Seat Filler: ’s Guide to Theater
BY Brandon Voss
June 07 2010 1:15 PM ET
The Burnt Part Boys, which runs through June 13 at Playwrights Horizons, follows five teens in 1962 West Virginia as they take the long scenic route to the coal mine where their fathers died in an accident 10 years earlier. Recalling Broadway’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, it’s a tuneful, uplifting journey with just a few too many pit stops along the way. Taking the trip with 13’s Al Calderon, Yank!’s Andrew Durand, and hot Kids Incorporated alum Charlie Brady, Noah Galvin provides comic relief as a geek who likes quilting (ping!), and Molly Ranson plays a tomboy whom Betty White would likely label as a bigger lesbian than Gingey. Fun fact: This meandering but moving musical, written by a group of former NYU musical theater grad students, was fostered by gay Falsettos composer William Finn, their teacher and mentor.
Coauthor of Judy Gold’s hit 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, lesbian playwright Kate Moira Ryan penned Bass for Picasso, which ended its brief run May 23 at the Kirk Theater. Presented by Theater Breaking Through Barriers, whose mission is the casting of disabled actors, this quirky, tonally fishy comedy starred real-life amputee Anita Hollander as a fictional New York Times food writer throwing a dinner party at which she re-creates recipes from the Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. The guest list includes her kooky European lover, a lesbian widow with Republican in-laws, a gay ob-gyn dating a crystal meth addict, and an alcoholic gay playwright. Kudos to Ryan for writing a play with five gay characters; unfortunately, they’re largely unlikable. It’s a promising work with salty chuckles, but this dish needed better chefs and more time to bake.
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