Seat Filler: 's Guide to Theater
BY Brandon Voss
October 12 2011 7:17 PM ET
Play It Cool
Conceived by Larry Dean Harris, this plodding but promising musical outs the denizens of Mary’s Hideaway, an underground gay club in 1953 Hollywood: butch owner Mary, her bombshell lover, a slimy MGM exec, a cute guy fresh off the bus, and a closeted cop. Overlook the clichéd dialogue and savor the score, a blend of scatty jazz and theatrical panache best served by the great Sally Mayes as tough-talking, men’s suit-loving Mary.
The Acorn Theatre, closed October 9.
Out playwright Troy Deutsch ambitiously plumbs the aftermath of a friend’s suicide in his captivating but frustratingly unfocused two-hander about small-town angst. Deutsch and Samantha Soule rise through the muck as guilty survivors James and Iris, high school seniors who spend a “crapping pathetic Friday night” dredging up the past and dreaming of escape. James has a girlfriend, but his true attractions soon become violently apparent.
IRT Theatre, closed October 2.
In a dizzyingly surreal solo show directed by Nathan Schwartz, dynamic gay performer Anthony Johnston comes out as a wizard before emigrating from Canada to New York City. Dedicated to his late grandma and sister, this frank exploration of sexual self-discovery isn’t for everyone, but it’s never boring — and only partly because Johnston is a total cutie who spends much of the evening leaping around in little more than a diaper.
Under St. Marks, closed October 8.
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