Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for January 2012
BY Brandon Voss
January 19 2012 1:15 PM ET
The Fall to Earth
Helmed with a keen eye for familial detail by gay director Joe Brancato, out playwright Joel Drake Johnson's tense, heartrending drama stars Deborah Hedwall and Jolie Curtsinger as the mother and sister of a wayward gay man who has committed suicide after a series of bias crimes. “He would flirt with the wrong people,” says the police officer in the small town where the estranged women have traveled to find some answers.
59E59 Theatres, through February 5.
Like Contagion crossbred with a particularly undercooked Grey’s Anatomy episode, Matthew Maguire’s ambitious drama turns four scientists against each other as they fight to contain a SARS outbreak. Unfortunately, the play is plagued by clumsy medical jargon, forced exposition, and a lack of urgency — dire symptoms relieved only by the emotional chemistry between Maggie Bofill and Amirah Vann as lesbian vaccinologists.
The Lion Theatre, through February 4.
Close Up Space
Out director Leigh Silverman does her best to make sense of Molly Smith Metzler’s wan, wearisomely wacky comedy. The dependable David Hyde Pierce stars as an uptight New York book editor who must attempt to fix his own paternal errors when his rebellious daughter shows up speaking Russian after being expelled from prep school. Although miscast here as a successful chick lit author, a feisty Rosie Perez is always welcome.
Manhattan Theatre Club - Stage I, through January 29.