Rachel Bloom tells us she wants to perform the show she had planned to perform before COVID lumbered into our lives. And so, first in her self-written Death, Let Me Do My Show (Lucille Lortel Theatre, to Sept 30), Bloom launches into an opening song about trees that “smell like cum.” But then, as the title suggests, Death intervenes very directly. Critics mentioning how have been asked to say: warning, spoilers ahead, so consider the warning written.
The show wishes to keep the manner of Death’s intervention as much of a surprise as possible, but—performatively speaking—it is such a significant intrusion that it would be strange to omit mention of it. It is not a momentary, or a cameo; even when Death (the excellent David Hull) is not on stage, it is extremely audible—and its jousting, needling presence is the engine of the play.
The Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Bloom reveals that Death came to shadow her—as it did for so many—in the spring of 2020. Its presence first announced itself when the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star gave birth just as the world headed into lockdown, and it was revealed that her newborn daughter had fluid on her lungs. Then COVID kills a close friend and collaborator. Then her shrink.