Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for July 2010
BY Brandon Voss
July 06 2010 2:55 PM ET
Marcus Gardley’s On the Levee, an ambitious LCT3 drama that dries up July 10 at the Duke, revisits the Mississippi flood of 1927, which, according to program notes, was the worst natural disaster before Katrina. The soul of this sprawling story, which recalls HBO’s Treme, emotionally swells around a white cotton farmer, an African-American bootblack, and their sons. Seth Numrich, a hot young talent who played gay in Slipping and a flirty object of gay affection in the Los Angeles production of The History Boys, plays a puppyish poet who secretly fantasizes about flirtations and desperate dances with a handsome bachelor played by Stephen Plunkett. The evening is elevated to higher ground by bluesy songs from Todd Almond, the out performer-composer who recently adapted Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend into a gay love story.
Founded in 1991 by Joe Marshall, the Alternative Theatre Company is dedicated to the production of low-budget LGBT plays like The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever! Since the company relocated from Arizona to New York in 2009, its unofficial mission has been to give fresh-off-the-bus actors a first break that they might someday regret having on their résumés. Currently playing late-night shows at the Bleecker Street Theatre, Marshall’s latest twinkfest, A Night in Vegas, is a lightweight comedy made up of six flamingly farcical vignettes that each unfold in the same tacky hotel room. At least the play, which features horny bellhops, hustlers, and handicapped gays, makes good on its rainbow-colored poster’s warning-promise of male nudity. Whether or not you’ll be impressed or titillated is another question entirely.