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SONGS INDEX

SONGS

Below please find a list of many of my songs — funny, serious, satirical, dark — with links to their lyrics on this website. Many of these songs were performed on my radio program, Dave’s Gone By, or may be heard on my youtube channel.
For more information, including rights and permissions, please contact me at davesgoneby_at_aol.com.

All songs (c) by David Lefkowitz, unless otherwise noted.

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ALEPH BAIS (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6b
(a fat-free parody tune from a Rabbi’s perspective when he teaches Bar Mitzvah bochers their Haftorah portions)

ALMOST A SONNET (1981): http://wp.me/pzvIo-O
(a lightly serious love song with a nod to the bard)

AMAGANSETT PRINCESS (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-T
(a fairly serious song about a girl looking for all the wrong things in all the wrong ways)

ANAL DREIDEL (2007, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3y
(Thanks to a new medical procedure, Rabbi Sol Solomon discovers a new toy…and talent)

THE ANTLERS ARE BLOWING IN THE WIND (aka “Moose You Around”) (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2g
(An absurdly romantic waltz)

THE BAGEL BOAT SONG (1985, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-13
(A “Banana Boat Song” parody, kosher-style, which was performed in the stage play, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon)

THE BALLAD OF PETE TOWNSHEND (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3A
(A tune penned when The Who balladeer was having legal troubles with the interwebs)

THE BALLAD OF TEENY PEENIE (1985, co=author: Scott Rodolitz): http://wp.me/pzvIo-16
(A silly song. Infantile even)

BAXTER HOLVOE’S VOLVO SONG (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8v
(A creepily comic ballad for a sociopathic seducer. Ah, love!)

BEFORE THE GOLDRUSH (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-19
(A semi-serious song about the way rock bands rise and crash.)

BEN GAZZARA (1994): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2d
(A deeply earnest lament about missing this fine actor — written many years before he’d actually died)

BETTER DO IT NOW (1984, auths: Scott Rodolitz, Jay Auerfeld, and Kevin Gerber): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9t
(Wish I’d written this catchy, sharp song about Long Island life, but I didn’t. My bandmates did.)

CAPTAIN LIFLANDER’S MADRIGAL (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3C
(A satirical tune about American exceptionalism and weaponry)

CAUGHT (w.t.c.o.h.c.) (1986): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1f
(A thoroughly reprehensible comic song about a young girl’s evening proclivities)

CHANUKAH WISHES (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3E
(A comic song about a Jewish boy’s true hopes for the Chanukah holiday)

CHERRY ON TOP (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1k
(A satirical tune mocking 1980s Long Island youth culture, such as it was)

COMING AND GOING (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1q
(A downright depressing song about friendship and betrayal)

COMMUTED SENTENCE (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-e2
(A serious number about the, um, joys of commuting to and from NYC

CONSTIPATED (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6T
(A parody song about a poor woman whose stones aren’t rolling)

COVER’D WITH CRAP (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3G
(A comical and aptly disgusting sea shanty)

CRACK OF A WHITE MAN’S ASS (1992): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8t
(A song as anatomical as it is comical)

CRAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3I
(A song parody penned in the midst of the recession)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1u
(A song parody of Joe Cuba’s “Bang Bang” featuring a very bad mother)

DAYENU (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-46
(A Passover parody song that thanks God for…well, something)

DEAD AIR (1985, co-author: Scott Rodolitz): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1A
(A fairly serious tune about the ills of American radio)

DEAD BLOWFISH (2015): http://wp.me/pzvIo-49
(A parody of “Dead Puppies” dedicated, with apologies, to Miley Cyrus’s departed pet)

DEEP IN THE HEART OF DALLAS (2016): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4d
(In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, a darkly satirical song parody of “Deep in the Heart of Texas”)

A DINGO ATE MY BABY (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3t
(A darkly comical number, to be bellowed in a thick Aussie accent)

DO THE ONION (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9f
(A slow, gloomy dance for people who have no interest in dancing)

DO THE PHOENIX (1994): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2j
(A darkly satirical song instructing lucky teens on how they can die just like River Phoenix)

DON’T MESS WITH US (2003, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4h
(A plucky tune, loosely based on an old Yiddish melody, about Jews’ resiliency)

DON’T THINK TWICE, JUST GO (2009): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4m
(A song parody of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” dedicated to GWB)

DRINK TILL I’M DRUNK (2010): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2F
(A jolly Irish song about Irish activities)

ELEPHANT WOMAN WANT GO HOME (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8H
(An a cappella, call-and-response tune perfect for hauling…stuff)

ENEMA BLUES (1978): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5o
(A happily Elvis-ish tune about going with the flow)

EVERY DAY ON THE 5:09 (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1N
(A fairly serious song about enduring life on the Long Island Rail Road)

FLOWERS WEREN’T MEANT TO LAST (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4p
(The plaintive complaint of a singer-songwriter)

FRONTAL LOBOTOMY BLUES (1979 co-author: Scott Rodolitz, revised 2006): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1J
(With apologies to “Mannish Boy,” a sick tune about a sick tot)

FUN IN THE KITCHEN (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5r
(A sick calypso ditty that will not be a hit with PETA)

(I’M HAVING A) GAY CHRISTMAS (2004, co-author: Peter Fitzgerald): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4u
(A pervy nod to alternative holiday celebrations)

GO CIALIS (2014): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4A
(To the tune of “White Rabbit,” this pharmaceutical tribute rocks, um, harder)

HAPPY FOOT SONG
(see listing under MY FOOT)

HERE’S TO THE HIGH SCHOOL (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5t
(A bitter alma mater for bitter alma martyrs)

I KNOW WHAT GOYS LIKE (2012): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4G
(A parody tune, co-written with Rabbi Sol Solomon for his stage show, Shalom, Dammit!)

I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU (author: Scott Rodolitz, 1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dU
(A catchy tune about finding the right girl at the wrong time)

I WANNA HOLD YOUR STUMP (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5H
(Look ma, a Beatles song parody with no hands!)

I’M ME (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8K
(A jaunty tune celebrating the self)

I’M TOO SEXY (FOR MY PROSTATE) (2017, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-cN
(A parodic disco ditty about the Rabbi’s various ailments)

IS IT GOOD FOR THE JEWS (2004, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4J
(A Yiddishy ditty that asks the age-old question)

IT WAS AN ALL RIGHT DAY (2017, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-70
(a parody of Ice Cube’s “It was a Good Day” from a Jewish perspective.)

IT’S A STIFF (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4M
(a dark song parody, to “Let it Snow,” about a true New York story)

JEOPARDY KEN (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4P
(A song parody, to the Beatles’ “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill,” written to celebrate “Jeopardy” celeb Ken Jennings)

JERREE (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dx
(Jerry Lewis is no longer with us, but don’t tell that to the retarded boy who loves him…)

THE JERRY LEWIS TELETHON HOP (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dv
(Penned by Scott Rodolitz and Kevin Gerber, a mostly instrumental tribute to the nutty telethon host)

JOEY, THE SPASTIC KANGAROO (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4R
(A bouncy comic tune about an Aussie animal that bounces too freely)

KENNEDY CAR CAR (fka Song for Ted Kennedy) (1980): http://wp.me/pzvIo-de
(A folkie number about the chap acquitted)

KILLIN’ THE CANDIDATES (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5J
(A darkly comic look at the trigger happy)

THE KOSHER HOT DOG PICNIC (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-as
(A children’s folk song about–what else?–depravity)

LA-LA LAND (1988): http://wp.me/pzvIo-J
(A song parody of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” written specifically for a “Howard Stern Show” contest)

LADY LIBERTY (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5L
(A playful number about a statuesque lady)

LAMENT #9 (1982): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5P
(If John Lennon heard this song parody, he’d primal scream)

LOOK WHAT THEY DONE TO MY HEAD, MA (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4U
(With apologies to Melanie, a dark song parody for the age of terrorism)

M-O-T-H-E-R (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4Z
(Inspired by moms and Theodore Morse & Howard Johnson’s alphabetical tribute to them)

MADE IN THE USA (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5X
(With apologies to The Boss, a parody song of planned obsolescence)

MAKIN’ POOPIES (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4W
(A song parody for when you’re in the dumps)

THE MARRIAGE SONG (All You Do is Bitch) (2013): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3w
(A marital song parody of Lennon-McCartney’s “All You Need is Love”)

ME (1988): http://wp.me/pzvIo-20
(A joyfully comical-egocentrical tune)

MEM’RIES OF SCRANTON (1988): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9h
(A country-tinged, comical tune about family travels)

MICHAEL, ROW (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-65
(An environmentally conscious song parody)

MONSTERS OF THE WORLD (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-67
(A political song, both serious and ambivalent. Oh joy.)

MOOSE YOU AROUND (1985):
(see listed under The Antlers are Blowing in the Wind)

THE MOST OFFENSIVE SONG EVER WRITTEN (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7G
(No, really, it’s vile. I dare you…)

MY DOGGY’S CHRISTMAS GIFT (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-51
(A comical tune about how to keep your pet happy during the holidays)

MY FOOT (aka Happy Foot Song) (1990): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7C
(A comical marching tune about our neglected tootsies)

NADINE (written by Scott Rodolitz, Jay Auerfeld & Kevin Gerber; 1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dA
(A doo-wop number about teenage love…from behind)

NAPERVILLE (1989): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1V
(A comical tribute to a somewhat underrated Chicago suburb)

THE NIPPLE SONG (1980): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6s
(A celebration of all things nipular)

NIRVANITY (2002): http://wp.me/pzvIo-54
(A parody with all apologies to the late Kurt Cobain)

NOT A FRIEND (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6y
(A serious tune about the limits of platonics)

NOT THE CLAM BAR (1983): http://wp.me/pzvIo-da
(A Clash parody that chooses pastrami over prawns)

NOTHING IN THIS WORLD (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6C
(A seriously depressing song about about muddling through the mundane)

OH CUM ALL YOU FAITHFUL
(see listing under THE TWELVE PERVERSIONS OF CHRISTMAS)

OH DAT BEN (2015): http://wp.me/pzvIo-56
(A wry tribute to the early years of presidential candidate Ben Carson)

OH, MY LOVE (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-61
(A serious love song from a long time back)

ORGY BOY (1987): http://wp.me/pzvIo-22
(A joyfully depraved comic tune about naughty activities)

OY OY (2015, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-58
(A not-so-traditional Jewish hand-clapping song)

PISHES SWEETER THAN WINE (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5a
(A parody song about the fountain of aging)

THE PITY ME I’M POLISH POLKA (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5d
(Well, at least it’s not an oberek)

PSYCHO BLUES (2006): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1C
(A darkly comic tune about the activities of a psychopath. Not autobiographical)

PUBIC HAIR (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8M
(An ode to our nether feathers)

RABBI PEARL’S LAMENT (aka “The Schvartze Rubbed My Shmekel”) (1987, co-author Jeff Rothstein): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6G
(A comical cautionary tale for a man of soiled cloth)

RABBI SOL SOLOMON’S RABBINICAL REFLECTIONS THEME (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5h
(How the good Rabbi opens his sermons)

RAIN ON THE BORDERLINE (1986): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6K
(A bit of unhappiness, in serious song form)

THE RECTUM OF EDMUND FITZGERALD (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5l
(With apologies to Gordon Lightfoot and a lot of dead sailors, a dark parody tune inspired by a true Long Island travesty)

RING MY BELL (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-94
(A joyful number in Wild Man Fischer style)

SANDY DUNCAN’S EYE (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5x
(a rhythmic and visionary tribute)

SANTA QUITS (2012): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6h
(a mashup piece, in Buchanan & Goodman style, using short samples from other artists).

SANTASIA (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6m
(a not-safe-for-the-north-pole holiday poem about Santa’s depravity)

SEAMUS THE URINE MAN (1998): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6p
(An Irish tune, based on the true story of a Dublin shop owner with a unique bouquet)

SEW BUTTONS (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8Y
(A bit of pure absurdist whimsy, with sprinkle of Wild Man Fischer)

SEX WITH A CHICKEN (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9R
(A comical song for the bestial years of our lives)

SHAKING LIKE A MONKEY (1992): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1Q
(an absurdly happy comic tune about, well, doing the title)

SHEEP ARE MOIST (1982): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7J
(A comical, country-folk number that became the anthem of the band I was in at the time, The Moist Sheep)

THE SHIT SONG (2012, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6X
(A comic ditty about world religions penned for the stage play, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon)

SNIPER’S LULLABY (2002): http://wp.me/pzvIo-aE
(Written for my radio show, a song–to the tune of “Hobo’s Lullaby”–to celebrate the capture of the Beltway snipers)

SUGAR, SPICE, AND A VERY SHARP AXE (co-author, Scott Rodolitz; 1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dh
(Lizzie Borden has nothing on this girl)

SWIMAWAY (2005): http://wp.me/pzvIo-ax
(A parody song inspired by the 2004 Indonesian tsunami, yet another iteration of “Mbube/Wimoweh/The Lion Sleeps Tonight)”

TAKE YOUR UNDEROOS DOWN (The Rolf Harris Song) (2014): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7w
(A Rolf Harris parody…and pillory)

TEN MORAY EELS (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8B
(A strange poetic chant for those who find the little Indians too un-P.C.)

THE SCHVARTZE RUBBED MY SHMEKEL
(see listing under RABBI PEARL’S LAMENT)

THEN YOU’RE JEWISH (2012, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-73
(A comic ditty about modern Jewish life. The song is performed in the first act of the stage play, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon)

THIS ONE’S FOR YOU (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5j
(The second — yes, second — song I wrote about enemas…and hopefully not the last)

THE TRICKLE-DOWN LULLABY (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2a
(A darkly satirical number about a desperate man. The piece was written with stage directions and can be performed as a brief one-act solo)

THE TWELVE PERVERSIONS OF CHRISTMAS (aka “Oh Cum All Ye Faithful”) (1979, co-author: Scott Rodolitz): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6O
(The melody is traditional the exploits are not)

TUMOR IN MY HEAD (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8a
(A jaunty, non-autobiographical tune)

VEGETABLES ARE BAD FOR YOU (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7L
(A comical country song about mercy killin’. Yee haw)

WAKKA WAKKA BOOM BOOM PIG (2001): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9o
(Penned in Italy and dedicated to the man selling splat pigs there)

WALK ON THE WEIRD SIDE (1980): http://wp.me/pzvIo-do
(And you thought Lou Reed was kinky?)

WHAT AM I? (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8j
(A joyful song of the self)

WHEN I’M NINETY-THREE (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dq
(A parodic ode to decrepitude)

THE WHITE JEW BLUES (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7S
(Kind of an “oy is me” song for members of the tribe)

THE WORST SONG EVER WRITTEN (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7y
(A love song utilizing every possible cliche and groaner rhyme. Someone should sing it through a megaphone)

YESHIVA BOY (2011, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5U
(A bouncy Bob Seger parody that served as the opening number of Shalom Dammit!)

YOUR MEAT’S TOO BIG (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5A
(In Fats Waller parodies, size matters)

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THEATER REVIEW INDEX

THEATER REVIEWS

FISH IN THE DARK (Broadway, July 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cv

THE GIN GAME (Broadway, Dec. 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-c3

HAND TO GOD (Broadway, July 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cv

IF YOU EVER LEAVE ME, I’M GOING WITH YOU (Broadway, Sept. 2001)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cI

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG (Broadway, July 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-9X

THAT PHYSICS SHOW (off-Broadway, July 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bJ

Click the links for David Lefkowitz’s oeuvre, which he hopes you’ll loeuvre.

FEATURE STORIES:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/feature-stories/

INTERVIEWS & PROFILES
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/feature-stories/interviews-profiles/

PLAYS: Full Length:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/full-length-plays/
PLAYS: One-Acts:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/full-length-plays/

POEMS: Humorous:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/poems-humorous/

SONGS:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/songs-by-david-lefkowitz/

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
http://wp.me/pzvIo-ac

THEATER REVIEWS:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/theater-reviews/

INTERVIEWS & PROFILES

KAREN ALLEN (actress, May 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-aP

BOB BALABAN (actor-director, June 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cB

ANNE BASS (Lantern Theater executive producer, March 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bu

VALERIE BERTINELLI (actress, March 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-b0

LORRAINE BRACCO (actress, Nov. 2009):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2p

DIAHANN CARROLL (actress, Oct. 2008):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2r

PATTY DUKE (actress, Sept. 2009):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2x

SUSIE ESSMAN (actress, Dec. 2008):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2A

JULES FEIFFER (author-cartoonist, April 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-a8

CARRIE FISHER (actress, Oct. 2009):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2D

TONY GEORGAN (Merrick Theater founder, Feb. 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bX

SEAN GRENNAN (playwright, Nov. 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cc

BRUCE GROSSMAN (Cultural Arts Playhouse producer, March 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bU

CHRISTOPHER HACKERT (playwright, May 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bk

ALLISON JANNEY (actress, April 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-aV

BILLIE JEAN KING (athlete, Jan. 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-b5

TARMO KIRSIMAE (director, Feb. 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bX

CHRIS LEMMON (actor-singer, Oct. 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cl

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN (actress-singer, July 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-aK

KELLI O’HARA (actress, Dec. 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bq

JEFFREY SANZEL (Theater Three artistic director, Sept. 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bG

ALENA SMITH (playwright, June 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cB

JONATHAN TOLINS (playwright, May 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bM

A Band, A Butterfly, and a Bob: Broadway Greets the Autumn

by david lefkowitz

(This article is scheduled for publication in Long Island Pulse, Sept. 2017)

 

Last spring, as Tony voters for best musical pitted Come from Away vs. Dear Evan Hansen, most voters for off-Broadway awards had a simpler time of it: they chose The Band’s Visit. A small-scale tuner that debuted for two months at the Atlantic Theater Company, The Band’s Visit racked up best musical plaudits from the Outer Critics Circle, OBIEs, Lortels, and New York Drama Critics Circle.

Based on a gentle 2007 film about a group of Egyptian musicians accidentally stranded amongst wary Israelis in the Negev desert, Visit would seem to be an odd choice for musical adaptation—especially by the composer of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Full Monty. But David Yazbek and playwright Itamar Moses apparently found the perfect tone for a tuner that Hollywood Reporter theater critic Frank Scheck called a “delicately wistful and poignant chamber piece” that “could easily find receptive audiences in a smaller Broadway house.” Producers listened—The Band’s Visit, directed by David Cromer, will open Nov. 9 at the not-so-small Barrymore Theater. With stars Katrina Lenk and “Monk” maestro Tony Shalhoub expected to reprise their roles, Visit is the most strongly anticipated show of a relatively quiet fall Broadway season, but that doesn’t mean it’s alone.

Playgoers have to be curious about the upcoming revival of David Henry Hwang’s Tony-winning M. Butterfly (opening Oct. 7) because it’ll be staged by Julie Taymor in her first rialto assignment since Spider-Man—and third since a little show called The Lion King. No doubt the design will be captivating, as it promises to be in Farinelli and the King, an English drama that will bring Oscar and Tony-winner Mark Rylance back to Broadway in December. Like 2014’s celebrated Richard III and Twelfth Night, this new play—by Rylance’s wife, Claire van Kampen—will feature mostly natural lighting and music played on period instruments. The plot? Rylance plays an insomniac king who can fall asleep only when sung to by his favorite castrato. I think we can all relate to that.

Speaking of singing, one of the lovelier musicals of the 1990s was Ahrens and Flaherty’s Once on this Island, a bittersweet Caribbean fairytale that gets its first Broadway revival Dec. 3 at Circle in the Square. Michael Arden, who staged Deaf West Theater’s stunning Spring Awakening two years ago, will helm this tuner by the composers of Ragtime and Anastasia.

Shows coming in more under the radar include an English import, The Children, about nuclear engineers; Junk, about nasty capitalists; and J. B. Priestley’s Time and the Conways, about an American family on the downslide. So while next spring promises such mega-events as Harry Potter and Frozen, autumn won’t be entirely without wow factors. After all, Dec. 4 marks the Broadway debut of a certain porous ocean dweller who lives in a pineapple under the sea. Let’s see Bette Midler do that.

*

BYLINE:
David Lefkowitz hosts Dave’s Gone By (davesgoneby.com) on UNC Radio, co-publishes Performing Arts Insider, and founded TotalTheater.com. His comedy, Blind Date, recently played in Chennai, India.

 

– 30 –

 

 

FEATURE STORIES

Sept. 2017: A Band, A Butterfly, and a Bob – Broadway Greets the Autumn
(A preview of Broadway’s fall 2017 season)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bE

July 2017: Sometimes a Grain of Sand – Olivia Newton-John Reflects on Glory and Grief
(An interview with pop songstress and actress Olivia Newton John)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-aK

May 2017: Karen Allen and the World of Yes
(An interview with “Raiders” actress Karen Allen about her latest film project, “A Year by the Sea”)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-aP

May 2017: In Bloom – Christopher Hackert Gets his Theatrical Wish
(A profile of longtime Long Island florist–and playwright–Christopher Hackert)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bk

April 2017: The Ceiling’s the Limit: Jules Feiffer Collaborates on a New Musical
(An interview with Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer about his work on The Man in the Ceiling, a musical premiering at Long Island’s Bay Street Theater)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-a8

April 2017: To the Oval Office from the Bunion Derby: Allison Janney’s Slow Rise to Stardom
(An interview with “West Wing” and theater actress Allison Janney
http://wp.me/pzvIo-aV

March 2017: Spring on Broadway – Old Friends and Oddballs
(A preview of Broadway’s spring 2017 season)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-ba

March 2017: Valerie Bertinelli – Taking Life one Dish at a Time
(An interview with “One Day at a Time” and cooking-show star, Valerie Bertinelli)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-b0

Jan. 2017: Serving Love – Billie Jean King Still Winning for All of Us
(An interview with tennis legend and activist, Billie Jean King)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-b5

Dec. 2016: Kelli O’Hara on Living the Theater Life
(An interview with Tony-winning actress Kelli O’Hara)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bq

Nov. 2016: L.I.’s Lantern Still Burns Bright
(A look at Long Island’s 64-year-old Lanter Theater Company)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bu

Oct. 2016: Broadway’s Fall Shows Open on Their Own Terms
(A preview of Broadway’s fall 2016 season)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-by

Sept. 2016: Theater Three Starts a New Season without an Old Friend
(Jeffrey Sanzel, artistic director of Long Island’s Theater Three, reflects on the new season and the passing of longtime musical director Ellen Michelmore)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bG

May 2016: Aria Grande – Playwright Jonathan Tolins and his Fandom of the Opera
(Playwright Jonathan Tolins discusses his latest, A Forgotten Woman, premiering at Long Island’s Bay Street Theater)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bM

April 2016: Springtime in New York – Where Broadway is Blooming
(A preview of Broadway’s spring 2016 season)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bP

March 2016: A Chance to Shine: Syosset Dons a Shiny New CAP
(A chat with Bruce Grossman, artistic director of Syosset, Long Island’s Cultural Arts Playhouse)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bU

Feb. 2016: Women on the Verge – Daughters Arrives at the Merrick Theater
(A preview of Daughters, John Morgan Evans’s comedy-drama at Long Island’s Merrick Theater)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bX

Nov. 2015: The Tin Man Writes a Play Full of Heart
(A profile of playwright Sean Grennan on the eve of his drama, The Tin Woman, opening at Long Island Bay Street Theater)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cc

Oct. 2015: Lemmon’s Pledge
(An interview with actor-singer Chris Lemmon, son of legendary actor Jack Lemmon)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cl

Oct. 2015: Theatrical Island Hoppers
(A look at famous theater people born and/or raised on Long Island, including Alec Baldwin, Charles Ludlam, Patti LuPone, Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, and Edie Falco)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cf

Sept. 2015: Fall Approaches Quietly
(A preview of the fall 2015 Broadway season)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cp

June 2015: Sincerely Yours, Bay Street Theater
(Featuring interviews with playwright Alena Smith and director Bob Balaban, a preview of the comedy, The New Sincerity before its opening at Long Island’s Bay Street Theater)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cB

Nov. 2009: Lorraine Bracco on Life as a Post-Doc
(An interview with “Goodfellas” actress Lorraine Bracco)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2p

Oct. 2009: Carrie Fisher – She Moves On
(An interview with “Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2D

Sept. 2009: Call Her Anna – Patty Duke
(An interview with “Miracle Worker” actress Patty Duke)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2x

Dec. 2008: Curb Your Ensusiessman: The Comedian Speaks Out on Being Fair – and Foul
(An interview with “Curb Your Enthusiasm” comic actress, Susie Essman)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2A

Oct. 2008: Diahann Carroll Looks Back – and Forward
(An interview with Tony-winning actress Diahann Carroll)
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2r

 REVIEWED: The Play that Goes Wrong, Lyceum Theater, Broadway, 2017.

Wrong Turn

Imagine popping a dvd into your player on movie night, skipping the film entirely, and going straight to the blooper reel. Now imagine that the collection of groaners and gaffes runs longer than the actual movie they’re from. Finally, imagine that the gag reel’s vignettes repeat variations on the same mistake a dozen times over. The result would be about 15 minutes of fun, half an hour of mild amusement, and then a dvd swap for something with an actual story, interesting characters, and more to it than self-congratulatory zaniness.

Such is the fate of The Play that Goes Wrong, a farcical English import now cavorting at Broadway’s Lyceum Theater. Winner of London’s 2015 Olivier Award for best new comedy, the show has been compared to the redoubtable Noises Off in that both works follow the travails of desperate actors muddling through a performance despite every possible mishap befalling them. In the latter, more complex play, we watch calamities occurring both onstage and behind the scenes and from dress rehearsal through near-closing night. In The Play that Goes Wrong, we follow a single performance, by the “Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society,” in which missed cues and mispronounced words are the least of the poor thespians’ problems.

Cute laughs occur even before the start of the play proper, as an audience member is drafted to hold up a continually dropping piece of the set. Then out come lead actor Chris (Henry Shields, who is blessed with a vocal similarity to John Cleese) to introduce the “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” Some of the night’s best laughs occur during his monologue, as he admits that the theater company’s poverty has forced the group to scale down its productions of “Cat” and “The Lion and the Wardrobe.”

So far so good, and it is initially fun to see these youthful Brits scampering about playing amateurs trying to cope with mislaid props, a distracted sound designer (Rob Falconer), and virtually everything and everyone being in the wrong place at the wrong time. To be sure, cleverness is abundant here, but long before the end of its two hours’ traffic, Play’s pleasures diminish, even though the best sightgag—an upstairs floor tilting inexorably towards collapse (with kudos to set designer Nigel Hook)—is saved for the second act.

I may well be in the minority in dismissing the piece; many audience members have a howling good time, and critics both in New York and across the pond have found much to love in Mischief Theatre Company’s mischief. Nevertheless, I tired of the repetitiveness, the pointless intrigues, the screeching. Perhaps I’ve just seen too many real plays go wrong, but after awhile, I just wanted to be the Dave that Goes Home.

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NOTES & BACKSTORY:

This review was published in the July-August 2017 issue of Long Island Pulse magazine: http://lipulse.com/2017/07/06/the-play-that-goes-wrong-review/