Broadway Theater Reviews: Lehman Trilogy, Mrs Doubtfire & Caroline or Change

Lehman Trilogy

The Lehman Trilogy tickets | Broadway | reviews, cast and info |  TheaterMania

Official Blurb: Hailed by The New York Times as “a genuinely epic production,” The Lehman Trilogy comes to Broadway after acclaimed, sold-out runs at London’s National Theatre, the Park Avenue Armory, and in London’s West End. The story of a family and a company that changed the world, The Lehman Trilogy unfolds in three parts over a single evening. Award® and Tony Award® winner Sam Mendes directs Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Adrian Lester as the Lehman brothers, their sons, and grandsons. On a cold September morning in 1844, a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside dreaming of a new life in the new world. He is joined by his two brothers, and an American epic begins. 163 years later, the firm they establish – Lehman Brothers – spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy, triggering the largest financial crisis in history.

My take: This was spectacular. I think its a must see and if you can try to catch it before the limited engagement is done. For my business minded friends who are not very into theater, this is the show for you. For my theater friends, this is definitely a show for you, the artistry and performances are top notch. You basically will get 3 and a half hours of spectacular acting, superb staging and a lot of questions to google afterwards ;). I really don’t know who i liked more of the three performances, they were all so good an nuanced in their own right. I appreciated Adrian Lester’s gravitas, All of Adam Godley’s facial expressions and the versatility of Simon Russel Beales numerous performances. This really shouldn’t work, it could be boring and confusing, but it is neither of that. It works, its great and a must see. It reminded me a lot of the Enron play also by the National Theater.

Mrs Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire tickets | Broadway | reviews, cast and info | TheaterMania

Official Blurb: A new musical comedy about the things we do to stay together. Daniel Hillard, a struggling, out-of-work actor, will do anything for his kids. After losing custody in a messy divorce, he creates the kindly alter ego of Scottish nanny Euphegenia Doubtfire in a desperate attempt to stay in their lives. As his new character takes on a life of its own, Mrs. Doubtfire teaches Daniel more than he bargained for about how to be a father. A hilarious and heartfelt story about holding onto your loved ones against all odds, Mrs. Doubtfire is the musical comedy we need right now — one that proves we’re better together.

My take: This one is a hard one to write about because I have so many mixed feelings. Is it a fun show? Yes. Did I enjoy it whilst I was there? Yes. What was my issue then. It’s deep. The question is, did this musical need to be made, and I have some mixed feelings about that. First of always the good: Rob McClure is spectacular in the role. It’s hard to jump into the shoes that Robin Williams wore, and he is wonderful. He might be too wonderful, i.e. too much like Robin Williams and not as much him, but that’s ok, i think that’s what’s expected and it is a feat! Also its such a hard part!! All the sets are amazing and the makeup and costumes of course were top notch.

Why don’t i think it should have been made into a musical? well the things that work are movie based: the dialogue and the jokes that are identical. What doesn’t work for me are the musical elements. I feel if you are going to make a musical of it, embrace it, because for the nostalgia I can pull up my Netflix and watch the original. The music is serviceable but there is nothing that pops. I do not remember a single song/melody or line, and that is unusual for me. As for the musical numbers, there is only one that justified its musicality and that is the one where he gets transformed into Mrs Doubtfire (brad oscar is fabulous). That played to all that theater can do for storytelling. The rest was just not great numbers and its funny that I wasn’t even the one who said it, my friend who came with me just said: they looked all a bit amateurish. I don’t know if that’s the feeling you want someone who is not technical very much but loves theater to leave the theater with. ‘

I went to one movie to musical adaptation that was quite great in Back to the Future and sadly this one I have to say its an adaptation that just left me meh.

Caroline or Change

Caroline, Or Change - Young Broadway Actor News

Official Blurb:Don’t miss your chance to experience this triumphant new production of a “candidate for the century’s greatest piece of musical theater” (Helen Shaw, New York Magazine/Vulture). Roundabout Theatre Company has brought the musical masterpiece, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, back to Broadway for a very limited engagement, with a cast led by London’s three-time Olivier Award-winner Sharon D Clarke, who delivers “a performance that people will talk about forever” (Theatermania). This story of a Black woman working as a maid for a Jewish family in 1963 Louisiana—created by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner and Tony Award® winner Jeanine Tesori—pulses with the urgency and passion that’s shaping the world today. And with this new production, “CAROLINE, OR CHANGE places itself squarely at the forefront of the best in culture this city has to offer.” (Greg Evans, Variety). As David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter says, “Anyone who has missed the overwhelming emotional power of a great Broadway musical should look no further.”

My take: The reason to go see this show is to watch Sharon Clarke give a masterclass performance. That is it, just to see her is worth the price of admission. I loved her in Death of a Salesman and she was even more spectacular here. Now onto the musical per say, I might have a very dissenting opinion to a lot of theater folk, but i didn’t particularly love the musical. It was good, I just wasn’t blown away. If im honest I Was a bit bored during the first act I needed things to kick up a notch a little bit earlier. Also, unlike some of my past reviews where I say things need to be made bigger and bolder I think here it is the opposite. I think there is too much stuff that detracts from a wonderful performance and a powerful message and character development. I definitely could have done without the moon character and the washing machine and dryer were a cool concept but i don’t know if i loved it in execution.

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