Let's Talk Off Broadway

Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Tag: Bay Street Theatre Page 2 of 3

Review | My Brilliant Divorce by Geraldine Aron | Directed by Matt McGrath | With Polly Draper | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

This is a one-person show in which Angela, a 44-year old woman, recounts the story of her divorce, from her husband’s abrupt announcement that he’s leaving her through her stages of coping — better and worse. The play itself is mainly cliché and the pleasure of watching it — and it is fun if you find yourself there — is thanks to Polly Draper’s fascinating style, backed up by the stunning set.

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Josh Grisetti and the cast of Enter Laughing, The Musical.  Photo by Jerry Lamonica

Review | Enter Laughing, The Musical | Book by Joseph Stein | Music & Lyrics by Stan Daniels | Music Direction by Phil Reno, Music Arrangements & Orchestrations by Matt Castle | Direction & Musical Staging by Stuart Ross | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

I never saw anything funnier than Enter Laughing. The situations are hilarious, the songs are witty, and the cast is out of sight perfect.  If you enjoy laughing, really, you have to see this.   It has  only one “message”:  the life-affirming power of pure fun. 

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Review | Betty’s Summer Vacation by Christopher Durang | Directed by Trip Cullman | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

It’s a sit-com in reverse — everything that looks normal and every-day turns out ghastly.   This dark comedy takes potshots at the over-influence of the media and various clichés of popular psychology and Betty has the vacation from Hell, all of which could be interesting, but the characters and situations are so exaggerated, obvious and over-worked that it’s silly and irrelevant

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Review | Tru by Jay Presson Allen | With Darrel Hammond as Truman Capote | Directed by Matt McGrath | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

Tru — for Truman — is a one-person play that takes up Capote’s life after he published in Esquire magazine chapters of his novel Answered Prayers  in which he exposed the seamy side of the lives of many of his wealthy, socialite friends.  Fiction — but everyone of his crowd recognized themselves and their friends in the thinly disguised characters.

It’s the mid 1970’s and Capote is at the height of his fame as a writer — hence the rich friends — mired in alcohol and drugs and causing what were, for the time, sexual indiscretions of a gay life.

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The whole great cast of Romance (collage):  l-r Joe Pallister - The Doctor, Reg Rogers -The Defense Attorney, Joey Slotnick - The Defendant,  Matt McGrath - Bernard, Chris Bauer - The Prosecutor, Richard Kind - The Judge, Darrell Hammond - The Bailiff.  Photo:  Gary Marnay

Review | Romance by David Mamet | Directed by Lisa Peterson | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

… If you like to laugh, don’t miss this play …

Romance is one of the funniest plays I’ve ever seen.  It’s wicked, nasty, but totally non-stop hilarious … what dialogue, what observation … I’m still grinning in the aftermath of it.

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Review | Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson | Directed by Terry Kinney | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island | Williamstown Theatre Festival

How many plays have been written as family sagas centering around who gets the house!  It all goes back to the Greeks, e.g. Aeschylus’ Oresteia.  The question is right up there with who gets the girl or guy. 

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Dissonance by Damian Lanigan, directed by Lonny Price, at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, Long Island

Review | Dissonance by Damian Lanigan | Directed by Lonny Price | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

… Cello, meet Guitar …

A serious classical musician and a rock star — what a wonderful set-up for romance!  It makes for delightful watching, and yet this pleasurable comedy takes up serious issues, and conveys a great deal about what it means to be a musician — or an artist in the largest sense.

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Review | Miss Margarida’s Way by Roberto Athayde | Starring Julie Halston | Directed by Daniel Goldstein | Produced by Bay Street Theatre | Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

This is a play in which an insane teacher lectures to her eighth grade students — the audience seated in rows with desks — for two acts.  Miss Margarida does everything a teacher should never do.  She’s volatile, violent, seductive, intimidating, sexually exhibitionist, domineering, vulgar, rigid, irrational and inconsistent and you can’t follow a thing she says.  Her “lecture” meanders in a kind of free-for-all of psychic drives with, when the stage lights dim, psychic memories that don’t add insight;  there’s nothing there “to learn” and a threatening sexual current runs through it.  It’s not a “tragic comedy for an impetuous woman” as Bay Street describes in their flier and which drew me to see it — impetuous my foot, she’s loony.

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Review | Dames at Sea | Book and Lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller | Music by Jim Wise | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

… after taste …

Because of the title and the aura of its publicity, I expected Dames at Sea to be a 1930’s escapist musical and that’s what I thought I was seeing, a story set in the early 30’s about actors fighting to make a success on Broadway.  Glittering Hollywood-type production numbers, tuneful songs, virtuoso tap dancing, and a rags to riches story with love conquering everything left over, it was all there.  It was moving to think that this show filled with optimism and patriotism emerged in the face of the Great Depression.  And downright amazing, in fact, in the way it anticipated musicals still to come like Pal Joey, The Pajama Game and South Pacific — note those “Dames” in the title.

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Review | Dinner by Moira Buffini | With Mercedes Ruehl | Directed by David Esbjornson | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

… Truth(s)  …

Bay Street bills this world premier of Dinner as a satyric comedy, but for the most part it draws its laughs from the bizarre rather than the witty.  Paige, in a formal white dress, making final touches to the table for a dinner party to celebrate her husband’s new book, kisses the hired waiter — well, perhaps that’s not so bizarre.  But the Menu, that includes Primordial Soup, Apocalypse of Lobster and, for dessert, Frozen Waste, is.

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