Always Leave ‘Em Wanting More

Always Leave ‘Em Wanting More
A Review of
A Minor Midcareer Retrospective
Davenport Theatre Black Box
7/22, 7/24, 7/25
by Isaac Scranton


As Mama Rose famously said, the first rule of theatre is to always leave ‘em wanting more. James Judd in A Minor Midcareer Retrospective clearly took that advice to heart.

Judd is charming, charismatic and clearly a master at getting the audience on his side. He electrified with whacky tales running the gamut from Patti LuPone avoiding him with a ladies’ room full of deaf drag queens to his trials and tribulations against psychotic geese and defendants alike as a Public Defender in New Hampshire. In the audience, we laughed, we cried and were with him all the way.

And then, without warning, fanfare or even an acknowledgement that his allotted time was over, he bowed and disappeared off the stage. The stage lights dimmed. A few moments later the house lights brightened. We, the audience, didn’t know whether this was some sort of intermission, a clever Kaufmann-esque gag or if the show was really and truly over so soon.

It may be a good theatrical rule of thumb to always leave ‘em wanting more – ostensibly so that they’ll keep coming back – but when that rule is taken so literally, it can often undercut what otherwise would have been a most fabulous evening.