David Greenspan: Other Mother's Day

In off-Broadway's Coraline playwright-performer David Greenspan pokes gender conventions in the black-button eye.

BY Brandon Voss

June 08 2009 11:00 PM ET

Move over, Teri Hatcher, because there's another Other Mother in town — and this time she's a man! Portraying the same manipulative matron voiced by the desperate housewife in the recent animated film version, out actor David Greenspan inhabits Other Mother in a creepy new apparition of Coraline off-Broadway.

Based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 children's novel, which Greenspan also adapted for the stage, the ambitious musical further challenges expectations with the casting of middle-aged Tony nominee Jayne Houdyshell as precocious 9-year-old protagonist Coraline Jones. Feeling neglected by her preoccupied mother and father, Coraline discovers an enticing parallel world behind a strange door in her new apartment, but she quickly realizes that her Other parents aren't as perfect as they seem.

Helmed by out director Leigh Silverman (Lisa Kron's Well) and featuring music by out singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, Coraline runs through July 5 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. A fixture of New York's downtown performance scene (and an Obie award winner for Terrence McNally's Some Men and a revival of Matt Crowley's The Boys in the Band), Greenspan gives Advocate.com the gender-bending goods on his otherworldly villainess.

Tags: Theater

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