Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for August 2010
BY Brandon Voss
August 17 2010 1:45 PM ET
If Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis are on the guest list of your fantasy living-or-dead celebrity dinner party, make an appointment with Freud’s Last Session at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater. Inspired by the bestselling book The Question of God by Armand M. Nicholi Jr., Mark St. Germain’s engrossing drama imagines a meeting of these great minds that may or may not have occurred in real life. Martin Rayner, who played a flamboyant gay actor in last year’s Gates of Gold, is phenomenal here as the legendary psychoanalyst who invites a pre-Narnia Lewis — the fetching Mark H. Dold — to his London study on the brink of World War II, just weeks before Freud’s death. Though their main debate is God’s existence, Freud pushes Lewis’s buttons by asking if he lives with a man, reassuring his mildly ruffled visitor that all human beings are intrinsically bisexual.
Though it has nothing to do with the Glee phenomenon, With Glee might be the sleeper hit of the summer. John Gregor’s buoyant musical, which runs through August 22 at the Kirk Theatre, beautifully captures the bond of five wayward teenage boys shipped off to a “bad kid” boarding academy in Maine. As he did with the gay WWII musical Yank!, director Igor Goldin works miracles with a small space and a spry male cast, which includes Zach Bandler, Max Spitulnik, Dan Lawler, and Christopher Davis Carlisle as a rich kid, a poor thief, a weirdo, and a pest — stereotypes tweaked for freshness. Cutie Jason Edward Cook is a standout as Kip, the ostensibly gay kid who finds it odd that his dad would straighten him out by sending him to an all-boys school. Kip’s not yet sure he’s gay, but he does have an Aspects of Love poster and the highest kicks in the chorus line.