PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Oct. 19-25: A Time to Kill Gets Its Verdict and The Snow Geese Flies To Broadway

By Robert Simonson
25 Oct 2013

David Hyde Pierce
Photo by Carol Rosegg
As the Public Theater's current leadership tends to award its shows a commercial future if given even slight critical encouragement, it may be that Fun Home will find a new home in the near future.

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The other important new musical to arrive Off-Broadway was The Vineyard Theatre's production of John Kander's The Landing, starring David Hyde Pierce and Julia Murney. It officially opened Oct. 23.

As every musical theatre geek in New York is aware, The Landing is the first new Kander musical not written with his late partner, Fred Ebb, to receive a commercial New York production. Kander's partner on the show was playwright-lyricist Greg Pierce. The show is comprised of three mini-musicals tied together by the themes of desire, love and loss.



Critics were, on the whole, pleased with the effort, even if they found the end product somewhat unprepossessing. "Mr. Kander's music for The Landing, which opened on Wednesday night in an elegantly slender production directed by Walter Bobbie," wrote the New York Times, "is on a smaller scale. Often it has the chiming simplicity of children's songs. But linked and woven into the book and lyrics by the young playwright Greg Pierce…these innocent melodies shade into sorrow and sourness, a bit like those tinkling music-box motifs so beloved by makers of horror movies."

Entertainment Weekly called the show "a modest evening of three one-acts for four performers," adding "except for Kander's recognizably lush and hook-filled melodies, the show often seems like the work of a gifted apprentice who's written a lot of short fiction." Newsday, however, rather liked that gifted apprentice: "Kander recently described his new collaborator as 'a present someone gave me.' It appears the gift, in this small package, was also given to us."

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It ain't over 'til it's over, said Yogi Berra. And apparently the producers of the New York Yankees drama Bronx Bombers have decided to follow Berra's dictum.

The new Eric Simonson drama opened to mixed reviews at Primary Stages earlier this month. But the show will transfer to Broadway nonetheless, it was announced. In early 2014, it will move to the Circle in the Square, the same theatre that hosted Simonson's Lombardi a couple seasons ago.

The Broadway production will include two significant new cast additions. Husband and wife actors Peter Scolari and Tracy Shayne will take on the roles of Yogi and Carmen Berra. The Off-Broadway premiere featured Richard Topol and Wendy Makkena in the respective roles. Scolari previously appeared in Magic/Bird, the third of Simonson's sports-related plays to reach Broadway.