Noises Off

I knew Noises Off was a comedy. I remembered when Peter Gallagher was in the last revival in the early 2000′s, but I had no idea how slap-stick it was. I was excited to see this revival because: Tracee Chimo, Rob McClure, and even Megan Hilty. 

The set rotated and was pretty remarkable. Megan Hilty has become an amazing actress since her Wicked days. Rob McClure is better than ever. Tracee Chimo is frumpy and entertaining. The entire cast is ace: you have to be to perform such a cheesy, comedic script.

I started the first act thinking it was going to be one long night of stupidity, but by the end of act 3 (yes, act 3), I could’ve laughed myself to an early death. (Okay, maybe an exaggeration, but you get it.)

The expertly choreographed physical comedy alone is enough of a reason to buy a ticket. 

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. 

I think I’d read The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein once in high school or college on my own, not for a class or anything. I’d completely forgotten what it was about but when Kristen saw, loved it, and came back telling me, “It’s about a feminist in the 60′s who bucks tradition of female roles,” combined with great reviews, I immediately bought a ticket on TDF and went last weekend. 

I’m not entirely familiar with Elizabeth Moss (having never watched Mad Men and all) but as Heidi, she totally owned the stage and stole the spotlight. She could’ve very much faded into the background with so much talent onstage alongside her (Bryce Pinkham, Tracee Chimo, etc.) but she didn’t. Especially her monologue in Act 2. She brought tears to the eyes of audience members around me. You know who faded into the background? Jason Biggs. I’ve seen him onstage once before and he wasn’t as emotionless as he was in this. When he told Heidi that he loved her, I was like, “really? Try acting like it.” I’m convinced he was hired for his name to sell tickets, not his talent. Oh well, it happens.

Tracee Chimo always steals the scene when she’s onstage and it was no different this time. I’m also so happy and thankful that Bryce Pinkham took a leave of absence from Gentleman’s Guide to do this as he was really great. Another stand out for me was Ali Ahn as Susan, one of Heidi’s good girlfriends through the years. I appreciated her portrayal of a strong woman in a male-dominated corporate America (especially in the 80′s).

My only ax to grind with this show might be the fact that she adopts a baby at the end of the show. She’s bucked tradition up until then, so why stop now? But hey, at least she did it on her own terms and without a man.

The Heidi Chronicles says nothing we haven’t heard before but it shows us how little women have achieved since this time and how much work we still have to do. 

I adore Jim Parsons. When I was first made to watch The Big Bang Theory at my parent’s house, I immediately deemed his character my favorite. Parsons was also fantastic in his tiny role in The Normal Heart. He can actually act, and it’s always lovely to see live onstage so I was very much looking forward to seeing him in Harvey.

Harvey, based on the book of the same title, is about a sweet, caring, genuine 39 year old man named Elwood who happens to have an imaginary friend who’s a six foot tall white rabbit named Harvey. When his family is faced with the prospect of living with Elwood and Harvey together, or put him through therapy to make him “like everyone else,” they decide that being “like everyone else” isn’t a particularly good thing.

Tracee Chimo (Bachelorette) plays Elwood’s snotty sister convincingly, and Jessica Hecht (A View From the Bridge) is understanding and caring as Veta, Elwood’s mother. Parsons steals the show, of course, in his Sheldon-esque portrayal of Elwood. He is genuine and eager to explore the world around him with his friend.

Harvey plays through August 5th. Don’t miss your chance to see Jim Parsons in this heartwarming work.