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FEIFFER HITS THE STAGE WITH A MUSICAL

Man in the Ceiling cover“The Man in the Ceiling” is a new musical based upon Jules Feiffer’s 1995 somewhat autobiographical young adult novel about a boy named Jimmy Jibbett who aspires to be a cartoonist. Feiffer has written plays but this is his first shot at a musical. Premiering May 30 - June 25, the reviews were mixed although the ones I have seen were mostly favorable.

In Variety, Frank Rizzo said: “Though the script is by Feiffer, the musical lacks the original material’s sly humor, off-beat charm and gentle heart."

In the New York Times, Neil Genzlinger: “Like many musicals, ‘The Man in the Ceiling’ was a long time in gestation, and it deserves more development. As of now, this is a show that will teach theatrically inclined youngsters what a relatively sophisticated musical number sounds like. To be truly transporting, it needs more of what makes a Feiffer drawing work: wit, understatement and clarity.

Hamptons.com, T.J. Clemente: “The Saturday evening premiere of the musical ‘The Man in the Ceiling’ received thunderous applause and a standing ovation at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on Saturday June 3. The collaborations of Jules Feiffer (author of the book The Man in the Ceiling) along with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (‘Rent’), and director Jeffrey Seller (who produced ‘Hamilton’) bring an innovative and retro dynamic to this bold musical production. The stage design and lighting along with a live orchestra adds a unique panache to this show.

Man in the Ceiling stillSag Harbor Express, Annette Hinkle: “With a team like that, it's hard to go wrong, and rest assured, this is a polished piece of theater with solid acting, a terrific score and tons of creativity, thanks to an enthusiastic and talented cast and crew..... Ultimately what's missing here is the real gravitas necessary to make the adults in the play become fully realized characters. The lack of complexity in their development leaves the supporting roles nearly as one dimensional as Jimmy Jibbett's cartoons.”

27East, Lorraine Dusky: “Joie de vivre spills off the stage in the world premiere of ‘The Man in the Ceiling’ currently at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. Based on Jules Feiffer's young adult novel of the same title, this collaboration between writer Feiffer and composer Andrew Lippa bounces along with high-voltage energy to its exuberant end.”

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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