Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for February 2011
BY Brandon Voss
March 01 2011 1:30 PM ET
Small Craft Warnings
Austin Pendleton, who directed the thrilling Three Sisters revival at Classic Stage, fumbled with his stiff, stagnant staging of this 1972 Tennessee Williams drama about a motley crew in a Southern California coastal bar. The spartan set and much of the casting were poor choices, but Pendleton saved some face with his perfect portrayal of Quentin, a washed-up gay screenwriter who picks up a young gay cyclist played by Adam Dodway.
The Studio Theatre at Theater Row, closed February 27.
Rinne Groff ambitiously dramatizes the obsessive quest of Meyer Levin — here called Sid Silver and played by an effectively manic Mandy Patinkin — who spiraled out of control when his attempts to adapt Anne Frank’s diary for the stage were thwarted by the likes of Lillian Hellman and Cheryl Crawford, whose sexuality he questions. But sweet little Anne, portrayed by a marionette because Sid owns a puppet theater, is the real star.
The Public Theater, through March 13.
Interviewing the Audience
Chances are that quite a few gay people also starred in this unusual theatrical exploration, considering that three audience members were brought up onto the stage at each performance. Inspired by raconteur Spalding Gray’s original concept, the blandly likable Zach Helms interviewed said volunteers onstage, creating a uniquely intimate journey out of his subjects’ answers and anecdotes, which, as expected, ranged from riveting to tedious.
Vineyard Theatre, closed February 27.