April is one of my most favorite months because it means I get to see many of the new Broadway shows. This Spring is shaping up to be a celebrity-filled, comparatively scandal-less season.
One new show I saw, The Realistic Joneses, starred Toni Collette and Tracy Letts as a middle aged married couple dealing with life and their new "friends" played by Michael C. Hall and Marissa Tomei who enter their lives and stir things up. The play is an interesting take on the saying 'keeping up with the Joneses' because each of these couples has more traits to be repulsed by than jealous of. But maybe that's a statement on life? The grass is always greener, right? The acting was superb, but unfortunately the story was a bit hard to follow at the end. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to see Hall out of the serial killer role or observe a particularly chipper Tomei.
(The Realistic Joneses is now open at the Lyceum Theater; 149 W. 45th Street and tickets can be purchased here).
The second show I saw was Bullets Over Broadway, starring Zac Braff in his usual goofball but surprisingly charming and intelligent role. Originally written for the screen by Woody Allen, Bullets is a revival that's all glitter. Dance number after dance number, this show shines with pure entertainment and pizzazz. The plot revolves around a playwright (Braff) who needs someone to back his next show and a mobster who needs a way to please his showgirl girlfriend. Love triangles abound and lines are crossed. The two leading ladies, Marin Mazzie and Betsy Wolfe, are shining lights who perspire talent and really steal the show away from Braff, who is fantastic to watch but owns vocal chops nowhere near as amazing. There's a lot of Tony talk buzzing around this show so get tickets before they become a hot commodity.
(Bullets Over Broadway is now open at the St. James Theater; 246 W. 44th Street and tickets can be purchased here)
Before I saw Bullets, I was invited to the Lantern's Keep, a hideaway of a cocktail bar tucked into the lobby of the Iroquois Hotel, for a pre-show blogger reception. I tried their signature cocktail, The Glass Door, with gin, lemon juice, cucumber, apple and sugar. Yum! We also sampled some of their bar bites, including candied nuts, olives, pancetta wrapped white asparagus, risotto balls (seriously one of my favorite foods!), lamb carpaccio on a potato chip, peanut chicken satay, and ceviche on a cucumber. All was delicious! I'm definitely going to have to remember this place as a pre-theater time filler :)
Stay tuned for more Broadway recaps and be sure to give us your full reviews of any of these shows in the comments below!