Cherry Lane Theatre presents the world premiere of Israel Horovitz's comedy about four women and the 100-year-old man who loved them. Starring Judith Ivey and Estelle Parsons. More…
In Israel Horovitz's new comedy, four women arrive in Paris for the funeral of a 100 year-old man who loved each of them variously and simultaneously. For 24 hours they share his apartment, delicious secrets, and a dead cat. This intimate play stars Francesca Choy-Kee, Angelina Fiordellisi, two-time Tony winner Judith Ivey, and Oscar winner Estelle Parsons.
"In between the rollicking laughter, surprising plot twists, and intricate, humanly drawn characterizations, Horovitz includes pithy truisms about life and love. The play infuses an accumulated wisdom of the ages about women’s need for men and men’s even greater attraction and compulsion for women…Incisively paced and directed with specificity by Barnet Kellman, 'Out of the Mouths of Babes' sports an intriguing scenario…This is wicked fun." Full Review
“Playwright Israel Horovitz writes old-school humor with veteran flair. He also 'gets' women, describing our fears, illusions, and age-explicit hopes with warmth and insight, eschewing rose-colored glasses...Director Barnett Kellman has an eye for comedy that extends from realism to shtick. His cast uses the stage with variety, specificity and finesse. Timing is wonderful...In the capable hands of Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey every pause, look and gesture lands on target.” Full Review
"Hilarity ensues with the introduction of each woman to the equation. Generational differences are discussed, analyzed, bitched about and thrown against the walls to see what will stick...Hilarious and entertaining! These women will make you laugh about being loved, jilted, and replaced. If only we could meet the dead guy - who remains unnamed in the script!" Full Review
"Seeing Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey on stage is—no questions asked—reason alone to get to the Cherry Lane Theatre...Horowitz’s witty dialogue and his ability to use his laser focus make each character more than a comic riff...Director Barnet Kellman never lets the pacing flag without getting frenetic. He understands these actresses completely. The four women are splendidly funny without descending to shtick. Their timing is perfect." Full Review
“Israel Horovitz has written women who talk to one another the way grown-up women talk to one another. It is the rare man - much less the rare writer - who has that ear...This comedy is really fun. The first act is a cascade of surprising arrivals, telling anecdotes, bitchy exchanges. It is fast-paced and genuine. Unlike so much new theater, the second act is every bit as much fun as the first. It has a niggling finale problem, but that’s not crucial.” Full Review
"'Out of the Mouths of Babes' is entertaining summer fare. Giving laughs freely, the show brings back the feeling of 'Designing Women' or 'The Golden Girls.' Ivey and Parsons take us on a whimsical fantasy that could have been written out of the pages of Norman Mailer’s exes...Kellman’s direction is like a roller-coaster ride: fun but not anything more than that a carnival ride...'Out of the Mouths of Babes' is just what New York needs to take its mind off the horrors of this world." Full Review
“Israel Horovitz has written that rare comedy that is genuinely funny, outlandish in reality but plausible for the theatre. Granted, there are some lines that misfire, but as a whole it is thoroughly emotive, entertaining, and enjoyable...A screwball comedy that also has its zany moments, with some delightful acting from this all-female ensemble...Barnet Kellman, the director, is no stranger to comedy...His direction here is compact and fast-paced.” Full Review
"There are two hardy reasons to shuffle to see 'Out of the Mouths of Babes.' One is the four accomplished actresses. The other is the playwright himself, who still knows how to write a solid comic line that works...The actresses work as an ensemble, playing off each other with skill, and director Barnet Kellman moves them around like chess pieces...It’s a delightful recipe for fluff, bordering on farce and as easy to take as seven-minute frosting." Full Review
"'Out of the Mouths of Babes,' a fun new situational comedy by Horovitz, explores both the light and dark sides of life...Death can provide a microscope for the living to look at their lives in the present. Although at first they are cynical and even antagonistic toward one another, the women develop a rapport...A topic can be made funny by the right ratio of drama to comedy. Under Barnet Kellman’s direction, the balance is perfect." Full Review
"Pure theatrical sitcom, albeit an amusing one. The play is also very well performed, no surprise considering that its cast includes two of our finest stage actresses, Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey…It's all as supremely silly as it sounds, but under the expert direction of Barnet Kellman the play generates plenty of laughs. It's the sort of farce that decades ago would have enjoyed a nice Broadway run...Now it feels like summer stock in the heart of the city." Full Review
"There isn't much of a story line...The play is chock-full of one-liners so determined to elicit laughs that you can almost hear the rim shot in the background as they're spoken. But no matter. The lines are funny and, under Barnet Kellman's affable direction, the women deliver them with pizzazz...'Out of the Mouths of Babes' is silly and misogynistic, and it doesn't even pretend to offer any deep truths about life, love or anything else. But I still dare you not to have a good time." Full Review
"The jokes may be flabby, the situations strained, the dialogue sit-comedic, and the ambience Neil Simon retro but they’re carried off with enough panache by a cast headed by Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey for happy theatregoers to tell the critics to go take a hike...While Parsons and Ivey can’t make 'Out of the Mouths of Babes' a better play, being in their presence for two hours is providing audiences a welcome summer respite from the headlines outside." Full Review
“The perfect platform for these four actors. Think Susan Harris’s television sit-com ‘The Golden Girls’ on steroids...This new play allows acting to trump writing with or without intention on the part of the playwright. It is enough to say that with a different cast - and this one is stellar - the piece might not make it past the first act...When Mr. Horovitz’s script begins to wobble too far to the magical, the acting has a more difficult time rising to the surface.” Full Review
"Estelle Parsons, Judith Ivey and Angelina Fiordellisi play the dead man’s earlier consorts with a sure comic touch...Horovitz’s dialogue can actually be pretty funny, in an undergraduate way, particularly when he heads on to smuttier terrain. Under Barnet Kellman’s usually fluid direction, his play is a slight but well-executed romp, as if Alan Ayckbourn decided to take the old Renault for a spin after a long lunch." Full Review
"Its shortcomings are elevated by the work of the four actresses onstage…While Ms. Parsons’ line delivery and comedic timing are spot-on, one can’t help but wish she’d let us in more often into Evelyn’s sensitive side…Judith Ivey shines as Evvie, and Angelica Fiordellisi does as best she can with the oft grating Janice…Directed with flair by Kellman, it gets away with a lot, because it feels so lighthearted and 'fun' that it manages to cover its terrible gender politics with roaring laughter." Full Review
"An improbable and eventually even fantastical comedy, enlivened by an excellent cast…Mr. Horovitz has written more than 70 plays…'Out of the Mouths of Babes' is not among the most substantial, though it offers roles that snugly fit all four actors…Although the acting keeps things lively, and the growing camaraderie of the women suffuses the stage with a mild congeniality, 'Out of the Mouths of Babes' lacks dramatic drive and has only an intermittent comic bite." Full Review
"Windows in Patel’s fine set play a key role in getting laughs. So do the ace actresses Parsons, who’s delightfully nasty as Evelyn, and Ivey, who makes the most of Evvie, who’s got a bottomless appetite for married men. Fiordellisi and Choy-Kee are less successful mining humor, but that owes more to an uneven script...Kelman directs with broad strokes. At times it works, but on other occasions what comes out of these mouths is noisy and artificial." Full Review
"A wildly uneven comedy...The four women bitch and reminisce, with most of the bon mots going to troupers Parsons and Ivey. There’s a bit of the supernatural at the end. It’s intermittently entertaining in a lazy way. As light summer entertainment, that may be enough for most...Barnet Kellman’s direction skillfully maximizes the play’s assets." Full Review
“A stale, overdone and mildly amusing comedy...Mr. Horovitz does have a command of playwriting and affection for his characters, but even with these attributes it all often becomes tedious when used on such a tired scenario...Director Kellman brings his considerable expertise to this production…‘Mouths’ is essentially hollow and inconsequential but due to the professionalism of all those involved it does have a minimum of entertainment value.” Full Review
"A lightweight comedy about seriously dark subjects...Tales of multiple suicides (and some hilarious attempts), deep depression and overlapping adultery abound…and then the late lover boy’s final wife shows up, and things really get complicated. But that’s also, unfortunately, when the dramatic fizz goes flat...Parsons and Ivey's spiky, sharp-tongued characters are tremendous gifts. Too bad they’re stuck in a sloppy, sitcom-level story that most certainly doesn’t pass the Bechdel test." Full Review
"The kind of 'naughty' boulevard comedy that, in the 1960s, would have closed on Broadway after two weeks, 'Out of the Mouths of Babes' is lucky to be in such overqualified hands. The director, Barnet Kellman, brings his extensive resume in television comedy to give the production a polish it doesn't really deserve…A pretty trashy play...If it hardly represents the best use of their time, I suspect it will be a guilty pleasure for fans of Ivey and Parsons." Full Review
“While the situation escalates amusingly and the dialogue and performances are consistently good throughout the two hours, what happens between the intriguing first and last scene isn't a play truly worthy of these stellar thespians. There's too much reliance on over-the-top shtick...Director Barnet Kelman expertly keeps the laughs coming...The play's assets notwithstanding, some plot details come off as either irrelevent or too shamelessly over the top." Full Review
“It is a silly comedy of little substance or consequence, and only occasionally amusing, but it’s terrifically appointed by set designer Neil Patel and costume designer Joseph G. Aulisi, and its four-member cast includes Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey, who seem to be able to make anything feel like a sparkling entertainment.” Full Review
"Witty lines receive witty deliveries (and earned audience responses from the skilled actresses), but the characters make little sense. The dialogue and tone of interaction becomes cloying when the purportedly intelligent women snipe at one another rather than unpack their similarities...After spending two hours with these characters and this set, I wanted to move into the apartment but I knew the characters no better than when they first entered." Full Review
"The entire play becomes a series of clichéd zingers between Parsons and Ivey, which as fine actresses as they are tend to be delivered with what feels like a whiff of fatigue. It does not help that their roles are so mundane that they add nothing to the ineffectual script...'Babes' just falls flat on all counts...The big problem is that besides the banal discussions the women have, you don’t really know or care about any of them." Full Review
See it if You are an intelligent, sophisticated Baby Boomer enjoying fresh views of relationships between women and men and other women
Don't see it if You are very young, unintelligent or do not have a strong command of English to appreciate comedic nuance and double entendre
See it if You like great acting and clever writing. Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey are terrific!
Don't see it if It's Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre, a charming intimate space. It's not a Broadway house.
See it if You're looking for something funny, quick-witted, or like any of the leads.
Don't see it if You're looking for something big and showy. It's a funny play though, with a great cast.
See it if you'd enjoy a well-written, staged and acted comedy not taking itself too seriously. Francesca Choy-Kee and Estelle Parsons esp. good
Don't see it if you're deeply offended by obscenity or adultery, or are generally just a miserable poop
See it if you like to laugh; you like good older actresses (parsons, ivey); you like situation comedy; you like good old fashioned funny writing
Don't see it if you don't like silly stories; don't like situation comedy; don't enjoy laughing.
See it if you enjoy comedy that is a bit over-the-top, acerbic old ladies, good acting, amusing plot; and, of course, Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey!
Don't see it if you are very young and can't appreciate what it means to have lived a long and interesting life; no other reason to not see it.
See it if You have a sense or humor and don't want to miss theater pros Estelle Parsons and Dana Ivey eat up the stage. Great comedy.
Don't see it if You only like to see millenials perform or you only like dramas.
See it if If you want to see a talented well seasoned cast dealing with the complexities of human relationships. Ms. Parsons is terrific!
Don't see it if You don't want to even think about anyone's sexuality in old age.
See it if You want to see comedic actresses at the top of their game, you enjoy gallows humor, you don't mind adult language/references.
Don't see it if You can't find the thought of suicide funny under any circumstance, you don't want to exert effort to understand an overdone French accent.
See it if you want see Judith Ivey and Estelle Parsons at the top of their game. The other two actresses do themselves proud as well.
Don't see it if you are not ready for some old time humor. It is not quite thought provoking but a welcome 2 hours of even treating suicide with a dash...
See it if you'd love seeing Estelle Parsons & Judith Ivey get their groove on. Story about reunion of wives & girlfriends of man at his funeral.
Don't see it if you aren't interested in a story about love everlasting with a womanizing man.
See it if you want to see Israel Horovitz at his funniest...you want to see expert comic timing of various types nailed by stellar actresses.
Don't see it if you'll experience PTSD when faced with the topic of infidelity or suicide..all female casts don't do it for you...dialects are difficult 4 u
See it if You need some rip-roaring humor. Fab performances by Estelle Parsons & Judith Ivey. Young Francesca Choy Kee is great! Go see this fun play!
Don't see it if You don't like smaller venues but this one is lovely! Can't think of any reason not to go. Runs thru 7/31/16. So go now!
See it if you're want to be entertained & to laugh, a lot. 4 women, from diff generations, come to the funeral of the 1 man they loved. It's got spunk
Don't see it if you need things to be believable & to have purpose. It's fun but corny. Honestly who wants to spend eternity with anyone, esp former lovers?
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