BOTTOM LINE: Smart subject matter, strong moments, a work in progress.
Live Broadcast has a lot of potential. The premise is extremely compelling – what happens when a successful actor from middle-America goes on a national talk show to debate real issues with a liberal congresswoman? Does he choose to speak his mind or does he let the pressures of his own industry force him to keep his mouth shut?
This show is very much on the fringe of something that could continue to grow as the artists involved continues to develop it. It isn’t until the end of the first act that we start to see the story get away from a lot of talking and the action pick up as the stakes of the characters become clear. The second act is almost like a completely different show. The actor and politician go head to head on live TV with the host and his agent very much on edge. Real issues and strong points of view are put out there and the actors show sharp vigor for the material.
There are a lot of good things happening with this show. After getting past a lot of the initial exposition, the actors do get to sink their teeth into their characters. We have 4 archetypical characters: an actor, a politician, an agent and a news talk show host with a bit of an ego. When the natural conflicts that arise with these characters come up, it’s very cool and very true to watch. Most of this happens in the second act and the actors do a fine job of playing these roles when the heat picks up. It’s almost like a completely different show when we are actually watching the live broadcast. There is more that can happen and exploring these issues as this play does is refreshing to watch. It will make you think a lot of about entertainment and our country.
I believe with continued work, collaboration and development with this piece it could become a real fantastic piece of theater worthy of a full production. It’s just not there yet for most audiences, but I will say that if you are curious about the show and the premise, by all means check it out. There is a nice production value and, as I said at the beginning, it has a ton of potential.
(Live Broadcast plays at The New School for Drama, 151 Bank Street. The final performance is Sunday, August 23rd at noon. Tickets are $15. For more show info visit livebroadcastplay.com and for more FringeNYC info visit fringenyc.org.)