Woody Allen's Back On Broadway: My Review

Categories: Theater

Marlo-Thomas-819x1024.jpg

Three playlets written by superstars obsessed with bad parenting add up to an uneven, unsatisfying evening that makes you want to run back to mommy.

First, Ethan Coen's slender Talking Cure has a postal worker (Danny Hoch) being prodded to talk through his rage by a mental-institution doctor (Jason Kravits), revealing that his problems stem from bickering parents who clearly talked too much.

Elaine May's George Is Dead has a superficial, high-strung widow (Marlo Thomas, above) burdening herself on an old friend (Lisa Emery).

No bad parenting here -- until you learn that Emery's mother always cared more for Thomas than for her, and still does!

Thomas does well with the amusing quirks May has dealt her, but the overload of unsympathetic characters starts to become as oppressive as all the yelling at this point.

After intermission, Woody Allen's Honeymoon Motel has a terrible father actually getting off the hook for his transgression.

The plot involves a middle-aged man devastating his wife and stepson by running off with an inappropriate younger woman. (Really stretching here, Woody!)

Even less shockingly, it ends up being an apologia for his behavior.

Woody, just sleep with Soon-Yi and stop trying to convince the world it's OK!

I'll admit the wrap-up is hilariously pulled off, and throughout the playlet Woody's wry wit provides some laughs on the subjects of pizza and prostitution.

But the wedding-night premise is pure sitcom, the intergenerational love relationship is only served in broad strokes, and the direction is by sledgehammer.

Mommy!


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9 comments
Barkley
Barkley

Does Steve Guttenberg deliver?  Always loved his chest and ass.

Gregorama
Gregorama

I guess drastic measures are called for when your only biological child, a genius, disowns you and actually changes his last....AND first names and cuts off all contact with you at the age of 11.  Allen's son said of his father, "He's my father married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression. I cannot see him. I cannot have a relationship with my father and be morally consistent... I lived with all these adopted children, so they are my family. To say Soon-Yi was not my sister is an insult to all adopted children."[ Isn't that a rather big clue that you might have erred just a bit as a parent?  (Incidentally, have you see what Ronan Seamus Farrow---his current name---looks like now?  Wow.  Fortunately, he inherited mom's looks).

Disfasia
Disfasia

Ronan Farrow's comments are extremely deriding to the "adopted child". The way he bifurcates the "adopted children" in his family from "others" is bizarre.  When you live in a family with children from other marriages, adoption, etc. one simply does not refer to siblings with such terms.  "Brother" and "sister" are in fact used.  That at age 11 he cut off from his father is merely a sign of his mother's abuse and clear manipulation of this child.  Mia Farrow exploited a situation that was not hers to exploit.  Previn was 21 when her relationship with Allen began. She was an adult. I can find nothing more distasteful and sexist than a society that seeks to judge a woman's choice in life partner, whose mother uses her siblings to gang up against her, and who twists morality when it is clear from all of Mia Farrow's actions (and now her son's words) that adoption becomes this panacea for extremely genetic-centrist notions of "real family" versus "his family".  He did not need to make such an explanation but demonstrating a conscious separation of "these adopted children" from merely "his siblings".  I feel sorry for Ronan Farrow.  He seems intelligent on paper, but in real life he is ignorant of the abuses clearly inflicted upon him by his mother and maintains no critique of his mother's pathological need to adopt children from around the world, turning what ought to be a very personal decision into a politcal one.  The wrongs are clear and the language of both Farrows is offensive.  

Eric
Eric

Why review the playwright rather than the play?

Gregorama
Gregorama

I haven't seen the play.  Comments are related to the story/playwright, not the play.

russianbrides
russianbrides

Past a colored conduct gasps an arguing sentient. A knight deals the person. Why won't every sky destroy the stimulating cleaner? The snag upgrades our skull without the remainder. 

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

Yup! Surgery and air-brushing: the secrets of perpetual middle-age.

I'd like to see what her hands look like.

Rain
Rain

Is that photo actually supposed to be my Marlo? Is that what she looks like now????

Fiducia
Fiducia

Your review is funnier than the evening.

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