Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for May 2010
BY Brandon Voss
May 04 2010 1:00 PM ET
If you couldn’t get enough of Kristin Chenoweth singing Burt Bacharach-Hal David chestnuts on Glee, say a little prayer that you can pop into Promises, Promises at the Broadway Theatre. In Rob Ashford’s stylish but somewhat sluggish revival of the 1968 musical — which got a snazzy 1962 Mad Men design makeover by gay brothers Scott and Bruce Pask — Sean Hayes plays Chuck, an insurance company employee who lends executives his bachelor pad for extramarital trysts and then falls in love with his boss’s side dish, a charming Chenoweth. The recent Advocate cover boy treats his Will & Grace fans to an only slightly butched-up Jack MacFarland, but his quirky mannerisms and flawless comic timing make Neil Simon’s book seem fresh. He gets his “Karen” in the second act in the form of Katie Finneran, who’s utterly brilliant as a boozy barfly.
Forget Kelsey Grammer’s Republican leanings and you may just enjoy his fine, pleasingly sung performance as Georges, a St. Tropez drag club owner, in the new Broadway revival of La Cage aux Folles, Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s musical version of the Jean Poiret farce that also inspired The Birdcage. This transfer comes to the Longacre Theatre from London’s Menier Chocolate Factory with the flawless Douglas Hodge as aging diva Zaza, but the whole show drags whenever the action flies the coop. Aiming for rough-edged realism over flash, this smartly streamlined production only allows for six Cagelles — plus Camp’s gay Robin de Jesús channeling Googie from The Ritz as the maid — but these ripped dancers still rule the roost. Recent Advocate.com columnist Nick Adams really demands attention as the unenthused Angelique.