DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews

LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 12:47pm
Today is Thursday, November 29, marking the official opening night for Norbert Leo Butz and Katie Holmes' returns to the Great White Way, to co-star in the Broadway premiere of Theresa Rebeck's new black comedy Dead Accounts – about an Ohio family whose prodigal son returns flush with money and secrets – at the Music Box Theatre. Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien directs the Cincinnati-set play that began previews November 5. The work had its world premiere last winter at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

Here's how the play is billed: "Jack's unexpected return throws his family into a frenzy, and his sister Lorna needs answers. Is he coming home or running away? Where is his wife everyone hates? And how did he get all that money? Theresa Rebeck’s new comedy tackles the timely issues of corporate greed, small town values, and whether or not your family will always welcome you back… with no questions asked."
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
BroadwayBen
Leading Actor
joined:6/5/03
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 06:01pm
AMNY 1.5 stars

"It's depressing to have yet another insubstantial, uneventful and pointless play by Theresa Rebeck on the stage."

http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/theater-review-dead-accounts-1-5-stars-1.4276435
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 06:13pm
Haven't seen Dead Accounts, but "depressing, insubstantial, uneventful and pointless" is also a fair assessment of Matt Windman's reviews.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 06:14pm
But it also completely sums up Rebeck's writing.
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 06:24pm
No comment!
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 07:07pm
Backstage is a pan:

"Prolific playwright Theresa Rebeck is on a downward spiral with her Broadway offerings. The problematic but interesting “Mauritius” was followed by the flashy but empty “Seminar,” and now there’s “Dead Accounts,” the lazy and predictable comedy at the Music Box Theatre that wouldn’t even pass muster as a Lifetime movie. Indeed, its presence on the Great White Way would be inexplicable without film star Katie Holmes in the cast, in an undemanding role that any number of actors could have played. Having made a credible Main Stem debut four years ago in Simon McBurney’s controversial revival of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons,” Holmes definitely takes a step backward here."

OUCH

http://www.backstage.com/review/ny-theater/broadway/theresa-rebeck-dead-accounts-katie-holmes-nobert-leo-butz/
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 08:08pm
Poor Katie Holmes. How could either she or Norbert Leo Butz ever have chosen to be in such a hopelessly bad play?
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 08:46pm
LA Times is mostly negative:

"Rebeck, whose comedy "Seminar" was recently at the Ahmanson Theatre, is a prolific playwright with a facility, no doubt sharpened through her years as a TV writer and producer, for cooking up semi-satiric dramatic situations, seasoning them with up-to-the-minute social minutiae and concluding with a dollop of cautionary wisdom. She's not the supplest of dramatists, but she's a solid craftsman with worthy ideas who is turning out to be something of a Broadway regular.

"Dead Accounts" is her third play to reach the Great White Way, but the slapdash quality of the writing makes me wonder if she's in danger of becoming the female David Mamet — the playwright Broadway producers seem willing to gamble on no matter how flimsy the current script is. Rebeck's latest takes a while to set up, and when it finally gets going another issue comes to the fore: Are the characters meant to be comic targets or empathetic figures?"


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-dead-accounts-review-katie-holmes-20121130,0,1376784.story
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 09:11pm
Hollywood Reporter is mixed to negative:

"The play, however, suffers from the same shortcomings that often cramp the theater work of Rebeck, a veteran TV writer whose credits include NYPD Blue, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Smash, a series she created but was cut loose from by NBC after season one. Dead Accounts is all surface polish and minimal depth. It has lively dialogue, well-drawn characters and a smattering of smart observations about contemporary life. But it never acquires thematic coherence. The set-up is capable if a little unhurried, but the payoff is negligible, too often stuffing overworked wisdom into its characters’ mouths to make points upon which the writer fails to expand."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/dead-accounts-theater-review-395510
SondheimFan5
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/10
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 09:19pm
How could Alan Rickman have chosen a play such as Seminar? Sometimes people see potential when it is just on the page. Or if there's enough money involved.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 09:21pm
The AP is mixed to negative:

"Rebeck, who created the first season of NBC's "Smash" and several well-received plays including "Seminar" and "Mauritius," has stumbled a bit with "Dead Accounts," a love letter to the hardworking, plainspoken Midwest, but one that lacks the sharpness and depth of her previous work.

Too often Rebeck's insights come in the form of clunky fortune cookie proverbs, as when one character says, "It's complicated. But anything true, is!" Or when another says: "Religion and money are just the dumb things we use to plug up the hole in our hearts because we're so afraid of dying."

...

But "Dead Accounts" doesn't really resolve anything or really end. It just sort of peters out, its momentum lost and none of its issues resolved. There's a halfhearted, last-second attempt to bring grace to Jack, but it's more of a Hail Mary-type pass, one born out of desperation. At the play's end, it feels like the audience itself should be handed quarts of ice cream as a commiserative olive branch."


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gFjjnfKNE75fPq_Q2ieOt_y-39fA?docId=6b5f47454ecd417c997075c5019d4eac
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 09:23pm
Entertainment Weekly is mixed with a B-:
"...With the exception of Jack, though, the characters are as thin as old dish towels. Holmes, effortlessly sympathetic in an underwritten role as a dithering thirtysomething, tears into a populist rant against banks ('They've been behaving very badly and they act like it doesn't matter') and flirts playfully with Jack's still-in-Ohio high school pal Phil (Josh Hamilton). Though the willowy Holmes may not be plausible as a diet-conscious regular gal, that may change by the end of the show's limited run, given all the chili dogs and ice cream she consumes on stage.

To some, Rebeck, whose Broadway comedy Seminar ran for seven months last season, is best known for NBC's Smash, the campy inside-Broadway drama that she created (and subsequently left). The first act of Dead Accounts plays like a claustrophobically staged TV pilot, goosed by the arrival of Jack's chilly wife (Judy Greer) and a big reveal just before intermission. But Act 2 is like the second episode of a 13-show season, ending on a mini-catharsis as modest as a churchgoing Midwesterner. A full season (or further re-writing) might have allowed Rebeck to flesh out her promising setup, but this wisp of a show pays steep penalties for premature withdrawal. "


http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20364394_20651312,00.html
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 09:24pm
Newsday is negative:

"Even the wondrous Jayne Houdyshell -- in hair curlers, no less -- can't make the Catholic-mother cliche seem real, Judy Greer is bizarrely inelegant as Jack's estranged, rich New York wife, but Josh Hamilton has a quiet sweetness as Jack's high school friend.

There's a once-over-lightly theme about faith and money, along with mass quantities of comfort food and absurd generalizations about what people in the Midwest think. The kitchen set is cartoon ugly. The second act gets suddenly sappy about trees. O'Brien tries to art-up the scene changes with moody lights and different versions of "Sentimental Journey." This doesn't help."


http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/theater/dead-accounts-review-a-slim-sitcom-1.4272049
AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 10:27pm
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
chanel
Featured Actor
joined:1/28/04
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 10:39pm
Villagevoice.com likes Norbert and Jayne, but not much else.

Finds it insubstantial and banal.

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/dailymusto/2012/11/dead_accounts.php
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 10:47pm
"How could Alan Rickman have chosen a play such as Seminar?"

I was wondering the same thing about Jack O'Brien with this play. Isn't there some Shakespeare or a new musical somewhere he should be doing?
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 11:02pm
I'm glad Brantley was positive towards Katie. She's very good considering what she has to work with. Maybe after these reviews, Rebeck will realize se needs to take longer than an hour to write her next play.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 11:12pm
Maybe after these reviews, Rebeck will realize se needs to take longer than an hour to write her next play.

Or better yet, maybe she will realize that writing plays maybe isn't her calling...
theatreguy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/31/03
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 11:12pm
Hopefully O'Brien can return to form with The Nance in the spring. Everything he's done since The Coast of Utopia (Impressionism, Catch Me If You Can, Love Never Dies and now Dead Accounts) has been lackluster.
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 11:25pm
Matt Windman is one of the worst theater critics in the business , he seems to hate 9 out of every 10 shows he sees.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/29/12 at 11:41pm
^

Honestly, are there more than one in ten good shows produced nowadays?
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/30/12 at 12:20am
Sadly plays like The Whale won't be seen by half of Dead Account's audience.
aaronb
Broadway Star
joined:6/3/12
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/30/12 at 01:18am
It's a pretty lukewarm play--I think I liked it more than most. Rebeck really isn't a bad writer, she's just not an especially good one.
My review of DEAD ACCOUNTS
Check out my theater blog, http://www.scribicide.com
NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/30/12 at 01:22am
After departing “Smash,” the television series she created that looks with fluttering heart at the making of a Broadway musical, Theresa Rebeck apparently has changed her mind about New York City, judging from her inconsequential and oddly hostile new comedy, “Dead Accounts.”... I did perk up every time Katie Holmes said the word "divorce," which was frequent




Dead Accounts Review: Slight, Odd Hate Letter to New York
Updated On: 11/30/12 at 01:22 AM
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/30/12 at 07:18am
I keep thinking, why isn't something like the acidly funny, wildly original BECKY SHAW by Gina Gionfriddo on Broadway instead? Five brilliantly written roles and a most satisfying little story filled with surprises.(Holmes might've attached her name to that script.) This commissioned piece arrives more or less out of nowhere, with no discernible track record, rather like the old days when NY awaited the next Simon, or boulevard comedy, i.e. CACTUS FLOWER and FORTY CARATS. Seems odd to invest in play that doesn't have major out of town/regional street cred.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
DEAD ACCOUNTS Reviews
Posted: 11/30/12 at 08:24am
"This commissioned piece arrives more or less out of nowhere, with no discernible track record, rather like the old days when NY awaited the next Simon, or boulevard comedy, i.e. CACTUS FLOWER and FORTY CARATS."

Neil Simon certainly had a track record, as did those two plays.


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