Sunday, April 20, 2008


                The cast of “Gondolier Syndrome” spills into the hundreds.  As far as I know, it’s the largest cast since “Les Mis.”  So many divergent storylines.  I thought it would be hard to keep track of all the story arcs, but they seemed to unfold in a pretty spectacular, easy-to-follow manner.  What I really had to get used to was the seven different people who played each of the character throughout various stages of their lives.  And the whole “alternative universe” thing.  And there are 25 main characters, plus their alternate selves, which makes, what?  200?  250 maybe?  Then, you take all of their parents, spouses and extended families throughout their lives.  Let’s just tack on another 250.  Oh, right!  I forgot the minor characters of “Gondolier Syndrome.”  The cops, best friends, cab drivers, the mayors throughout the timeline, the dogs, cats and TV personalities in the story.  Plus, THEIR alternate universe selves.  Let’s just tack on another 100 or so, though that might be generous.

Apart from all that, what sets this play apart is that it’s compressed into a meager 14 hours.  “Gondolier” makes you feel like you’ve lived a lifetime with these characters once it’s over.  And I recommend watching it all the way through.  Don’t opt for the intermissions every four hours.  You won’t regret it.  This play is about the big picture and it should be viewed in that format.  All the way through.  It’s about relationships.  And that’s what you get back after the 14 hours.  Something a simple two hour Neil Simon won’t give back.  Wise up, America.  “Gondolier” is theatre’s future.




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