Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for October 2011

Our man on the New York theater scene boards a big gay bus to see struggling small-town teens, Jonathan Groff’s racist rants, Joey Arias and his twisted puppets, an oversexed boy wizard, and more.

BY Brandon Voss

October 12 2011 7:17 PM ET

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 PLAY IT COOL X390 | ADVOCATE.COM

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.

 LAKE WATER X390 | ADVOCATE.COM

Lake Water
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.

 TENDERPITS X390 | ADVOCATE.COM

Tenderpits
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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