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Old 02-08-2013, 06:46 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
 
Default Review: "The Boy Who Was Woody Allen"



By Milo

The Boy Who Was Woody Allen
Review

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of a relatively short run of a new play titled The Boy Who Was Woody Allen. The play stars James Phelps (Fred Weasley) as an 18-year-old Catholic schoolboy called John OíLeary, who decides that he is to become Woody Allen no less. The play is described as a musical comedy, and in truth it wasnít till quite far into the first half that a song was performed, making it more of a comedy with a few musical numbers thrown in.

The premise itself is as bizarre as it sounds. Phelpsí character John, goes on a surreal journey whereby he adopts the persona of Woody Allen, and marries a Goth, who turns out to be a lesbian, this hereby sets the tone of the rest of the show. Having only had three weeks of rehearsals to prepare, it is clear that more time was needed to finesse the performances and indeed, the strong New York accents that we come to expect. To his credit, and for his first stage performance, James did exceptionally well despite the pressure he was under to deliver the very dialogue heavy and at times, tongue twisting monologues in the vein of Woody Allen.

The play itself is very much rooted in the world of the Jewish community, with many of the jokes related to traditions, customs and stereotypes of the faith that Johnís character adopts, so if you are not familiar with any of that or Woody Allen, then you may have a hard time figuring out what is going on, and you may find yourself failing to laugh.

Having said that, I found the ensemble performances of the rest of the cast to be quite strong, and with a bit more time and work on the script, I think this play could develop into something much stronger, especially if they were to extend their reach to multiple audiences. In regards to the musical aspects, Jamesí first and only song closes the show, proving that yes he can sing, and that he can add that skill to his CV, should he wish to pursue a career on stage.
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