It may have been Chris Rock that was hired to bring in an audience to the play that can't be said out loud on TV, but it's Bobby Cannavale that drives that show - and has been receiving best actor nominations (rightfully so)! In Stephen Adly Guirgis' one act play The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Mr. Cannavale gives a tour de force performance that is so far away from what I've seen him do on Will & Grace or Six Feet Under - I'm so glad I was able to catch him in this role. Here he is a man attempting to hold it all together with so much energy exuding out of him that he can't contain it. And while usually cast as Italians, his mother's Cuban roots come shining through in this role. Joined by Elizabeth Rodriguez, Annabella Sciorra & Yul Vazquez, this ensemble show brings the audience on a ride of dysfunction brought on by recovery addicts and those that still partake. The play moves along at a fast pace and the 90 minutes fly by (those audience members that arrive 30 minutes late are only getting an hour long show and we saw several getting there well past curtain).
The set is a true work of genius as it moves back and forth between three different apartments. Huge kudos on that for keeping the pace moving while we watched it transform in front of our eyes. I have to say that I love Chris Rock's stand-up shows, and he delivered his comic lines in his usual clipped way - but I couldn't help thinking what a true actor could have done with some of the meatier scenes. All in all - if you don't mind the "F" word (which is said over and over) - get to the Schoenfeld Theatre and catch this one.
Side note: those that read my blog know I mentioned a woman this past Tuesday that annoyed me so much at Sister Act - I had a few words with her during the show. Imagine my surprise when she & her husband walked in this evening and sat down directly next to us. Either I'm being stalked or I'm being punked. Millions of people in NY and I have to be on the same show tract with the talker...and yes....when the last song came over the speakers, she sang along.