‘American Psycho’ Theater Review: Bloody Good Satire
Patrick Bateman has it all – good looks, great body, amazing job and a collection of name-brand possessions unrivaled in Manhattan. But the protagonist of the musical version of American Psycho, which made its Broadway debut on April 21, has, umm, a bit of a dark side. All that entitlement, it seems, makes him very angry at homeless people, prostitutes, colleagues and lovers who displease his finely tuned sense of perfection. So he dismembers each with glee. Or does he? The stage version, like the much-maligned novel, is ambiguous about whether Bateman’s antics are reality or the product of a premium coke-addled mind.
‘American Psycho’ Theater Review
American Psycho, of course, has a long history of creating controversy. First, the 1991 novel by Bret Eatson Ellis led to boycotts and the cancelation of the book tour due to charges of misogyny. Then, the Mary Harron film, starring Christian Bale, seemed to suggest the Bateman’s killing spree was simply the product of a rich fantasy life. In the Broadway version, Benjamin Walker (The Choice) steps into the bloody role with a star-making performance that’s almost too perfect. From the first scene, in which Bateman preens and dances about emerging from his tanning bed in his tighty whities, the audience knows it’s in for something not seen often on Broadway these days – a full-throated satire that spares few. Psycho doesn’t flinch in its indictment of materialism and that peculiar 80’s brand of go-go capitalism. With music by 80s favs Depeche Mode, The Human League, Huey Lewis & The News and Phil Collins, mass murder has never been so much fun.
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