This Week on Stage: An actor breaks a leg, old Jews tell jokes, and a 'Cock' fight wows Off Broadway

cock

Image Credit: Joan Marcus

That old actor’s adage “Break a leg” is not supposed to be taken literally. But that message apparently didn’t make it to Michael McKean, the Laverne & Shirley and This is Spinal Tap alum now starring in the hit Broadway revival Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. The actor was hospitalized Tuesday with a broken leg after being struck by a car in New York City; James Lecesne will be playing his role as a presidential campaign manager for the foreseeable future.

Otherwise, it was relatively quiet on the theater scene, though L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse announced that Brooke Shields and Richard Chamberlain would be starring in its world premiere (non-musical) stage adaptation of The Exorcist, which opens July 11. The week’s big openings all happened Off Broadway. Here’s what EW’s critics thought:

Cock Adam Markovitz found this London transfer (pictured above), about a man in a charged love triangle with a longtime boyfriend and a woman he just met, to be “a lean and sharp piece of theater.” EW grade: B+

Title and Deed Stephan Lee reports that Irish actor Conor Lovett, the star of Will Eno’s new one-man show, “tells a rambling, directionless story about displacement and alienation.” EW grade: B–

Old Jews Telling Jokes Though it’s based on a popular web series of the same name, Jessica Shaw writes that the show “feels like a night of community theater put on for an Upper West Side nursing home.” EW grade: B–

February House The new musical recounts the true story of a Brooklyn boarding house that drew a host of famous intellectuals in the 1940s, from Carson McCullers to W.H. Auden to Benjamin Britten. “Seth Bockley’s dialogue is funny and quick,” writes Keith Staskiewicz, and the “complex, moving songs by Gabriel Kahane that sound like a melding of Steven Sondheim and Sufjan Stevens.” EW grade: B+

The Common Pursuit Simon Gray’s 1984 drama about literary-minded Cambridge University grads, writes Lisa Schwarzbaum, is “now looking somewhat threadbare in an earnest Off Broadway revival.” EW grade: B–

My Children! My Africa! Melissa Rose Bernardo praised the “passionate” revival of Athol Fugard’s 1989 play about two students—one white, one black—competing in a poetry contest in apartheid-era South Africa. EW grade: B+

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