Review Of Is He Dead

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Lyceum Theater

149 W. 45th Street

Two hours and 10 minutes, including one 15-minute

November 29, 2007

Broadway Play (Comedy)

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If you look at any review of Is He Dead, you'll find that they all basically say the same thing. For a play that nobody even knew existed this past century, the comedy is a remarkably witty surprise and may even be Mark Twain's best play of all.

The One He Couldn't Crack

There's no denying that Twain is one of the most important writers of American literature - in fact, he is often referred to as the Father of American Literature. He is perhaps best known for his two masterpieces Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn but Twain's repertoire extends far beyond these two works. He was a satirist of the first order and his wit is apparent in almost all his writing. Twain was also a remarkable essayist and lecturer, who wrote worthy travelogues and political satires as well.

But as any review of Is He Dead will tell you, there is one genre that Twain couldn't seem to master and that was the play. This was something he tried often but pieces like Ah Sin and Colonel Sellers didn't meet with very good reviews, despite the appeal of his name. Twain would have to wait for over a century before one of his plays would become a roaring success.

A Surprise

Mostly any review of Is He Dead will probably make a mention of the sheer odds stacked against bringing a play like this back to life. The fact that it couldn't find its way to the stage in Twain's own life is tough enough. But a century later, audience tastes have changed drastically. Current trends in humor, for example, are vastly different. Furthermore, the audience today is a bit more jaded. A play has to fight for its place among television, movies, the internet, all of which were non-entities in Twain's time.

Logically speaking, any review of Is He Dead should be a scathing one but instead, the play has been reaping nothing but positive responses. Those who came to see the show out of simple curiosity found themselves enjoying a delightful blend of satire and wit that is incredibly hard to find these days. The story follows the life of Millet, a painter living in France, known for his noble simplicity when it comes to depicting peasant farmers. Unfortunately, this hasn't translated into cash for the impoverished artist and he has debts to pay. He is at the mercy of an art gallery owner and is faced with the threat of losing the woman he loves.

He soon hits upon the idea of faking his own death in order to increase the prices of his work. With the help of his friends, Millet creates an extensive illness, which culminates in his death. Millet himself dresses himself as the Widow Tillou to avoid suspicion. The play casts a strong light on the way the art world runs and it's interesting to note that most of those trends still exist. If you've read a positive review of Is He Dead and are in the mood to watch this masterpiece yourself, you can easily order your tickets just by getting online with an authorized ticket vendor. To view a great online source of Is He Dead tickets click the link!

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