Monday, March 28, 2005
More from Michael
"Another challenge [with Minnie's Boys] is that it is about all of the Brothers in their seminal days as struggling Vaudeville performers, when they were first developing the character traits that they eventually settled on for the screen, and the rest of their public lives. The action of the play in fact ends before the point in history that they became stars, so the audience will have to get used to the fact that the boys never called by their famous names, but only by their real names: Julius (Groucho), Leonard (Chico), Adolph (Harpo), Herbert (Zeppo) and Milton (Gummo). Not only that, but they barely ever appear in the costumes and attitudes which the audience is most familiar with - i.e., Harpo talks (and even sings, one of the best songs in the show), Chico has no Italian accent (but rather a strong New York one!) and Groucho has no mustache!
All that said, the brothers in their off-stage, off-screen lives were always funny, and always contained some strong aspects of what later made them such a great and famous comedy team - Harpo was always sweet and somewhat shy, Groucho always had an acerbic and quick wit, etc. The show was written by Groucho's son Arthur, and while it takes some necessary liberties with time and history to form a cohesive show, I do believe it not only forms a fairly accurate general picture of the development of the Marx "act" and early family life, but is also hilarious and fun to watch.
Additionally, despite suffering some criticism in its original recording for Shelley Winters'…"unique" singing, I find the score absolutely wonderful—often very funny and surprisingly touching, and always catchy."
I am really curious to see how they handle the whole name issue. I mean, are there ways that they remind the audience of which persona each of the brothers ended up being, or do they become characters in the show that sort of stand on their own, not requiring constant linkage to their Marx Brothers persona?
Can't wait to see,