Last week we introduced Bros on Broadway, a new series of show reviews written by total dudes with little to no experience with live theater. They’ve been instructed to write uncensored and without agenda, in the exact way they would to their own bros. Their insights are remarkable and their show-ignorance hilariously genuine.
This week we welcome Colin, a camping and adventure sport aficionado who is incredibly tall and regrets not dating a theater chick in high school.
Name: Colin Weatherby [Note: Colin and the Editorial Staff recognize this the least bro-y name ever. We assure you it, and he, are real. You can find him on Twitter.]
Occupation: Freelance Reporter
Bro Cred: Colin was a two-sport high school varsity letterman. He’s also a semi-pro outdoor adventure guide and amateur watermelon eating champion.
Fun Fact: Colin wears a size 15 shoe. He once was knocked out cold by a low-hanging subway sign.
Broadway Shows Seen: None. (He saw a FringeNYC show once, but there was “a lot of yelling” and he “didn’t get it.”)
Show Reviewed: Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
I’ve been asked to be honest about seeing this play, so here goes.
I was surprised walking in because everything on stage made it look like I was about to watch an episode of Who’s the Boss? There were piles of books everywhere and junky furniture, which caught me off-guard because when I went to plays in middle school the stage was always covered in wizards and candy canes and s**t. It looked pretty dumpy for a musical, but more on that later.
The show is basically a crazy nightmare full of sex and puke, which is actually pretty great. The plot is simple. This old couple is super mean to each other. They have this newly married couple over for drinks at, like, two in the morning. The old couple fights. It’s pretty funny at first. Then it gets really uncomfortable. I hate when couples fight in front of me. By the end I actually felt bad, because they were all so f***ing horrible to each other.
And about that: These characters are huge d**ks. Except Honey, who’s boring. I thought I respected the young guy — even though he did not look 185 lbs. like they said — but he turned out to be a turd who married a drunk girl for her money. It all got pretty painful in the third act when both women were laying on the floor screaming about not having babies. That was the only time I felt like I was watching a play, because everything got way too dramatic.
The best part is all the drinking. During the first part (there are two intermissions, which is a good thing) of the show the old dude, George [Tracy Letts] –the most obnoxious professor ever — keeps pouring drinks for everyone. They must have gone into that bottle of Jim Beam twenty times. They were all great at acting drunk slowly, but the young wife, Honey [Carrie Coon], was the best. She did the “drunk uptight girl” face so well.
She should win a Tony Award for Excellent Drunk Acting.
PS: You can drink along. During intermission they sell Maker’s Mark in sippy cups in the lobby. So I was nursing my little cup of booze the whole second act. It felt like I was in the show!
I was expecting there to be tons of music and dancing [Editor’s Note: Yes. Really.] because I told a woman I was seeing this play and she started singing the title. Then I told her I loved Virginia Woolf [the writer] — which seems pretty stupid in retrospect. Anyway, not a musical. They do sing the title of the play fifteen times [during the show], but I was really confused why. I eventually asked some dudes in the bathroom line, who laughed at me and then told me it was the tune of “The Big Bad Wolf.” That’s not that funny. So I really felt bad for George when he got s**t from his wife [Amy Morton] for not laughing when she sang it.
The part of the show that really stuck with me was when Martha says George made “the insulting mistake of loving me and must be punished for it.” I dated a chick like that a few years ago and I hope she gets dragged under a bus. Thank God she dumped me or I’d be like George.
The acting was great overall. Usually theater dialogue seems completely over the top, but this was quick and tight, like a sitcom. The play had some stuffy academic jokes (in French), but it’s generally easy to follow and I laughed the entire time. I would absolutely recommend this play but never see it with my girlfriend. It’s too much about relationships for a good date. The audience was full of couples and the dudes all looked miserable.
One more thing: They got the playwright, Edward Albee, to record a thing at the beginning that told everyone to turn off their cell phones. That was super classy. I wish movie directors would do that too.