Advocate's Queen on the NYC Theater Scene
BY Brandon Voss
June 14 2009 11:00 PM ET
Another Gay Movie star Michael Carbonaro also stripped down (to his boxers, at least) and flexed his acting muscles in a tedious revival of Jonathan Marc Sherman's "he said, he said" drama Sophistry , which closed May 29 at the Beckett Theatre. Carbonaro famously passed on Another Gay Sequel , but the role of Jack, a maybe-gay college student who accuses his alcoholic gay philosophy professor of sexual harassment, must've seemed like a wiser career move -- especially since the original 1993 off-Broadway production of Sophistry starred up-and-comers Calista Flockhart, Steve Zahn, Ethan Hawke, and Anthony Rapp. Will this revival cast yield the next Ally McBeal or whatever Zahn's best known for? Unlikely. But Carbonaro was captivating as both drugged-out seducer and terrified victim, depending on whose conflicting recollection he had to reenact in flashback. Btdubs, we never found out who was lying. And near the end, two "straight" buds kissed while swigging whiskey in a "wtf?" moment suggesting that "shit happens" when you're drunk, so maybe neither man's story was completely accurate.
But the hottest same-sex stage smooch of the entire season was seen in Mark Schultz's The Gingerbread House , a licorice-black dramedy that rattled the Rattlestick Theater through May 10. Jason Butler Harner and Sarah Paulson (a.k.a. Cherry Jones' girlfriend) starred as middle-class suburbanites Brian and Stacey, who literally sold their two kids in an attempt to regain their pre-parental bliss. Oozing musky, hairy-chested sex appeal, Will & Grace 's Bobby Cannavale played Brian's smarmy, unhappily married work colleague Marco, who "brokers the offspring-capital exchange" on the Albanian grey market before leveraging Brian's career advancement for sexual favors. (If it had promised plot twists like that, ABC never would've cancelled Paulson's and Cannavale's Cupid redux!) A drunken pass at a bar ("It's just guy stuff," Marco assured Brian as they passionately sucked face) quickly turned into a full-blown secret affair. In other words, the play's child-selling premise wasn't the only thing hard to swallow. Zing! Seriously, though, the whole scenario was so steamy I almost tweeted @michaelurie just to tell him about it.
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