Terrence McNally’s revival of “It’s Only A Play” ran in 1982 and has been revised and brilliantly directed by Jack O’ Brien. If you are in the business of Showbiz, the witty one liners will have you howling like a wolf. Some of the jokes are so funny they almost seem like they were copied by another great show poking fun at The Great White Way. ( That show ran for over 30 years Off-Broadway by Gerard Alessandrini and directed by Phillip George Forbidden Broadway)
In It’s Only A Play we see a company at their opening night glamourous party waiting in the Producers stylish, apt. The set is in her bedroom, and the guests seem to be in the rest of the what seems like a colossal apartment We meet, Nathan Lane who plays a TV actor who is best friends with the writer ( Matthew Broderick) Lane is giving zingers throughout the play that are so funny he had me gasping for air. If you are in the know, you will either love this show or be offended by it. I loved every side-splitting second as I found all the characters to be true. There is a ditzy, rich producer played by Megan Mullally who reminded me of many Producers I have met! Lane’s character pokes fun at the entire industry from Producers, Stars, Celebs including making fun of reality TV shows ( DWTS, The Voice and even Broadway chat boards) Every line of the show was funny especially if you know all the people he pokes fun at.
They mention Brantley, Rosie Perez, Rosie O’ Donnell, Bernadette Peters and even a Chita/Rita joke right out of Forbidden Broadway’s classic. I am Chita and not Rita, a classic if you were around in the late 80’s. It might go over nontheater geeks heads, but it didn’t go over mine, and I had the most fun I have had in ages.
See this if you are an insider as you will appreciate it more. The only ugly thing about the show is it does tell the truth. The Theatre community only cares about what Ben thinks. Hoping that will change because there are other sites out there that reach tourists and theater ticket buyers. In fact, this afternoon I sat next to a theater fan from Saudi Arabia and he has read this site. Maybe, Brantley is not the only reviewer that should matter. The web is a very powerful medium that reaches the entire World.
I thought the entire cast fit perfectly in their roles. Lane was the funniest getting all the funny one liners but Megan also delivered the goods.
Four stars for insiders. Three stars for people who won’t understand most of the inside jokes but if you love Broadway you should be entertained. This theater critic was very grateful to attend!