This Week on Stage: 'Cinderella' and Holland Taylor seek a perfect fit on Broadway

cinderella-stage

Image Credit: Carol Rosegg

It was a busy week on and off Broadway. Disney’s Mary Poppins played its final (2,619th!) performance on Sunday. Elizabeth Olsen announced she’ll play Juliet in the Classic Stage Company’s Off Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet this fall. And Shia LaBeouf, who abruptly exited an upcoming Broadway production of Orphans, resumed his bizarro Twitter feud with former costar Alec Baldwin after the 30 Rock star told Vulture that LaBeouf is in no “position to be giving interpretations of what the theater is and what the theater isn’t.” Meow. Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest openings of the past week, both on the Great White Way and beyond (click links for our full reviews).

CinderellaThe Rodgers & Hammerstein musical features a mostly “so-so” score and a heroine played by Laura Osnes (pictured above with Santino Fontana) as “likable but devoid of edge,” writes Jessica Shaw. The show’s biggest plus: “how-the-heck-do-they-do-that visual tricks that transform Cinderella from rags into red-carpet-ready riches before our eyes.” EW grade: B

Ann: Two and a Half Men star Holland Taylor undergoes a remarkable head-to-toe transformation in her one-woman show about the late Texas pol Ann Richards. “She may be a workmanlike playwright,” I conclude, “but as a performer she commands the stage with authority as big as Texas itself.” EW grade: B+

Belleville: Amy Herzog’s new play, a thriller about an American couple living in Paris, is “intriguing but formulaic,” writes Melissa Rose Bernardo — despite some genuine surprises in the plot. “Unpredictability is one of the playwright’s many, many talents.” EW grade: B

Old Hats: Bill Irwin and David Shiner are two old clowns (actual circus clowns) who reunite for an “old-fashioned” evening of comic sketches, accompanied by “vaudeville-inspired singer-songwriter Nellie McKay,” writes Melissa Maerz. “They manage to feel totally of-the-moment even though the gags are old.” EW grade: B+

Talley’s Folly: Adam Markovitz had high praise for this “captivating” revival of Lanford Wilson’s 1974 two-hander, starring Danny Burstein and Sarah Paulson as seemingly mismatched lovers. “Both of them in such fine control of their faculties as actors that their interplay is almost dancelike.” EW grade: A–

The North Pool: Despite some “well-tuned” dialogue in Rajiv Joseph’s two-man play about a well-bred Muslim high school student called into the office of a middle-aged vice principal, Keith Staskiewicz concluded, “it doesn’t quite hold your attention until the final school bell rings.” EW grade: B

Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier

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