By Meredith Ganzman (@MGanzman)
It’s George and Gil’s world- we’re just living in it. Meet the two 70 something senior citizens of the Upper West Side in the new Broadway two-man play Oh, Hello on Broadway. Think of them, Gil and George say, as the last bit of hummus at the bottom of the tub that only fingers can scoop.
George St. Geegland (John Mulaney) is a suspected Black Widow, currently taking competing medicines, he admits. Gil Faizon (Nick Kroll) is an actor- a Tony Award- viewing actor. They’ve been living together for more than 40 years in their rent controlled apartment. And you have been invited to see their new play written by George. Theatre is cool again. Just look around in the theater district. There’s Hamilton and nothing else, they say. Oh and don’t worry, if either Gil or George is unavailable for a performance, they have cast two bright new understudies. These two actors are definitely up-and-comers to look out for: John Slattery and Jon Hamm.
Creators Kroll and Mulaney have honed these characters for more than ten years, who were first born in live sketches and then online videos. Gil and George then became staples on Comedy Central’s sketch series, “Kroll Show,” along with their fake prank show parody “Too Much Tuna.”
St. Geegland’s new play is really moving up, playing Broadway. His past works were performed in such notable venues as hospitals, kill centers and during breaks at AA meetings. So to have the opportunity to perform their “memoir for the stage” at the Lyceum Theater, is exciting for the performing pair, who expect the play to exceed the audience’s expectations because it has- wait for it- a set!
And boy does it ever! For an audience of theatre and comedy nerds, Kroll and Mulaney’s (or is it Faizon and St. Geegland’s) love letter, perhaps stalker note they say, to the theatre is simply hilarious.
Each performance is both scripted and improvised. Gil and George invite a special guest from the audience to join them on stage. At this performance, it’s Late Night host Seth Meyers, who they grill with hard-hitting political questions and then, of course, serve a gigantic tuna-fish sandwich, which is lowered down on a tray with wings.
When the roommates are thrown out of their rent-controlled apartment, they must live on a bench in Riverside Park. That is until they get one lucky phone call, though they pronounce phone as fun. So it’s a fun call. NY1 wants to bring back their formerly cancelled “Too Much Tuna” public access show.
Will the two stick together and give their show one more try? Making it for 70 plus years in New York City is not easy. And though Gil and George may never have a public access show or even apartment again, at least they have each other, which means many more laughs for us.
Oh, Hello on Broadway is playing through January 8 at the Lyceum Theater.