The Playgoer: "Is He Dead": DOA?

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Is He Dead": DOA?

Talk about unfortunate titles...

Look--I haven't read the recently discovered/published Mark Twain stage comedy, Is He Dead? (And as a collector of such American theatre curiosities I'm dying to.) But what producer in his/her right mind would actually hold out hope for an obscure non-musical period piece farce on today's Broadway?

Notwithstanding a master farceur-director (Michael Blakemore) and the knockout cast he's assembled--Norbert Leo Butz, Byron Jennings, David Pittu, John McMartin--my only response so far to Is He Dead is...Are They Nuts?

PS. This kind of show is exactly what National Theatres are for...


Gil said...

Disagree; they have one of the best names ever to capitalize upon: Mark Twain.

How hard is it to convince a family member to go see a production of the lost Mark Twain comedy?

Dave said...

Having read the script, I think Ives has his work cut out for him. I love Twain to death, but this is a terrible and badly dated script. The man could write novels and short pieces, but had no idea of how to write a play. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it won't be easy.