Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for November 2010

The Advocate’s man on the New York theater scene is on the verge of a nervous breakdown over Zachary Quinto in Angels in America, Miss Coco Peru, and the triumphant comeback of Pee-wee Herman.

BY Brandon Voss

November 16 2010 6:15 PM ET

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

PERFECT HARMONY X390 (Jim Baldassare) | ADVOCATE.COM

Also affected by 45 Bleecker’s closure was Perfect Harmony, which moved to the Acorn Theatre and closed November 13. Created by Andrew Grosso and the Essentials, this fitfully entertaining comedy about the competitive world of high school glee clubs — sound familiar? — first ran off-Broadway in 2008, but it came back presumably to capitalize on the Glee phenomenon with a largely new cast and Michael Musto as a new producer. Most of the social misfits in these a cappella groups — the Acafellas and the Ladies in Red — were silly, unsympathetic caricatures, but they couldn’t go wrong crooning Cyndi Lauper and Tiffany. In fact, stripped of a band and crazy costumes, Perfect Harmony’s pure musical performances could teach Glee some restraint. The show also featured a closeted Acafella, a gay kiss, and two Acafellas feuding because of a romance between their grandfathers.

COCO PERU IS STILL ALIVE! X390 (PETER PALLADINO) | ADVOCATE.COM

Best known from Girls Will Be Girls and Trick, incomparable drag performer Coco Peru — né Clinton Leupp — returned to his native New York with Miss Coco Peru is Still Alive! which ended a two-weekend run November 14 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Framed by a metaphorical anecdote about an outrageous alien abduction, Coco’s wondrous one-queen show retraced his transformation from Bronx misfit to Hollywood gaylebrity. Unlike his drag peers, Coco isn’t afraid to get dark and serious, but he can still find comforting humor in a disfiguring childhood accident or his sister’s tragic death. “You look just like your dead sister’s ghost,” exclaimed his folks the first time they saw Coco in drag. “That wasn’t really the look I was going for,” he replied. Coco’s only beef with being molested as a young boy? The priest was ugly. “Just keeping it real,” he said — and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Tags: Theater

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