The week’s start was dominated by the Tony award nominations – 14 nods for The Book of Mormon, 12 for The Scottsboro Boys, 9 for Anything Goes, and others – and all the resulting excited chatter. Was Daniel Radcliffe snubbed? Would Scottsboro Boys make a (sort of) comeback? (For the nominees’ reactions, click here.) But the week’s end was ruled by the sadder news that 93-year-old Broadway stalwart and Tony-winner Arthur Laurents, the writer behind West Side Story and Gypsy, had died on Thursday from complications from pneumonia.
Our critics also reviewed two new solid off-Broadway plays: The School for Lies, a The Misanthrope-inspired costume comedy, and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures, a family drama about a high strung Brooklyn clan penned by Tony Kushner (who also dissected one of the scenes for us). Highlights below:
The School for Lies: While I had to admit David Ives’ comedy, loosely adapted from Moliére’s French classic about a social curmudgeon and his socialite love interest, was “not always perfect,” it was definitely a hoot. Giving it a B+, I had high praise for leads Hamish Linklater and Mamie Gummer, who made the play “silly, sweet, and sexy.”
The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures: This “gloriously dysfunctional domestic drama” earned a B+ from Melissa Rose Bernardo, who writes that Stephen Pasquale’s performance as son who reunites with his siblings at his dad’s Brooklyn brownstone is a “a revelation.” IHo (as it’s nicknamed) does “lose steam in steam in acts 3 and 4,” she admits, but “I defy any playwright to top the brilliantly tumultuous act 2 finale, which brings in just about every character… and brings out cataclysmic secrets.”