Reasons to see 'The Cottage' on Broadway

The farce, directed by Jason Alexander and starring comedic talents including Laura Bell Bundy, Eric McCormack, and Alex Moffat, is in residence at the Hayes Theater.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

A new comedy has taken up residence at the Hayes Theater for the summer, and you're invited to join the characters at The Cottage in their idyllic summer getaway. But is it really that dreamy? It is for the illicit lovers Beau and Sylvia — until Sylvia decides to come clean to her husband and Beau's wife all at once. Suddenly, three-plus is company, a lot more secrets come out, and the women start to wonder whether their men are simply more trouble than they're worth.

Sandy Rustin's farce has been in the works for 10 years; the show premiered in 2013 in Astoria, Queens. It's now well worth visiting this Cottage now that it's on Broadway. Fans of juicy reality TV and old-fashioned sitcoms are especially likely to love this play for its over-the-top humor and web of drama. Learn more about why to see The Cottage on Broadway before it moves out on October 29.

The Cottage cast is a full house of comedy geniuses.

The front door to the title cottage recalls the door to Jerry's apartment in Seinfeld: constantly open to guests coming in and out, walking in on each other's conversations and, occasionally, more than that. The parallel is apt, considering that Seinfeld's Jason Alexander directs The Cottage in his Broadway directorial debut.

And what a cast he's assembled as his houseguests. Saturday Night Live's Alex Moffat, as Clarke, is a physical comedy king, falling down stairs, brandishing a vase stuck on his arm, and leaning on furniture in all sorts of hilarious positions. Laura Bell Bundy brings a similar kind of humor to her character — Clarke's wife, Sylvia — that she brought to Elle Woods in Legally Blonde 15 years ago: breezy, but with a sharp wit lurking underneath. (Bundy also delivers the best line in the show, a quote from the unseen character of Sylvia's mother-in-law.)

Will & Grace's Eric McCormack always knows how to make an entrance, Lilli Cooper (now on her second summer farce following last year's POTUS) milks a fart joke for all it's worth, and Beetlejuice's Dana Steingold succeeds in both verbal and physical humor. As for Nehal Joshi as Richard, a small, simple gesture — removing a false mustache to reveal a real one underneath — is all it takes to make him a highlight of the second act.

The set isn't all that meets the eye.

The Cottage offers fun for the audience before the curtain even goes up. When you enter, you're greeted by a vividly colored painting of an scenic cottage and garden. But it's not just a gorgeous piece of art — it's also an "I Spy" game. Can you spot the deer, ahem, doing the deed? How about the squirrels on the sidewalk? The brassiere draped over a branch? There are plenty more props and characters from the show to find, but we won't spoil all the fun.

Finally, the backdrop peels away to reveal Paul Tate dePoo III's equally detailed set, and that, too, has lots of unexpected features. A running joke in The Cottage is the use of all kinds of objects as cigarette holders and lighters, and it's a hoot every time a new piece of ordinary furniture reveals its hidden purpose.

The Cottage has juicy romantic drama galore.

The gist of The Cottage is that practically everyone is cheating on each other, with each other. Seriously, everyone. Think of it like a reality TV show, packed wall-to-wall with people's trysts, catfights, and breakdowns. (Bonus points if they're celebrities whose problems are otherwise champagne ones — not unlike the image-obsessed aristocrats in The Cottage.)

Sure, you'd never want to be in their situation yourself, but isn't it exciting to experience their juicy and often funny drama from the comfort of your seat? If that's your thing, The Cottage delivers that exact kind of excitement live. That's something you won't get from reality TV.

Get tickets to The Cottage on Broadway.

The Cottage packs lots of laughs under one roof, and the show provides a fun, lighthearted night out for anyone looking to have an old-fashioned good time. And perhaps remind themselves the joy, oft taken for granted, of having a faithful partner. Or none at all.

Photo credit: Laura Bell Bundy and Eric McCormack in The Cottage. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Originally published on

Subscribe to our newsletter to unlock exclusive New York theatre updates!

Special offers, reviews and release dates for the best shows in town.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy