Mr. Burns @ Playwrights

RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 12:45am
Did anyone see the first preview? I'm kind of anxious to hear about it. It sounds kind of dull, but kind of interesting?
Lavieboheme3090
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/04
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 03:25am
I was there tonight. Personally I thought it was an edge of your seat thriller that will keep you guessing till the very end, and also an incredible commentary of our obsession with post apocalyptic culture. With a second act that was heart breaking and hysterical all at the same time. Fantastic performances all around, and kudos to Playwrights for pulling off such a difficult and powerful piece.
RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 11:39am
Hm. Now I'm intrigued. I read an article where they talk about how the first act is just them all sitting around a campfire trying to recall a Simpson's episode. Which, you know, sounds kind of boring.
Luv2goToShows
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/09
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 12:08pm
This is good to hear, I try not to have too high of expectations this way the let down is easier, but this does sounds promising. What is the run time?
Lavieboheme3090
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/04
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 12:40pm
It ran about 2 and half hours last night, but I imagine that they will shave some time off through previews.
BIG BALONEY
Chorus Member
joined:6/21/03
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 02:22pm
Sorry to say I couldn't get into this play at all. I wish then the best but it was to much for me to sit through because I couldn't care less.
dshnookie
Broadway Star
joined:9/15/07
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 03:25pm
I have to agree with Big Baloney, I felt the entire thing was a chore to sit through and very laborious for the actors - I feel bad they have to perform this 8x a week.

I'll give a description of how the show is structured for those interested, but frankly my facts may not be entirely correct. Having said that, *****SPOILERS******

Pre-show - You'll hear a non-Beyonce version of "Single Ladies", Eminem's "Lose Yourself" from 8 mile, before Britney's "Toxic" leads us into the start of the show.

Act 1 - after an apocalyptic event, a group of survivors sit around a camp fire trying to recollect The Simpsons' "Cape Feare" episode to moderate success. At some point, a stranger joins them and the discussion shifts to comparing notebooks of names of other survivors they've come across to see if the stranger had encountered any of the group members' loved ones, followed by a discussion of the effect of the loss of electricity on nuclear plants and reactors, which have caused further devastation, before the The Simpsons conversation resumes.

Act 2 - :7 years later: The group from Act 1 + 1 new character have become an acting company who perform recollected episodes of The Simpsons + original aspirational commercials geared towards stimulating nostalgia and hope amongst audiences. In one commercial, there's a great emphasis on taking a hot bath, the consumption of food and drink. In another, there's a choreographed mash up of "chart hits" including the songs listed above and several others. The company is also in competition with other groups that are also performing recollected episodes of The Simpsons.

Intermission

Act 3 - :75 years later: The Simpsons' "Cape Feare" episode is recreated with all actors performing as a character from the show, infused with lyrics from the songs listed above. This act is pretty much sung throughout.

I think the piece spoke to what survivors bring to a society that is being rebuilt from their recollections, and the resilience of cultural influences but how those influences ultimately become skewed and altered because the facts aren't accurately preserved.

Essentially, it's like reviving a play but not having the original script and expecting the actors to recreate it through their memories of the source material.

The third act was by far the most visually interesting, yet looked amateurish compared to the first two acts. I think the show was hopeful, but its approach wasn't very effective.

Updated On: 8/24/13 at 03:25 PM
BIG BALONEY
Chorus Member
joined:6/21/03
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 04:08pm
Thank you for this excellent break down of Mr. Burns. If theatre was like this all the time; there would be short runs and few playhouses. These days cable stations are doing a far better job at better programing than live theatre in general. Yes, there are good shows out there, but not currently at playwrights.
RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 05:46pm
This just sounds like a hot mess. I mean, where's the story? Where's the momentum to keep us, the audience, engaged? Sounds terrible.

What's the design like?
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 07:59pm
I know the big baloney .Someone mentioned edge of the seat. The BB was on the edge of his seat so he could beat a hasty retreat @ intermission
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 08:09pm
Maybe it's my academic side, but this sounds like it might be INTERESTING more than GOOD.

The subject matter- oral transmission of and reinvention of manufactured culture into folklore- fascinates me. Whether or not it is done well is a different story indeed. I remember an episode of the rather bizarre stoner-cartoon "Superjail" that used to be on, which had a very strange plot in which a future society has mixed bits of its own past with "Watership Down" to create an alternate history for themselves that has, over time, come to be regarded as fact.
Lavieboheme3090
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/04
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 09:03pm
The show is certainly not your typical fair, and personally I find it exciting whenever I can find a play that takes us out of the four walls of house with 4 people making clever quips back and forth to each other for 90 minutes. So no it certainly isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea.

I really liked that act 1 scene 1 raised more questions than gave us answers about our troop, and that act 1 scene 2 held up a mirror to contemporary pop culture showed us what happens when we eliminate all the smoke and mirrors and synthesizers, but we still crave a need for mass entertainment. To take what our culture is now and distill it down into how theater was performed for thousands of years before the invention of electricity is an interesting academic question sure, but I think one that is executed brilliantly with this play.
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 09:30pm
I'm a bit confused. Is this a musical or a play? I thought Michael Friedman did the music for this. Sorry if the answer was in the detailed explanation of the show but I don't read things like that.
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
Lavieboheme3090
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/04
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 09:34pm
I don't want to spoil anything so I will just say that the second act contains Friedman's scoring.
RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 10:29pm
I get it. And I too love when a play is more than just 4 people bitching in apartment.

But I also hate plays that think they're being ultra-clever when they aren't. I don't really want to sit through a whole act where people just sing pop songs. I think they did the same thing but better in "God's Ear."
Mattbrain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/23/05
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/24/13 at 10:38pm
Please tell me they at least do the bit where Sideshow Bob steps on the rake!
Butters, go buy World of Warcraft, install it on your computer, and join the online sensation before we all murder you. --Cartman: South Park ATTENTION FANS: I will be played by James Barbour in the upcoming musical, "BroadwayWorld: The Musical."
mamaleh
Broadway Star
joined:5/11/04
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 12:41am
SPOILERS ***** SPOILERS

SPOILERS ***** SPOILERS -- sort of

Two rakes were tantalizingly lying on the left side of the stage (the audience left), and I it looked as though Sideshow Bob was going to do what I'd been waiting for him to do. But.... OK, I can't bring myself spoil it; you'll have to see--if you can manage to sit through 2 hours and 20 minutes of "huh"? And that "Cape Fear" episode of The Simpsons is my all-time favorite. I could imagine the head-scratching going on with those totally unfamiliar with that episode.

My sum-up of the first preview Friday evening: Fascinating concept about pop culture and mythology that basically goes nowhere after what seems like an eternity of repetitive, self-conscious, "aren't I clever" posturing and Greek chorusing. Another annoyance: one major character speaks in such an odd manner as to make it difficult to decipher what he's saying sometimes.

I like that this is a show that's definitely drawn beyond the usual lines. I just didn't like its execution.
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 01:06am
Loved it, myself. Problematic and maybe a bit pretentious, but really fascinating.
Cape Twirl of Doom
Broadway Legend
joined:11/2/05
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 01:12am
Another annoyance: one major character speaks in such an odd manner as to make it difficult to decipher what he's saying sometimes.

I'm guess you're talking about Matthew Maher's character. That's actually how he speaks, he has some kind of speech impediment. I've now seen him in three different shows and it's always difficult to understand all that he says.

I really enjoyed the performance tonight! It's clearly going to be a polarizing show and I can definitely see why someone would hate it. There were many walkouts tonight. That said, I very much enjoyed it and thought the first act was very funny and the second act surprisingly poignant.
"It's Phantom meets Hamlet... Phamlet!"
mamaleh
Broadway Star
joined:5/11/04
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 07:36am
I didn't realize that; I thought it was a directorial or actor's choice. Thanks for that bit of info. While it doesn't change the intermittent comprehensibility factor, I applaud the hiring of actors of all abilities. (Not just being PC here; I have an impediment myself.)

Updated On: 8/26/13 at 07:36 AM
RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 12:39pm
Well, yeah, it's nice for him to get hired... but if you can't understand what he's saying then what's the point? I'm sure there are other actors out there who would have loved the chance.
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 12:56pm
I understood every word Matt said in both this and The Flick from the back of the house and he is fast becoming one of my favorite actors in New York.

It's nice to see a consistently-working actor in this city who remotely resembles someone you might meet in real life.
Updated On: 8/25/13 at 12:56 PM
DressedInYourPajamas
Chorus Member
joined:7/7/12
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 05:20pm
I just saw this this afternoon and thought it was spectacular. Washburn is such a fresh, unique, and interesting voice and her play is enrapturing. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but it definitely makes you think and is incredibly interesting, whether you end up enjoying it or not. See it.
DressedInYourPajamas
Chorus Member
joined:7/7/12
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 05:21pm
I just saw this this afternoon and thought it was spectacular. Washburn is such a fresh, unique, and interesting voice and her play is enrapturing. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but it definitely makes you think and is incredibly interesting, whether you end up enjoying it or not. See it.
DressedInYourPajamas
Chorus Member
joined:7/7/12
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 05:21pm
I just saw this this afternoon and thought it was spectacular. Washburn is such a fresh, unique, and interesting voice and her play is enrapturing. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but it definitely makes you think and is incredibly interesting, whether you end up enjoying it or not. See it.
RentBoy86
Broadway Legend
joined:2/15/05
Mr. Burns @ Playwrights
Posted: 8/25/13 at 05:51pm
I think I'm def. going to rush this. Seems weird, but I might be into it.

What's the design like?

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