BY Brandon Voss
December 16 2010 5:00 PM ET
Hot on the tail of his absurdist gay fable MilkMilkLemonade, out playwright Joshua Conkel teams with Megan Hill on Lonesome Winter, a blissfully bleak mini-masterpiece of magical realism that runs through December 19 at Under St. Marks. Briskly directed by Meg Sturiano, the brilliant Hill also stars as suicidal hoarder Winter Lipschitz, and Conkel is hilarious as Winter’s only friend and worst enemy, a vicious queen of a jellicle feline named Sparkles. But don’t let the talking puss or an angelic life coach fool you, because this comedy gets uncomfortably dark, as when Winter keeps begging her stoner coworker Bobby — a splendid Nick Lewis — to like her, even after he admits that he’s gay. Yet despite Winter’s grotesque awkwardness, you root for her until the bitter end. In a nutshell, I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats.
One of the NEA Four, the performance artists whose proposed grants were denied by the National Endowment of the Arts in 1990, Tim Miller brought his Lay of the Land tour to New York for a brief run that ended December 11 at P.S. 122, which he cofounded in 1980. In this salty solo meditation on gay marriage, Miller toggled focus between a Los Angeles protest, his childhood, his travels, erotic biblical images, and an extended metaphor about that place where the sun don’t shine. Panting, pacing, raving, rambling, and lamenting the fact that his Australian partner doesn’t have access to the immigration rights of straight couples, he tied it all together like a beautiful bow on a letter bomb. NEA Four member Holly Hughes also chews on marriage equality in Let Them Eat Cake, an interactive piece at Dixon Place through December 18.
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