Thursday, December 25, 2014

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NY1 Theater Review: 'Dead Accounts'

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Katie Holmes is back on Broadway starring opposite two-time Tony-winning actor Norbert Leo Butz in a new play called "Dead Accounts". NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.

There's "Dead Accounts" and then there's "No Accounts", which is a more apt title for this dramatically lifeless play in which there's no accounting for structure, theme or purpose. There is, however, lots of ice cream and a dazzling central performance from Norbert Leo Butz. But no ands, ifs, or buts about it: the play is DOA.

Hard to believe that it got this far. Theresa Rebeck is a talented writer and she's penned some very laudable work. But "Dead Accounts" simply had no business opening in its present form.

The story is a muddled contrivance concerning Jack from New York City who shows up unexpectedly at his parents home in Cincinnati. His sister Lorna finds him unusually hyper and irrational, though his odd behavior might have something to do with the incredible amounts of ice cream he consumes.

The point of his ice cream obsession is never really explained. Nor is pretty much everything else in the play. Their unseen father is inexplicably dying from kidney stones. Lorna, played by the beautiful Katie Holmes, supposedly can't get a date. And Jack, we come to discover, has committed a major crime that seems completely motiveless.

The only good news is that it's very well acted. Josh Hamilton as Jack's hometown pal is a charmer. Jayne Houdyshell as the mom is wonderful as usual, though utterly wasted here and Katie Holmes, in her second Broadway appearance, manages to hold her own with this polished company. But if not for Norbert Leo Butz at his scene chewing best, it would have been a total loss. The two-time Tony winner singlehandedly kept me from hurling my Playbill at the stage.

Rebeck writes hard to make us laugh, yet the funniest moment is a sight gag and I wonder how much of that was a directorial move. Despite the great Jack O'Brien's best efforts, "Dead Accounts" emerges not so much a comedy as a joke. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP