Friday, May 6, 2011
The People in the Picture *
When the best the critics can say about a play is that it is "well-meaning," take it as a warning that it's not likely to be a great night. Such is the case with this new musical at Roundabout's Studio 54. There is plenty of drama inherent in the story of a Holocaust survivor succumbing to Alzheimer's, but the book by Iris Rainer Dart is a lumpy mix of soap opera and shtick, punctuated my songs by Mike Stoller & Artie Butler with banal lyrics by Dart. Bad taste dips to a new low with a dance number set in the Warsaw Ghetto. The literal-minded set by Riccardo Hernandez consists of picture frames -- lots of picture frames. Leonard Foglia directed. Star Donna Murphy escapes with her reputation intact, but just barely. The running time is 2 1/2 hours with intermission. It seemed longer.