Off Broadway (and sometimes Broadway) Reviews and Information.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fly Me To The Moon at 59 E 59 Theaters

Fly Me To the Moon, now playing at 59E59 Theaters, is a new farce from Ireland.  Starting hardworking actresses Tara Lynne O’Neill and Katie Tumelty, it is the story of two care workers who find their elderly charge has passed away.    Before reporting the death, they decide that his meager savings and race winnings shouldn’t go to waste, and they appropriate the funds.

But things like this never turn out easy.  Tara Lynne O’Neill plays Loretta, a woman with an unemployed husband and two kids, one of which is trying to go to EuroDisney on a school outing.  The money, even though it isn’t very much, would go a long way towards fulfilling her dreams.
Katie Tumelty plays Frances, a Loretta’s co-worker with a son who is a recent video bootleg entrepreneur.   She has been given the short end of the stick for so long, that the money looks like just compensation for a life lacking in opportunity.
Ms. O’Neill and Ms. Tumelty milking laughs out of the job balancing the ethics of the situation with their own guilt – but still keeping the proceedings light enough to enjoy.  The amount of money is pretty meager, but it is a lot to these women and will provide a little comfort.  The first act of the show is quick movie, relatable and very funny.
But in the second act, Fly Me To the Moon drags a big, getting too much humor from the guilt of the women and the fear they might be caught.  This fear is compounded by an idea planted from a criminal procedure TV show, which relies on the women being dumb.  This is where the show began to lose me a little.  Too much of the humor in the second half requires the audience to accept these women are a bit slow or just plain stupid. 
However, throughout the show, the slapstick worked expertly.  Ms. Tumelty has a bit in the second half that is hysterical, and the laughs came quickly.  My one objection is that too many of the laughs in the second half were at the expense of the women for my taste.
Writer / director Marie Jones does an excellent job of writing in the first half, and a great job of directing through out the show.  With these two fine actresses, she pulls some real emotions and turmoil from the situation – along with plenty of humor.
Fly Me To the Moon is a promising work, but needs a bit of tweaking to be just right for the American Audience.
Fly Me To the Moon
Playwright: Marie Jones
Director: Marie Jones
Cast: Tara Lynne O’Neill, Katie Tumelty

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