A CATERED AFFAIR, the new musical based on the 1956 Bette Davis/Debbie Reynolds film and the Paddy Chayefsky teleplay by which it was originally inspired, contains all the musical merriment, heart-wrenching drama, and thrilling plot twists of a brown paper bag.
Directed by Tony-winner John Doyle ("Sweeney Todd", "Company" Revivals), it tells the dismal tale of an impoverished 1953 Bronx couple (Faith Prince of "Guys and Dolls" and "Bells are Ringing" and Tom Wopat of "Annie Get Your Gun" and "42nd Street") torn between the decision to squander their savings on reviving the family business, or plan a fierce wedding for their only daughter (Leslie Kritzer of "Legally Blonde") and her hot fiancé (Matt Cavenaugh of "Grey Gardens" and many of my fantasies) who’d both rather elope. Dame Harvey Fierstein, who plays the strong-willed uncle (newly homo-fied for the stage) has also written the book, and Broadway newcomer John Bucchino the forgettable score, which for the most part resembles the unmelodic vocal ad-libbing one might unconsciously produce while tackling household chores. And it might have been equally compelling to watch this stellar cast do their laundry. Though the actors time-share an approximated six minutes of redeeming material among them, the show is much bleaker than the sum of its highly capable parts and ultimately falls flat. And with all that talk of matrimony, we never even see a fierce wedding!
From a more personal perspective, this 90-minute “quickie” has every component of a typical one-night-stand (including aforementioned marriageless finale); I thankfully didn’t have to pay for it, I counted the minutes until it ended, I regretted not having a fourth cocktail before it began, and when I woke the next morning, I’d completely forgotten it ever happened. (And, of course, it featured Harvey Fierstein...But that’s perhaps getting a little too personal.)
Who are you to JUDGE ME??!
You can find this review and other nasty rants by bitchy homosexuals in next week's issue of HX Magazine.