A First Rate Production at the Waterfront Playhouse

A First Rate Production at the Waterfront Playhouse

Posted Wed, Dec 21, 2016 in Press Releases

It’s the opening night of a new Broadway play. The stakes are sky high with careers and reputations on the line. All the principle players connected with the new play have gathered for the opening night party and to await the dreaded reviews. The jangled nerves, raging egos and copious drinking of theater folks are all on hilarious display in Terrence McNally’s delightfully dishy play, “It’s Only A Play” now playing at the Waterfront Playhouse.

Recently on Broadway, “It’s Only A Play” was that rare show biz phenomena – a mega hit that wasn’t a musical. Featuring the box office gold of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, the play featured a cast of stars. Audiences flocked to the gorgeous alchemy of Mr. McNally’s beautifully barbed lines and the spot-on comic performances. The New York Times raved “These are among the funniest lines to roll off a stage in years,” and this from Ben Brantley, chief theater critic for the Times who is skewered in “It’s Only A Play.”

Now a first-rate production has come to the Waterfront. Director Murphy Davis manages beautifully to keep a lot of plates spinning smoothly with his superb cast. Barry Trallo (a newcomer to the Waterfront) plays the playwright of the just-asking-for-it title of “The Golden Egg.” His charming mix of yearning for a hit and a deeply emotional love for the theater is spot on. David Black plays his best friend, a successful TV actor who turned down the lead in the play and is trying to hide his secret hope that the play tanks. Mr. Black, once again delivering a solid performance, makes the mix of bitchiness and compassion plausible.

Another Waterfront newcomer, Maribeth Graham plays the ditzy producer, whose fabulous home is the site of the opening night party. She is a delight as she mangles famous playwright’s names and butchers theatrical memes, showing a desperation to be part of the business of show. Marjorie Paul-Shook plays the loopy leading lady – a grand diva with a penchant for illegal substances and a police record. Ms. Shook brilliantly portray this hilarious hot mess with her usual perfect comic timing.

Matt Hollis Hulsey plays the genius director, an arrogant British twit, who bemoans his continual string of successes and yearns for a flop. In his leopard suit, Mr. Hulsey is a snarky hoot. J. B. McLendon plays a theater critic, who is very critical of the theater because he has no talent to actually participate, despite his secretly writing plays. Mr. McLendon hits all the right notes.

Finally, Trey Gerrald plays Gus, the coat check guy who’s just arrived in the City with big dreams and ambitions and a complete innocence about the big bad world of show biz. Mr. Gerrald’s endearing stage presence helps to keep the shenanigans grounded.

Scenic designer Michael Boyer creates his usual Broadway-quality set of the elegant New York penthouse. His creation received applause and gasps of pleasure when the curtain opened. Carmen Rodriguez has made the cast look appropriately gorgeous in black tie and gowns, lending razzle dazzle to the proceedings. John Jaworski lights the set effectively and Ben Pegg has done the effective soundscape. Stage Manager Trish Manley keeps everything moving smoothly.

Tickets are $45 and are available at www.waterfrontplayhouse.org or at 305-294-5015. Memberships, subscriptions and gift certificates (great Christmas gifts!) are available on our website. Also, check out our Friday Night Date Night deal, as well as other discounts on the website. The production is sponsored by Key TV, with season sponsors: Digital Island Media, Wodu Media and Royal Furniture.

 

 

 

 

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