Monday, November 14, 2016

On Broadway- The Front Page


One of the hottest shows on Broadway this season is the revival of the play The Front Page. It has a powerhouse cast including Nathan Lane, John Slattery, and John Goodman. Set in 1928 Chicago, the comedic play takes place in the press room in the Criminal Courts Building and revolves around a group of newspaper reporters covering the upcoming hanging execution of an accused murderer.

Given that the feeling about today's media is not one of trust, this play certainly resonates with today's audiences. Truth isn't necessarily of the utmost importance, but getting the scoop is.

This is a show where for me the performances were more enjoyable than the show itself. Nathan Lane gives his usual larger-than-life performance as Walter Burns, the editor and boss of John Slattery's star reporter Hildy Johnson. Lane doesn't show up onstage until Act II, but he makes the most of his time.

The actors who really drew my attention included Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays as a fussy, germaphobic reporter tormented by his fellow reporters, TV veteran Holland Taylor as Johnson's impatient future mother-in-law, Micah Stock as a police officer of German decent, and Sherie Rene Scott as the doomed man's girlfriend.

Mays gets a laugh every time he opens his mouth and his physicality is spot-on as always. Taylor owns the stage whenever she bursts into the scene. I saw Stock last year in his Broadway debut in It's Only A Play, where he earned a Tony nomination and also starred with Nathan Lane. Once again he upstages veteran performers with his impeccable timing and comedic instincts. He has a bright future indeed.

Scott plays a more serious role and you might think that would be jarring in a comedy, but she pulls it off beautifully. Although she is more dramatic than comedic, you cannot take your eyes off her when she is on the stage.

It was fun to see Robert Morse and John Slattery, two stars of TV's Mad Men, reunited.

The Front Page has a limited run, and it is difficult to find discounted tickets, but this is a show worth seeing for the performances of so many talented actors. You can find more information about the show here.

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