Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for August 2011

The Advocate’s man on the New York theater scene relights Rent’s candle, turns Shakespeare gay, watches reruns with Judy Gold, revisits the studs of Mamma Mia!, unearths a Glass Menagerie with a happy ending, and more.




 A Midsummer Night's Dream X390 (Garlia Cornelia Jones) | ADVOCATE.COM

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The course of true love never did run smooth, and it doesn’t run straight either in the Hive Theater Company’s immensely enjoyable mounting of Shakespeare’s comedy about star-crossed Athenian lovers. With wit and wicked imagination, artistic director Matthew A.J. Gregory challenges marriage inequality simply by casting a woman as Lysander and a man as Helena — not to mention the fairy drag queen Titania and drag king Oberon.
The Cell Theatre, closed July 31.

 A Strange and Separate People X390 (Michael Portantiere) | ADVOCATE.COM   

A Strange and Separate People
After the success of The Temperamentals, gay playwright Jon Marans may have bitten off more than he can nosh with this intriguing but insular drama. Jonathan Hammond and Tricia Paoluccio play an Orthodox Jewish couple who must reconcile their religious beliefs with their love and sexual desire when — guess who’s coming to Sabbath dinner! — Noah Weisberg’s newly Orthodox “discreet” gay doctor passes over their doorstep.
Theatre Row’s Studio Theatre, closed July 30.

 Master Class X390 (MARCUS) | ADVOCATE.COM

Master Class
In Manhattan Theatre Club’s clean, engrossing revival of Terrence McNally’s 1995 play, the chameleonic Tyne Daly of Cagney & Lacey fame seems to have been possessed by the bitchy, witty, and self-absorbed soul of legendary opera diva Maria Callas, seen here reflecting on her life and art while teaching a master class in the ’70s. As an unexpected treat, the selections sung by her students are powerful enough to raise goosebumps.
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, through September 4.

Tags: Theater