This Week on Stage: Topher Grace and Jonathan Pryce open in Off Broadway shows

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Image Credit: Joan Marcus

More casualties on Broadway this week as the musicals Leap of Faith and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying both posted closing notices; the former is a reported $14 million flop, while the latter is a giant hit that simply ran out of steam after the departure of its original star, Daniel Radcliffe. (While Radcliffe’s replacement Nick Jonas initially drew smaller but steady crowds after arriving in January, the show has struggled at the box office in recent weeks.)

Looking forward, Tony-nominated musical hits Once and Nice Work If You Can Get It both set national tours — and producers announced plans for three shows bound for the Great White Way: a biomusical of Charlie Chaplin due in September, a stage version of Coal Miner’s Daughter starring Zooey Deschanel, and a new Nora Ephron play, Lucky Guy, starring Oscar winner Tom Hanks (in his Broadway debut!) as the late New York Post columnist Mike McAlary. Plus, there was a fresh batch of new openings Off Broadway (and way, way Off Broadway, in Los Angeles):

Lonely, I’m Not Stephan Lee found that filmmaker Paul Weitz’s new play, starring stage newbies Topher Grace and Olivia Thirlby (pictured above) as yuppie bankers with issues, “has all the makings of a charming but middling indie flick…and succeeds primarily because it lives up to its modest ambitions.” EW grade: B+

The Caretaker According to critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, veteran British actor Jonathan Pryce is “loose-limbed and rubber-faced” as a straggly-bearded old man at the center of Harold Pinter’s enigmatic play, running through June 17 at BAM Harvey Theatre. EW grade: B+

Man and Superman Despite a “particularly fine” performance by Max Gordon Moore as the foppish hero, I found that the Off Broadway revival of George Bernard Shaw’s 1903 play “occasionally lapses into a period comedy of mannerisms.” EW grade: B

Follies After an acclaimed run on Broadway last fall, director Eric Schaeffer’s revival of Steven Sondheim’s flawed 1971 musical about aging showgirls lands in Los Angeles with most of its Tony-nominated cast intact (though Victoria Clark steps in for Bernadette Peters in one of the two female leads). According to Laura Hertzfeld, it’s “a pitch-perfect production of an imperfect show.” EW grade: B+

Read more:
EW’s Stage Coverage
‘Big Bang Theory’ star Jim Parsons talks hitting the stage for ‘Harvey’
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ to offer free tickets to people named Tony on Tony Awards Sunday
Topher Grace talks Off Broadway debut in new Paul Weitz play ‘Lonely, I’m Not’



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