PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, April 19-25: Another Opening... Or Six

By Robert Simonson
25 Apr 2014

Neil Patrick Harris
Photo by Joan Marcus
Critics went nuts for the show and for Harris in it. Nearly every review declared that Harris was now a bonafide Broadway star, or rock star or both. Here's a sampling of the gushing:

New York Times: "Mr. Harris is in full command of who he is and, most excitingly, what he has become with this performance. That's a bona fide Broadway star, the kind who can rule an audience with the blink of a sequined eyelid... And while Mr. Harris may let you see him sweat as he struts, slithers and leaps through this shamelessly enjoyable show, rousingly directed by Michael Mayer, he never makes it feel like heavy lifting."

AP: "It's obvious from the first moments of Hedwig and the Angry Inch that star Neil Patrick Harris is doing something special. And it's not just trying on a new role... Before our eyes, Harris is opening another chapter in his exceptional show business career with this 90-minute show and he simply crushes it, holding nothing back, softening no edges, making no nice."

Hollywood Reporter: "Harris is beyond fabulous, holds nothing back and plays it any way but safe in Michael Mayer's exhilarating production."



Time Out New York: "Transitioning from child star to adult gay icon, sitcom prince and social-media wizard, Neil Patrick Harris always seemed to be a cultural rock star. But in his latest reinvention, it turns out that the actor is, y'know, an actual rock star."

New York Post: "Sometimes you wonder if there's anything Neil Patrick Harris can't do."

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That was a hard act to follow for Casa Valentina, the second production featuring cross-dressers to open in as many days. The new play by Harvey Fierstein, about a 1962 upstate New York colony where heterosexual men dress as women, opened on April 23 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Joe Mantello directed an estimable group of thespians, including Patrick Page, John Cullum, Reed Birney, Lisa Emery and Larry Pine.

 Continued...