She Loves Me @ Studio 54

A while back, I bought Hiptix for @endotique and I to see She Loves Me at Roundabout’s Studio 54 and finally on Wednesday it was the night. I knew nothing about the plot but I knew Zachary Levi and Laura Benanti were in it and that was good enough for me. Little did I know I was going to see You’ve Got Mail the Musical….

No, really. It was. It followed the plot to a T. Over all, I really liked She Loves Me. It was worth the two and a half hours alone just to see Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi onstage. I’m not a super fan of either, but both are abundantly talented and it’s so fun to watch, and listen, to them live.

Shows like this have a tendency to frustrate because you’re like, “OMG he’s the one you love!” And of course their character doesn’t know it. I found myself making comparisons the entire time to You’ve Got Mail. I’m not saying that was a good or bad; it just was a thing.

The company were all fantastic. The last time I saw Levi he was in the abysmal First Date, where he was wasting away on trite material, and he delighted me again this time, except with better material. He can dance, too. Who knew? Laura Benanti sings like a bird and she is beautiful. She sort of always plays the same kind of character onstage but at the very least, she’s good at it! So why mess with something if it’s not broken?

The only thing that had me looking at my playbill to see how much longer was left was the lack of AC in the rear mezz, but if you can brave the heat, or buy a ticket downstairs, you’ll be golden. She Loves Me is classic musical theatre and a good time – even for people, like me, who can almost never justify a two and a half hour musical.

That’s me deep in conversation with world-famous playwright Henrik Ibsen outside his apartment in Oslo, Norway. And since I know you’re all (not) dying to know what I’m dying to see during the Broadway season that started (in September), here goes:

Hamilton: No, I haven’t run to see it yet. Lin-Manuel Miranda is fine and dandy, but I’m not a super-fan of his. I’ll see it at some point. It’s not going anywhere. I’m sure it’s great.

The Crucible: Classic Arthur Miller with Ciaran Hinds, Jim Norton, and Tavi Gevinson? Sigh me up.

Fool For Love: I love both Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell so I’m THERE. I’ll be buying 30-under-30 tickets as soon as I can drag my lazy butt to the box office.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night: YES, YES, YES. I’ve never seen this staged professionally but I worked on it in college and it’s Eugene O’Neil and it’s great. And there’s John Gallagher Jr.! What’s not to be excited about?

Noises Off: Two words: Tracee Chimo. Enough said. Oh, and Rob McClure.

School of Rock: This could be a good adaptation or it could be awful. I hope it’s good. 

She Loves You: I’ve never seen this show or heard the score so I’m very interested. And the cast is great: Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, Gavin Creel, etc?

Tuck Everlasting: I’ve never seen this movie but it has an awesome cast. Terrance Mann back on Broadway!

A View From the Bridge: More Arthur Miller! I missed the last production, so maybe I’ll actually make it to this one.

Waitress: So, four new musicals on Broadway this season? Sad.com. I’ve heard lots of hype but really, um, maybe? I’ve never seen the movie, but the plot sounds basic. Jessie Mueller is awesome, soo… maybe? I don’t have much of an opinion on this. But if I get a free or cheap ticket, I’d totally go. 

Some cool theatre news…

Josh Radnor and Laura Benanti will star in the revival of She Loves Me. That’s exciting – they’re both great onstage! Hopefully Radnor can sing? 

Do you like The Last 5 Years? Of course you do. You’re not stupid. A couple of songs from the film version were released. Read about it here. Adam Kantor and Betsy Wolfe, who starred in The Last 5 Years at Second Stage, will reprise their roles in San Francisco for three nights

John Cameron Mitchell is starting this week in the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. This is, by far, the most exciting to happen to Broadway since… well, it’s been a while. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s newest musical, Hamilton, started previews at The Public tonight. Apparently it’s amazing. I hope I can score tickets somehow. 

And Clinton the Musical is coming to the stage off-Broadway at New World Stages. I’m very excited for this one. Will it be amazing? Probably not. Will it be a helluva good time? I’m predicting YES. 

I think that’s it for tonight. 

This past Tuesday night, I took in a preview performance of the new Lincoln Center play “In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)."  I knew nothing about this play beforehand, only that it’s cast included stage veterans like Laura Benanti and Michael Cerveris.  My friend and unofficial date for the night, Joey, explained that it was somewhat a history lesson of the first existing vibrators.  I was extremely intrigued.

In short, Cerveris played a doctor who would administer "electrical stimulation” (vibrations) to those who he diagnosed as “hysterical."  His patients soon become obsessed with the treatment leading his wife (Benanti) to wonder what exactly he is doing in there.  Benanti is a new mother who is extremely lonely and a wife who’s husband refuses to see her as anything but his wife.  The final scene is outside of their house in the snow, with Benanti undressing Cerveris and trying to break through this wall.

All in all, I enjoyed the show.  The second act dragged though, a lot.  The way the first act played out, you would’ve thought that it was going to be a comedy all the way through, but how wrong you would be.  I wasn’t expecting the dramatic portion and in all honesty, I liked the comedic half of the show better.  The set was appropriate and like most Lincoln Center productions, it moves with ease (at the end), and the lighting (at the end) was most effective.  The cast was stellar throughout, though I believe Laura Benanti deserves special mention for her comedic timing and delivery.

Not a bad show to check out if you want to learn about the early lives of vibrators!

(Photo courtesy of Playbill.com)