Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for July 2010
BY Brandon Voss
July 06 2010 2:55 PM ET
Stephen Belber, who cocreated The Laramie Project (and wrote a juicy gay character for Frank Langella in Broadway’s Match), revisited gay hate crime in Dusk Rings a Bell, a terrific two-person dramedy that resounded until June 26 at Atlantic Stage 2. Private Practice’s Kate Walsh starred as Molly, a verbose communications exec who returns to her old summer family home on the Delaware shore and reconnects with Ray, a townie with whom she shared her first kiss, and learns he spent 10 years in prison for his part in the death of a gay vacationer. One of his friends actually threw the punches and hurled the gay insults, but Ray “didn’t do enough to stop it.” Paul Sparks was quietly heartbreaking as Ray, a simple man still riddled with guilt and haunted by a vision of his own death at the hands of kids calling him “faggot.”
Actor-playwright Steve Swift has created an outrageously infectious character in Sister Myotis, the head deaconess of a deep-fried Southern megachurch. Already a YouTube sensation, Myotis made her New York debut with Sister Myotis’s Bible Camp, which met its maker July 4 at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex. Backed by Todd Berry and Jenny Odle Madden as oddball assistants Velma Needlemeyer and Ima Lone, Myotis held her audience captive as attendees of her annual Women’s Church Retreat lockdown in hopes of saving the “chronically mediocre.” Though the show was packed with clever one-liners, sight gags, malapropisms, mispronunciations, unintentional innuendos, and abundant queer appeal — trans superstar Amanda Lepore even makes a cameo on the overhead projector — this sis is best in small doses.