THE HONEYMOONERS at Paper Mill Playhouse

The Honeymooners at Paper Mill Playhouse; Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade; from left to right: Leslie Kritzer (Alice), Laura Bell Bundy (Trixie), Michael Mastro (Norton) and Michael McGrath (Ralph)

**1/2

I wanted to like THE HONEYMOONERS, A New Musical Comedy. It has great characters played by great actors; just look at that cast! But what book writers Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss don’t know about the construction of a musical is stupefying. In the first act alone there are two big “let’s celebrate” numbers that are totally unearned. What the hell are they celebrating? All of the comedic “bits” from the original show are here, but they trot them out for display, rather than use them to any effect. The outcome is a string of TV sitcom episodes pasted together with songs thrown in to try to make a musical.

The second act is marginally satisfying, but the music is forgettable and the lyrics are clumsy. If you want to watch “The Honeymooners,” I would suggest YouTube. There are plenty of old episodes there for free. And let’s hope that the next projects for Michael McGrath, Leslie Kritzer, Laura Bell Bundy and Michael Mastro will be worthy of their estimable talents.

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A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Two River Theater

The whole company of A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Two River Theater.

*****

A robust, crackling production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN is currently playing at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, but you need to hurry if you are going to catch this modern classic brought to electrifying life by a superb company under the adept direction of Carl Cofield. This production closes October 8th.

There isn’t a weak link in this cast led by Brenda Pressley and Brandon J. Dirden and there isn’t a false emotion in this thrilling production. Once again Two River shows its strength as a Producer of classic drama. Book your ticket now!

Show Info and Tix

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946: THE AMAZING STORY OF ADOLPHUS TIPS

****

946: THE AMAZING STORY OF ADOLPHUS TIPS details a fatal WWII military maneuver, as told thru the eyes of a young girl when her cat gets lost behind enemy lines in England. It is brought to St. Ann’s Warehouse by the British Theatre Company Kneehigh, based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, the author of WAR HORSE.

Whimsy, Young Adult novels, War Time allegories, an adult playing a child and a puppet playing a cat…you can hear me yelling for a cab already. However, I was brought to this delightful (yes, I said DELIGHTFUL) show by a woman with an old soul and a young heart. It came at a time when I was just getting over an illness and it entertained and restored me.

The onstage band plays folk songs and big band tunes, there is even some Swing dancing. The story has its dark moments and packs an emotional wallop. The Set is stunning and Katy Owen is a wonderfully cantankerous and physically nimble heroine. Currently playing at St. Ann’s Warehouse and out on tour to a town near you, 946: THE AMAZING STORY OF ADOLPHUS TIPS can be enjoyed by all ages, even jaded adults.

Show Site

St. Ann’s Warehouse Site