Both shows were spectacular and had outstanding performances. The level of talent in these productions was absolutely superb. The gold star goes to… Of Mice and Men, our favorite of the two shows.
Of Mice and Men
I’ll keep this brief since we’ve all read the novella. first of all you can’t go wrong with John Steinbeck’s classic tale that we all vividly remember reading in high school. During the performance, Peter subconsciously recounted the novel word for word, like one does with a song listened to over and over again at one point in life, and then hear again many years later.
The chemistry between Franco (George) and O’Dowd (Lennie) was a thing of beauty, they were perfect and they brought the story to life. The New York Times referred to their chemistry as a “Broadway Bromance” and I would have to agree. They acted the story the way it should be imagined. It was so much fun to watch the two of them interact, Peter and I left Longacre Theatre thoroughly impressed. This is one of the best plays I’ve seen on Broadway in awhile, I highly recommend it. Great cast! The stars of the show include three Broadway newbies James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester, and one Broadway veteran, Jim Norton.
The over all chemistry between Franco and O’Dowd was my favorite part of the production, by the end of the play the two of them had me in tears. However, my favorite all around performance goes to Chris O’Dowd (Lennie), he completed nailed it.
I would recommend getting a closer seat in the orchestra for this show. It would make a big difference, because you’ll be able to pick up on the most subtle of facial expressions and nuances that will really add to your over all enjoyment of the production.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, (based on a novel by Roy Horniman) is a light hearted comedic musical. One review said that A Gentleman’s Guide was the funniest musical since Book of Mormon…I wouldn’t go that far. It was fun and cute, but NOT a gut buster as some reviews stated. From a laughter stand point I wouldn’t say it was funnier than Book of Mormon or Kinky Boots. My favorite tunes/scenes were “Better With a Man” “I’ve Decided to Marry You” and “I Don’t Understand the Poor”. I really appreciated the thought and creativity that was put into the staging of this musical. We all left the theatre humming/singing the finale tune.
The story of a man (Monty Navarro) who discovers that he is heir to the D’Ysquith throne and fortune. The only thing that stand between himself and becoming the Earl is seven D’Ysquith’s, and in the funniest way possible he creatively picks them off one by one.
Jefferson Mays was outstanding and impressive as he played 8 different roles (The entire D’Ysquith family)!!! He was a master at the quickest costume/character changes, which was extremely entertaining.
Walter Kerr theatre is very tiny and quaint, yet surprisingly had the most leg room that we’ve seen in awhile on Broadway. The only seats that were available for 7 people happened to be very back row of the orchestra, which wound up being quite close to the stage due to the intimate size of the theatre. You really can’t go wrong with any seat in the house, since it’s such an intimate setting.
“Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never get to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s just in their head. They’re all the time talkin’ about it, but it’s jus’ in their head.” – John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men