Review by Lauryn Angel
Bullets Over Broadway is the penultimate production in the 2015-16 season for Dallas Summer Musicals, and it’s definitely a must see.
The story, written by Woody Allen and based on his 1996 film of the same name, is the story of writer David Shayne (Michael Williams), who has written a play that he wants to produce for Broadway – but he isn’t content to merely get his play on stage; he wants to direct, so his vision is not compromised. Across town, mobster Nick Valenti (Michael Corvino) wants to keep his lover, Olive (Jemma Jayne) happy, and the one thing Olive wants more than anything is a starring role on Broadway. Nick finances David’s play in order to give Olive the thing she craves most – her name in lights. Despite David’s protests, Olive gets a part in the play and Nick assigns Cheech (Jeff Brooks) to make sure she doesn’t get into any trouble. The play’s cast is rounded out by diva Helen Sinclair (Emma Stratton), the stress-eating thespian Warner Purcell (Bradley Allan Zahr), and eccentric Eden Brent (Rachel Bahler). The plot thickens – both on and off the stage – as David’s integrity (artistic and otherwise) is compromised. In addition to cheating on his fiancée Ellen (Hannah Rose DeFlumieri) with Helen Sinclair, he also takes the credit for several edits to the play that are actually made by Cheech.
While it might seem that David is the protagonist of the play, the true star of the show is Cheech, portrayed fantastically by Jeff Brooks. And while some may find the character of Olive annoying, Jemma Jane does a fabulous job with the material, making Olive endearing as well as frustrating. The ensemble cast works together well, and the result is a flawless performance. I had to remind myself more than once that I was watching live theater.
Whether you are a fan of musicals or you’ve never been to a live musical before, you really should treat yourself to a performance of Bullets Over Broadway before the production closes on June 26.