BY Brandon Voss
August 17 2010 1:45 PM ET
Directed by Slipping scribe Daniel Talbott on a bare stage, Jonathan Blitstein’s thrillingly austere and provocatively perplexing play Keep Your Baggage With You (at all times), which wrapped a weeklong run August 14 in Theater for the New City’s inaugural Dream Up Festival, unloaded the deterioration of a friendship between “I love you, dudes” Dave and Greg through a series of brief scenes set over five years. Their ex-girlfriends, Julie and Ashley, become lovers — “If you want to attract straight women, you have to act like a man,” Ashley says — but Blitstein, who has an ear for honest dialogue, also suggests a latent sexual attraction between the bro-huggers: “Maybe we’re both gay,” Greg tells Dave, who later freaks Greg out with a kiss on the forehead. The whole cast — Nate Miller, Daniel Abeles, Laura Ramadei, and Molly Ward — should pack for Hollywood soon.
When Bartlett Sher’s Tony-winning revival of South Pacific sails into the sunset August 22, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic will have played 1,000 regular performances at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater. I recently revisited the show to salute Tony winner Paulo Szot, the gay Brazilian baritone who’s back and better than ever as Emile de Becque before making his New York cabaret debut at Café Carlyle starting September 14. I caught Grease: You’re the One that I Want! winner Laura Osnes as Nellie Forbush, but Tony winner Kelli O’Hara has also returned in time for the August 18 Live from Lincoln Center PBS broadcast. Glee’s Matthew Morrison couldn’t get a hall pass to come play Lt. Joe Cable again, but sinewy replacement Andrew Samonsky has vocal chops to match his squinty sex appeal, and the American sailor chorus is just as steamy.
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