Of Mice and Men Previews

Keiichi2
Chorus Member
joined:3/1/14
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/19/14 at 03:10am
The first preview starts tonight! Really anticipating this show, so looking forward to hearing the reactions here.
GreasedLightning
Featured Actor
joined:2/11/14
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/19/14 at 10:26am
Did anyone rush this morning?
n2nbaby
Featured Actor
joined:10/22/10
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/19/14 at 12:44pm
Can't wait to see this in June! Also, if anyone stage doors can you tell what it is like? I am really, REALLY hoping to meet James Franco after the show. :P
Keiichi2
Chorus Member
joined:3/1/14
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/19/14 at 06:44pm
So, is anyone going tonight, or sometime this week?
theatergoer3
Understudy
joined:4/13/13
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/19/14 at 07:34pm
Exicted to see reactions when someone goes. Hoping someone goes tonight.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/19/14 at 11:42pm
Damn. What is with this season and its abundance of brilliant performances by leading males. And this play has not one, but two! James Franco is a natural on the stage and his performance felt so lived-in and real. You could really feel the time and craft he put into it, but without making you feel the toils of his labor.

I think O'Dowd has the tougher of the two roles, and I had a discussion with my friends at intermission about what is really going on with Lenny, but his second act is VERY strong, especially the scene with Leighton Meester in the barn.

George claims that Lenny is slow because he was kicked in the head by a horse (which of course sent me down a wormhole to Clara and "Let's Walk," and I had to force myself to snap back to the play at hand!) From my memories of the novella I always pictured Lenny as simply slow- not mentally retarded or having down syndrome, but just a gentle giant with a low IQ. O'Dowd definitely seemed to playing Lenny as if there was a genetic component to his slowness. Whatever he was doing, it won me over by the end.

Going into the theater I have to confess I was most excited to see Miss Blair Waldorf live and in person! She's very beautiful, and as I mentioned, her big scene played nicely. Her appearances in act one felt a little rushed, but maybe it was just first preview jitters and she'll settle in the part. She could up the flirting factor, almost to an embarrassing/desperate level.

The play is long and honestly you could probably read the novella faster than watch the production. Still, Steinbeck writes very realistic dialogue and captures what daily life for these people really is like. The final scene is riveting and leaves you with something to think about when exiting the theater.



Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/19/14 at 11:54pm
I most excited about Shaipario (sp?) how was her directing?
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:08am
Shapiro's direction is very natural and focuses on the actors rather than stage trickery. (The set is nice, but doesn't wow like the Motherfvcker set did.) The plot is very thin and she lets the drama build with a slow burn.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Updated On: 3/20/14 at 12:08 AM
batchels
Swing
joined:2/27/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:14am
What was the running time tonight?
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:15am
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd are highly impressive in a strong play that is not without some longueurs. Jim Norton is expert, as always, as are the direction, design, and lighting.


EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:19am
"The play is long and honestly you could probably read the novella faster than watch the production. "

Makes sense. I remember when I did the play in high school being amazed at how it basically is the novella--Steinbeck apparently always intended the book to read like a play and so didn't do much with the adaptation...
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:21am
That's cool that he adapted that. Just always assumed it was someone else. I'll have to check it out. You've convinced me. And I honestly don't know the show very well except for the "American Dad" parody episode.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:23am
It started over 10 minutes late and I was on the street by 10:35.

Oh, and how could I forget to mention the true drama of the evening...

There was seating issue in the balcony where someone was in the wrong seat and a couple of latecomers couldn't sit down because of it. The ushers were absolutely disruptive and obnoxious about it, completely ruining the second scene for everyone around me.

When it quickly became apparent that this situation was not going to be easily resolved, they should have waited until intermission to sort it out. Either that or discuss it in the stairwell with the affected parties. It was a mess and almost caused me to walk out and ask for tickets to another performance.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:25am
RippedMan, As Eric indicates, the play is exactly the novella thrown up on stage. You could just see the play and then be able to go back to high school English and pass the pop quiz without having done the reading assignment.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:37am
That's good to know. I'd rather see this than read it - no offense Steinbeck but "the Red Pony?!" c'mon. That's what I had to read in high school.

It seems such a weird choice of a show to do, but hey, i'm into it. It seems very "regional summer stock"
GreasedLightning
Featured Actor
joined:2/11/14
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:41am
Hey Whizzer - I'm assuming that you were sitting in the balcony from your story, and I was wondering what the view was like from there? I have my tickets for mid-April and I was wondering how the Balcony was going to for this particular show. The Longacre is one of my favorite theaters, particularly because I've never had a problem no matter where I've sat. Thanks in advanced!
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:46am
The view from the balcony is great. It doesn't feel disconnected from the stage like those at the Walter Kerr or Palace. That said, you must be careful not to get stuck behind one of those blasted poles.

The Longacre is usually such a flop house that you can move around to get a clear view, but tonight appeared to be sold out.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
GreasedLightning
Featured Actor
joined:2/11/14
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 12:53am
Thanks! Any seating advice as to where to avoid those poles?
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 01:03am
I think if you're in the first four rows or so you will be in front of the poles, and if you're on the sides then they won't obstruct your view no matter how far back you sit.

Honestly, I would just swing by the box office and talk to them about what seats will give you a clear view.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
A Director
Broadway Star
joined:12/18/07
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 01:12am
A little theatre history lesson is in order. A literary agent showed the galley proofs of the novel to Beatrice Kaufman with the hope for a film version. Bea read it and showed it to her husband, George S. and suggested the novel be turned into a play. George agreed and suggested Bea acquire the stage rights. She did. Kaufman wasn't familiar with the setting and the characters, so he asked Steinbeck to do the stage adaptation. When the two member meet in person at Kaufman's farm, George helped refine the script. Kaufman directed the original production which was a success. It won the New York Drama Critics award.
Keiichi2
Chorus Member
joined:3/1/14
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 03:22am
Thanks for the great reporting, Whizzer! You've actually made me more excited to see this production than I was before.

Man, I wish my theater trip was sooner than 13 weeks away...
ak72090
Stand-by
joined:12/3/13
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 06:08am
Im also very happy to hear the good news. Cant wait for May 18!
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 07:58am
ow was Leighton, i'm almost afraid to ask....
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 08:10am
I mentioned Leighton's performance...I thought she was good, though she rushed her lines in act one. She could take her time to flirt and throw herself at the men a little more. Her work in act two was better and the scene with Lenny in the barn was very good.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
ArtMan
Broadway Legend
joined:9/10/08
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 08:17am
Whizzer, I have tickets in the balcony, Row E, Seat 114. Seat is first seat, on the aisle in center. I don't have a pole do I? You mentioned first four rows....I don't go until June, but wanted to know. Thanks in advance.
ArtMan
Broadway Legend
joined:9/10/08
Of Mice and Men Previews
Posted: 3/20/14 at 08:17am
Whizzer, I have tickets in the balcony, Row E, Seat 114. Seat is first seat, on the aisle in center. I don't have a pole do I? You mentioned first four rows....I don't go until June, but wanted to know. Thanks in advance.

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