Wednesday, October 17, 2018



It took me 2 1/2 years, but I finally got around to seeing this slick musical adaptation of Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 film, with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles and a book by Jessie Nelson. With one exception, the entire cast has changed since the show opened. My reason for seeing it now was to catch the Broadway debut of the delightful Nicolette Robinson (Invisible Thread, Brooklynite) as Jenna. The roles of Jenna’s sidekicks have been recast well with NaTasha Yvette Williams (Chicago) as the brash Becky and Lenne Klingman as the shy Dawn. Benny Elledge is their boss Cal, Ben Thompson (Matilda) is Jenna’s abusive husband Earl and Al Roker (yes, that one) is the owner of Joe’s Pie Diner. Alex Wyse (Spring Awakening) is a scene stealer as Ogie, Dawn’s persistent suitor. Drew Gehling (Jersey Boys), the sole holdover from the original cast, is both goofy and ardent as Dr. Pomatter. The book offers no surprises other than its casual acceptance of adultery. The running pie-baking motif becomes tiresome quickly. The music is pleasant, but it is often difficult to make out the lyrics because the voices are harshly overamplified. The musicians, although only six in number, sound so loud that they occasionally threaten to drown out the singers. With today’s advanced technologies, these problems should not be hard to solve. The scenic design by Scott Pask (The Book of Mormon) is both attractive and flexible and the costumes by Suttirat Anne Larlarb (Of Mice and Men) are appropriate. Diane Paulus’s (Pippin) direction is relatively restrained. The show is only moderately entertaining, but apparently that’s enough to have kept it running this long. Running time: two hours 35 minutes, including intermission.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't bothered to see it because it sounded mediocre to me. Thanks for confirming! I'll take it off my list.