News Ticker

Heist!

Featuring a musical-within-a-musical and with references to Stanislavski, Meisner and Uta Hagen, Heist! is a meta-theatrical show.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Blair Medina and Alec Irion in a scene from the new musical comedy Heist!” (Photo credit: Michael Kushner)

David Kaufman

David Kaufman, Critic

Featuring a musical-within-a- musical and with references to Stanislavski, Meisner and Uta Hagen, Heist! is a meta-theatrical show. With book and Lyrics by Alex Koceja and music by Michael Uselmann, the first act of Heist! is about preparing a musical called Three Card Monte, and the second act includes presenting it. There’s even a song about “Equity” rules: “When equity is in jeopardy/they come to me/’cause I’m the Equity deputy,” sings Cath (Patricia Sabulis), the no-nonsense “stage manager” of the show within the show.

After being told that he’s going to be the “dramaturg,” the Russian Yevgeny (Christopher Bober) asks what that is. “That’s the beauty of it: no one knows,” says Jack (Alec Irion), the male lead in Three Card MonteHeist! is not without its funny moments, but the humor is extremely juvenile, such as, in one song, rhyming “idea” with “diarrhea.”

Though we never meet Fiedler and Kane, the ostensible composer and lyricist of Three Card Monte, there’s no mistaking the inference that they’re a shoo-in for Rodgers and Hammerstein. Not that the score of Heist! resembles any of their soaring collaborations.

Chandler Converse, Alicia Thomas, Patricia Sabulis, Kable Barnhart and Javier Taylor Fox in a scene from the new musical comedy Heist!” (Photo credit: Michael Kushner)

What’s missing from the nondescript music is originality, soul or spirit, and the same can be said about the book. Under the guidance of director James Will McBride, the cast, however, features some strong performances. In addition to Bober, Irion, and Sabulis, these include especially the red-haired Claire Leyden as Cynthia–with a strong, soprano, operatic voice– and alto Blair Medina as Patricia, who plays the “Femme Fatale” in Three Card Monte.

Jenna Haimes also deserves a lot of credit for choreographing so much dancing on the tiny raised stage at the Players Theatre, even if many of the moves invoke both the Radio City’s Rockettes and A Chorus Line.

Heist! (through September 2, 2018)

Players Theatre, 115 Macdougal Street, in Manhattan

For tickets, call 866-811-4111 or visit http://www.HeistMusical.com

Running time: two hours and 15 minutes including one  intermission

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

David Kaufman
About David Kaufman (81 Articles)
David Kaufman has been covering the theater in New York since 1981. A former theater critic for the New York Daily News, he was also a long-time contributor to the Nation, Vanity Fair, the Village Voice and the New York Times. He is also the author of the award-winning Ridiculous! The Theatrical Life and Times of Charles Ludlam, the best-selling Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door, and his most recent biography, Some Enchanted Evenings: The Glittering Life and Times of Mary Martin.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.