Scheming servants, verbal acrobatics, and mistaken identities launch a breathless series of twists and turns in this breezy "transladaptation” of a French farce by David Ives ('The Liar,' 'Venus in Fur'). More…
It’s springtime in Paris, 1738. Metromania, the poetry craze, is all the rage. Damis, a young, would-be poet with a serious case of verse-mania falls for a mysterious poetess from Breton, Meriadec de Peaudoncqville (say it). She turns out to be none other than a wealthy gentleman (yes, that’s right) with a touch of the mania himself—looking to unload his sexy but dimwitted daughter—who also just happens to be cuckoo for couplets.
"'The Metromaniacs' is screwball at its best, with the entire ensemble working their butts off to deliver Ives' complex, delicious rhymes, and playing off of each other's energy...But the show, in its own way, is also quite insightful about the nature of addiction, as it humorously shows the lengths these characters will go to, in order to satiate their need for verse. It never gets dark, no, but it's been haunting me for days after seeing it." Full Review
"I could rave about the writing (joyfully wonderful and silly rhymes by David Ives) or the acting (from a strong, talented, attractive ensemble) or the design (charming) or the direction (calibrated perfectly by Michael Kahn). But what I want to say is this: If you're looking for a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying evening in the theater, go see 'The Metromaniacs.'" Full Review
"The pace is dizzying as each bon mot is hilariously followed by the next. One would yield to full-throated laughter but for fear of missing the next clever line. The audience gets giddy from the constant flow. The deliberate anachronisms bring especially loud guffaws...The cast is sublime...The brilliant direction is by Michael Khan...This production provides a feast for the eyes...Don’t walk, run..to partake of this glorious fun." Full Review
"If you know a lot about period drama— French or otherwise — you will be tickled with this adaptation...If you know nothing about period drama, but love the odd piece on the wrong stretch of 42nd Street, you will still giggle yourself into an unseemly frenzy at The Duke...It is playful and certainly silly; it is designed to drag you in from the jump, and the play’s own mad momentum keeps you in tow...Just sit back and enjoy the ride." Full Review
"Ives, master of spinning rhymed couplets into verbal pirouettes, has radiantly rendered it into contemporary English…Kahn races his ebullient actors through the growing confusion, speaking the…rhyming verse with expert timing and razor-sharp diction...Act I suffers a little from a general tendency to push the comedy…In Act II, a more organic sense of character and situation emerges…But the chief attraction here is verbal, with Ives' incessantly clever rhymes and puns." Full Review
"A hilarious evening with a delightful cast...Ives has much fun with the dialogue delivered in couplets, including outrageously funny rhymes, with some contemporary references tossed into the hopper. One is rewarded by listening carefully and a desire to read the text may be aroused...Kahn understands the secret of good farce. He keeps the players dedicated to naturalness without hinting that they are trying to be funny...Ives’s take on this excavated play is thoroughly clever." Full Review
"Playwright David Ives...I can imagine no other artist with the alchemic skills to create such deft, intoxicating, unregenerate fun...Fluent combination of period phrasing, literary references, tabloid seduction and clever rhymes lead us merrily to denouement and finale one can’t possibly anticipate. The cast is outstanding with special mention to Adam Green and Amelia Pedlow for sublime moments." Full Review
"This delicious romp is heady, frothy, and just downright fun, directed with genre-specific aplomb by Michael Kahn, and played by a terrific band of actors who are dead serious in dispensing their lighthearted frivolity...A sharp and silly comedy that sleekly marries an antique form with an infusion of modern sensibility...This is light fare, for sure, but with intelligence and erudition...Mr. Ives proves, once again, that he is a master of this theatrical niche." Full Review
"In addition to the hilarious shenanigans, there are several stand-out moments of staging...The cast is uniformly excellent with great comedic timing, from Pedlow practicing Lucille’s absurd pouty lips to Kybart’s rehearsing Baliveau’s off-stage bellowing. But my favorites are Dina Thomas and Adam Green...It’s rare that writing leaves me in awe, but I am justifiably impressed by Ives's ability to rhyme so artfully and masterfully." Full Review
"The sometimes pleasantly dizzying series of events rests on the shoulders of an extremely capable and stellar assortment of actors and their characters...The entire ensemble is spectacular and they’re having as much of a good time with this elegant screwball comedy as the audience is and that plusses the fun...'The Metromaniacs' is a must see show for those that love words, wordplay, farce, fantasy, intelligent and broad slapstick comedy, and lush deliciously presented theatricality." Full Review
"What stands out here is the fabulous direction by Kahn. He keeps the laughs coming as he keeps the show running like a rollercoaster on speed. Kahn also manages to get the crispness of verse to a tee from all his performers. Ives’s sarcastic wit is enhanced by his wordplay that knows no bounds. He is truly a master wordsmith...For an evening of confectionery fluff that is frothy and doesn’t demand much thought, 'The Metromaniacs' is just what the doctor ordered." Full Review
"A featherweight plot is sustained by the cleverness of Ives’s rhymed and often amusingly anachronistic couplets, artfully delivered by a talented cast in a stylish production...The multiple impersonations and mistaken identifies are so complicated that even the actors get confused. The humor is a bit broader and the quality of the rhymes is a bit lower...If you have not seen one of the earlier plays, you will probably be delighted; if you have, you might be a bit disappointed." Full Review
"Funny, creative, and a most enjoyable show to see...The show has appeal for a wide range of audiences especially those who enjoy listening to the English language used in beautiful verse and superb presentation of ideas...The versatility of the acting and the call to respond to comic antics create funny moments...Prepare to laugh and enjoy yourself...Also, bask in the beauty of the language as it unfolds the story for you." Full Review
"It is a classic comedy of mistaken identity, love at first sight, and, well, absolute fluff...It’s a lot to remember, but thankfully the witty maid Lisette helps keep everyone in line...Still, with all these plots, the comedic timing and special moments in the play occasionally feel a little lost...Ives’s translation and adaptation is smart, amusing, perfectly silly, and completely conveys the whimsical world of the play...Despite a few missed moments, 'The Metromaniacs' is enchanting." Full Review
"The play is an effervescent tickle and alcohol high, a guaranteed laugh, especially when mixing in the historical reality of the playwright’s muse that spiked this adaptation...It’s a perfectly delectable fun couple of hours. The first act does drag a bit, feeling less like champagne, and more like fizzy water...It might just be that 'The Metromaniacs‘' base ingredient is not as high quality or top shelf as 'The Liar‘s,' but director Kahn keeps the giddiness at a high and festive level." Full Review
"Thanks to Kahn's tight direction and a cast that knows how to keep the ball in the air, a steady procession of laughs is guaranteed...I have one reservation about 'The Metromaniacs,' and it's a fairly significant one: The sheer number of gags, absent the tiniest hint of emotional involvement, ultimately becomes a bit wearing...Then again, the current scene doesn't offer so many great comedies that we can afford to overlook 'The Metromaniacs,' and the cast is a thoroughgoing pleasure." Full Review
"Ives doesn't fully overcome Piron's dramaturgical shortcomings until the fourth wall breaking opening of the second act...The actors wrest every possible laugh from their roles...The real star here is David Ives. It's his wordsmithing that makes Piron's play worth retrieving...Even though 'The Metromaniacs' doesn't hit the bulls eye for all its hour and forty five minutes (including an intermission), Mr. Ives makes the best case for seeing the play with his program note conclusion." Full Review
"It’s a testament to the text that one cannot always see where the story is going as it’s so full of comedic twists and turns...Ives has made his story so topical that one can’t help but wonder how it will fare in years to come, when faced with changing tastes and sensibilities...Despite these quibbles, Kahn’s direction is sure handed, making each situation flow seamlessly into the next. The farcical situations, misconceptions, and overall hysteria build to a huge and hilarious crescendo." Full Review
"Just relax and enjoy the rhmying couplets and be prepared to laugh a great deal...The entire cast is game...'The Metromaniacs' is ultimately a delightful diversion, a piece of fluff that entertains but doesn’t resonate. Nonetheless, kudos to director Michael Khan who keeps four plates spinning at one time. The highest praise goes to Mr. Ives, who may have had great source material, but his words are what make this funny little play sing." Full Review
"Undoubtedly, many audience members will thrill at Ives's virtuosic wordplay...I chuckled too, but unmoored from real stakes, I found my mind floating out to sea. This is despite a zippy production by director Michael Kahn and delightfully physical performances from the cast. Everyone delivers the verse with crisp precision, so all the jokes land...It's all perfectly digestible, but tiresome on the taste buds...Ives wanted to create a fluffy gossamer entertainment, and he did." Full Review
"A head-spinning plot...This is French farce featuring a satirical target not necessarily in synch with today’s prosaic concerns...Those buckshot couplets that had me tired out by the end of the short first act...Given the baroque material, there may be no other way to go about acting in the dashed thing. And they’re all braced for the challenge. One wily Piron turn of events occurs at the very end...Ticket buyers can and do leave laughing." Full Review
"A play that squeezes contemporary English into pentameter couplets — and a story that doesn’t matter...Since all the characters speak in essentially the same form, there is no variation or, indeed, verbal distinctiveness. That leaves the cast, which is uniformly good, to build characters on top of the verse, instead of within it where characterization belongs. The result is rickety...Only in the second act...do the couplets begin to give birth to satisfying story." Full Review
"Ives has wound up with a middling piece that can’t trigger his gift for well-machined mayhem...Ives’s cleverness is indisputable, and he excels at a rare sort of verbal glitter. Michael Kahn’s production is physically exquisite...For farce to work, we need to sense the abyss underneath the hero’s pin-wheeling feet...Without desperation, there’s no exhilaration. And so here, on the fourth pour, Ives’s particular brand of champagne finally goes flat." Full Review
"What gives this extremely silly business its babbling charm is Ives’ inventive wordplay...Kahn's staging here could be more lightly handled. The actors deliver broad performances that look forced. Between the propulsive couplets, the mostly unvaried rhythm of the brisk pacing, and the superficial acting, the show eventually becomes relentless...A comedy as quick, lively, and verbal as 'The Metromaniacs' needs extra room to breathe." Full Review
“To add that ‘The Metromaniacs’ also contains a play within the play, in which all of the characters are apparently playing themselves, might begin to suggest how confusing it all becomes, especially since they all enter and exit with a rapidity as if there were indeed a fire in the house–meaning Francalou's no less than The Duke Theater on 42nd Street.” Full Review
See it if you enjoy paying attention to word-play voiced by articulate virtuosic actors, with impeccably timed physical comedy thrown in.
Don't see it if you want to see people bare their souls and plumb the depths of human emotion. This is French farce, not sturm und drang.
See it if Every reason to see it; a delightful farcical romp in contemporary verse set in 1738 manages to be very funny and by the end, uplifting.
Don't see it if No reason not to. See it — if you like verse, farce or Restoration Comedy — or don't; it might well convert you to all three with its humor.
See it if you love clever farces, well acted and VERY well written.This show is delightful and well worth seeing. Ives is a genius!
Don't see it if you require a play that is linear and easy to follow.It is a farce so it goes all over the place but you'll love the ride.
See it if you can follow quick humor, appreciate great command of wonderfully written language, enjoy quality costuming, and appreciate cheekiness!
Don't see it if you aren't able to follow quick language.
See it if You enjoy David Ives's translaptations and want to laugh until your sides hurt. This is perfect escapism.
Don't see it if You need something serious or profound, don't like iambic pentameter
See it if Delightful conversion of a Alexis Pieron's 1738 play, La Métromanie (Poetry Craze), into a rhymed English farce, with flawless acting.
Don't see it if You don't like farce or poetry and hate period pieces. Otherwise, this is great!
See it if You are attuned to excellent verse which doesn't take itself seriously
Don't see it if You haven't asked yourself why art matters and what from today might still be relevant 300 years from now
See it if ... you "think" you don't like poetry. The dialogue is clever, funny and the actors are so much fun to watch. An unexpected treat.
Don't see it if ... you absolutely dislike poetry. Although you might change your mind if you give this show a shot.
See it if You like very witty and funny shows. The show rhymes non-stop and is hysterical. Smart and funny and well acted.
Don't see it if You aren’t into rhyming or creative plays. If adverse to verse you could do worse I found the rhyme and time sublime
See it if You are a fan of witty comedic rhyming dialog which is often hilarious performed by a talented cast.
Don't see it if You are slow on the pickup of bullet like humor. The pace does not slow down.
See it if you like farce, appreciate verse plays, appreciate both high and low comedy.
Don't see it if you can't deal with verse and rhyming dialogue, want a story with meat on its bones. Or you can't follow English extremely quickly.
See it if You love poetry, farce, and a very silly love story. Definitely see it if you enjoy David Ives’ work!
Don't see it if You’re looking for a truly historical play. This is a riff on an old comedy, with anachronisms gallore.
See it if you like David Ives comedies (I certainly do), you find the idea of a play in rhyming couplets intriguing, or if you just want to have fun.
Don't see it if you don't like fluff, you are annoyed by somewhat convoluted rhymes, or if you are looking for something substantial. This is light.
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