4. Family Play (1979 to Present)
CollaborationTown's Geoffrey Decas O'Donnell, Boo Killebrew, and Jordan Seavey mined their personal experiences, gay and straight, to reenact specific yet universally resonant moments from birth to death and everything in between. Fluidly staged by Lee Sunday Evans on a circular wooden platform, a cast of six in brief but satisfying scenes — a lesbian couple gets engaged, a gay couple asks a gal pal to be their surrogate, etc. — raised goosebumps with refreshing sincerity.
CollaborationTown at the New Ohio Theatre, closed.
3. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Out director Michael Mayer's glossy, glitter-bombed Broadway premiere of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's cult rock musical detonated with dynamo Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig, an East German singer living as a female after botched gender-reassignment surgery. Andrew Rannells and Michael C. Hall have since stepped into those heels, but Lena Hall continues to butch it up brilliantly as Yitzhak, Hedwig's hubby, who's dying to unleash his inner drag diva.
Belasco Theatre, open-ended.
2. Casa Valentina
Harvey Fierstein's rich, fascinating play was inspired by real-life husbands who identified as heterosexual but congregated in the Catskills during the 1960s to act like housewives. These complicated, oddly homophobic fellas called themselves "transvestites," but modern audiences may've pegged some as gay or transgender. Dolled up by out director Joe Mantello, commanding stage vets such as Patrick Page, John Cullum, and Reed Birney were cross-dressed to impress.
Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, closed.