Off Broadway (and sometimes Broadway) Reviews and Information.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review, HIM: More than Meets the Eye

HIM @ Soho Playhosue
HIM, has moved to the Soho Playhouse from a sold-out run at the Cherry Lane theater.  The show is a look at the price we are willing to pay to achieve our dreams; in this case, the dream of stardom versus the dream of happily ever after.  
Jon Fleming and Todd Alan Crain discuss Nick's career in HIM
Jon Fleming is Nick, a handsome young actor, who is on the cusp of breaking to the ranks of Hollywood leading men.  Todd Alan Crain is Matthew, his gay partner, confidant, and emotional rock.  There is a very obvious story here, Nick gets famous and has to give up Matthew.
But HIM has more on its mind than the obvious.  Matthew isn’t a demure and quiet lover, pining away in silence and self-doubt.  Matthew, excellently played by Mr. Crain, is a true partner of Nick, with a career outside of “husband”.  They have plotted out their journey together. And, when the glamour goes to Nick’s head, Matthew takes action.  Matthew confronts Nick’s Manager, Lindsay Goranson throwing herself into the role with venom, about the choices she is making.  She is sidelining Matthew not just to promote Nick, but to ruin their relationship.  It is over the top, but if you have dealt with Hollywood, it is also totally believable.
There is a great supporting cast in Julian Mercer, Georgia X Lifsher and James Sautter.  They bring life and honesty to the proceedings that, sometimes, threaten to veer into caricature.  Julian Mercer delivers the gay comic quips with aplomb.  Georgia Lifsher plays the Latinia beard just this side of Charo.  And James Sautter actually brings some warmth to the eye candy role, which could have easily become a “naked man #2” billet.
The emotional weight of HIM depends on Jon Fleming, who must be self-confident, but desire validation.  Jon Fleming plays Nick as dim, but not stupid – it sometimes seems that young Nick has made a choice to ignore things that bother him, to be blissfully unaware.  And circumstances force him to confront what he doesn’t want to.  Mr. Fleming brings a natural warmth to the role.
HIM isn’t a deeply tragic play, but it is a very well written and performed piece with a real emotional center.
HIM at SoHo Playhouse
Playwright: Clifford Streit
Director: Clifford Streit
Cast: Jon Fleming, Todd Alan Crain, Lindsay Goranson, Julian Mercer, Georgia Lifsher, James Sautter
Runs Through: April 7

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