Christopher Walken Sings in

James Joyce's The Dead

[James Joyce's The Dead]

This play, a musical rendition of The Dead by James Joyce, was on at the Playwrights Horizons and then moved to the Belasco Theatre where it is being extended indefinitely.

One might think that the short story could be adapted into a musical with a running time of five minutes, but, like the ever-growing number of performances, it has been extended indefinitely. Well, it's not quite indefinite, if you can manage to stay awake and keep track of the time. This play is longer than one would think, less depressing than one would think, and less exciting than is imaginable. Some of the affectations, which one must conclude begrudgingly are attempted Irish accents, are abysmal. On the other hand, there are some fine performances, and even one memorable number which celebrates "naughty girls."

Of course, for anyone with their priorities straight, all of that is irrelevant, because you went to see Christopher Walken sing. He sings. He dances a bit. He plays Gabriel Conroy. It is perfectly serious and not amusing in the slightest. Search and Destroy this is not. Not even Daisy Eagan's bemused and bored expressions can add levity to this disappointing situation. You still need to see it, but keep your expectations low.

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