Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for March 2010
BY Brandon Voss
March 29 2010 1:10 PM ET
I first fell for The Temperamentals at the 40-seat Barrow Group Studio off-off-Broadway. In its third move, out playwright Jon Marans’s engrossing drama about Harry Hay’s inspirational 1950 founding of a gay-rights group called the Mattachine Society recently reopened in a 199-seat space at off-Broadway’s New World Stages. Gay director Jonathan Silverstein has smoothly restaged the show for a proscenium, and just as Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie looks more toned in his square-cut swimsuit as Austrian fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, the play itself seems slimmer with 20 superfluous minutes shaved off. Replacing Tom Beckett, lone new cast member Arnie Burton is also a welcome addition. If you’re feeling really temperamental — ’50s code for “gay” — rock your radical fairies finest for the special, super-cheap Easter Sunday matinee.
I enjoy golden-throated gay crooner Michael Feinstein’s earnest interpretation of great American standards. I also enjoy the irreverent shtick of Dame Edna, the gladiola-tossing drag persona of Aussie comedian Barry Humphries. I dig pickles and ice cream too, but I don’t want them on the same plate, possums. As part of a PR stunt that consolidated the two acts amongst passive-aggressive mudslinging, All About Me, which is self-involved through April 4 at Henry Miller’s Theatre, blends both worlds and proves there can be too much of a good thing on Broadway. Whether they’re going rogue, singing a medley, or fighting for face time flanked by flaming backup dancers, it’s all a little strange, stretched, and snoozy. It’s really all about Jodi Capeless, the out lesbian who belts “And the World Goes ’Round” as the stage manager.