10 Out of 12
Oh, how theater folk suffer for their art! Anne Washburn’s ambitious comedy lifts the curtain on a monotonous tech rehearsal — Actors’ Equity limits work to 10 out of 12 hours — for a gay-themed downtown melodrama. Audience members even get headsets to eavesdrop on the crew, who crack inside jokes and chatter about snacks. The fine cast of 14 includes standout Conrad Schott as an awkward assistant director who flirts with a six-packed star.
SoHo Repertory Theater, through July 18.
What? The publishing world isn’t glamorous? Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s dark, dread-inducing workplace comedy stars out actor Ryan Spahn, who gives an indelible performance as a harried and hungover gay editorial assistant at a prominent Manhattan-based magazine. While the embittered staffers bicker between Starbucks runs, something unspeakable happens in the office. So which vulture gets to write about it?
Vineyard Theatre, through July 18.
Shows for Days
Buyer & Cellar’s Michael Urie, never more charming, narrates Douglas Carter Beane’s quippy yet bittersweet semi-autobiographical memory play about a gay teen’s coming of age at a community theater in 1973 Pennsylvania. Patti Lupone plays to the back row as the Yiddish-spouting suburban diva of the troupe, which includes a “black pansy” and a “bull dyke.” It’s overstuffed and undercooked, but even a weak Beane contains magic.
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, through August 23.
Finding a boyfriend ain’t easy. Take it from Joshua Harmon’s smart, snappy, and painfully resonant tragicomedy, knowingly directed by Trip Cullman. Out Spring Awakening alum Gideon Glick is heartbreaking as Jordan, an unhappily single New Yorker imploding with loneliness as his gal pals get married. Jordan, who dreams about domestic gay bliss, remains endearing even while desperately Facebook-stalking a handsome coworker.
Laura Pels Theatre, through August 16.
The Twentieth-Century Way
Tom Jacobson’s clever and very stimulating two-hander is based on a real 1914 incident in which California police hired actors to entrap homosexuals having oral sex in public restrooms. Robert Mammana and Will Bradley rivet as sexually repressed thesps who audition with improvised solicitations that lead to a naked climax: “The line between the actor and the role blurs and turns hazardous — have we become our parts?”
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, through July 19.