When did Bullets over Broadway open again on Broadway? Well…let’s just say it was some time ago and I saw it when it still was in previews. And I didn’t get to write about it until know. Because…stuff kept happening – but last week I got the recording in the mail and this gave me the opportunity to revisit the show at least audio-wise. So I did and it finally made me write about it (and a six hour train ride to and from a destination within two days).
I remember that I wore me pretty 20ies hat to see that show and that I was rather excited for the show because a) the 1920ies and b) Betsy Wolfe. Plus I have always know myself as someone who enjoys a Woody Allen movie although I’m not all “I need to see this” on them.
There were actually a lot of elderly women dressed up to their best in the audience which I thought was adorable and quite different from most of the other shows I’ve seen on Broadway – somehow the dressed up elderly people is something I only picture in German theatres.
But now – let’s just turn to the story or the production itself. I didn’t know the story beforehand except for the fact that gansters were involved and a theatre writer – I still can’t tell, but it probably follows the plot of the movie quite closely, I really should watch the movie because overall I enjoyed the story as something very funny in a Woody Allen kind of way. While I usually am not very fond of comedy.
Something I was very interested in regarding the show was was the score, which consists of authentic songs from the era. I kept wondering how they’d fit into the story which does not seem to be very musical-theatre-y itself. I can’t remember feeling as uncomfortable as many shows using pre-existing songs to put into pre-existing stories make me feel.
While re-visiting the show in my imagination I was also able to remember all these excessive and yet, very charming images and all this amazing tap dance going on.
Director and choreographer of the show, Susan Stroman, had two shows opening on Broadway this past season and I was fortunate enough to see both of them – Big Fish and…yes…Bullets. She’s definetely a “Go big or go home”-kind of director and as far as I am able to judge she was all into the 20ies for this one. There is a train-model and a moving old timer car and tap choreographies and tap dancing on said train model and show costumes – so basically it is a show of a show. And while showing off it’s so ironic and funny – I very clearly remember laughing very hard during some scenes because they were so Woody Allen-ish over the top I could not really take it anymore.
We actually didn’t get to see Zachary Braff, but his understudy and he was amazing Andy Jones and it probably was his first time going on and he was hilarious and as ‘helpless’/clumsy as his character seems to be. He just enters this strudle of events and writing and getting produced and the gasters intervening. My personal highlights were Heléne Yorke and (of course) Betsy Wolfe and Nick Cordero. They did carrie this show so much and their characters contribute so much to all these demanding events that happen to the character of David.
Overall I had fun, yes I did, it was funny and I had a good time. But when I listened to the recording with my mom the other night she was: “I like the music, but funnily enough – this is the only one of the shows we saw I don’t see scenes in my head while listening!”
And maybe she’s right.