A quartet of shows are having their final performances on Broadway today. Two of them, Accent on Youth (starring David Hyde Pierce) and The Philanthropist (starring Matthew Broderick), produced by Manhattan Theatre Club and Roundabout Theatre Company, respectively, have finished their limited runs. But Irena’s Vow and August: Osage County were open-ended Broadway runs that are only concluding now because of low ticket sales. August has had an unusually successful run for a Broadway play, having begun its highly acclaimed limited engagement at the Imperial Theatre in late 2007, then transferring to the Music Box Theatre so that it could enjoy a continuing run (winning the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for author Tracy Letts along the way). Unfortunately the show is closing shortly after Phylicia Rashad took over the major role of family matriarch Violet, a part that has already earned her raves from many of the audiences who have had a chance to see August in the last few weeks.
A successful writer is about to give up on his most recent script, but then his secretary offers him renewed inspiration. With the young secretary acting as his muse, the playwright puts his show on Broadway – only to discover that the play’s handsome leading man is being inspired by her as well.
Samson Raphaelson’s 1934 play stars David Hyde Pierce (Frasier, Spamalot, Curtains) in a performance which demonstrates that he is successfully making the transition from comic sidekick to unassuming leading man. Though the comedy is certainly a bit dated, it still plays as quite charming and funny, and it also offers some thoughtful meditations on love and youth.