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92 posts categorized "THEATRE REVIEW"

Jul 14 2017
Your Place Or Ours?: A Review Of AFTERGLOW Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 11.32.09 PMBrandon Haagenson & Patrick Reilly: What's missing from this picture? (Imagesvia AfterglowThePlay.com)

Afterglow, S. Asher Gelman's emotional play about polyamory, is ironically titled; Aftershock would be more like it, considering how things go when its central couple splinters following a no-holds-barred threesome with a new pal.

Josh (Brandon Haagenson) and Alex (Robbie Simpson) are a privileged married pair, Josh a director so successful his husband wouldn't have to work if he didn't want to, and Alex an industrious would-be chemist. They've paid a surrogate to carry their presumably perfect baby because they think they're genetically gifted, or so they joke ... or so they say they joke. At one point, Josh says to his husband, “We're young and hot,” in the context of wondering why they don't have even more sex than they already do, and he also marvels at how he's in the best shape of his life.

It's hard to love these guys immediately.

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Jun 30 2017
Hedy First — A Review Of HEDY!: THE LIFE & INVENTIONS OF HEDY LAMARR Comments (0)

Hedy-lamarrHedy & Hedy (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

I was able to catch HEDY!: The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, written and performed as a one-woman show by Heather Massie, here in NYC last night.

The show  — playing tonight at 5:15 p.m. — benefits the Intrepid Sea, 5904c5e51400002600a9c946 Air & Space Museum's GOALS for Girls Program, which is fitting since its subject is a Hollywood beauty icon who is becoming more properly known for her incredibly important frequency hopping invention.

In the show, Lamarr addresses the captive audience, narrating the story of her life in Austria, rise to fame in Hollywood, her many marriages, and — most importantly — a bit about how her WWII-time invention would go on to become the basis for so much of what we use today, including cellphones, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and many military applications.

As Hedy tells it, her invention could have ended WWII without nuclear weapons had the U.S. taken it seriously at the time. Instead, the government waited until the invention was theirs to use — with no compensation for Lamarr or her co-inventor George Antheil.

HEDY! is an informative piece, albeit one that lacks sufficient drama. Too often, it feels like a Wikipedia entry brought to life. It works best when Massie, who captures Lamarr's kooky grandeur and cerebral air, jokes with the audience, and pokes fun at herself. Was the real Lamarr so convivial? I don't know. But she was definitely ahead of her time.

Check it out here.

 
Jun 20 2017
BROADWAY BARES: STRIP U Makes The Grade! Comments (0)

DSC03923_newGone to the dogs! (All live images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund)

As always, enjoy my report on Broadway Bares, and feel free to chime in with names for anyone I failed to ID. All my Facebook pics are here. Thanks!

Broadway Bares, the annual, one-night-only, two-shows-only burlesque event that raises cash for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, was back for a 27th installment on June 18, accepting thousands of new students in a revue entitled Strip U. It raised a total of $1,568,114 for the cause.

No SAT, no shade: Strip U was the kind of baby-got-back-to-school experience that promised to keep *Scanyou up many sleepless nights in the future — and not with nightmares about forgetting your locker com or being late to class.

140+ Facebook Pics from Bares Here!

Overall, this show — directed by Nick Kenkel — was the apple of my eye among recent installments of Bares, an impressive return to form that passed with flying colors while demonstrating its mastery of diversity (race, age, body size, gender) and of the core skills that make these shows so much fun in the first place (dancing, humor, exhibitionism).

Tons More Broadway Bares Posts Here!

The only area in which this Bares could be called lacking when graded on a curve against the best ones of all time was star power, a commodity that has been on the wane for years. But who needs big-name stars when the show has so many homegrown stars, (anatomically) gifted hoofers more than capable of owning the stage? (Okay, it would've been fun to see Bette Midler's girls. But we've seen them before.)

Giphy-3Locky Brownlie goes for extra credit!

We arrived at the Hammerstein Ballroom two hours early for the midnight show, putting us right near the front of the amorphous line of young gay guys in aggressively cute shorts pretending they didn't even try with their outfits and enough drooling daddies that the show's traditional placement on Father's Day was, as always, humorously literal.

Keep reading ...

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May 20 2017
Like A Burning FLAMER — A Review Of ETERNAL FLAMER: THE BALLAD OF JESSIE BLADE Comments (0)

17903775_10101961736012424_5871730220147555357_n(All images via Tommy Jamerson)

Most fun I've had in a theater since the time I lip-synched in drag as Samantha Fox and my high school crush came up behind me and groped my “tits” — Eternal Flamer: The Ballad of Jessie Blade, a play by Tommy Jamerson, directed by Alex Acevedo.

The comic play, very much in the Charles Busch/Andy Halliday tradition, takes place in, on and all 18582048_10102022967504024_2535222910111656157_n over the '80s, following the titular young, cock-eyed (shut up) optimist (a bubbly, committed Brian Piehl, picturedl) who makes his way to NYC to try to become a famous dancer with Muffy Diver (butch-on-command Billy Berger-Bailey). He's in for a rough coming out, having left behind his childhood crush (effortlessly funny James Tison) only to find himself the target of a revenge bang at the, er, hands of sexy, sleazy Billie Panache (red-hot Joseph Swaggerty, who looks like C. Thomas Howell had a baby naturally with that other dude from Frankie Goes to Hollywood).

18447608_1480110208707585_4288840887319591908_nSwaggerty — I know it's funny, but can we pause for a moment to be aroused?

You see, Jessie has been rejected by Muffy, so he's shaking his moneymaker as a stripper in a club run by drag queen with a secret The Madam (Dominic Sellers), and since Jessie's her new pet, her ex, Billie, decides to use his penis in the same way Taylor Swift and Katy Perry (wait, who? this is the '80s ...) use music.

18556158_10102022962289474_6517306296632452825_nPiel & Baumann — skit happens

The ensemble cast in this production — for which exactly zero of the performers would ever need to be told, “Go broader!” — complements Jamerson's mostly clever, always funny writing. There are no weak links, so I'd be remiss without mentioning my friend Marc Patlan's hysterical Joan Crawford-meets-Eartha-Kitt-meets-Tammy-Faye-Bakker Momma Blade, the first OMG performance of the night; Egbert Bernard's scenery-chewing (he swallows it, too) Rudy; and maybe my favorite in a group of favorites, the hysterical Ty Baumann, whose '80s receptionist Monica (as well as other background characters he steps into) was spookily perfect. I've seen a lot of theater featuring people who went on to do big things, and he gave me that tingling feeling. That, and the guy next to me kept fingering me. I was in jeans.

See this when you can, because this piece will pop up again somewhere; our obsession with the '80s — like The Madam's secret condition — never goes away, it just gets worse.

 
Apr 18 2017
6-PACK — THE MOST FABULOUS STORY EVER TOLD Ignites Furor + Comic Has Conflicted Views On Gays + Sheryl Crow Wants Female Musicians To Cover Up + Nikki Haley Addresses Chechnya Gay Crisis + Copping A Feel + Unitard Magic! Comments (0)

Gay-most-fabulous-story-ever-told(Image by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

WIDGETThe New York Times: The more things change, the more they stay the same — religious objections to blasphemous gay play The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. Tickets!

Lavell-CrawfordLavell Crawford (Video still via VLADTV)

WIDGETBET: Comic Lavell Crawford's own father was gay, but he says being gay is “still f*cking weird,” conflates it with the trans push for bathroom rights, says we're not born gay.

WIDGETYouTube @ AXS TV: Sheryl Crow clucks her tongue at Madonna (by name) and probably Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, among others, by implication, for having sexy art:

WIDGETJoe.My.God.: Nikki Haley is the highest-ranking Trumpster to acknowledge and demand answers about the Chechen concentration camp for gay men.

WIDGETTowleroad: When you don't want cops to keep their hands to themselves:

WIDGETJoe's Pub: Do not miss Unitard if you're in NYC in May — I saw them once and fell in love, and saw Nora Burns solo once and fell even harder.

Unitard-2017-NEW-Hero(Image via Unitard)

 
Apr 08 2017
Forever Hold His Peace: A Review Of DANIEL'S HUSBAND Comments (0)

DanielsHusband1-1491470159.pngRyan Spahn & Matthew Montelongo in Daniel's husband (Images by James Leynse)

Early on in Daniel's Husband — a new play by Michael McKeever, directed by Joe Brancato at the beautiful Cherry Lane Theatre — I started to sink in my seat. An opening scene at a bougie gay dinner party peopled by a generic crabby writer and his generic architect lover, and an aging lothario with his never-seen-a-vinyl-album-in-person twink date mate of two weeks, had me convinced I was about to see a play I had already seen 100 times or more.

Instead, the stock characters began to flesh out in unexpected ways, the familiar banter (featuring several too many jokes about dating younger men) became less pat. Soon, the play's entire equilibrium was disrupted by the arrival of the kind of overbearing mom any early shrink would have referred to as a confirmed-bachelor-maker, and something had changed.

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Mar 23 2017
Holy Cabooses! Bette Midler's HELLO, DOLLY! Is A Joy Comments (0)

1-1048_Bette-Midler-in-HELLO-DOLLY-Photo-by-Julieta-CervantesBette Midler as Dolly (Image by Julieta Cervantes)

I'll cut to the chase — I adored the latest revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler.

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Mar 18 2017
6-PACK — Bootylicious Life + JERSEYLICIOUS Death + A New Kind Of GLASS MENAGERIE + North Miami's LGBTQ Legacy + A Trump Voter Who Gets It + Trump, Who Does Not Get It! Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 5.30.17 PM(Video still via YouTube @BOYZ)

WIDGETManRumpsXXX: Check out “Talk Like Sex,” a François Sagat butt-a-thon (Work Unfriendly), after the jump below ...

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 5.40.14 PMMike Aktari died at 28, Auntie Fee at 59 (Images via Facebook)

WIDGETExtraTV: Sexy Mike Aktari of Jerseylicious and sassy Auntie Fee of YouTube cooking fame have both died.

WIDGETThe Film Experience: Is Sally Field in The Glass Menagerie sublime?

WIDGETPress Release: Artist Alan Gutierrez unveils sculpture to “celebrate the legacy of Miami-Dade County's LGBTQ champions.” It covers 1977-2017, includes Moonlight.

UnnamedHonoring those who blazed trails (Image via News Travels Fast)

WIDGETDaily Kos: White Southern male voter for Trump admits he was wrong — goes viral:

WIDGETAOL: Trump rages against FAKE NEWS, claiming his awkward meeting with Merkel — he refused to shake her hand! — went great. I say:

Tumblr_inline_on0quaaOe31qkdw6j_500(GIF via The Lisp)

Keep reading for that amazing, butt-tastic Sagat short subject ...

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