Plaza Suite – Emerson Colonial Theatre – February 2020

So for starters, I get very nervous in theaters. I’m never sure why. There’s never a specific reason in my head, I just am anxious before and sometimes during a lot of the shows I go to. (Not all, which is more weirdness I know. And usually more so in Boston than in New York. But whatever.)

But I wasn’t feeling that way at this show. I love the Colonial. It’s easily my favorite theater in Boston. So I go in to this show all calm and happy (and, admittedly skeptical that Sarah Jessica Parker can pull this off) and about two thirds into the first act we have so much activity in the mezzanine that they had to pause the show (to the absolutely obvious annoyance of Matthew Broderick. SJP, on the other hand, seemed more upset that the audience was being inconvenience and kept apologizing). Turns out there was a medical emergency and after less than a ten minute break the show resumed with Broderick and Parker not missing a beat.  Still, the initial obvious commotion and the brief lack of an explanation from the theater had me freaked out for a bit and it took me through intermission to get back into my theater-enjoying frame of mind.

But I got there. And, honestly, I’m still thinking about the show. I expected Matthew Broderick to be good. He’s done Neil Simon before and I was convinced he’d treat one of my favorite Simon playS well. But I had my doubts about Sarah Jessica Parker’s ability to make the characters work. And I’m a jackass because holy cow she nailed all three parts! She absolutely ran away with the first act. Her character does all the heavy lifting in that act anyway but she just took OFF with it. The guy next to me, whose wife seemingly had no interest in what was happening, turned to me at one point and whispered “Her comedic timing is PERFECT!” and it was. And I’m still a little surprised.

One of my concerns was that I’d be watching the Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker show. And if I’m being honest, Broderick is….Broderick. Don’t get me wrong, he was wonderful and in act three (in my opinion, one of the funniest things ever written for the stage) he at one point had me crying/laughing. But you were fully aware the entire time you were watching him that he’s MATTHEW BRODERICK.  Not so with Sarah Jessica Parker.

I mean I was so annoyed initially with the casting that I almost didn’t buy a ticket. Not that I dislike SJP, I just couldn’t see her convincingly portraying these three characters as they were written. And I was so freaking wrong.

I left there seriously believing she’s getting a Tony nomination, if not win, for this show.

SO, yes, this one was everything they promised and more. I loved it. If I had the time I would have gone back to see it again.

Admittedly, I’m happy about these out-of-town tryouts coming back to Boston lately. Saving me some bank where I don’t have to see them in New York!


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