Gimme a Thrill Productions presents a revival of the Marx Brothers' debut Broadway revue, about an heiress looking for kicks. More…
Before they became film legends, the Marx Brothers starred in three Broadway musicals. Two of them, 'The Cocoanuts' and 'Animal Crackers,' were adapted into movies, and are often revived onstage. But the Marx Brothers' 1924 Broadway debut, 'I'll Say She Is,' was lost to history. Drawn from multiple sources, Noah Diamond's adaptation reconstructs, refines, embellishes, and otherwise grapples with this enigmatic entry in the Marx Brothers' canon. This 2014 Fringe Festival hit is enjoying a brand-new, fully realized production.
"An approximation of the original that is utterly convincing, and darned entertaining as well...Mr. Diamond himself plays Groucho, and he might as well be Groucho. Matt Roper’s Chico and Seth Shelden’s Harpo are also meticulous…This is a vaudeville hodgepodge at heart, with a little bit of everything thrown in...It’s all light as a feather, underscoring just how much tastes in humor have changed, even as it reminds us how brightly the Marx Brothers’ brand of lunacy once blazed." Full Review
"The overall effort rings a loud bell for authenticity. 'I’ll Say She Is' harmonizes deliciously with the look, sound, and feel of the films we all know and love. The original material resounds with the Marx Brothers at their very best...No amount of praise is too great for the ensemble. Led by Diamond’s spot-on Groucho, the Brothers easily made one forget that the actors playing them are in character and not the real thing." Full Review
“Amanda Sisk’s scruffy but lovable production benefits from oodles of hey-kids-let’s-put-on-a-show enthusiasm and a remarkably talented foursome as the Marxes. Noah Diamond makes for a more youthful but hilarious Groucho. Seth Shelden’s blissful Harpo plays Debussy on the harp, accompanies Chico on piano and channels the loony icon with utter sweetness. Nostalgic yet fresh, any whiff of mothball about the material is wafted away on gales of laughter.” Full Review
"'I'll Say She Is' is the most successful project The Marx Brothers ever did on stage and has been given a new life thanks to the efforts of Noah Diamond and to the talents of an extraordinary group of performers. Sure the book could use a little more tweaking and the transitions between scenes made a bit smoother but none of that matters. The spirit of the original revue has been revived and Marx Brothers fans the world over will now have the opportunity to see this lost musical." Full Review
"The excellent cast does superb work as an ensemble, and there's the delightful and unapologetic inclusion of various hidden talents of the cast members in the sketches and numbers...That's a lot to pack into two acts of just over an hour each but the cast keeps it moving…An example of Broadway archaeology, performed by a committed and talented cast, 'I'll Say She' Is is a wonderful way to spend a few hours lost in an idealised bygone era." Full Review
"It’s instantly obvious that Noah has thrown himself into the project because he loves the four sophisticated nitwits and believes himself a sufficient Groucho lookalike...If we can’t have the originals, this quartet more than suffices. Certainly, Shelden on the harp and Roper at the piano fare exceedingly well. A bevy of dancing lovelies abound. Okay, under Amanda Sisk’s direction, an aura of the amateur prevails, but somehow that makes the sort-of-revival all the more entertaining." Full Review
"'I’ll Say She Is' would certainly be a welcome addition to the seasons of theatre companies around the country and beyond…The production has many splendid moments, both comedic and musical…Chap’s arrangements here help make several of the songs infectious…Some comic bits are staged deftly, but the pacing lagged in places…Not every actor is pitch perfect...Diamond’s youthful-looking Groucho and Seth Shelden’s sweetly impish Harpo are audience favorites." Full Review
"A plot-light but hilarious revue, equally true to its source material and engaging to contemporary audiences...The cast and production team have clearly done their research, painstakingly capturing the Brothers’ iconic personalities and distinctive comedic rhythms. Marx Brothers aficionados will appreciate the leads’ spot-on impressions...Yet, even those with little to no familiarity with the Marxes can enjoy the show’s daffy entertainment…A solidly entertaining gem." Full Review
"There are so many things to enjoy about 'I’ll Say She Is' that it’s easy to overlook those aspects of the show that don’t quite work...The show has a lot of DIY charm...A zany and delightful reminder of the anarchic spirit the Marx Brothers brought to American entertainment and their deeper subversion of staid bourgeois society…Even with its rough spots, 'I’ll Say She Is' is an exceptionally entertaining show, and a testament to the wild energy and joy the Marx Brothers brought all of us." Full Review
"A delightful romp back to the days of vaudeville…Noah Diamond obviously has studied Groucho Marx extensively, as his impersonation and interpretation of his character is quite good and well-developed…All throughout, we have the typical chaotic hustle and bustle, Marx Brothers' patter, and hectic scattering of characters as they run from scene to scene (complete with comedic asides and pleas to the audience for mercy from Groucho)." Full Review
"I've seen several Groucho impersonators in my time and Diamond is one of the best…There's no question that they have stayed true to the loose-limbed, anything for a laugh ethos of pre-'Show Boat' Broadway...Shows like 'I'll Say She Is' depended to a certain degree on making a visual splash -- something that is beyond this production's resources. Still, the laughs never stop, and, under Sisk's pacey direction, the two-and-a-half hours breeze by." Full Review
"This show is dated, silly, overlong, but entertaining enough to warrant a visit…The sense of anarchy, that something witty and arch will emerge from the mouths of the four actors portraying the Marx Brothers, keeps this lightweight spectacle rolling along…Diamond captures the energy of the young smart-ass Groucho…He keeps the show together, quipping and improvising…Sheldon cleverly plays up the mischievous qualities of Harpo." Full Review
“Unfortunately, this vaudeville-style show seems terribly dated. As directed by Amanda Sisk, the pace isn’t fast enough so that the material isn’t as funny as a Marx Brothers movie. The one liners like ‘Two decks of cards and not a brain cell between them’ aren’t very funny anymore. Styles change in humor as they do in sons. The melodies are bouncy, but the lyrics are generic twenties rhymes and rhythms of which there are better examples to be heard.” Full Review
"Shelden, Roper, and Diamond are all fine replicas of the originals...If you’re a diehard Marxist, you’ll appreciate the nostalgia they inspire and will admire their impressionist skills; if you’re not, seeing them cavort in a nonsensical storyline peppered with not a single memorable song or dance over two and a half hours is an endurance test I recommend only if TCM can’t satisfy your Marxian cravings...The production...is so cheesy you may want to spread your favorite jam over it." Full Review
"Fans of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and even Zeppo Marx may be tickled by the cheerfully amateurish production of 'I'll Say She Is'…Non-devotees, though, will struggle to enjoy the wisp of a Jazz Age storyline…More of a showbiz footnote than a lost gem worth resurrecting. (A slicker production might at least have made for more sheer fun.) The musical accompaniment thumps, the chorines leadenly stomp, and the leading players at best merely approximate their archetypical characters." Full Review
See it if you love the Marx Brothers! This is as close as you'll get to seeing them live, in a "new" show. Brilliant revival!!!
Don't see it if you don't love the Marx Brothers, 1920s revue-style shows, chorines and singing dowager aunts, and did I mention the Marx Brothers?
See it if You're a nostalgia buff and a Marx Brothers fan.
Don't see it if You lose patience with a show that ambles along amiably.
See it if you are a rapid Marx Bros.fan and missed this show last time around at NYMF; it's like seeing an early Marx Bros. movie live on stage, funny
Don't see it if you're not a Marx Bros. fan, don't like early musical comedies that had no real book or plot, don't like zany comedy or 1920s style songs.
See it if If you ever wished you could have seen the Marx Bros in person, here's your chance. Actors really channel Groucho, Chico, Harpo- a fun time!
Don't see it if You require a polished production; needed more and better sets. But the actors were obviously having a ball & the fun & joy was infectious.
See it if If you love the Marx Brothers you will love this play. It has a lot of bits that they used in other skits. I loved it!!
Don't see it if you don't like comedy or the Marx Brothers but I don't know anyone who doesn't like them
See it if you love the Marx Brothers, puns, and great sight gags. Also if you want to laugh and aren't a stick-in-the-mud fuddy-duddy. :)
Don't see it if you take your theatre too seriously. Or hate puns. You won't find it funny, if you don't like them.
See it if you love the Marx Brothers, if you enjoy excavated theater history, or if you like old 1920's movie musical revues. Funny and charming.
Don't see it if you are looking for a plotted musical. This is sketch comedy, extremely well staged on a tiny budged.
See it if you like marx bros. AMAZING impersonations. Would give a 95 rating to Fringe version. New version lost a whole 20 points with me
Don't see it if you don't like marx bros. Honestly this production was not as good as the Fringe version, which had me in stitches. Not nearly as funny
See it if You enjoy old fashioned comedy of the Marx brothers and are looking for a non-complicated plot with songs used sometimes as scene changes.
Don't see it if Don't like over the top humor, old fashioned musicals, look for intense plots or songs that advance the plot
See it if you like the Marx Brothers or funny, zany, slapstick, vaudevillian, shows performed by talented singers, actors, and dancsrs
Don't see it if you dis-lke the Marx Brothers or broad, repetitive, vaudeville-like skits
See it if you appreciate all things Marx brothers performed by a company that loves all things Marx brothers & its throwback to vaudeville stylings
Don't see it if you find the corn of early musical theatre & vaudeville below your pay level
See it if you enjoy cabaret style productions with nice music. I appreciate the attempt at recreating the past.
Don't see it if you enjoy theatre above a high school level. Slow, awkward and lacking in true dedication from the cast. Don't walk in expecting much!
See it if Only if you enjoy Marx Brothers comedy/theater.
Don't see it if Just don't waste your time. Boring, not funny whatsoever. Extremely confusing. We walked out during intermission, I've never done that befor
See it if You love the Marx Bros. and want to see an excellent portrayal of their antic brilliance. Actors playing the Bros. truly brought them tolife
Don't see it if You don't like small theaters and off broadway lack of big production values.
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