Seat Filler: ’s Guide to Theater
BY Brandon Voss
June 07 2010 1:15 PM ET
Playwright Polly Stenham was only 19 when she penned That Face, which was an Olivier-nominated sensation in London. Here in America, where her dysfunctional family drama runs until June 27 at MTC’s New York City Center, her inexperience shows through flashes of brilliance influenced by Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams. Christopher Abbott, who played gay in Good Boys and True, stars as Henry, an 18-year-old dropout caring for his alcoholic mother, Martha, a manipulative loon who wants him to be gay so she won’t have to compete with another woman. When Henry’s sister gets suspended after drugging a classmate with mum’s Valium, their absent father comes home to clean up the hot mess. It’s not until Martha dresses Henry in her negligee and jewelry in the final scene that we see how horrifically codependent they’ve become.
Providing even more evidence to dispute Newsweek’s Ramin Setoodeh, out Broken Hearts Club star Matt McGrath, who was one of the best emcees in Cabaret and one of the hottest Hedwigs in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, convincingly starred as an average straight dude in LCT3’s production of Ellen Fairey's Graceland, which ended its New York debut May 29 at the Duke on 42nd Street. McGrath played Sam, a depressed edible arrangement delivery guy who reunites with his sad, boozy sister Sara, played by Two and a Half Men’s Marin Hinkle, to make sense of their enigmatic father’s suicide. There’s nothing terribly graceful about this witty but wobbly drama, which is largely set in Chicago’s Graceland cemetery — sorry, folks, no Elvis here! — but David Gelles Hurwitz was a revelation as the sardonic teenage groundskeeper crushing on Sara.
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