Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for February 2010
BY Brandon Voss
February 23 2010 5:00 PM ET
Zac Efron may not have shared Daniel Radcliffe’s saddle in Equus as hoped, but High School Musical’s Corbin Bleu has taken over the lead in Broadway’s In the Heights at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Bleu’s most recent stab at post-HSM fame, the CW’s The Beautiful Life, wasn’t pretty, but his sincere and underplayed portrayal of Usnavi, a Washington Heights bodega owner of Dominican Republic descent, is a rousing success — even if the Jamaican-Italian Brooklyn native doesn’t seem as authentic as Lin-Manuel Miranda, who originated the role and wrote the score of the bilingual 2008 Best Musical Tony winner. Miranda, it should be noted, is nine years Bleu’s senior, but the greatest compliment I can give the dashing 21-year-old, who thankfully tames his Justin Guarini curls under a cap, is that you’d never know he was a replacement.
I sat through a few other queer shows this month that closed quickly, including White Horse Theater Company’s production of Tennessee Williams’s Clothes for a Summer Hotel and Daniel Mitura’s new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, but the only one worth discussing is Daddy (pictured), a promising new work by Dan Via, which ended its buzzworthy two-week run at TBG Arts Center on February 13. Out CSI and BearCity star Gerald McCullouch starred as Colin, a newspaper columnist with a penchant for PYTs. When enigmatic, volatile 21-year-old Tee (Bjorn DuPaty) becomes Colin’s lover, the columnist’s suspicious friend Stew (Via) uncovers a secret that put my jaw on the floor. Thoughtful and sharply written, the play just needs a new director in the future who won’t cloud it with clumsy curtain-shifting scene changes.