Richard and I saw this play on Broadway on 2/21. I had seen it in college, and Richard had seen the original Broadway production in the 80s, possibly also the revival in 2001. We both remembered it as one of the most hilarious things we had ever seen, and were eager to see it again.
It's the story of a production of an English sex farce. Each act shows the first act of the play, in a different context. The first act shows the final rehearsal in the wee small hours of the morning, the day of the premiere. The second act shows a matinee performance a month into the run, as seen from backstage. The final act shows a performance near the end of a ten-week run, as seen from the audience. Each act is a riot of slamming doors, dropped sardines, twisted phone cords, missed entrances, early entrances, petty grievances, and the magic of the theah-tah.
The star of the show has always been the actor playing the housekeeper. This role was first played on Broadway by the late Dorothy Loudon - - the second production starred Patti Lupone (who was replaced by Jane Curtin later in the run) - - this production starred Andrea Martin. She was extraordinary, a real pro, and the show is built so that her character is the anchor. We knew she would be great, and she was great. The surprise of the show was Megan Hilty as the bimbo, she was the funniest element of the show. Every time she came onstage you were sure you would be laughing out loud. She was absolute genius as a really dumb actor.
The show delivered, it was a lot of fun and a most enjoyable time - - but it wasn't quite as good as it might have been. We thought maybe the timing was a little off. A show like this is a machine, and this machine was running smoothly, but wasn't working at its optimum mileage.