Matt Glenn’s jokes are going to bomb, and it’s liberating for him. In Whitman’s production of “45 Seconds from Broadway,” Glenn plays Mickey Fox, a comedian who can’t stop cracking jokes, and can’t start cracking good ones.
“He’s very wrapped up in his own comedy. … He makes these increasingly terrible jokes,” said Glenn. “It’s kind of fun to get up in front of everyone and tell the worst jokes imaginable.”
But Glenn is confident that people will laugh at “45 Seconds” at Whitman this weekend. A Neil Simon play that debuted in 2001, “45 Seconds” follows the year’s four seasons in a New York diner where struggling playwrights, gossipy theatergoers, Broadway stars and Broadway wannabe’s are always coming and going.
“It’s not really your normal play — it doesn’t have a straight, continuous plot,” said sophomore Matt Glenn. “It’s almost like a stand-up comedy routine — it’s a little bit spontaneous.”
“It’s been called a play about nothing,” said junior Michaela Lieberman. “It follows a number of different characters and their relationships.”
Lieberman plays Arlene, who comes to the diner with Cindy (junior Alex Bachorik) to chat loudly about plays they don’t quite grasp. “We talk as if we’re sophisticated theatergoers,” Lieberman said. “I end up investing in a show that bombs.”
Many of the play’s leads performed in Whitman’s “Les Miserables” last fall. “45 Seconds” offers Whitman’s actors a chance to be in a more eccentric and edgy production.
“It pushes the envelope somewhat. … The characters are caricatures. [The play] makes fun of those stereotypes,” said Lieberman. “It addresses some very human issues like disappointment, and unrealized aspirations.”
“It’s structured in a way that conversations dovetail into each other,” said Lieberman. “If you have a long attention span and enjoy smart, creative and witty dialogue, then you’ll enjoy this.”
“If you like pure, heartless comedy … or if you just want to sit there and laugh your butt off, come see this show,” Glenn said.
<1b>– Alex Scofield