Theater and Concert Reviews.
by ROBERT MASSIMI 2 years ago in ENTERTAINMENT Making Robbery Funny Heist! at The Players Theater is a funny, campy spoof on a robbery gone bad. The musical begins with Jack, Chris and Betty robbing a bank. Chris gets shot in the process and is reportedly dead. Chris was Jack's best friend and by his death he is done with the robbery game. Instead, Jack has been reduced to the three Monte card game con, one in which he is not good at. We find out later that he had a short term fling with Betty in the hopes of easing the pain over Chris's death. In his quest to get rich as a three card Monte expert, he meets Patricia (Blair Medina), a street musician, and pick Pocket, and con women. He is intimidated by how well she works the streets and how much money she makes.
Enter Gil (Cordara Newson), he was in one the first con that went array. He has a new con, one that will land 40 million! There is a catch, however. He has two other people to do the heist, and Jack and one other need to become actors because the mark is a Broadway star and the heist is around her neck! Jack (Alec Irion) is shocked and kind of angry when he sees the other actor as no other then Patricia, the street hustler. The third person is Yevgeny (Chris Bober) a Russian who has been thrown out of his country, Mother Russia. The plan is that Gil will produce the show, Jack and Patricia will act in it and Yevgeny will be the drama pro or whatever his title is. One major problem, Cath, the Equity stage manager who is by the book and suspects these two are not actors. As the rehearsals begin, we meet Miles Finch (James Cella), the director. Cella hits his role as Director, he is one of the main features of this funny musical. Finch is emotionally frail, an ego maniac who is insecure and impatient. Jack and Patricia are put into the show; the show is behind schedule and everyone is frenetic. It does not help that the star of the show is a diva and her demands are preposterous. Cynthia (Claire Leyden) is a classically trained soprano, her voice is excellent in her role as a Russian queen diva. As the show is about to begin, one cast member quits and he is replaced by Chris, who never died. This new replacement make Miles quit, there is a half hour to go to showtime and actors still don't have there roles down, let alone a replacement!
The opening is somewhat "Lend Me A Tenor" and somewhat "Noises Off". The campiness, the little slapstick and the general stupidity had the audience in stitches. For the most part it all blended nicely. There is no question that some of this play needs to be reworked if it wants to get to off Broadway or further. In general it was a decent show, a fun show that everyone enjoyed.
Sonya Plenefisch did a wonderful job in the set as well as costumes. The set was the backdrop of a city both in daytime and night. The stage, both in front and back was pleasant, as were her costumes. Kenzie Carpenter had a nice lighting effect which both blended the show as the lighting blended in nicely to create the pleasant atmosphere of the show. The direction of James Will Mc Bride for the most part was good. Comedic timing was such that it made the plat raucous at times. Jenna Haimes did an admirable job in choreographing Heist! At times the actors seemed a bit clumsy dancing their numbers.
Songs that were notable at this performance were: "One Last Job," Three Card Monte," "Which Is Me," "Authenticity," were all sensational in the first act. In the second act I thought "You Got Me" was the standout of the night. "I'd Do It Again," "A Spanish Gentleman," and "You Walked Away" were all very good.
Heist! was a very enjoyable evening. It is a show that moves quickly for the most part, the last ten minutes of the first act dragged a little. The show is about two hours but one that not have you looking at your watch. With it's few glitches, I recommend it and think you will not be disappointed. With all the great restaurants and clubs on MacDonald St, you can make a whole evening out of it.
Players Theater, West Village, NYC,NY, MacDonald Street, off Broadway, James Cella, Chris Bober, Russian, Queen, Mystery,Comedy.