Well, we’re on. The Book of Everything has opened in the New Victory Theater.
Super response from the audiences and a rave review in yesterday’s New York Post.
‘It’s not quite right to say that “The Book of Everything” is one of the best children’s shows in town.
It’s one of the best shows, period.’ wrote Frank Scheck. He can come again.
It has been a very exciting, though exhausting, time for the company, flying for nineteen hours from Sydney to New York, bumping the set in, rigging the sound and lights, and rehearsing in the unfamiliar new space.
The New Victory Theater is wonderful – the oldest continuously used theatre on Broadway. It’s had a superb renovation, retaining the balconies and the boxes, the velvet curtains and ornate features on the ceiling.
‘A real theatre,’ said one of the actors.
It also attracts a great eclectic audience. A schools performance was packed with African-American (I hope that’s the current politically correct term) teenagers, who cheered on the characters as if they were rock stars.
The official premiere drew a more conventional, largely adult, theatre crowd, and for me the highlight was being able to celebrate the story and the production with Guus Kuijer, the Dutch author of the novel on which the play is based.
The cast invited unsuspecting ‘Uncle Guus’ up on stage for the participation finale, in which audience members join the cast to play guests at the Reading Out Loud Club, then at curtain call revealed his identity. A standing ovation and a magic moment followed.
The team get a well-earned day off tomorrow, before another week of schools and general public shows. The signs are that it will be a big success.
As Mr Scheck says:
‘The entire ensemble is terrific, especially Matthew Whittet, so endearing as Thomas that you’ll want to go onstage and hug him.
This “Book of Everything” is warm, witty, wise and wonderful.’