Seat Filler: NYC Theater Guide for August 2012

Our man on the New York theater scene brings it on with Broadway’s first transgender teen, goes into Central Park’s woods with Denis O’Hare, finds a gay skeleton in John Stamos’s closet, pops in on Marilyn Monroe in purgatory, and much more.



Sam Shepard’s strange dysfunctional family allegory, which plays like late Tennessee Williams, is populated by lost Los Angeles souls like a 65-year-old Shepard stand-in who laments his New York “junkie days” of “transvestite fistfights, hookers, and faggots” and Julianne Nicholson (Puccini for Beginners) as a young woman scarred physically and emotionally by a heart transplant — the heart of the pretentious drama’s heavy-handed symbolism.
The Pershing Square Signature Center, through September 30.

Siren’s Heart: Norma Jean & Marilyn in Purgatory
Following two off-off-Broadway runs last year, Walt Stepp’s brief, conversational one-woman play returns with the excellent Louisa Bradshaw as Marilyn Monroe in present-day purgatory. Dishing on her celebrity contemporaries and pleasantly crooning original tunes — a few based on William Butler Yeats poems — this otherworldly Marilyn is portrayed less as a tragic victim of fame and more as the happy Norma Jean she longed to be.
Actors Temple Theatre, through September 30.

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