Posts Tagged ‘Neil Simon’

Review – Promises, Promises, Southwark Playhouse

Thursday 19 January 2017

cxo6_jfxcae2livWhen The Whingers saw this on the Broadway (with Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth) in 2010 they did an unprecedented thing (well, they may have done it other times but they can’t be bothered to check); awarded separate ratings for the first and second acts. If that’s not an argument against interval departures we don’t know what is. Not that it will stop them of course.

Promises, Promises has more promises in its creatives, than even its title. Music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics Hal David, book Neil Simon and it’s based on one of Phil’s favourite films; the 1960 Billy Wilder film The Apartment starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Sunshine Boys, Savoy Theatre

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Two grumpy old gits with failing memories harbour massive grudges and snipe at each other. One of them prefers to spend as much time as possible lolling around in his jim-jams.  Both attempt to flog tired old gags in a double act that’s way past it’s sell by date.

The Sunshine Boys has a most pungent, room-clearing whiff of someone having a laugh at the Whingers’ expense. Would it prove a bit too close to home (a retirement one of course) for them?

Prolific Neil Simon‘s 1972 play arrives at the Savoy Theatre with an eagerly-anticipated USP: Danny DeVito making his West End stage debut as an old vaudevillian Willie Clark.

Cast opposite him the altogether less diminutive Richard Griffiths as his former stage partner Al Lewis (didn’t he play Grandpa in The Munsters?) and you might believe you’re almost Twins-set for a perfect match. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Vaudeville Theatre

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Isn’t it wonderful to see actors up there on the stage, relaxed and enjoying themselves?

Even if it is only for 60 seconds during the curtain call.

The Whingers have a stuff-and-nonsense approach to previews but it’s fair to say that this attempt to whip up an old Neil Simon confection may well be only  half-baked. By the time it opens on 13th July, perhaps director Terry Johnson will have the thing bubbling happily away but last night it was sizzling like a plate of cold tapioca. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Promises, Promises, Broadway Theatre

Friday 23 April 2010

We may have to make our Show Rating system even more complicated and bewildering that it already is.

For how are we supposed to give a single rating to a show that was a 2 or a 3 at the interval and a 5 15 minutes into the second act?

This is Promises, Promises at The Broadway Theatre, the Burt Bacharach musical with lyrics by Hal David, a book by Neil Simon. But the classy provenance does not end there for it is based on Billy Wilder‘s classic film, The Apartment.

That’s a good start to proceedings. But there’s more: add Sean Hayes (Jack from Will & Grace), Kristin Chenoweth (alcoholic April Rhodes in Glee) and put  Chicago-the-movie Donmar Streetcar director  Rob Ashford in charge of it all and it’s looking very promising.

But wait! Get scenic designer Scott Pask (Hair, Behanding) to construct some gorgeous sixties chic à la Mad Men and his twin brother Bruce Pask to work wonders with the color (sic) palette for the costumes and you’ve got something that simply could not fail except, except… Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Sweet Charity, Menier Chocolate Factory

Monday 23 November 2009

Regular readers of the Whingers’ comments sections may have noticed Sir Andrew Lloyds Credit Crunch complaint that “I pay you to WHINGE, not CRAWL.”

Perhaps this will at least, in part, justify the regular charitable direct debit paid into the Whingers’ joint bank account (Andrew to Phil – what bank account? Do we have a bank account?). But, Sir Andrew, before you withdraw your generous remunerations entirely, you should know that what follows is a perfectly balanced combination of both the W word and the C word. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – They’re Playing Our Song, Menier Chocolate Factory

Sunday 27 July 2008

Phil got very excited about when They’re Playing Our Song at the Menier Chocolate Factory was announced but got extremely frustrated when no-one else was quite so enthused about the revival of a musical whose main claim to fame is that it has the most annoying title song in the history of musicals (“They’re playing our song oh yes they’re playing our song and when they’re playing our song…” etc).

Read the rest of this entry »