Cort Theatre, (3/05/2015 - 8/01/2015)

First Preview: Feb 02, 2015
Opening Date: Mar 05, 2015
Closing Date: Aug 01, 2015
Total Previews: 33
Total Performances: 173

Category: Play, Comedy, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by Scott Rudin, Lloyd Braun, Eli Bush, Roger Berlind, William Berlind, Roy Furman, Jon B. Platt, Ruth Hendel, The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President), Catherine & Fred Adler, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Scott M. Delman, Jean Doumanian, Sonia Friedman, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Heni Koenigsberg, Daryl Roth and True Love Productions; Associate Producer: Jason Sack

Written by Larry David; Original Music by David Yazbek

Directed by Anna D. Shapiro; Assistant Director: Cat Miller

Scenic Design by Todd Rosenthal; Costume Design by Ann Roth; Lighting Design by Brian MacDevitt; Sound Design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen; Wig Design by Alan D'Angerio; Associate Scenic Design: Courtney O'Neill; Associate Costume Design: Irma Brainard and Sarah Cubbage; Associate Lighting Design: Benjamin Travis; Associate Sound Design: Christopher Cronin and Josh Liebert; Projection Content and Programming: Brad Peterson; Moving Light Programmer: Michael Hill; Makeup Design by Brian Strumwasser

Executive Producer: Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner and John Johnson; Company Manager: Penelope Daulton; Assistant Co. Mgr: Mike McLinden

Production Manager: Aurora Productions; Production Stage Manager: Rolt Smith; Stage Manager: Julia P. Jones

Music Production: Bob Golden

Fight direction by Jeff Barry; Voice Coach: Kate Wilson; Casting: Caparelliotis Casting; Press Representative: Philip Rinaldi; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Production Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Larry DavidNorman Drexel
(Feb 02, 2015 - Jun 07, 2015)
Rita WilsonBrenda Drexel
(Feb 02, 2015 - Jun 07, 2015)
Jayne HoudyshellGloria Drexel
Rosie PerezFabiana Melendez
Ben ShenkmanArthur Drexel
Lewis J. StadlenStewie Drexel
Jerry AdlerSidney Drexel
Marylouise BurkeRose Kanter
Jake CannavaleDiego Melendez
Jenn LyonMichelle
Jonny OrsiniGreg
Maria Elena RamirezNurse Ramirez
Molly RansonNatalie Drexel
Rachel ResheffJessica Drexel
Joel RooksDoctor Meyers
Jeff StillJay Leventhal
Kenneth TigarHarry Kanter
Richard TopolDoctor Stiles

Understudies: Ali Rose Dachis (Jessica Drexel, Natalie Drexel), Diane J. Findlay (Gloria Drexel, Rose Kanter), Alexandra Henrikson (Michelle, Nurse Ramirez), Kathleen McNenny (Brenda Drexel), Daniel Molina (Diego Melendez, Greg), Maria Elena Ramirez (Fabiana Melendez), Joel Rooks (Harry Kanter, Sidney Drexel, Stewie Drexel) and Greg Stuhr (Doctor Meyers, Doctor Stiles, Jay Leventhal)


AP: "Larry David's Broadway play is a tedious dead fish"

If you're wondering if you'll like Larry David's Broadway debut, "Fish in the Dark," you need to ask another question: Do you like "Curb Your Enthusiasm"?

That's because David's new stage comedy is like his 30-minute HBO show, only stretched out over two hours so that what is usually a cringe-worthy appetizer on TV has grown into a tedious and self-indulgent main course onstage.

What opened Thursday at the Cort Theatre will surely delight fans of David, the "Seinfeld" and "Curb" master of observational humor, who stars and wrote "Fish in the Dark." But it may leave others frustrated that a great cast, set and director were wasted.

It opens with a masturbation joke, goes quickly into boob-groping and never moves far from a series of routines stitched together poorly. It mean-heartedly makes fun of Haiti and, weirdly, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and spends a lot of time on incest and an illegitimate child.

There's an extended bit about whether to tip doctors and another about knocking on wood for luck. ("It's all faux!" says David at one point, exasperatedly looking for real wood in a hospital waiting room.) Gluten and Gandhi ("What the hell did he know?") come in for jokes, lamely.

The plot follows the gathering of the Drexel family in present-day California as they prepare to bid farewell to their dying patriarch. Old rivalries and still-simmering angers are reignited, which echo through the next few days. (The title of the play comes from a still-resented dinner party that featured a fish dish but too much mood lighting.) Aren't Jewish families so dysfunctional, David seems to ask? You bet!

Soon everyone hates David's Norman Drexel. He has accused a 14-year-old niece of plagiarizing a eulogy and has meddled in his daughter's love life. His overbearing mother (Jayne Houdyshell, in fine form) moves in with him, prompting his wife (a great Rita Wilson) to leave. And his housekeeper (funny Rosie Perez) comes with some shocking news from the past.

David stalks the stage like an overgrown, wiry insect — a bespectacled Daddy Longlegs comes to mind — as he stuffs his hands in his pockets or waves his arms around to sell his outrage. A self-satisfied smirk never seems far from his lips.

Todd Rosenthal's sets — well lit by Brian MacDevitt — are scrupulously rendered hospital rooms, complete with nifty elevators, and well-appointed cream-colored living rooms of the wealthy. A not-always-successful death certificate gag is projected between scenes — another cute idea that grows wearisome.

Director Anna D. Shapiro keeps the action as brisk as a sitcom but this cold fish of a play would likely have ended up on the cutting room floor if it was made for TV. Now it's on Broadway and attracting a $132 average ticket price.

Talk about the one that got away: David had a chance to do something special here with a new medium and a game cast, but he chose to spin his wheels. He chose to go faux.


New York Daily News: "'Fish in the Dark' review: Larry David hooks a funny one on Broadway"

Did you hear the one about the unbearable Jewish mama who drives her sons and everyone around her meshuganah? Yep, her again.

Larry David hacks that old saw into the chronically amusing, if creakily old-school “Fish in the Dark.” David wrote and stars in the funny full-length sketch that aims for, but just misses, the lofty territory of great 1960s Broadway comedies.

David has a huge following from “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — and when you add in everyone’s deep craving for light entertainment, the show is a bona fide must-see.

Make that a wanna-see. Tickets are harder to come by than a public toilet in Times Square.

Fans will be pleased to know that David, a Broadway rookie, holds his own with seasoned stage pros in this solid production helmed by Anna D. Shapiro (“August: Osage County”), who is as good as it gets for shaking hilarity from family dysfunction.

The plot centers on Norman Drexel (David) and his brother Ben (Ben Shenkman), who square off as their beloved father Sidney (Jerry Adler) is on his deathbed. Before you know it, family members line up for the spoils, like a pricey Rolex, and the brothers’ overbearing mom Gloria (a deliciously spiky Jayne Houdyshell) wreaks havoc on her sons and on Norman’s disenchanted wife Brenda (Rita Wilson, invaluable) and housekeeper Fabiana (a droll Rosie Perez).

You don’t need to be a fan of David’s hit TV series to appreciate zingers, which come laced with cultural clichés. David has made a career out of characters who say the unspeakable and do the unthinkable.

A hilarious plot twist centers on Gloria’s unwitting encounter with Fabiana’s teenaged son Diego (Jake Cannavale) as part of a larger David-esque scheme by Norman to get some of his dad’s loot.

For the most part, the play offers only echoes of David’s prior rants, but prime-time fans will recognize some self-plagiarism, as when the awkward Norman complains he has “no moves” or when he later describes something as “pretty, pretty good” in the exact style of David’s “Curb” character.

The best thing about the humor is that it’s also unembellished and played without irony. These are just people, often very obnoxious people, lurching through lives and oddball dilemmas. Can you bring a date to the hospital where a loved one lies dying? Should you tip a doctor? Is it ever okay for an uncle to shame a niece who’s upstaged him?

But the best laughs in the show arise from sly observations that paint instant pictures in your mind, like when Gloria grouses that Brenda keeps her house too dark to properly eat a bony meal like the fish of the title.

“I dim the lights a little when I eat,” says Brenda. “Your house is like a Baskin-Robbins.”

The ice cream giant is known for its cornucopia of flavors. “Fish in the Dark” scoops up the yuks.

New York Daily News

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Cort Theatre

(3/5/2015 - 8/1/2015)
Associate Scenic Design: Mike Kaukl; Video Design by Brad Peterson.

Production Stage Manager: Julia P. Jones; Assistant Stage Mgr: Joe Bowerman.


Jason Alexander
Norman Drexel (Jun 9, 2015 - Aug 1, 2015)
David Beach
Tony Carlin
Doctor Stiles
Ali Rose Dachis
Diane J. Findlay
Rose Kanter
Glenne Headly
During Rita Wilson's hiatus
Brenda Drexel (? - May 3, 2015)
Brenda Drexel (Jun 9, 2015 - Aug 1, 2015)
Alexandra Henrikson
Daniel Molina
Joel Rooks
Stewie Drexel
Greg Stuhr
Doctor Meyers

Understudies: David Beach (Doctor Meyers, Doctor Stiles, Jay Leventhal), Tony Carlin (Arthur Drexel, Norman Drexel), Ali Rose Dachis (Nurse Ramirez), Jené (Fabiana Melendez, Nurse Ramirez), Janet Sarno (Gloria Drexel, Rose Kanter), Jeff Still (Stewie Drexel).

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