Archive for the ‘Theater Reviews’ Category

Limerick Ode To The Tonys

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Limerick Ode To The Tonys
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’ll be watching the Tonys tonight
And rooting for Tony. That’s right —
It’s Shalhoub in “Act One”
Who should win when they’re done
Toting votes, or my angst won’t be slight.

Rueful Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse.

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A fellow was starting to rue…*

or

A woman was starting to rue…*

*(Minor variations to my first lines are acceptable, but rhyme words may not be altered.)

Here’s my limerick:

Rueful Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow was starting to rue
His decision to holler his boo
At a Will Shakespeare play.
What ensued was a fray:
About nothing, he feared, much ado.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

UPDATE: April 23 is Talk Like Shakespeare Day.

The Flying Karamazov Brothers — Limerick Review

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

If you’ve never seen The Flying Karamazov Brothers perform, you owe it to yourselves to go see them either in New York City or whenever their tour hits your town. Hubby Mark and I caught their show Friday night, and it was hilarious.

The Karamazov Brothers’ act is hard to describe, so let me just say they’re jugglers, comedians, and even musicians, who often manage to be all three at the same time. They had me laughing so hard, I had tears streaming down my face for much of the evening. Now can you think of a better compliment than that?

On the other hand, the salt in my tears did burn the skin around my eyes and cheeks. Hmmm, maybe I should sue them for tortious infliction of skin damage.

And now, my limerick review:

The Flying Karamazov Brothers — Limerick Review
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Karamazov, the Brothers, are Flying.
Not the novel — the jugglers — not lying.
Saw their show just last night.
What a comic delight!
Laughed so hard, I was tearfully crying.

Tornado Night

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Thursday night’s weather was certainly interesting here in Queens, New York. Hubby Mark and I were on the Long Island Railroad on route to an Off-Broadway play, when what turned out to be a tornado hit.

After some delays, our train did manage to make it to Penn Station, after which the railroad completely shut down, stranding hordes of rush hour commuters. (As we later learned, the tracks were littered with uprooted trees, and the storm had wreaked havoc throughout much of New York City.)

But we went off to see the play, figuring that by the time we were finished with theater and dinner, everything would be back to normal. Ha!

As it turned out, more than 24 hours would elapse before the LIRR would fully recover. So our path home to Bayside, Queens was a challenge, involving an unfamiliar combo of train, subway, and bus.

Relieved to finally be home, we were greeted by an unwelcome discovery — the tallest tree in our backyard had relocated to our neighbor’s yard.

Well, at least the play wasn’t bad — It Must Be Him, starring Peter Scolari and Liz Torres. Not great mind you — not even close. But everything’s relative.

Secrets Of The Trade – Off-Broadway Play Review In Verse

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Last night hubby Mark and I had a wonderful theater experience. We saw Secrets of the Trade, starring Noah Robbins, Mark Nelson, Amy Aquino, John Glover, and Bill Brochtrup (whom you may recognize as “Gay John” from NYPD Blue.

The play, written by Jonathan Tolins and directed by Matt Shakman, centers around Andy Lipman. Who’s Andy Lipman? He’s a fictional (and yet somehow familiar) ambitious, Long Island kid who dreams of a career on Broadway and hopes to be helped by Martin Kerner, a theater legend whom he idolizes. I enjoyed it so much, that I felt compelled to review it in verse:

Saw Secrets of the Trade last night.
The play was great to our delight.
With cast so fine and script superb,
I had to pen this glowing blurb.

The playwright Tolins is new to me.
He made us giggle gleefully.
And Noah Robbins — he’s the star.
A mere nineteen and bound to go far.

The rest of the cast is just as strong.
I’d name them, but this poem’s too long.
So get yourself to Off-Broadway,
And see this fun, outstanding play.

Get Thee To Troilus And Cressida

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

If you enjoy Shakespeare performed beautifully in a magnificent setting, don’t miss the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival at the Boscobel Restoration in Garrison, New York.

Troilus and Cressida opened July 3rd, and it was terrific.

We started the evening with a delightful picnic on Boscobel’s Hudson River grounds, then moved into the tent for an inventive performance of the baudy, Trojan tale.

Things got even more unusual in the Second Act, which began with a quirky, yet oddly fitting musical number. After the music, the audience members were welcomed to leave their seats temporarily, walk down to the Hudson River, and view the holiday fireworks display that was about to take place across the river at West Point.

Once the fireworks were over, we returned to our seats and the play continued. What fun!

And that brings me to my latest limerick:

Like Shakespeare performed in a tent?
Then see Troilus — it’s time quite well spent:
At the Boscobel joint—
Straight across from West Point.
Please don’t miss it — you’ll surely repent.

The Tenor Of Our Anniversary

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

My husband Mark and I had a wonderful time celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary on Friday, June 4th in Manhattan. We saw a Broadway play — Ken Ludwig’s hilarious Lend Me A Tenor, which was directed by Stanley Tucci. (There’s more about the play in my two-verse limerick.) We also dined at Nocello and enjoyed attempting to dance the rumba at the Marriott Marquis’ Broadway Lounge.

And now, my limerick:

The Tenor Of Our Anniversary
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Hubby Mark and I partied last night.
(It’s been thirty-two years of delight.)
Saw a great Broadway play.
What a heavenly way
To celebrate marriage just right!

Shaloub and LaPaglia star.
(Both are Tony’s — you know who they are.)
Justin Bartha stars too.
We kept laughing on cue
At Lend Me A Tenor. Har, har!

Limerick Ode To Kathleen Madigan

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Saturday night hubby Mark and I went to see Kathleen Madigan perform in New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. It was actually one of two performances that were taped for Madigan’s upcoming DVD.

Kathleen Madigan’s act was hilarious, and her special guest, Lewis Black, was his usual angry/funny self.

Limerick Ode To Kathleen Madigan
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Here’s a gal with the comedy gene:
Surname Madigan, first name Kathleen.
I laughed the full hour.
Not once did I glower.
My fav’rite? Her Oprah routine.

An Unmagical Night of Magic (Limerick)

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I recently vacationed in Las Vegas. I’ve already reviewed Cher’s show and Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE via limerick. Well, now it’s time for a far less positive review:

An Unmagical Night of Magic (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

David Copperfield’s show on the Strip—
Neither clever, nor witty, nor hip.
He acted quite bored,
Which is rather untoward.
When in Vegas, avoid him’s my tip.

Mad About LOVE

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

When I posted my Cher limerick last weekend, I promised more limerick reviews of Las Vegas shows. So here’s my love limerick to the Beatles-inspired Cirque du Soleil show LOVE.

Mad About LOVE
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Once again, I must say hip-hooray
To the wonderful Cirque du Soleil.
It’s spectacle LOVE
Is a few cuts above.
Like the Beatles? Then see it today.

While I’m on the subject of Cirque Du Soleil, hubby Mark and I saw “O,” Mystere, and Zumanity on previous trips. “O” and Mystere were great, but we both disliked Zumanity.

Limerick Ode To Cher

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Sorry to have been so quiet lately. I’ve been traveling — family stuff in Dallas, followed by a wonderful vacation in Las Vegas.

Here’s the first in a short series of limerick show reviews:

Limerick Ode To Cher
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The singer and actress named Cher
Looks amazingly good nearly bare.
Her singing is great.
Her show is first rate.
And costumes? Elton John should beware.

Limerick Ode To Valerie Harper & More Big Apple Fun

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I’ve been a Valerie Harper fan dating way back to her years as Mary’s best friend Rhoda in the Mary Tyler Moore Show. And now I’m even a bigger fan, after hubby Mark and I saw her on Broadway this weekend starring as Tallulah Bankhead in Looped.

All I can say is, “Wow!”

Okay, I can say a bit more and have even written Harper a limerick. But first some info: Looped, by Matthew Lombardo, is a very funny comedy about celebrity bad girl Tallulah Bankhead, an out-of-control actress trying to complete her final screen role (Die, Die My Darling).

The play, directed by Rob Ruggiero, takes place in a Los Angeles recording studio and also features Brian Hutchison and Michael Mulheren. These poor fellows are desperately trying to extract one good take from Tallulah, so they can re-record (or “loop”) a single line of dialogue.

Looped is in previews right now at the Lyceum Theatre and opens March 14, 2010.

And now, my limerick:

Limerick Ode To Valerie Harper
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Give Valerie Harper a hand.
She’s in Looped on Broadway and she’s grand.
As Tallulah she’s naughty,
Outrageous, and baudy.
At the end you will cheer as you stand.

Seeing Looped capped off a full and fun day in Manhattan. What else did we do? We walked up Fifth Avenue and wandered around the eclectic Japanese department store, Takashimaya, deciding to save its charming Tea Box restaurant and tea room for another day. Then we moved on to the Central Park Zoo, had drinks at The Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel, and ate a scrumptious Northern Italian meal at Nocello. (We’d planned to go dancing after the play, but my knee was misbehaving, so we called it an early-for-us night and went home.)

By the way, I highly recommend the Central Park Zoo. People tend to overlook it because it’s so tiny. But it’s very charming, and we especially enjoyed watching one of the polar bears frolic, using a large square of Styrofoam as his floating toy.

The snow leopards, snow monkeys, penguins, and the Rainforest were fun too, as was watching harbor seals being fed and taught tricks.

Two Nights of Big Apple Fun

Friday, December 25th, 2009

If you’ve ever fantasized about a career in the theater, you owe it to yourself to see playwright Theresa Rebeck’s The Understudy on Broadway. Actually, anybody who needs or wants a good laugh should see it. Hubby Mark and I caught it Wednesday night and loved its uproarious depiction of the theater world’s underbelly.

This Roundabout Theatre production is playing through January 17, 2010 at the Laura Pels Theatre. (It’s a limited engagement because the theater is booked after that date, and rumor has it that its great Broadway cast may be taking it on the road.)

Speaking of the cast, Justin Kirk (of Weeds fame) plays the title role. And while I really like him in Weeds, I had no idea what a wonderful comedic actor he is until I saw him in The Understudy.

Mark and I were already huge fans of co-star Julie White, who plays the stage manager. (We’d seen her in The Little Dog Laughed, for which she won well-deserved Tony and Obie Awards.)

Last, but certainly not least, is co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar, well known to fans of Raising The Bar, NYPD Blue, and Saved By The Bell.

We’d planned to eat dinner after the show at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Tolache, which I wrote about in my Happy Birthday To Me post. But it was so damn cold out, that the thought of walking even a few measly blocks just wasn’t … well … appetizing. So we decided to give the restaurant next door a try.

Turns out it was a terrific decision. Indian food’s my favorite cuisine and the large and lovely Utsav is Indian food at its finest. Best of all, when you ask for extra spicy, you actually get extra spicy.

Okay, that was last night. But I never got a chance to post about our visit last weekend to the Comix Comedy Club. (New York City has lots of clubs featuring standup comedy, but Comix is quickly becoming a favorite.)

The reason for our latest Comix visit was headliner Kevin Pollak. After decades of seeing his comedy and impersonations on TV shows like The Tonight Show, we were eager to see him live. Wow! He was hilarious, and his impersonations of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, William Shatner, Robert De Niro, and Christopher Walken were letter perfect.

The two warm-up acts, comedians Steve Patterson and Jon Fisch, were also good, especially Canadian Steve Patterson, whose dry delivery and idiosyncratic point of view were refreshingly funny.

After the show we had drinks at nearby Scarpetta, an Italian restaurant housed in a Greek revival townhouse. Its bar is lively and comfortable, and we would have tried its well-reviewed food, had we not already eaten burgers at Comix. Next time!

(Note to the FTC, which recently passed some annoying blogger regulations: I was neither paid nor comped for these reviews. Trust me, we spent way too much money on both nights.)

Happy Birthday To Me

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Friday, September 11th was my birthday — one of those traumatizing, ends-with-zero birthdays. So I told my husband Mark that, unless he wanted me to be a basket case on nine-eleven, he’d better plan something good.

So, did Mark rise to the occasion? He sure did, as I describe in this three-verse limerick:

Happy Birthday To Me
By Madeleine Begun Kane

My nine-one-one birthday was great!
Hubby Mark planned a fabulous date:
God of Carnage — fine play —
Four fab stars on Broadway.
Yes, I married a wonderful mate.

The play featured James Gandolfini,
Who did not play a mafia meanie.
Hope Davis starred too
And Jeff Daniels. Woo Hoo!
Marcia Harden’s the fourth. Creds ain’t teeny.

We dined on gourmet Mex cuisine:
Toloache’s the best I have seen.
And we drank and we danced
At two bars. Age advanced?
Well, perhaps … but I felt sweet sixteen.

(Cross-posted on my political humor blog.)