BY Brandon Voss
October 19 2010 9:10 AM ET
The out playwright who put a lesbian couple in danger in the thrillingly intense Killers and Other Family, Lucy Thurber almost put me to sleep with the admirably ambitious but awkwardly pretentious Bottom of the World, which closed October 3 at Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage 2. Crystal A. Dickinson starred as Abby, a young lesbian made practically unbearable by grief over the death of her novelist sister, Kate, who still hovers above in an huge tree with mood-setting bluegrass musicians. As Abby’s issues prove too much for her barfly girlfriend, an oddly alluring K.K. Moggie, Abby and Kate’s sisterly bond is shown funhouse-mirrored and gender-switched in sepia-toned scenes ripped from Kate’s Our Town-y novel, which features a pair of bed-sharing buddies played by Brandon J. Dirden and Brendan Griffin, a cute ginger who recently played gay in Clybourne Park.
The gayest show I saw last month might have also been the most critically maligned. It Must Be Him, a semiautobiographical comedy by Kenny Solms, a gay cocreator and writer of The Carol Burnett Show, ended its brief run September 26 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Bosom Buddies star Peter Scolari played Louie, a washed-up 55-year-old gay writer so enamored of his hot young muse that he’s blind to the affections of his age-appropriate manager. Clinging to an old Emmy and arguing with ghosts of dead parents who still aren’t that keen on his sexuality, Louie tries desperately to rekindle his fading career by adapting his life story into an awful movie and worse musical, which features a scandalous number about leather daddies and enormous dildos that makes The Producers’ “Springtime for Hitler” look like Seussical. But in this round of the so-bad-it’s-good game, bad won.
Next month, I’ll pass judgment on David Hyde Pierce in La Bête, Patti LuPone in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Vanessa Redgrave in Driving Miss Daisy, and — providing I can actually score a ticket — Zachary Quinto in the pretty much sold-out revival of Angels in America. As always, I’ll save you a seat!
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