So much theater, so little time. Here are two bottom line reviews of what I’ve seen lately, more to come–shortly.
Put this at the TOP of your “must-see” list: The Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway smash BEAUTIFUL-The Carole King Musical. I felt the earth move under my feet– and you will too! The musical chronicles the evolution of the life, times, and songs of the legendary singer/songwriter Carole King and how she came to compose all those simple, indelible tunes that are now part of the TAPESTRY of OUR lives: “On Broadway.” “Up On The Roof.” “You’ve Got a Friend.” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” — Oh yeah, and then some.
The silver-voiced Abby Mueller (sister of Jessie who won a TONY in 2014 for the same role!) is irresistibly warm and charismatic as the down to earth star, and the show features a sterling cast of first rate singer/actors, while the book wraps itself around each of King’s songs with moments of heartache and triumph that light up each tune. It’s just BEAUTIFUL. Presented by Broadway In Boston at The Boston Opera House only through November 15!
CHOICE a world premiere by Winnie Holzman (WICKED/TV’s “My So-Called Life”)) presented by the Huntington Theatre Company is not my first choice. Maybe not even my second. This “comedy” attempts to wrangle deep thoughts on a woman’s right to choose from a mismatched bag of subject matter and theatrical approaches.
CHOICE involves abortion and reincarnation, a journalist named Zippy, a mysterious cat, a stroke victim with a sudden Austrian accent, a hard-of-hearing Pulitzer Prize-winning spouse, a hyper-judgmental best friend, a sketchy intern, and a college grad trying to figure out what’s next. The pot is then stirred with a dollop of political debate, a tincture of magical realism, a mother load of puerile sitcom jokes, and too many guys named Mark or Clark. The elliptical dialogue, erratic performances, and circuitous chronology, left me dazed and confused. Nice set by James Noone. Huntington Theatre Company through November 15.