“The Cottage” promises to be a side-splitting, screwball comedy filled with outrageous one-liners, melodramatic reveals, and unexpected visitors. Set in the 1920s English countryside, the play follows Sylvia, played by Laura Bell Bundy, who decides to take her illicit affair with Beau, portrayed by Eric McCormack, to the next level by notifying their respective spouses. This bold move sets off a series of chaotic events, including the appearance of various characters and the revelation of hidden secrets.
Directed by Jason Alexander in his Broadway directorial debut, “The Cottage” has received praise for its swift pace and snappy script by Sandy Rustin. The play’s six-piece ensemble, including actors like Nehal Joshi, Dana Steingold, and Tony Roach, delivers knockout performances with impeccable comedic timing, adding to the play’s charm.
Eric McCormack’s portrayal of Beau impresses with a mix of charm, humor, and vulnerability. Meanwhile, Laura Bell Bundy’s Sylvia is an unapologetic spitfire with real moxie, delivering cutting remarks and embracing her independent spirit.
Lilli Cooper brings a grounded approach to Marjorie, and her comedic skills are showcased during a hilariously funny scene involving her character’s pregnancy. Alex Moffat, making his Broadway debut as Clarke, offers a distinguished performance, and Nehal Joshi’s portrayal of Richard adds a touch of mystery to the story. Dana Steingold’s Deirdre drops truth bombs about love, adding depth to the play’s exploration of relationships.
“The Cottage” skillfully balances comedy and thought-provoking themes, encouraging the audience to reflect on love, sex, and societal expectations. With its clever script and stellar performances, the play is a fresh and enjoyable addition to Broadway that keeps theatergoers laughing from start to finish.
As the play unfolds, the audience is treated to a delightful mix of physical comedy, witty dialogue, and unexpected twists. The elaborate living room set, designed by Paul Tate dePoo III, is filled with elegant details, creating the perfect backdrop for the characters’ antics. Lighting designer Jiyoun Chang’s well-timed spotlights add to the overall ambiance, enhancing the comedic moments and dramatic reveals.
“The Cottage” skillfully explores the complexities of relationships and the roles that love and sex play in shaping our lives. Sylvia’s journey, from seeking love outside her marriage to discovering her own strength and independence, is both empowering and relatable. The play also tackles societal expectations and the idea of finding one’s identity beyond traditional norms.
The chemistry among the cast is evident, and their impeccable comedic timing keeps the audience engaged throughout. Each actor brings a unique flair to their character, from Eric McCormack’s debonair and witty Beau to Laura Bell Bundy’s fierce and spirited Sylvia. Lilli Cooper’s portrayal of Marjorie adds depth to the story, and her memorable scene involving a rather epic fart is a testament to her comedic prowess.
As the play hurtles towards its conclusion, the characters’ secrets are unveiled, leading to a satisfying and unexpected ending. “The Cottage” leaves theatergoers entertained and introspective, reminding us that love, in all its forms, can be a journey of self-discovery and growth.
Overall, “The Cottage” is a delightful and hilarious romp that offers both laughter and food for thought. With its talented ensemble, clever writing, and skillful direction, the play proves to be a captivating addition to Broadway’s lineup. From start to finish, “The Cottage” keeps audiences thoroughly entertained, leaving them eager to experience the rollercoaster of emotions once more. Grade: A