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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney Star in "Oh, Hello On Broadway" at the Lyceum Theatre
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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney Star in "Oh, Hello On Broadway" at the Lyceum Theatre

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Patrick Catullo, Marcia Goldberg
et al.
and Comedy Central

A Nick Kroll and John Mulaney production of
Nick Kroll and John Mulaney

Oh, Hello On Broadway
(Oh, Hello On Broadway Website)

Directed by Alex Timbers

At the
Lyceum Theatre
A Schubert Organization
149 West 45th Street

Scenic Design: Scott Pask
Costume Design: Emily Rebholz
Lighting Design: Jake DeGroot
Sound Design: M.L. Dogg
Nightmare Effect Design: Basil Twist
Movement Consultant: Patrick McCollum
Wig Consultant: Leah Lukas
Makeup: Annamarie Tendler Mulaney
Production Stage Manager: Arthur Gaffin
Consultant: Mike Berkowitz
Press Representative: Boneau/Bryan-Brown
Advertising: Serino Coyne
Marketing: The Pekoe Group
Company Manager: Tracy Geltman
General Management: 321 Theatrical Management
Production Management: Juniper Street Productions

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 9, 2016 Matinee

I for one, and my guest, for two, did not openly laugh more than once, each, in this intermission-less, Broadway show, Oh, Hello on Broadway, an expansive version of last year’s original at the Cherry Lane. It would do better with a downtown audience that loves the uncensored, gruesome, profanity-laced cartoons that fill the nights and weekends of Comedy Central TV, which happens to be one of this show’s producers. In fact I found the narrative of the Upper West Side, 70-ish roommates, Gil Faizon (Nick Kroll) and George St. Geegland (John Mulaney), gratingly vulgar. And, the expletive-enhanced operatic song, during an equally annoying tuna fish sandwich skit, sung by today’s matinee guest, Josh Groban, plugging his own projects, was oppressive, to be kind.

The gimmick of this cult duo, stars of one of their producers, Comedy Central, and such, is to mis-pronounce common words, like Broadway and homage, in a skit within a skit about Upper West Side roommates, themselves. The generational gap in this costly matinee was vivid, with, let’s say, youthful laughter abounding, amidst swaths of rows of silence. Selective attack jokes (they attack themselves, each other, and celebrities by name, including all of New York’s mayors for several decades) were at the expense of Soon Yi Previn, Gloria Estefan, and Holocaust victims. There was much talk of medications, bathroom vulgarity, the joys of West Side rent-stabilization (at $75/month), which should be called rent-control, greedy landlords, and New York political scandals. So much of this would have been hilarious in a different production. In fact, Seinfeld’s online show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, comes to mind, one of my favorites, with enough West Side humor to satisfy today’s squirming swaths of rows.

It was truly painful to hear the duo describe the origin of Scott Pask’s eclectic scenic design, for me the high point of the show, as the furniture and props came from a New Jersey warehouse that keeps old, unused sets ready for recycle. A tall shelf-cabinet, from Jefferson Mays’ memorable 2004 show, I Am My Own Wife, was my favorite, with old Victrolas, etc. Coincidentally that show appeared at this very Lyceum Theatre, and I instantly and painfully missed it. Also, a row of retro, industrial hair dryers decorate the rear stage, originating from Steel Magnolias, as well as a front door and stoop from the brownstone in “The Cosby Show”, which Gil and George note that nobody wanted. Cue the uncomfortable laughs. When Basil Twist’s giant prop descends from the ceiling to introduce a forgettable skit, I was only comforted knowing that it was almost time for the curtain. The most appalling contrivance in Alex Timbers’ (Director) contrived-through play is the self-congratulatory dialogue that signals, watch for a new television sitcom on Comedy Central designed for its cult-induced, insult-hungry fans. Gil and George, you’re no Seinfeld.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at