Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me

By Andrew Andrews

Michael (Michael Broadhurst), Edward (Jonathan Judge-Russo) and Adam (Leif Steinert) sit on the floor of their holding cell, their legs shackled to the walls, in Animus’ production of Frank McGuinness’ "Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me" at Cherry Lane Theatre. Original photo by Haley Thorpe Photography.

An American, an Irishman and an Englishman walk into a bar…

Except it’s not a bar, it’s a dungeon-like holding cell.

And they didn’t walk in… they were dragged in.

And this joke just got a whole lot darker, didn’t it?

Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is not a live production of the 1987 romance crime thriller film that starred Tom Berenger and Mimi Rogers, although it prominently features the same famous 1926 ballad by George and Ira Gershwin.

No, this production is a reprise of the very dark comedy by Frank McGuinness, originally staged in 1992 at the Booth Theatre on Broadway.

The American, Adam (Leif Steinert), is the first to be kidnapped by an unseen group of Arabs in Lebanon, although our story begins when the Irishman, Edward (Johnathan Judge-Russo), is taken hostage along with him.

Chained to adjacent walls with shackles on their ankles, the duo struggles to maintain their health and sanity for days upon weeks upon months, never knowing but always guessing the reason for their captivity and what their future will bring.

Then, one day, the Englishman, Michael (Michael Broadhurst) is brought to join them, and chained to the third wall.

As difficult as captivity has been for Adam and Edward, Michael has the hardest time coping with the situation.

Which makes things even harder for Adam and Edward.

On a simple but convincing set (Scott Tedmon Jones), all three actors deliver five-star portrayals under the direction of Alan Langdon, allowing us not only to witness the recurring moments of anguish, hope, camraderie, interpersonal and internal struggles that hostages must surely go through, but to feel the pain of their daily existence with a lump for a mattress, a bottle of water and zero contact with the outside world.

So how, then, do three five-star performances on a very handsome set result in a four-star overall review?

You see, it’s just that, clocking in at a little under three hours with one brief intermission, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is a lot of struggle for a person to sit still through.

Not the least bit boring, mind you, and not tedious like a Chekhov play, but let’s just say you really get a feel for what it’s like to be held captive, always knowing that the end is coming, but never quite sure when or how.

Hey, wait a minute… maybe that’s the point?

So prepare yourself for the anticipation, then head down to the Cherry Lane Theatre and get your own taste of Animus Theatre Company’s production of McGuinness’ dark humour.

And after you’ve been released, come on back here and share your experience with us.

Your reviews can help others decide whether Someone is worth watching over, and your ratings help us help you find future performances you’re sure to love!


Andrew Andrews attended Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at Cherry Lane Theatre Studio in Manhattan on Thursday, November 15, 2018 @ 4:00pm to write this review.