Time Out says
Theater review by Raven Snook
Watching the Peccadillo Theater Company’s revival of George Kelly’s once-popular 1924 comedy is akin to sitting through a particularly brutal episode of Antiques Roadshow: You hope to be dazzled by a forgotten gem but discover only dull paste. In this mostly miscast production, indifferently staged by the troupe’s Dan Wackerman, nothing shines. To be fair, however, it’s not just the staging that seems lacking; The Show-Off doesn’t have much underneath its dust.
Sensible Irish-American Philadelphia matriarch Mrs. Fisher (the usually solid Annette O’Toole, all wrong here) can’t stand her youngest daughter’s fiancé, the foppish, toupee-wearing blowhard Aubrey Piper (an irksome Ian Gould). Though meant to amuse, the antics of this lying narcissist don’t seem very funny, and sudsy subplots inspire the actors to play Act II like a drama—with deadly results. Helen Hayes starred in an apparently effervescent Broadway revival of The Show-Off 50 years ago, but this is the play’s first major New York outing since 1992. It hasn’t aged well. They say that comedy is tragedy plus time. Comedy plus time, in this case, is tragic.
Theatre at St. Clement’s (Off Broadway). By George Kelly. Directed by Dan Wackerman. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 10mins. One intermission. Through Oct 21.