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DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by LimelightMike 2012-11-05 23:45:25


So, DEAD ACCOUNTS started previews tonight (Nov. 5), having been postponed due to Sandy.

Anyone see it? Anyone have thoughts?

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-06 00:13:47


I was there. I'm a big fan of Katie's and, well the entire cast actually and wanted to see it before it became impossible to get in. I was in the mezz which was about half full with only 3 of the "cheap" seats sold. Weird.

Anyways, the play itself it a lot better than I expected since I'm really not a fan of Rebeck's. It's not breaking any new ground and in a way seems written for the sole purpose to provide community theaters with a new family drama that can be done on the ridiculously cheap (the entire show takes place in a very large kitchen).

The actors are all great as well. Norbert is very Norbert and watching this you have to think it was written for him, otherwise he had a LOT to do with rewriting the character to fit his strengths. He along with Katie, who is fantastic and really a natural up on stage, are the two leads and are supported by a very underused Josh Hamilton, the veeeeery funny Judy Greer and (I hate to say it) the shows weakest character played by Jayne Houdyshell. It's not her fault, it's the way the Mother character is written, which as I said before, seems custom written for community theater actresses to be able to handle.

Out of all of Rebeck's plays I think this is one of the better ones. It not going to win any major awards and as she tends to do, at the end she tries to make it about more than it should be, but I'd say it's worth seeing.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by LimelightMike 2012-11-06 00:20:18


What was the running time?

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-06 00:20:49


2 hours including intermission.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by LimelightMike 2012-11-06 00:24:28


Sweet deal! Thanks for the insight, Jordan!

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-06 00:26:04


My pleasure!

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by RippedMan 2012-11-06 00:28:03


I love Butz, but hate Rebeck. I've read a lot of her plays and see them, and I just hate her writing. It's so....uninteresting. I don't really get why she's always produced, except for like you said, that it's so cheap and uninteresting that you know no one will get offended by it.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Kad 2012-11-06 00:35:36


Rebeck writes television for the stage. Basically.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by RippedMan 2012-11-06 00:50:39


But she doesn't even write good TV? (ex: Smash)

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by LimelightMike 2012-11-06 02:58:50


Jordan: I know this only runs 16 weeks, but do you think it's bound to have a lucrative run -- in terms of being a hot ticket?

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by wonkit 2012-11-06 03:03:55


I love Norbert but with Holmes and Rebeck, this play just has two strikes against it for me. I saw SEMINAR, and felt that it had no point and frankly little interest. Even Alan Rickman had to struggle to give it any life. And I saw Holmes in her last outing, and thought she confused projection with shouting, like some kind of badly trained high school drama geek. Think I'll give this a pass. Hot ticket? Seems unlikely.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by LimelightMike 2012-11-07 01:30:17


Bump.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by RippedMan 2012-11-07 01:35:09


There wasn't a show tonight.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by HOUFlip04 2012-11-07 17:46:55


Today was the best show ever. During Josh and Norbert's first scene, the chair Josh is sitting in is falling apart. The back support came off, Josh tries to put it back on, but it just won't cooperate. So, Norbert takes it and throws it out the back porch. So, just left with the seat for the rest of the Act.

All going well until the last scene in Act 1 and Norbert shifts on that chair and the seat splits in two - but Norbert is still able to sit in it VERY CAREFULLY! After a LONG pause they go on with the rest of the scene. Never breaking character. And you can see as the lights blackout that Katie just loses it. Live Theatre! Gotta love it!

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by wonkit 2012-11-07 18:22:11


Glad to hear that this is such an arresting show that furniture can steal the spotlight!

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-07 18:25:21


During he first preview, Katie broke the phone during a fight with Greer and it was pretty hysterical. The way Katie handled it was so perfect that afterwards people were saying how they hope they keep it in the show. Gotta give "props" to Katie for that one!

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by HOUFlip04 2012-11-07 18:33:20


All the actors handled the mishaps with great professionalism that just added to their already great performances.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2012-11-07 22:32:41


I saw Dead Accounts tonight and didn't like it at all. I was just mystified by the play in general- why was it written and why was it produced?

Nothing happens for the entire first act until the last 45 seconds when they introduce the plot's main conflict and the topic of act two. There was absolutely no reason why this couldn't be a 90 minute intermissionless play. There is a lot of fat to trim.

The play goes to great lengths to differentiate between attitudes in the Midwest versus attitudes in New York. The thing is Norbert, Houdyshell and Holmes are acting much more like neurotic New Yorkers than Judy Greer, the born and raised Manhattanite.

I felt like Norbert was given some flint and some very soggy wood, and was then told to start a fire. Realizing the task was hopeless he decided to distract us from the fact that there was no fire, but no matter how feverishly he worked there was nothing doing.

I actually thought this was worse than Seminar and maybe worse than The Understudy (just because that was shorter). I definitely wasn't expecting Virginia Woolf, but as others have mentioned I thought I'd get some sitcom style laughs. It just wasn't funny though.

The best thing they can do is ditch the intermission and cut 20 minutes/tie up some loose ends.

spoilers**********
Why didn't Norbert ever want to speak with his father? How did Judy Greer figure out he had stolen the money? I never bought into the whole money scheme, and I certainly didn't care what happened to the money.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-07 23:28:44


I totally get everything you're saying. But as much as I DESPISED Seminar, I was prepared to hate this just a much and since I didn't, Im giving it some extra credit.

As for Judy knowing about the money, it's never said. But she does know an I guess that's all that matters. Same with the father - we just take it at face value he doesn't like his father. But this is Rebeck for you. Shes an awful playwright who sometimes gets lucky with some decent scenes and makes you forget for a couple minutes how bad the show you're watching is.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by WithoutATrace 2012-11-07 23:30:51


I think I liked (or maybe tolerated the show) more than Whizzer, but I agree 100% that Rebeck is just an awful playwright.

Holmes, Butz, and Houdyshell did well with what they were given and I enjoyed their performances, but the play itself was really pointless.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel 2012-11-07 23:42:47


I definitely didn't think Seminar was a good play, but I found it harmless, and the characters were more realistically drawn than in Dead Accounts. No one, except for Josh Hamilton, resembled anyone from Ohio that I know, either on the page or in performance. The script kept telling us over and over how people from the Midwest are low-key, polite, well-behaved people, and these characters weren't so much.

I asked about Norbert's relationship with his father because I felt we were led to believe there was some secret in their past that caused a rift between them, but everything with the dad was a red herring. Why even have him alive? All this blather about the pills and the kidney stones- Just make Jayne the ill parent who refuses to take medication and rush her to the hospital to create a stressor for the family.

I agree with your last sentence JC, but I don't know if she got lucky at all with this one!

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by musicman_bwayfan 2012-11-08 00:03:57


Any merch yet?

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Posted by RippedMan 2012-11-08 00:57:34


I just don't understand Rebeck. Was she ever good? Why is she famous? Since I've lived in NYC, everything I've seen that she's written has been awful. The book she wrote, is awful.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by newintown 2012-11-08 10:09:00


There are some playwrights you just have to give up on, and Rebeck is one of those for me.

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Posted by little_sally 2012-11-08 10:53:19


I too am baffled by Rebeck. I can't figure out why her plays are constantly produced.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Movidude742 2012-11-09 01:21:35


I didn't dislike the play. But knowing the run time it got to a point that I wondered how they possibly could bring the play to any sort of conclusion

I have to say Rebeck must have had the same thought, and just like me couldn't solve it either

I was entertained . . . I laughed . . . but yeah I didn't see the point

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Tom5 2012-11-09 14:36:53


The New York production of Seminar had an audacious premise with a cast of outstanding actors and I enjoyed it on that basis alone.
Frankly, I can't even grasp what this play is about.
Bad, bad sign.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-09 14:38:21


Rebeck must give one hell of a hummer.

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Posted by broadwayworldreader 2012-11-10 01:23:39


After seeing this play I couldn't help but wonder if Rebeck was just a bitter New York playwright who, at moments in the show, was just channeling resentments she had about nyc and pinning them up beside equally negative stereotypes of Midwesterners.

By the time I got home I was more interested in reading up on her than anything else...Wikipedia has informed me that she is, coincidentally, from OH.

whoops.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by jnb9872 2012-11-10 10:11:41


My first exposure to Rebeck was seeing the premiere of "Mauritius" at the Huntington in Boston, where it was one of the most unexpectedly amazing things I saw in my time there. I was saddened when the Broadway transfer didn't get the same reviews with it's "name" cast. I also think Seminar is a good, if not groundbreaking play. I thought this was her least interesting script, though her ear for dialogue is still sharp, the structure of it is just befuddling; I found the conclusion a giant thud of a moment and the fact that it was over-directed in that moment made the thud more resoundingly hollow. I enjoyed Butz throughout, the rest of the cast was serviceable, and there are some fun moments, but not enough to recommend (or, alternately, to condemn) it.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by bwaylyric 2012-11-10 11:25:17


What's it like at the stage door after the show?

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by LittleCheno 2012-11-10 17:48:13


I went to stage door after today's matinee. There were a good number of people there. The security collected people's playbills to have Katie sign (you had to put your initials on the cover to get it returned to you). They returned them really quickly all signed by her. She left a few minutes later (carrying little Suri) but didn't stop to sign. Norbert came out and signed, but didn't pose.

I thought it was really gracious of Katie to sign backstage since she knew she wouldn't be stopping for people.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by frogs_fan85 2012-11-10 18:05:12


Did Judy Greer come out? I went last night and waited about 40 minutes before tapping out to the cold.

As for show... at least now I know that if I ever get stranded in Cincinnati, I should try the ice cream.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by liotte 2012-11-10 23:11:03


Tonight at the stage door, Norbert and Jayne both signed and were very gracious. Katie didn't make an appearance at all, we were told she left already. Josh came out and probably would have signed but no one really stopped him. Judy had a bunch of friends there, she came out really quickly and rushed off without acknowledging anyone waiting for her.

As for the show, I was waiting for an act 3 to know what happened.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Bettyboy72 2012-11-10 23:17:12


Judy Greer is the only reason I would see this show. I adore her.

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Posted by LittleCheno 2012-11-10 23:53:52


Judy didn't come out at the Matinee either...

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by followspot 2012-11-11 00:56:24


Trust me — the only thing you'll ever get from Judy Greer is attitude.

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Posted by After Eight 2012-11-11 08:23:52


"As for the show, I was waiting for an act 3 to know what happened."

The author should have thought about that in acts 1 and 2.

What a stupid, pointless, mess. And what a waste of the acting talent onstage.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Movidude742 2012-11-11 10:19:35


Thursday night they also did the bit of taking the Playbills in for Holmes to sign, but they were gone for about 35 minutes. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast came out about 32 minutes after the playbills were gathered up.

I had the entire rest of the cast sign my ticket as I didn't have my playbill. Jayne Houdyshell was still there after Katie left, so she graciously signed the playbill also.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by amgor 2012-11-12 11:38:38


I totally agree. Saw the show last week. A disappointment. : (

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by amgor 2012-11-12 12:48:31


Interestingly, Josh Hamilton was born and raised in NYC! lol. He is a good actor... : )

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by mamaleh 2012-11-16 10:18:28


Found it puzzling that Katie Holmes' character reacted the same to her father's serious illness and her brother's buying too much pizza--both reactions were at a constant frenetic level; just too much. The director should tamp it down. Norbert was fantastic as always--especially in the humorous opening scene--but the intrigue suggested in Act I didn't pay off enough for me in the second, as the play just petered out without much of a conclusion.

Orchestra was filled, mezz relatively sparsely populated. My TDF ticket was far-left Row G orchestra.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by sinister teashop 2012-11-16 10:39:21


I'm not a fan of Rebeck but I can't stand the way she's bashed for making a living in TV land. The plays I've seen by her were definitely stage plays, not TV disguised as stage plays. I'm not saying spending a lot of time writing or acting in godawful TV cop shows doesn't take its toll but I think there's a real double standard where writers who work for TV get bashed but actors get a free pass.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Jordan Catalano 2012-11-17 06:54:14


I don't think the fact that she writes for tv is what people don't like, it's that her tv writing is just as bad as her play writing, some would argue even worse.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Kad 2012-11-17 11:45:57


I'm not bashing Rebeck, or anyone, for making a living from TV writing. But for me, her plays read and sound like extended TV scripts. They're insubstantial, forced conversations in "modern vernacular" that occasionally graze greater topics just enough so some audiences think they're getting something deeper. They hit the appropriate marks but nothing more.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by Owen22 2012-11-18 00:44:04


Please, the quality of a lot of TV writing is SO much higher than the standard writing for the theatre anymore. Almost any episode of "Mad Men" or "Good Wife" or "Homeland" (or say, half the episodes of "Modern Family", "New Girl" or "Parks and Rec)" is as good as anything the theatre has produced in the last five years. Mainly because the talented writers who at one time would have made a living writing plays are now scared off by the endless "readings and workshops instead of productions" cycles and find they can make a living writing in Los Angeles. Which generally means television. I applaud those that stay and exclusively try to work in the theatre, but to say TV writing is at all LESSER than theatre writing is pretentiously out of touch.

DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by darion 2012-11-19 11:19:01


I saw it over the weekend and i really liked it, though it kinda ends abruptly... Norbert was of course incredible and Katie was really really good as well. you can tell shes put her all in it. the only down note was the character of Phil, it was if he was doing an SNL parody. Im willing to give the understudy a break though, Im guessing it really was a last second fill in. there were no slips announcing this in the Playbill and doors opened at only 10 minutes before curtain. Ya'll need to give Katie a break at the stage door though, Im sure shes getting a lot of crazies and freaks harrassing her.



DEAD ACCOUNTS -- Preview Thoughts
Posted by PlayItAgain 2012-12-31 00:55:55


saw it tonight

the orchestra had some random scattered seats open and the mezz was DESERTED like maybe 20 people sitting up there.

The failures of this piece fall's squarely on the director and the writer. Jack O'Brien choose some very weird directing choices, the scene changes and the blackouts just screwed with the flow of the whole thing, also I have no clue why Katie Holmes was playing her character (who was in her 30's) like an angsty teen. Rebeck has her characters doing things for un-explained reasons, the main character buys copious amounts of food, has bottle and bottles of pill's on him and none of this behavior is ever rationally explained, there is a whole through line about religion thats never really made clear, again its another play that really wants to say something profound but can't figure out how to do it and ends ambiguously as if its like i know what I'm doing but I want you to decide if this guys good or bad, I'm tired of seeing playwrights do this. the MVP of the whole mess is Norbert Leo Butz who I wouldn't be surprised if he walks away with the shows only award nominations, again he takes subpar material (like he did in Catch Me If You Can) and does wonders with it. And for the love of god can Ms Rebeck stop writing extreme set changes right into the very end of her plays? This isn't to say that there isn't humor in the play, but there was no reason for this to be on Broadway.

also merch was super discounted

2 shirts for 20 and a really nice knit cap for 10 bucks , and free keychains with every purchase

stagedoor, everyone signed (except Katie and they didn't collect our playbills)