It's Only a Play

October 10, 2014 12:35 AM

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It's taken more than three decades for Terrence McNally's backstage comedy It's Only a Play to make it to Broadway. The show was bound for the Great White Way in 1978 until a disastrous Philadelphia tryout derailed those plans. But McNally never completely abandoned the project, which is set at the posh Manhattan townhouse of a Broadway producer as the cast and creative team gather for an opening-night bash to await the reviews. In the mid-'80s, there was a successful Off Broadway revival with James Coco, Christine Baranski, and Joanna Gleason. And now it's landed on Broadway at last in a hilarious and star-packed evening of theater in-jokes that often plays like a nonmusical version of Forbidden Broadway.

McNally has completely overhauled his original script, stuffing it with up-to-date references to everything from Lady Gaga to Kelly Ripa, and from Matilda to the upcoming revivals of A Delicate Balance and The Elephant Man. There are also plenty of way-inside punchlines for theater chatroom habitués...

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