “old men who haven’t admitted to their wives who they’d voted for yet.” They played two old men who shared an apartment on UWS, one of whom is a “Tony Award-viewing playwright.”
I had no idea that there was a special guest that they interview each night, but there was and it was Geraldo Rivera, who is a friend of Trump’s and it was perfect.
I had no idea what kind of humor I was getting myself into when I walked into the theatre that night but I’m sure glad I walked in because I needed it. Mulaney and Kroll were fucking incredible at improv comedy, and acting, too. I hope to see them again onstage in the near future.
This is the one show on Broadway that had me walking away thinking, “You know, I really want to see that AGAIN,” because I’m sure it’s different every night. As are all shows, because that’s what’s so amazing about the theatre.
You know you’ve made it in New York when you can go see Shakespeare in the Park without having to wait in line. Something like that. My friend texted me two Wednesdays ago saying she had two tickets to Much Ado About Nothing and I canceled my plans to go to yoga and immediately headed to the park after work.
I’d really wanted to see this because of Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe. Because, duh, they’re fabulous. I hadn’t seen Much Ado since I was in 5th grade and saw my high school’s production, but got the gist from reading a brief synopsis before the show that night – love triangles, tricks, and all of that. Great, so basically your typical Shakespearian comedy. To be honest, I’m a much bigger fan of Shakespeare’s dramas and tragedies than I am of his comedies. But this is Shakespeare in the Park. And it’s free. And it’s a New York tradition. It’s my tradition. There was no way I wasn’t seeing it.
Linklater and Rabe made the show for me. They were both absolutely brilliant. Brian Stokes Mitchell was miscast as Don Pedro and I barely noticed when he was onstage (and that’s saying something). There were really no weak links in this, but Linklater and Rabe just made this so-so comedy of Shakespeare’s that much better to watch.
Much Ado About Nothing plays through July 6th, so this is your last week. Get thee to the Delacorte!
Currently playing at the the Little Shubert Theater in Hell’s Kitchen is a hilarious new comedy about love and healthcare, Under My Skin. The hilarious and lovely Kerry Butler stars in this musical along with film and TV actor Matt Walton.
Under My Skin takes the dashing CEO of America’s leading healthcare provided, a single mom from Staten Island, and an outrageous twist of faith to make this hilarious new comedy.
That Girl Allison wants to give you the chance to win a pair of tickets now! Just reblog, like, or tweet a link to this post to enter. Winner will be announced on Monday!