Norman Allen’s comedy Melville Slept Here isn’t the only thing getting laughs at Signature Theatre these days. Intermission crowds have been gathering at a lobby bulletin board to giggle at a mockup of an ad that will never run for Signature’s other show, Sunday in the Park With George (jointly produced with Arena Stage at Arena’s Kreeger Theater).
The ad is identical to one that appeared in the Post, except for the quote from Post reviewer Lloyd Rose. Where the published version does its best to mute her lukewarm reaction, the mockup makes light of it, an approach that not only delights Signature’s patrons, many of whom have seen the show, but that also lightened the mood among Sunday’s cast members when posted backstage. Arena’s cautious, if privately amused, management isn’t about to risk annoying Rose or the Post by actually running the ad, but Signature’s Eric Schaeffer, who both directed Sunday and devised the spoof, has fewer qualms.
“Hey, she said it!” he laughs. “They say if you believe the good reviews, you have to believe the bad reviews. We just quote ’em. We did the same thing with Poor Superman. Time magazine called it one of the year’s 10 best, and everybody else kept saying how controversial it was, and [the Washington Times’] Nelson Pressley said, ‘It’s boring.’ We quoted him.”
That one sold out. Bob Mondello