Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews CLOSING APRIL 4??

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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews CLOSING APRIL 4??#1
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:02am
They're in. The first one I read is by John Simon who pans it in every way possible from the writing to the acting:

We are inundated with affected archaisms, baby talk, blind items of juvenile malice, ceremonious circumlocutions, cutesiness galore, hyperbole and lip-smackingly savored puns.



John Simon, Bloomberg Press
Updated On: 3/11/10 at 12:02 AM
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#2
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:07am
And then Ben Brantley from The NY Times hates it too...

It’s the sound of two astute, talented and probably miscast performers trying hard to convince themselves and their audience that really, honestly, this is all so much fun.
Ben Brantley, NY Times
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#2
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:09am
Brantley doesn't hate it. He criticizes the bad but does highlight some good moments. It's negative, but far from a Brantley pan.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#3
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:15am
I just re-read the Brantley review and didn't see much good in it, except the words "vaguely promising," some jokes are "eminently quotable," and Lithgow and Ehle are a "formidable team."
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#4
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:20am
Sandy MacDonald of Theatermania really liked it:

The script for Douglas Carter Beane's latest comedy, Mr. & Mrs. Fitch, now making its world premiere at Second Stage under Scott Ellis' direction, consists mostly of warp-speed badinage. But the words are of so entertaining a caliber -- and so gloriously delivered by stars John Lithgow and Jennifer Ehle -- that audiences likely won't mind the play's lack of forward motion.


Sandy MacDonald, Theatermania
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#5
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:27am
Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter was disappointed. He liked some of the funny lines, but not the play itself. This review is pretty much how I saw it too.

But the characters are far too smug and self-satisfied with their witticisms to prove appealing. Lithgow, with his seasoned comic chops, comes off well, especially because his Mr. Fitch reveals vulnerability. But Ehle, despite her elegance and charm (or perhaps even because of it), struggles with a character to which she's not ideally suited.

The play is intended to be little more than a trifle, and on that level it succeeds. But it's hard not to wish that the playwright had been a little more ambitious with such potentially rich comic material.


And with that I am going to bed...exhausted.

Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
Updated On: 2/23/10 at 12:27 AM
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#6
Posted: 2/23/10 at 8:19am
Brantley's is spot-on, for once.
"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
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#7
Posted: 2/23/10 at 8:32am
I'm a little confused by so many comments regarding how "unlikeable" the characters themselves are. Sure. I found that to be much of the point of the entire play. Who wants to "like" people like this? And why should liking or admiring them be necessary to enjoy the play? Of course they are shallow and vain and egotistical and all the rest. To me that's why it was so much fun to watch. (Just like Mr. Brantley's comparison to Nick and Nora Charles or the very unlikeable and self centered but funny couple in Private Lives). I for one enjoy unlikeable people shown at their worst as they try to amuse themselves. Sort of like being fascinated with the obnoxious drunk making a fool of himself at a party. That's entertainment too.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#8
Posted: 2/23/10 at 10:06am
I like unlikeable people too as long as they get some kind of comeuppance, comical or otherwise.

By the way, after reading a bunch more reviews, it seems some things got added since the preview I saw. There were no monologues explaining these characters more fully, and I didn't notice a pronounced bisexuality in Lithgow's character. No amount of window dressing though could cover the bareness of that plot.

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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#9
Posted: 2/23/10 at 10:20am
I was at the second week of previews, and Mr. Fitch being bisexual was definitely a plot point. How early did you see it, Sally?
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#10
Posted: 2/23/10 at 10:28am
How would you compare this play to Little Dog Laughed?
I loved Little Dog, but skeptical about seeing this one.
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#11
Posted: 2/23/10 at 10:45am
I saw it first week of previews. When he went to get the Viagra pill I thought it was just because he was old.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#12
Posted: 2/23/10 at 10:48am
I enjoyed this one more than most people, but it pales in comparison to Little Dog, which is one of my all-time favorites.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#13
Posted: 2/23/10 at 11:20am
The bisexuality was clear from the start. The editor who calls references her as being a "fag hag" and the point was clear why, and there were other mentions about his male to male escapades, including when she talks about first meeting him.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#14
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:13pm
"Brantley's is spot-on, for once."

Brantley is usually spot-on. And did you actually READ the review, bjh? It's definitively a pan.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#15
Posted: 2/23/10 at 12:44pm
^Yes, I did. And while most of it is negative, he says that there are definitely some good zingers in the writing. If this were another critic, I would consider it a pan, but when Brantley has his claws out it can get REALLY ugly. We've definitely seen harsher reviews from him. Like I said, I would classify this one as negative from him, but not as a pan.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#16
Posted: 2/23/10 at 5:08pm
To be honest, the bisexual references, except for the fact that she met him when he was with another guy, went over my head. Just missed it I guess.

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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#17
Posted: 2/24/10 at 9:26am
"I'm a little confused by so many comments regarding how "unlikeable" the characters themselves are. Sure. I found that to be much of the point of the entire play. Who wants to "like" people like this? And why should liking or admiring them be necessary to enjoy the play? Of course they are shallow and vain and egotistical and all the rest. To me that's why it was so much fun to watch. (Just like Mr. Brantley's comparison to Nick and Nora Charles or the very unlikeable and self centered but funny couple in Private Lives). I for one enjoy unlikeable people shown at their worst as they try to amuse themselves. Sort of like being fascinated with the obnoxious drunk making a fool of himself at a party. That's entertainment too."


Apparently, more than a few people, both on this board, and among the critical fraternity, did not find this to be "entertainment too."

And it's not limited to these characters being unlikeable. Yes, unlikeable they are, but so too are they unfunny, unbelievable, and not in the slightest bit entertaining. And so too is the dialogue exruciatingly arch, forced, and unfunny, the plot lame, slipshod and a complete bust-- well, this was all spelled out in the reviews.

You like this play. You found the dialogue as witty as that in "Present Laughter." Well, all the more power to you.

But why is it so difficult for you to understand or accept that others do not? They've given you more than enough explanations as to why.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#18
Posted: 2/24/10 at 10:28am
After Eight, most critics agreed with you, which I thought they would.

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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#19
Posted: 2/24/10 at 12:04pm
Stage Door Sally:

Yes, this time the critics did agree with me, which surprised me, because I thought they were going to give it raves (just like they do to everything else I hate!) :)

So you were right in your prediction on this one, and I was wrong.

Anyhow, let's hope we both get to see better plays than this in the future. And that the two performers in it get to appear in plays worthy of their talents.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#20
Posted: 2/24/10 at 12:28pm
Do you know who REALLY took offense at it? Not Brantley, not Simon, but none other than Cindy Adams.

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/not_like_any_gossip_columnist_know_0PNU3mK1jf6a9Qey2g9uqJ

My favorite is referring to the art of gossip as a 'narrow art form'. I'd say it was downright skinny! :)
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#21
Posted: 2/24/10 at 12:45pm
I got a good laugh reading Cindy Adams's review. It was dead on.

I love Cindy Adams. Now there's a gossip columnist worth her salt. And there's more humor in one of her columns than in anything in "Mr. & Mrs. Fitch."
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#22
Posted: 2/24/10 at 5:34pm
You like this play. You found the dialogue as witty as that in "Present Laughter." Well, all the more power to you.

But why is it so difficult for you to understand or accept that others do not? They've given you more than enough explanations as to why.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If that first comment was directed at me, please go back and read my post. That is not what I said -- you're twisting and exaggerating.

And regarding the second, why on earth would you suggest I don't understand or accept others for not liking it? I certainly do understand. Is there some reason I'm not allowed to explain why I enjoyed it while others explain why they didn't? But it seems for some reason it is YOU who is totally unable to accept WHY I did enjoy it. It works two ways! It's always so funny that someone criticizes another person for not understanding or agreeing with their position simply because they don't understand or agree with theirs!
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#23
Posted: 2/24/10 at 6:13pm
On February 2 you wrote:

"I honestly found much of the Fitch dialogue to be AS witty as Coward's, and that's a lot coming from me who adores Coward."

These are your words. Tell me what I'm twisting.


Today you wrote:

"I'm a little confused by so many comments regarding how "unlikeable" the characters themselves are."

Please tell me how "I'm a little confused" conveys understanding.

In any case, I'm totally cool with your liking this play. As I said, all the more power to you.
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Mr. & Mrs. Fitch reviews#24
Posted: 2/24/10 at 6:26pm
If you don't understand the difference between "I found much of the dialogue to be as witty. . ." and "you found THE dialgue as witty. . . " Well, I just can't help you to understand why that is exaggerating and twisting.

And regarding the "confusion" please note I was NOT confused that someone would find the characters unlikeable -- that is very understandable -- but rather why finding characters unlikeable should necessarily translate to NOT liking the show. There are plenty of plays that people love that have only unlikeable characters. Get the difference?

I get the impression that you are unable to even see what I'm questioning or saying simply because I enjoyed the show and you didn't. All you really seem to want to do is insist that I can't understand how some people wouldn't like it. That is way off base. I know that people not only have various tastes and but certainy different senses of humor. I have not criticized anyone for not liking the play, but you seem to be criticizing me for liking it and/or explaining why I did.