The ensemble play, which opened on Thursday night for a
limited Broadway run, is set at the opening night party of a new
show, "The Golden Egg," as its producer, playwright, cast and
friends wait for the reviews.
Tony winner Lane ("The Producers") is television star James
Wicker, the best friend of the playwright Peter Austin, played
by Matthew Broderick ("How to Succeed in Business Without Really
The New York Times described the play as a "deliriously dishy
revival" and USA Today called it "fierce, frequently
uproarious." But the New York Post said even its contemporary
quips about actors and celebrities "can't hide its creaky bones
and sagging spirit."
But critics were unanimous in their praise for Lane.
"Clown prince Lane nimbly nails the role," said the New York
Daily News, adding it was tailored for what Lane does best.
"As always ... it's Lane we marvel at," said USA Today, "Lane
whips the audience into fits of laughter from the moment James
enters promptly dialing his Hollywood agent to wax snarky about
his buddy's show."
The Hollywood Reporter agreed, saying despite the all-star
ensemble cast, it is Lane who does the heavy lifting "with his
mastery of the delayed double take, the arched eyebrow, the wry
Lane heads a cast that includes British actor Rupert Grint, best
known as wizard Ron Weasley in the "Harry Potter" franchise,
making his Broadway debut as the play's wunderkind director
Frank Finger in a garish suit.
Tony winner Stockard Channing ("A Day in the Life of Joe Egg")
is the show's pill-popping, erratic leading actress, Virginia
Noyes, and Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham ("Amadeus") is snarky
drama critic Ira Drew.
Megan Mullally, an Emmy winner for the hit TV show "Will &
Grace" is the play's zany, daffy producer, Julia Budder, and
newcomer Micah Stock plays a naive coat check attendant.
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The New York Times said Lane and Channing give the show "a sheen and
a heart it might otherwise lack."
"But all the cast members fulfill their raisons d’ętre, which is to
sling a whole lot of mud in the nicest possible way," it added.
Multiple Tony-winning playwright McNally ("Ragtime," "Master Class")
updated his 1986 play to make it more relevant to today's audiences.
References to actors, singers, television stars, the Pope, Hillary
Clinton and even New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley are
sprinkled throughout the play.
"McNally stuffs every scene with digs at Broadway and its denizens —
James Franco's sexting, Alec Baldwin's hot temper, Shia LaBeouf's
erratic behavior, Harvey Fierstein's masculinity — a large
proportion of which are pretty darn hilarious," said The Hollywood
The play already looks like a hit, grossing nearly $800,000 for it
first five previews, according to box office figures.
(Editing by David Gregorio)
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