Orphans is the 1983 seriocomedy about two brothers (or “Dead-End kids,” as they’re affectionately called) who bond with the gangster one of them has kidnapped, making for an unholy but kind of darkly charming dysfunctional family. Lyle Kessler’s play seems to borrow tones from Pinter, Orton, Mamet, and Shepard, but it reaches its own lunacy as the gangster unties himself and takes over the household, becoming an unlikely father figure and a bit of an interior decorator too. Daniel Sullivan’s production concentrates on bringing out the laughs in Act One and the pain towards the end. Alec Baldwin, Ben Foster, and Tom Sturridge are all good in this deft but slight evening.
Jekyll & Hyde is the musical that invented American Idol even before that show existed. Its bombastic, key-changing songs are made for staring out at the audience, puffing up your lungs, and belting out every note, then waiting for the judges’ decision–and that’s just how they’re done here. I vote no.
Maybe just stick to the orphans. I mean the singing and dancing ones in Annie.