And you thought “Lennon” was lousy! Rarely have I been so comprehensively irked by a Broadway show as I was by the latest entry in the jukebox-musical sweepstakes, “Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical Show.” Anyone who loves Cash’s music should stay as far away as possible from this 38-song, two-and-a-half-hour tinselthon, which fills the Ethel Barrymore Theatre with the sour smell of bogusness….
Joe Orton’s “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” is a black comedy of sexual manners that has lost nothing of its ruthless immediacy in the four decades since its premiere. If anything, Orton’s kinky subject matter is more accessible now than it was in 1965, when the first Broadway production closed after just 13 performances. Like most comedies, all “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” needs to make its effect is to be played absolutely straight. Instead, Scott Ellis, the director, has chosen to play it for laughs, encouraging his cast to give the kind of exaggerated, self-conscious performances against which Orton warned. “Unless it’s real,” he said, “it won’t be funny.” It isn’t–and it’s not….
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