ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS

Years ago, with its uncanny knack for spotting talent of the future,
Fox-11's “That's So Hollywood” featured British actor James Corden as
a Fresh Face for his role in “The History Boys”. Since then, Corden
has seized the brass ring with a star-making, perhaps even legendary
performance at the National Theater in London as the blazing light of
this play, adapted and updated from Carlo Goldoni's famous 18th-
century Italian farce, “The Servant of Two Masters”. A live
performance was shot on video; it had a limited run at the Downtown
Independent Theater on Main Street (a real art house treasure). And
Corden is… a scream. Now 33, the twinkle in his eyes is half English
schoolboy, half Benny Hill. He has inexhaustible physical comedy
skills. And Corden works the audience — hard, using the Italian
convention of “asides” to break down the fourth wall and (literally)
yank people in. That very funny first-row interaction combines with
thigh-slappingly tight musical interludes from Grant Olding and his
band and a spot-on (often inspired) supporting cast to make this
production a complete delight! — Jeff Schultz

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