Seat Filler: Best NYC Theater of 2010

The Advocate's man on the New York theater scene counts down the top 10 LGBT-inclusive productions of the past year.

BY 

 

10. Orlando
In the Next Room’s Sarah Ruhl further explored sexuality at Classic Stage Company in her bewitching adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel, a fantastical meditation on the fluidity of gender identity, in which a young English nobleman inexplicably wakes up as a woman. Taking a cue from the 1993 film starring Tilda Swinton and Quentin Crisp, director Rebecca Taichman cast fine androgyne Francesca Faridany as Orlando and quirky out actor David Greenspan — one of three men in a gender-bending Greek chorus — as Queen Elizabeth. Ruhl wisely let Woolf do the talking, opting for a descriptive third-person narrative in lieu of new dialogue — a children’s-story-theater style befitting a tale full of wit and wonder.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES X390 (JOAN MARCUS) | ADVOCATE.COM

9. La Cage aux Folles
The show belongs to flawless Tony-winner Douglas Hodge as the aging diva Zaza, but it’s easier than I imagined to forget Kelsey Grammer’s Republican leanings and enjoy his pleasingly sung performance as Georges, a St. Tropez drag club owner, in this vibrant new Broadway revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s somewhat creaky classic. Aiming for rough-edged realism over flash, this smartly streamlined production, which transferred to the Longacre Theatre from London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, only allows for six Cagelles — plus out Camp star Robin de Jesús as the maid — and considering how things drag when the action flies the coop, it’s clear that these ripped dancers rule the roost.

DUSK RINGS A BELL X390 (ARI MINTZ) | ADVOCATE.COM

8. Dusk Rings a Bell
Stephen Belber, who cocreated The Laramie Project, revisited gay hate crime in Atlantic Theater Company’s Dusk Rings a Bell. Private Practice’s Kate Walsh starred as Molly, a verbose CNN exec returning to her old family summer home on the Delaware shore. There she reconnects with Ray, a townie with whom she shared her first kiss, and learns, to her horror, that he spent 10 years in prison for his part in the murder of a gay vacationer. One of his pals threw the punches and hurled the gay insults, but Ray “didn’t do enough to stop it.” Paul Sparks was quietly heartbreaking as Ray, a simple, soft-spoken man riddled with guilt and haunted by a premonition of his own death at the hands of a group of kids calling him “faggot.”

AddThis

READER COMMENTS ()

Quantcast