The Government Inspector
Written by Nikolai Gogol
Adapted by Jefrey Hatcher
Directed by Jesse Berger
Red Bull Theater
New World Stages
July 23, 2017
💉💉 out of 5.
but the work of Michael Urie 💉💉💉💉💉
The Russians are funny people. So often I have taught the Russian classic plays and my students take them with such reverence that nobody sees any reason to laugh. The Government Inspector is all about the laughs and all about making fun of the greed and corruption that dominated the provincial Russian government and perhaps could say a thing or two about the current world of politics – – you think so. (BUT although so tempting to bring “Trumpisms” into the play, they take the high road and trust the audience will make those connections if they want to.
The play is super cheesy and over the top in its ridiculous slapstick of trying to fit two through the doorway simultaneously , walking into walls, etc. The characters are pushed to caricatures with oh, so little subtlety. It was fun and silly to watch for the first 30 minutes and then it just ran a little dry. You knew where you were going; you knew who was going to take you there; and you could predict the traps along the way – –
BUT THEN, Michael Urie enters the play and all changes. I love Michael Urie. He is one of the most charismatic actors I know. You just cannot take your eyes off of him. And he is born for farce. From his wild success in Buyer and Cellar, I knew could keep an audience in stitches – but here he was able to take them over the edge. I so wish I could describe the farcical genius – leave it to say that he has a 10 minute “getting drunk scene” that is the most brilliant slice of physical comedy I have seen in a LONG TIME.
The play I could have predicted – Michael Urie WOW!