“There’s no business—like the theater business!”
—Imre Laszlo (Act I, Scene II)
“One of the wildest, funniest, best-acted, farces I've ever seen.”
—Associated Press (1979)
If She Loves Me mated with Dangerous Liaisons, their child would be Break A Leg.
—Trumbull Times (1979)
Levin first visited the world of the theater with his critic-as-paragon comedy Critic's Choice. Here, the portrayal's less dewey-eyed, with a reviled critic standing poised to receive his long-due comeuppance from the theater company he's repeatedly brutalized. This side-splitting theatrical revenge fable is set – as its synopsis (written in the voice of the company's dramaturgically-challenged, and totally non-autobiographical playwright Imre Laszlo) succinctly states –
Break A Leg is one of Levin's least-known, yet funniest works. Told from the perspective of a woebegone theater company as it uses its combined skills to pay back a vicious critic in full, it does for revenge-comedy what Kiss Me, Kate did for Shakespeare.
With a delightful cast of characters (...singing sweethearts Mitzi Karlowe and Carlo Mizzi...!), those with a love of the theater – or a dislike of critics – are sure to love Break A Leg.
When asked in 1979 by columnist Jay Sharbutt if Break A Leg's premise sprang from a real-life critic revenge fantasy, Levin replied: