Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for September 2009

The Advocate’s queen on the New York theater scene alien-probes the 13th annual Fringe Festival to find America’s top bottoms, naughtiest neighbors, and gayest presidents ever.



The SoHo Playhouse sold out almost every performance after the play’s shirtless stars snagged the cover of local gay bar rag Next, and the promise of skin was definitely fulfilled. With its many references to universal gay dilemmas and local gay nightlife, it was easy to see why the show was so popular with slutty club rats who watch Bravo religiously but probably don’t see a lot of professional theater. As a Hell’s Kitchen resident and avid theatergoer who’s promiscuity is now comfortably in the past, I don’t think my eyes have ever rolled so far back in their sockets.
If The Boys Upstairs taught me nothing else it’s that there’s a finite number of “bottom” jokes in the world, and I’m pretty sure I heard them all used again in America's Next Top Bottom: Cycle 5! at the Actors’ Playhouse. The Hollywood import, in which the audience votes by ballot on the winner, features seven “ass-piring” contestants who “stretch” themselves in various challenges because they want to “get it in the end.” See what they do there?AMERICA'S NEXT TOP BOTTOM: CYCLE 5! X560 (EFRAIN SCHUNIOR) | ADVOCATE.COM

All outrageous femmes, the boys get quizzed to test such essential bottom skills as dancing and “minding other people’s business.” Just barely holding it all together is Upright Citizens Brigade alum Pete Zias as legendary ’90s club kid Teddy Teddy and Drew Droege in tragic drag as messy hostess Trina Sugg. Imagine my giddy excitement when I discovered halfway through the show that Droege voices Feathers in the “Planet Unicorn” Web series. Give it up for Feathers! 

Tags: Theater