Woody Allen’s Adaptation Didn’t Amaze Critics

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Zach Braff’s stage adaptation of Woody Allen’s Bullet Over Broadway crime from 1994 failed to amaze critics.

The comedy with John Cusack and Dianne Wiest has been adapted for the Broadway stage starring Braff in the lead role. However, the show failed to impress critics after opening at the St. James Theatre on Thursday night, April 10.

“Allen’s showbiz and gangland eccentrics stiffen into cardboard when they’re amplified from two to three dimensions… It doesn’t help that key actors shoot blanks… Beyond mediocre acting is the poor choice at the center of this jukebox musical,”

said The New York Daily News’ reporter Joe Dziemianowicz, calling it a “bit of a miss.”

Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times didn’t like the “coarseness of some of the humour” and the actors’ performances.

Variety’s Marilyn Stasio said,

“Everyone hoped Bullets Over Broadway would be the show to get those flickering Broadway lights blazing again… Surprisingly, though… (it) is feeble on laughs, and certain key performers don’t seem comfortable… So, let’s call it close – but no cigar.”

There were many critics who didn’t like it. Ben Brantley of The New York Times also said,

“While the movie was a helium-light charmer, this all-talking, all-singing, all-dancing reincarnation is also all but charm-free… The experience of watching the film was like being tickled, gently but steadily, into a state of mounting hysteria… The musical version… feels more like being head-butted by linebackers. Make that linebackers in blinding sequins.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney finishes by urging theatre fans to,

“Spend five bucks to rent the delightful movie or north of a hundred to watch its buoyancy get trampled in a strained musical? Not a tough choice.”

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