[Ed note: This week, Papermag theater critics AndrewAndrew weigh in on Richard III and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. Find out if they were hits or misses in AA's insta-reviews below!]
In what might be the funniest production of the corpse-heavy Richard III, currently playing at the BAM Harvey Theater, Kevin Spacey hams it up for the full three-hour running time. He plays the Machiavellian poster boy as a camped-out and over-the-top political monster devouring everyone and everything (at times even the scenery) to gain the throne and win over the audience. Along the way he twists and contorts the original Shakespearian text to emphasize the more comedic side of his character, with references from Marx, Bugs Bunny, and even Ab Fab. In the end, did this new take on Richard III work or did it just become the "Kevin Spacey Show? Watch our full insta-review to find out, but remember, "All the stage is for Kevin, we are merely the audience!"
The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess
We can just see the first development meeting of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess...
Although it has many well-known songs that are part of the repertory of modern pop music, this 77-year-old American opera is rarely preformed due to its four-hour running time. Also, most people who frequent Broadway shows are scared of the word "opera"
Remove and remix major musical sections of the score, add more speaking parts to help clean up the narrative, save money by having a "minimal" set, hire top-notch musical-theater actors such as Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, and David Alan Grier, and get rid of the goat cart.
How did it pan out for them?
Watch our insta-review to find out!