It is the rare Broadway show that leaves its audience disturbed by gun violence and racial slurs even as they go happily humming doo-wop on their way out of the theater.
Six quirky kids, and one guy dressed as a fortune teller machine, compete for redemption and resurrection in a purgatory where a human-size rat plays bass guitar. With me so far?
Can four powerhouse actors with Broadway caliber voices rise above their one dimensional characters and just mildly funny book to bring home a satisfying production? Yes, they manage to deliver the goods, but the goods are less than great.
There is a storyline to follow, but it is clear from the start that it exists only to serve as a launching pad for the beautiful songs of Irving Berlin, and to pause when a big dance number is ready to stop the show.
Ms. Lampanelli presents a sisterhood of women who have persevered through it all: physical abuse, fat shaming, love gone wrong and family dysfunction. Think The Vagina Monologues, but with cupcakes.
Ms. Benanti demonstrates a casual and natural sense of humor and a soprano that is as earthy as it is heavenly. Her 13 song set flies by in an instant.
In a world without Edward Albee, where do we turn to witness the effects of family angst and lost youth? To a puppet theater performance in the basement of Dixon Place, obviously.
Under the taut direction of Austin Pendleton, a uniformly strong ensemble reveals the devastatingly calm results of wrong choices and world war, without physically suffering more than a bruise.
Did you hear the one about the Irish taxi driver who created his own one-man show? It was more than fare.
I’ve never encountered anyone, on stage or off, who hates her God as much as Arnold does, though one can hardly blame her.
Perverted men attempting to seduce him? Naturally. Excrement? Exactly. A dishwasher full of dildos? But of course.
Under the fog machines of war, Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, digs deep into the male psyche to explore the dilemma of being in love while being in battle.
I was beginning to worry that summer would pass us by without a time-travel musical featuring dancing zombies, puppet dinosaurs and the spawn of Satan.
Ms. Neuwirth knows of what she writes since she once was, in real life, a student of Mr. Toole’s. Beyond laying out the basic facts of his life and death, she also imagines what his family and personal life must have looked like, and it is a complicated sight.