Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for October 2010

The Advocate’s man on the New York theater scene ushers in a bloody bloody good season with T.R. Knight, Cherry Jones, Charles Busch, Anthony Rapp, and the return migration of Matthew Bourne’s shirtless gay swans.

BY Brandon Voss

October 19 2010 9:10 AM ET

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

A LIFE IN THE THEATER X390 (ROSEGG) | ADVOCATE.COM

T.R. Knight can often be seen walking around New York holding hands with his honeymoon-period boyfriend. One can now catch the ex-Grey’s Anatomy star holding his own — against costar Patrick Stewart, that is — in a satisfying revival of David Mamet’s 1977 two-hander A Life in the Theatre, which ends January 2 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Stewart, who’ll always be Sterling in Jeffrey to me, plays Robert, a magniloquent stage vet, to Knight’s newbie, John, in a series of backstage and slapsticky play-within-a-play scenes Robert might describe as “just like a little walnut ... meaty on the inside and tight all around.” Robert’s barely concealed envy of his young frenemy may or may not be rooted in attraction, but their vaguely homoerotic tension comes to a rather obvious head when John awkwardly fixes Robert’s broken zipper with a safety pin.

Mrs. Warren's Profession x390 (MARCUS) | ADVOCATE.COM

When George Bernard Shaw’s 1893 drama first opened on Broadway in 1905, The New York Times called Mrs. Warren’s Profession “revolting, indecent, and nauseating, where it was not boring.” Now being revived by Roundabout through November 28 at the American Airlines Theatre, it’s mostly just boring. Though the words are amazingly never uttered, it turns out Kitty Warren made her fortune as — spoiler alert! — a prostitute turned high-class madam, much to the horror and reluctant admiration of her educated daughter. Director Doug Hughes handles the attractive but dusty revival with Victorian-lady gloves, but it’s still a must-see for Miss Cherry Jones, who, with Cockneyed Mae West flair, simply rivets in her two big monologues that defend her sordid career. Gay character actor Edward Hibbert appears in a thankless supporting role.

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