Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Reviews Pan Bill W bio-drama

March 6, 2007, N.Y. Post:
Who would have guessed a drama about the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous would be the laugh riot of the year? But that's the unfortunate result of "Bill W. and Dr. Bob," the well-intentioned but haplessly executed effort written by novelist Stephen Bergman and clinical psychologist Janet Surrey that opened last night.

What should have been a powerful and inspirational story plays instead like a drunken road-show version of "The Producers."
Read full review

Broadway World.Com's reviewer writes:
A program note for Stephen Bergman and Janet Surrey's Bill W. and Dr. Bob advises us that performance of the work does not imply affiliation with nor approval or endorsement from Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Smart move, A.A.

Doing for alcoholism what Reefer Madness did for drug abuse (or at least what its New World Stages neighbor Sealed For Freshness does for Tupperware), Bill W. and Dr. Bob is a frightfully melodramatic bio-drama which uses the same kind of character-probing sensitivity one might find in a driver ed movie to tell the story of two men who, in dealing with their own demons, developed the treatment techniques that would birth Alcoholics Anonymous.

... The authors turn their heroes and everyone around them into cardboard cutouts ... while I can't imagine anyone feeling inspired or enriched by this misdirected corn, I know a few more evenings like this could have me swearing off theatre for a while.

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