I went to see the new family-friendly musical Effie Jean in Tahiti this past week. It's written by David Johnston and Stephen Speights, and features a fantastic cast.
If you have children, you really have to see it. My friend's six year old has already seen it twice. It's got fun performances, hilarious dances, colorful costumes, and a plucky leading lady (played with aplomb my Laura Desmond) and her awesome brother (played by Matt Trumbull.)
But as an adult, childless and, in fact, without even so much as my own womb, I sat there laughing my butt off, delighted by the whole thing. David Johnston is easily one of the best writers working in New York today, and in a way that is entirely satisfying. He's clever without grandstanding, heartwarming without a hint of sucrose, is a master of the turn of phrase and, yes, an expert joker. He's definitely stretching by writing family friendly work (most of his work will make you cry laughing) but it feels as if he's been doing it for years.
It runs until September 20th. So get your tickets. Bring the kids.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.