Published On: Sat, Mar 7th, 2015

The Critics Kind of Like Larry David’s New Play

“On stage, Mr. David is a self-caricature of a self-caricature. I’ve never seen anybody look less comfortable or more physically awkward in a starring role on Broadway.”

Larry David

The verdict is in, sort of. The critics are divided over Larry David’s new play “Fish in the Dark, ” with many simply saying that it’s just sort of OK.”

David both wrote and stars in the play. Some people think that he was great in it while others think that he should stick to acting in front of a camera instead of on stage.

While The Hollywood Reporter said, “Despite being stretched beyond the usual half-hour format, the material remains in the classic Larry David mold, such as a scene in which Norman displays his petty jealousy when his eulogy is overshadowed by the one delivered by his Gandhi-quoting 14-year-old niece. David even throws in a Curb Your Enthusiasm catchphrase (“pretty good”) in a harmless bit of fan pandering.”

“There’s also something disarming about the way the playwright embraces some truly hoary old-school gag material. It’s not exactly groundbreaking theater, but it all hangs together, nowhere more so than when the marvelous Houdyshell is in the mix.”

Variety in contrast said, “contrary to rumor, the show is not a TV sitcom. It does, however, round up some outrageously funny Larry David-ish characters who could probably float such a show.”

But The Guardian was not so impressed saying, “The show is very linear, and some of the funniest and cleverest scenes are cut off before they can really blossom. By the admittedly exceptional comic standards David has laid down, this ranks alongside an average episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

And The Wall Street Journal said, “Fish in the Dark, which Larry David wrote as a vehicle for himself, is more in the nature of a well-remunerated personal appearance than an actual play. A thimbleweight comedy about two bickering brothers (played by Mr. David and Ben Shenkman) brought together by the death of their father, it consists of several thousand jokes, most of which involve somebody saying something inappropriate. Imagine a Neil Simon play without a plot—or three bottom-drawer episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” hastily knocked together into a two-hour script—and you’ll get the idea.

“On stage, Mr. David is a self-caricature of a self-caricature. I’ve never seen anybody look less comfortable or more physically awkward in a starring role on Broadway.”

Whatever the critics say, the show has reportedly already taken in more than $13 million in sales and will be a hit based on David’s star power. Even if his acting leaves a lot to be desired, audiences probably won’t notice.

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