This Week on Stage: Nick Jonas versus Darren Criss; Janeane Garofalo off-Broadway

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Image Credit: Joan Marcus

The theater world had a relatively busy news week. Broadway’s battle of the heartthrobs was finally settled: Nick Jonas’ first week in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying grossed less cash than Darren Criss’ and Daniel Radcliffe’s. London’s Hampstead Theatre confirmed that the stage adaptation of Chariots of Fire will open this May, in time for the Olympics. Rumors spread about a Back to the Future musical coming to Broadway. Megan Hilty and Raven-Symoné joined Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Sister Act, respectively. Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park continued its on again, off again relationship with Broadway. And EW critics saw two major off-Broadway openings.

EW correspondent Keith Staskiewicz reviewed Janeane Garofalo in Erika Sheffer’s new comedy-drama Russian Transport. “She puts forth a genuine effort…and the result isn’t bad at all,” writes Staskiewicz about the comedienne’s performance as a Russian-Jewish immigrant raising her two assimilated teenagers in New York City when their mysterious uncle visits from the homeland.  “Unfortunately, the play lacks any sort of narrative discharge,” he sadly adds, rating the show a B, “and ends abruptly before reaching the climax to which it had been building.”

I called Matthew Rhys’ New York stage debut as infamous British malcontent Jimmy Porter in Sam Gold’s reimagining of the Angry Young Man drama Look Back in Anger, “one of the better Jimmys since Richard Burton’s in Tony Richardson’s 52-year-old movie adaptation.” But I gave the play itself a B+, faulting Gold’s pared-down script for excising most of the 1956 play’s period detail and losing what makes it seminal.

For more stage news and reviews, visit EW’s stage hub.

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