Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for June 2010
BY Brandon Voss
June 07 2010 12:15 PM ET
American Pie alum Eddie Kaye Thomas, who played a gay grown-up Charlie Brown in off-Broadway’s Dog Sees God, goes gay again in the world premiere of Jack's Precious Moment, which ends June 13 at 59E59 Theaters. In out playwright Samuel D. Hunter's intensely dark comedy, a Christian family in Idaho seeks solace at the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Mo., after son, brother, and husband Jack’s beheading by Iraqi insurgents, which was videotaped and released over the Internet. Thomas is awkwardly affecting as Jack’s twin, Bib, a nurse with “much bigger sins to deal with” than his “hard-ons for other guys.” A creepy life-size Precious Moment trots out three too many times, but the play’s flaws begin to fade when Bib meets Chuck, a flirtatious, lovably trashy gay carnival ride operator played to porcelain perfection by Lucas Papaelias.
Naked Angels, the celebrated theater company currently represented on Broadway with Next Fall, returns to its starry roots with This Wide Night, which runs through June 27 at Playwrights Horizons. Nurse Jackie’s Edie Falco and Milk’s Alison Pill join thespian forces in Chloë Moss’s thrillingly claustrophobic two-character British drama about Lorraine and Marie, former cellmates reunited in a shabby flat that becomes another prison of sorts as they struggle to form a new friendship that avoids unhealthy regression. Whether these lost souls had a romantic relationship behind bars is left vague — “I’m not your girlfriend,” young Marie shouts — but their shifting mother-daughter bond is undeniable. Distracting working-class London accents aside, Pill holds her own against Falco, who’s simply brilliant and almost unrecognizably butch.