nick730 (nick730) wrote,

Theatre review - Off-Broadway edition: Death Takes a Holiday

Only last weekend I was telling triomakesmehot that Julian Ovenden might be another British musical theatre star she might like the look of; when my final attempt at the Book of Mormon ticket lottery failed I took my own advice and booked a half-price seat to the Roundabout Theatre's Death Takes a Holiday, in which Ovenden plays the title role. Unfortunately someone must always warn him when I'm on my way because on Wednesday night when I saw the show, once again he was off (I also missed him a couple of years ago in Marguerite.) Understudy Kevin Earley is charming, funny and in strong voice but doesn't quite have the studly factor I was looking forward to to help get over the Book of Mormon-shaped disappointment (Matt Cavenaugh as Eric isn't bad to look at though.)

Thomas Meehan, Peter Stone and Maury Yeston's musical adaptation of Alberto Casella's play in which Death takes human form for a weekend and falls in love is pleasant enough, but the music is very old-fashioned and Doug Hughes' direction certainly doesn't make proceedings any less cheesy. The cast, which includes Michael Siberry, Alexandra Socha, Linda Balgord and Jill Paice as the object of Death's affection are almost uniformly strong and give it their all; but the songs are the kind you forget even while they're still being sung.

Death Takes a Holiday by Thomas Meehan, Peter Stone and Maury Yeston is booking until the 4th of September at the Laura Pels Theatre, New York.

And that's the last of my New York theatre reviews for 2011; who knows, maybe there'll be more if I go back sometime. I saw two on and two off-Broadway shows, plus Romeo and Juliet which I'm not counting as I'd seen it twice before. Of the four musicals I saw, Catch Me If You Can is easily my recommendation if you happen to be in NY, although as mentioned above I didn't manage to see Book of Mormon which given its creative team would likely have been right up my street.
Tags: new york, theatre, theatre reviews
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