James Corden hailed as the comic King of Broadway by critics as One Man, Two Guvnors opens in New York
15:52 GMT, 19 April 2012
James Corden was hailed as the comic King of Broadway today by New York critics.
Reviewers were tripping over each other to find superlatives to praise Corden's hilarious performance in One Man ,Two Guvnors , the National Theatre and West End hit that opened officially on Broadway on Wednesday night.
The Daily News' reviewer Joe Dziemianowicz pleaded: 'Can we keep James Corden in New York for good'
Toast of the town: James Corden has been praised by New York critics for his performance in One Man, Two Guvnors
Dziemianowicz declared 'the riotous James Corden is brilliant' in the comedy set in 1960s Brighton.
'We were nervous because so many people were worried that the Americans wouldn't get it here but they're laughing at things we didn't think they'd get': Corden told the Daily Mail.
The Gavin and Stacey star plays Francis Henshall, an easily confused henchman who finds himself working for two different bosses played by fellow Brits Oliver Chris and Jemima Rooper.
The man from the Daily News liked them, too, calling Mr Chris “deliciously daft' and Ms Rooper 'sharp and sexy'.
'A dream come true': Corden, seen onstage with Suzie Toase, said he never realised the play would be such a hit stateside
Opening night: James Corden impressed the usually harsh critics of NYC on opening night at the Music Box Theatre
For Corden the reviews are the kind actors dream of but rarely receive.
The Hollywood Reporter called Corden a 'virtuoso ringmaster' who 'wraps the audience around his pudgy finger'
The New York Post described his performance as an 'hilarious tour de farce', while Entertainment Weekly said Corden's performance was 'a blaze of genius'
At the first night party held at the old Liberty Theatre on 42nd Street everyone was trembling over what Ben Brantley, the New York Times reviewer, was going to write.
They needn't have been so nervous.
Five star reviews: Suzie Toase, Oliver Chris, James Corden and Jemima Rooper impressed U.S audiences with the British play, set in Brighton
Proud family: James Corden poses with his mother Margaret Corden and father Malcolm Corden as they attend the after party for the One Man, Two Guvnors
Brantley penned a five-star rave review declaring the show to be 'ideal escapism for anxious times' and that audiences were going to be hooked by Corden's 'rich,slow-spreading smile' adding that Corden's a 'comic star in Britain ' who 'seems poised to become one here'.
The show has only been running for two weeks and it's already selling one million dollars worth of tickets a week, a tremendous amount of money for a non-musical , although just to confuse you the show does have music but it's not a musical in the traditional sense.
Some arts writers in the UK ,who haven't actually seen the New York production, complained that the US One Man had been overly Americanised.
'We changed solicitor to attorney and a couple of others but it has hardly been tweaked at all for the Americans', Corden said.
Happy family: James Corden and fiancee Julia Carey after his show-stopping performance
Nicholas Hytner, the National's artistic chief who directed One Man with Cal McCrystal , insisted that 'Americans aren't stupid, they get it'.
Indeed, the New York Post noted that some cynics had wondered if One Man might be too British for New Yorkers.
'Happy people tripping over themselves and making faces is funny everywhere', the NY Post critic observed.
The Associated Press critic went so far as to suggest the show could be some sort of diplomatic breakthrough.
It has been said our two countries are divided by a common language, but the joyous laughter emanating from this production could reunite them at last'.
There's always a pooper though, Linda Winer of Newsday was not amused.
She'd heard from trusted friends that One Man was among the funniest evenings in the theatre but not for her.
'There are few experiences lonelier than sitting with a poker face in a hail of laughter'.
However the extraordinary level of positive critics notices and amazing word of mouth are enough to turn One Man and it's ensemble cast led by Corden into a solid gold success but it's only having a twenty week run because Corden has other professional commitments .
The producers at the National feel they would need a star name to replace Corden on Broadway .
In London Corden was replaced by his understudy, an unknown, but Broadway economics dictate that a star be found.
'I've seen successful shows become flops because of recasting the wrong person when really they should have. Shut the show when it was a hit, Nicholas Hytner told the Mail.
He insisted the show would close in September.