The Shark is Broken

Lovers of the classic 1970’s summer blockbuster Jaws should not miss the Broadway production of The Shark is Broken, a dramatized behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film with its three stars—Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss—played superlatively by Ian Shaw, Colin Donnell and Alex Brightman respectively.

Over the course of many days during filming, the mechanical shark continually breaks down as the apparatus cannot function properly in sea water. The makers wanted to shoot on a live ocean versus in a studio water tank; hence the situation that begins to unfold. Tension rises as the routine wait for repairs begins to drag the actors down into a well of frustration, irritation and the unrelenting desire to get off the rusty hull on which they’re shooting day after day. Add to the circumstances the buckets of liquor Robert Shaw is both hiding and drinking on set and you’ve got a combustible mix of issues.

The three men battle out their time telling stories, discussing the script, reading trade papers, fussing over the search for their next project and expressing their general concerns with show business.

With both hilarious moments and emotional exchanges, the play production is an absolute ideal amalgamation of a well-crafted script (co-written by Robert Shaw’s son Ian Shaw), evocative set and lighting design, tight pacing, master direction by Guy Masterson and actors who realistically portray the actual men they are bringing to life.

This was one of my most favorite Broadway plays; and even if the shark is broken, nothing else about this show is.

It’s perfect in every way.

The Shark is Broken closes on November 19.

Special Note: Feature Image for this blog post courtesy of Gyöngyvér Fábián at Pixabay.