Culture Watch: NT Live’s broadcast of ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’

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National Theatre Live, “One Man, Two Guvnors”
Theaters worldwide

The laughter that has been ringing out of the National Theatre all summer long can be traced to London’s biggest hit of the moment, “One Man, Two Guvnors,” Richard Bean’s comic confection based on Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters.”

Goldoni’s classic Italian comedy has been given a British humor makeover, complete with mischievous ditties by Grant Olding. But the real secret of the production is the clown jewel performance of James Corden, who plays a portly, ravenously hungry underling slyly working for two bosses he’s desperate to keep apart.

When I caught the production in June, grown men were reduced to sobbing puddles of hilarity. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Benny Hill style myself, but this madcap caper, involving mistaken identity, bumbling mobsters and all sorts of shameless shenanigans revolving around food, tickled me to no end.

Southern California theater lovers will have the opportunity to catch a broadcast on Thursday at participating venues, which include the Downtown Independent and Hollywood’s Mann Chinese 6. A schedule, with encore showing information, can be found at



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--Charles McNulty\charlesmcnulty