Review Roundup: Vineyard Theatre's THE LANDING
THE LANDING -- which marks John Kander's first full new theatre collaboration with another writer since the passing of his long-time collaborator Fred Ebb in 2004 --opened last night, October 23rd at Vineyard Theatre. Featured in the cast of The Landing are Tony and Emmy Award-winner David Hyde Pierce (CURTAINS, VANYA AND SONYA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, "Frasier"), Julia Murney (Andrew Lippa's THE WILD PARTY, WICKED),Paul Anthony Stewart (THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) and Frankie Seratch (A TIME TO SHINE/TEEN CABARET). THE LANDING is a beautiful and haunting new musical comprised of three thematically-connected tales of desire, love and loss.
Photo by Carol Rosegg
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Ben Brantley, The New York Times: Mr. Kander's music for "The Landing," which opened on Wednesday night in an elegantly slender production directed by Walter Bobbie, is on a smaller scale. Often it has the chiming simplicity of children's songs. But linked and woven into the book and lyrics by the young playwright Greg Pierce (in Mr. Kander's first full collaboration with a new partner since Mr. Ebb's death in 2004), these innocent melodies shade into sorrow and sourness, a bit like those tinkling music-box motifs so beloved by makers of horror movies.
Marilyn Stasio, Variety: "The Landing," with its Lucite furniture and Upper West Side vibe, appears to be more grounded. As are Jake (Pierce) and Denny (Stewart), longtime partners whose relationship is stable and loving enough to qualify them to adopt Collin (Seratch). Although there's no hint of how he came to them, this 12-year-old boy appears to be the perfect son for this sophisticated couple. He's intelligent, thoughtful, artistic and unnervingly well-mannered. By the time Jake puzzles out the mystery of Collin's identity, we've heard what we came for - a few insightful songs about love and its absence, and one heart-piercing number, "Thanks for That," that says it all for all of us.
Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News: Each one-act comes with a melancholy mood and cautionary theme: Gifts can backfire. In "Andra," the present is a telescope that expands vision; in "The Brick," it's a keepsake that concretely confirms a person's nuttiness; and in "The Landing," it's a presence that gives and takes from a happy family.Kander's score doesn't approach his work in "Cabaret" or "Chicago." There are a few bouncy moments and melodic strains conjuring "All That Jazz." The music is mostly underscoring.
Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly: The cross-generational duo's first collaboration,The Landing, is a modest evening of three one-acts for four performers playing at Off Broadway's Vineyard Theatre through Nov. 24. Except for Kander's recognizably lush and hook-filled melodies, the show often seems like the work of a gifted apprentice who's written a lot of short fiction (as Pierce apparently has). The three acts unfold like short stories - each even has an onstage narrator - though torn from very different books.