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.

BY Brandon Voss

September 21 2009 1:15 PM ET

I didn’t think His Greatness could be topped until I stopped by the Players Theatre to see Notes on the Land of Earthquake & Fire from writer-director Jason Schafer, best known as the screenwriter of Trick. In this smart, surprisingly dark Hollywood satire, Chad, an ambitious gay assistant, unsuccessfully attempts to juggle a social life and the outrageous demands of Alan, his movie studio bigwig boss, without bursting into tears. When Alan’s spoiled preteen daughter isn’t also pushing Chad’s buttons, Chad flirts with a handsome young producer named Shane who shows up drunk at Alan’s beach house, promises Chad a better job, and passes out naked after popping too many pills.

 NOTES ON THE LAND OF EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE X560 (JASON CHEN) | ADVOCATE.COM

As sexual politics and power struggles rage like the fires closing in around them, some smoke begins to clear: Is Alan so hard on Chad because of homophobia, or is there more to Alan’s relationship with Shane than meets the eye? Juicy stuff! The play, which earned Schafer a FringeNYC Playwrighting award, pretty much imagines how David Mamet might write if he were gay — or what Entourage would be like if Ari Gold were having a secret affair with E.

Tags: Theater

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