This Week on Stage: Tony season ends, Jenna Fischer makes her stage debut

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Image Credit: Joan Marcus

The 2012-2013 theater season came to a close this past week with this year’s Tony Awards — up 20 percent in the TV ratings over last year — as Neil Patrick Harris proved an unstoppable host. (Seriously, you need to watch that opening number again.). In other news, the much-utilized TKTS discount booths, present in Manhattan and Brooklyn and a great assist for all those on a budget, turns 40 this month! (Click here to see the various incarnations of the booth over the past four decades.) Neil LaBute’s latest premiered (and the drama wasn’t all on stage, it seems), with The Office’s Jenna Fischer making her stage debut opposite Josh Hamilton in the author’s follow-up to his Tony-nominated 2009 play Reasons to Be Pretty. (Click on the links below for the full reviews):

3 Kinds of Exile  At age 75, playwright John Guare shows no signs of slowing down, and he even acts in his newest, a triptych centering on Eastern European émigrés in the 20th century. Is Guare still in his prime? EW’s Thom Geier says “despite some verbal stumbles, Guare proves a natural onstage performer, delivering the ultimate cocktail-party show-stopper” but that the final segment “is a kind of manic tedium that undercuts the touching portraits that come before it.” EW grade: B

Reasons to Be Happy  Neil LaBute revisits the foursome made famous in his 2009 Reasons to be Pretty, this time with a fully new cast and a new set of events. Did it make reviewer Melissa Rose Bernardo happy? She states, “Happy stands on its own, of course; so if you didn’t see Pretty, don’t worry — LaBute gives us all the necessary background. I just wish he’d given us a credible female character or two as well.” EW grade: B

Venice  Othello meets In the Heights meets dystopic terror in this new musical at the Public, starring The Visitor’s Haaz Sleiman and Next to Normal’s Jennifer Damiano. Should you rise up and buy a ticket? “What should be a taut, efficiently told story gets undone by some head-scratching stylistic and structural choices”, says Kyle Anderson, “there are a lot of inspired ideas and killer traditional music theater numbers…but you have to dig pretty deep beneath Venice‘s stylistic overkill to truly savor them. EW grade: B-

 

Read more:
EW Stage Hub
Broadway’s ‘Ann,’ starring Holland Taylor, closing early
On-the-scene at 2013 Tony Awards: Cyndi Lauper talks about big winner ‘Kinky Boots’

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