By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com February 20 2014 7:00 AM ET
One of the most regularly produced plays in North America, John Cariani’s sweet and snowy 2004 rom-com, in which four actors take on almost 20 quirky characters, gets a terrific Transport Group revival that's as quietly thrilling as the aurora borealis above. Among the surreal and whimsical vignettes, which bring romantic metaphors to heartwarming life, Cariani and Kevin Isola play a pair of weak-kneed buddies who quite literally fall — thunk! — in love with each other.
The Gym at Judson, through March 2.
With tongue planted in cheek and elsewhere, Burning’s Thomas Bradshaw is back with a provocative moral satire — helmed by New Group’s out artistic director Scott Elliott — about suburban neighbors, ahem, coming together to make an adult film. The ejaculations may be fake, but David Anzuelo boldly sports a real erection as a married dad who wanks to gay porn and awakens the bisexuality of the frottage-focused teen filmmaker, adorably played by Austin Cauldwell.
Acorn Theatre, through March 8.
Stop Hitting Yourself
Because nothing says opulence like a golden queso fountain. A hot-messy collaboration from LCT3 and Austin-based collective Rude Mechs, this preachy but crowd-pleasing contemporary Pygmalion, a finger-wagging and toe-tapping critique of American materialism, centers on a socialite's forcible civilization of a forest-dwelling Wildman for a royal charity ball. Paul Soileau, the out performer behind “drag terrorist” Christeene, is a hoot as the boozy, scooter-bound Queen.
Claire Tow Theater, through February 23.
The Tribute Artist
A master of gender-bending genre parodies, actor-playwright Charles Busch curbs the camp in a rare trouser role: Jimmy, a gay, old-school female impersonator who steals his deceased landlady’s identity in a scheme to keep her Greenwich Village townhouse. This twisty tonal mishmash — think Mrs. Doubtfire meets Weekend at Bernie’s — isn’t Busch at his best, but hilarity frequently ensues with Julie Halston as a lesbian realtor and Keira Keeley as an earnest trans teen.
Primary Stages, through March 30.
Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man
Written by Matt Murphy and based on Dan Anderson and Maggie Berman’s best-selling advice book, this silly faux sex forum may be the best thing to happen to bachelorette parties since Naked Boys Singing! Sober audiences may groan when Jason Michael Snow’s sassy sexpert helps them practice handies on their rolled-up programs, but straight women and gay men will take any tip from Andrew Brewer as Euro-sexy stagehand Stefan, who steals the show with a striptease.
777 Theatre, open-ended.
Read last month’s theater picks here.