Archive Review: Top & Bottom

From August 2007:

This provocatively titled Fringe show deals with an encounter between a submissive yet aggressive bondage bottom boy and a socially awkward leather top. Playwright Kevin Michael West has created the most sensitive and intelligent portrayal of kinky gay men I’ve seen on-stage – not that I’ve seen that many! More plays about kinky gay men, please!

While there are moments of Top and Bottom that are rife with sexual tension, it is perhaps most remarkable for an almost sentimental sweetness that arises between bottom Tommy (the suitably sassy and sexy David Smith) and top James (Mark Gaddis giving you comically khaki personality while wearing a harness). While James and Tommy occasionally spark with chemistry, most of what we see is a series of misfires and miscommunications: James’s clumsiness is a turnoff for Tommy, and Tommy’s pushiness doesn’t really work for James.

It turns out, though, that these surface problems mask deeper conflicts in both men, which they work out during breaks in their bondage session. They start over at the very end of the play, and you get the sense that the fireworks are just beginning. West skillfully communicates the psychological complexities that lead men to explore the darker side of their sexuality. He also gets the pain of being stigmatized for being kinky, and the profound liberation and camaraderie that can be found with someone who shares your fetishes.

The cast are admirably committed and give compelling performances; Smith in particular makes Tommy’s playful eroticism titillatingly palpable. Top and Bottom isn’t the most earth-shaking play you’ll ever see, but it does a great job of portraying the achingly vulnerable moments that happen in any sexual encounter. That it does so with a light touch and an abundant sense of humor marks West as a playwright to watch.

Archive Review: Xanadu

From July 2007:

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that as a theater director, I have myself actively wanted to adapt the movie musical Xanadu to the stage for a long time. So when I first heard that a production was in the works, to be directed by Christopher Ashley with a book by Douglas Carter Beane, my heart momentarily sank. Seconds later, however, I realized that, if it wasn’t going to be me who brought this cult classic to the stage, there really wasn’t a better choice than Beane and Ashley to do it.

Happily, the clever, hilarious and joyously light confection on stage at the Helen Hayes Theater has borne out that intuition. Sure, the original movie had tons of leaden dialogue and was shot with all the imagination and skill of an old newsreel. But the musical score (which produced five top 40 hits, including the chart-topping “Magic”) was deliriously lively and inventive, often quite beautiful in a pop-rocky way.

Also, the underlying idea – a heavenly muse inspires a young artist to realize his dreams by creating the titular nightlife utopia – had loads of potential, and the design and choreography of the film for the most part reflected the vibrant inspiration of the score. Beane has written a marvelously witty book that weaves comic gold out of the film’s tale of forbidden love between a mortal and an immortal. Further, Beane’s thematic preoccupation with the life-giving power of creativity is obviously deeply felt and, to me anyway, deeply touching.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that this Xanadu is also deeply, deeply gay! Let’s just start with the Sonny, the young artist, played by Cheyenne Jackson, a gorgeous mountain of an out gay man. Costume designer David Zinn has done us all a huge favor by costuming Jackson in the skimpiest of costumes, consisting of cut-off jeans that display Jackson’s stunning legs to their best effect (only to be bested by even skimpier satin shorts in the finale – when injured James Carpinello resumes playing the role, his twinkier form should inspire another subset of gay men).

Jackson also sings the Jeff Lynne and John Farrar songs with breathtaking power and emotion, as does Kerry Butler, who recreates the role of muse Kira made famous by Olivia Newton-John with great good humor and endless energy. Top-flight comediennes Jackie Hoffman and Mary Testa look like they’re having the time of their lives playing Kira’s jealous sisters (Calliope and Melpomene respectively), and when they’re having fun, you can bet the audience is having twice as much. I seriously “heart” this version of Xanadu and everybody involved with it!

To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see

Archive Interview: Lily Tomlin In Her Own Words

In 2007 I did an interview with Lily Tomlin that I cut down to fit into print, although true to form with one of my favorite people, most of what she said was gold. Here are uncut quotes from that interview.

“Erenstine has a reality webcam chat show now. So she calls President Bush or whoever’s in the news It’s much more informal, much more freewheeling that if I was doing a more theatrical piece like Search for Signs or something. More interaction with the audience. I’ll try to talk about topical things about Washington DC, do what I’ve always done.”

“Here’s a story: I was playing at the Gaslight in the Village [The Gaslight was originally a “basket house”, where performers were paid the proceeds of a passed around basket. Opened in 1958 by John Mitchell the  Gaslight had showcased beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso but became a folk club when Sam Hood took it over. Dylan premiered Masters of War and many other songs here], people would say, ‘Well people don’t understand if you do all these characters, they don’t know who you are’. And I’d say ‘That’s ridiculous, I’m standing right there and talking as myself between the characters’. So I was always trying to develop a persona, like Joanie Rivers, she had a persona which she worked out of the last screw on the freeway, like her mother had a sign up that said ‘Last Single Girl before Exit to Freeway’. And other people, like Totie Fields, you know, would work out of a persona that was close to them but exaggerated. I was at the Gaslight one night; I tried to work out a persona of someone who does all these characters and tries to relate to the audience. So I’d sit down at the table and look deep into their eyes – I’m on the phone, honey – I’d be frank with them, I’d say, ‘I’m trying to be myself on stage, and I’m going to try to relate to the audience as a human being’ (laughs.) And I’d say ‘This is the part that’s kept me in the small money all these years, and when I do the character part you’ll see that’s the good part’. People were cheering by the end and I’d say ‘Now that I’ve used you to this extent, I’ll be moving on to bigger and better things’. There weren’t that many places to do comedy in those days because music, folk and then rock music was so prominent.”

“Something came out about Karl Rove’s playbook being disinformed misinformed you come right around to being uninformed again. The more you peel back the layers, the more the misinformation and manipulation is so strong, why do we give these people credit for being masterful, being masters of misinformation, Why do people give Karl Rove credit for being a strategist, a genius just because he’s put out these destructive, heinous, manipulative, rotten. What is my point of view on the state of things? What could it be? Not much. You try to make it funny, laughable – it’s kind of payback. What so frightening is that so many people, the average person is so busy with their lives that they only catch a fragment of something on the news, that’s why there’s so much confused opinion. No wonder so many people still believe Saddam was behind 9/11, with most of the media co-opted, it amazing how thorough this misinformation is.”

“I first came to New York in ’62 because I’d gotten into a show in college. For the first time I consciously did a character it was pegged to the fact that Grosse Pointe was covertly segregated, which had just been exposed, the little bit I did was very relevant, I thought oh God I maybe I can make a living doing this. I was not a really great student I  first lived on Second Avenue over the old B & H Dairy. These are deep imprints on me, I don’t know exactly how they manifest themselves. I lived in an old railroad flat for a few weeks, I lived with a friend, Jenny, I knew very slightly in college and she was living a guy, Jerry, who thought he was carrying the legacy of abstract expressionist painter Franz Kline who died in ’62. They didn’t speak, they hated each other. At eye level they would curse each other — ‘I hate you, you’re mother’s dirt’. So I come in like Holly Golightly — that was the year Breakfast at Tiffany’s came out, and I was profoundly influenced by that. I could show you photographs where I had major Audrey Hepburn damage. I get to New York I borrow nine dollars from five people, I go to the thrift shop where by some lightining of god there was some cream-colored trench coat like she had in the movie, and I got my hair up like hers. And I immediately am going to clean up the apartment and get rid of the roaches, and I painted the whole apartment – ack you don’t want to get me started on this story, this is a movie in itself  – Jerry slept in the living room and painted all night, with a ¾ bed on the airshaft, she wouldn’t let me sleep with her and I couldn’t fraternize by sleeping on his rollaway during the night so I had to sleep on a  there was no mirror in the house so I had to use a mirror up the street, the roaches, just profound, unbelievable.”

“I got a job right away at a talent agency Marvin Josephson Associates – Marvin later became a founder of ICM. I came to be a waitress at the Figaro, and I was going to study mime, that was my first ambition in New York. This was a job in midtown so I had to start wearing pumps and heels, I moved to NY with a burlap skirt and a striped jersey and a great big old pair of sandals (laughs), and I get a job a this talent agency because I knew how to be a bookkeeper, I was very good with numbers. And here I am going to work with two girls from Queens and the Bronx, who had big teased hairdos and long fingernails, and I thought of myself as a bohemian, a beatnik, sort of. Even in the East Village in those days women weren’t artists. Nobody believed even in musicians – you had to be composer, you were nothing if you only an interpretive artist like an actor or musician, you had to be a playwright or composer to be taken seriously. To be an actress was just so narcissistic (laughs).”

“So I went to the American Mime Theater, and lasted about three weeks because it was so movement-driven, and of course I loved words, so I wasn’t going to be happy being a mime. Everybody there was so physically gifted anyway; they’d fall from one end of this huge dance studio to the other wall, and do it differently each time. I didn’t think I wanted to put in that kind of work to just fall from one end of the room to the other, because I could do a fairly decent job of that anyway, and when I got there I’d rather say something, or better yet, say something on the way. In August it would be so hot in New York. This was in the days when construction workers would yell and grab there crotches for anything in high heels that walked by, and really say anything to you. I had to take the bank deposits to the bank, between 6th and 7th. There’s a reason people rail against high heels I can tell you.”

“I was so focused on auditions then, I’m trying to remember when I became aware of that whole downtown scene, like Candy Darling and everybody but that was later, for me that was the early 70s. I came to know some of the Cockettes, but I was pretty focused on my own work by that point, which in the case of ‘Laugh-In’ took me to California. I eventually bought an apartment up on the fifth floor. A couple of gay guys had lived there and it was fantastically finished. I was so lucky to get this apartment, the windowsills in those old tenements are covered with years of different paints, but these were all sanded down beautifully, it was like living at the Pierre or something.”

“I worked the Improv which back then was on the West Side, and I would hit the thrift shop, I used to buy so many gowns and things at the thrift shop. The first time I appeared at the Improv, must have been 66. I had a white fox fur and a bias cut halter dress that I’d gotten at the Salvation Army or something for about 50¢. I told them I have to go on between 9 and 9:30. I don’t know how I got Budd Freidman to do because in those days a woman doing comedy was so rare you had to have someone to vouch for you. In those days the Improv had a plate glass window that faced right on the street, so you could see the people coming in the club. I took the subway uptown to the theater district where I know there would be limos waiting for people. I gave the guy 5 bucks, and he drove me over to the Improv, I got out went right into the club did five or ten minutes, swept out went back in the limo, and he dropped me off. That made a big splash for me at the Improv. Plus my set went really well.”

“So after that I could go to the Improv. If I was working out a monologue and I would go to the Laundromat at Second Avenue, and then I’d go to the bar for a couple of drinks (laughs). So if I’d see somebody at the Laundromat that I knew, or even a person on the street. I would drag them back up to my fifth floor apartment, and I do it for them. It was probably a monologue they’d seen six or seven times, but if I’d change one syllable of course it was just revelatory. I can’t imagine how many times I did that with my pals on the Lower East Side.”

“New York of the Sixties is when Ernestine came about. Having some political inclinations, I hated the phone company because they were involved with governmental eavesdropping. So it was appropriate to satire the phone company on that level, too. And on the everyday level. I later learned when I became famous from ‘Laugh-In’, then I was adopted by all the union workers at the phone company — they told me that during that era, they completely ignore the private subscriber, because the subscriber had no alternative. They were putting all of their money into databasing and research and development. You didn’t have to go very far because the phone company did have all kinds of information on you, Ernestine would suggest they taped conversations and that they had access to all of your financial personal business and she would harass everybody.”

Archive Review: Peter Gallagher

From May 2007:

Peter Gallagher is currently best known for his role as Sandy Cohen in the Fox hit “The OC.” In his show “Songs and Stories” at Feinstein’s at the Regency, he freely admits that he is worlds away from being a “cool dad” like Sandy. He embarrasses his own kids just as successfully as any parent!

This debut cabaret act showcases musical numbers from his illustrious theatre career — featuring a star turn as Sky Masterson in the Broadway production of “Guys and Dolls” that also made a star of Nathan Lane. Most impressive though, are selections from his recent solo debut CD from Epic Records “7 Days in Memphis.” While hearing Gallagher sing such standards as “Luck Be a Lady” is very satisfying on its own terms, hearing him sing Solomon Burke’s “Don’t Give up on Me” is pure revelation — astonishingly he gives this song even more soul than Burke did.

By his own admission, Gallagher’s premiere cabaret act could so easily have been a piece of hackneyed crap. To his total credit, “Songs and Stories” is a smart and sincere evening of songs that reveals Peter as a real, full-throated artist and interpreter.

To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see

Archive Review: Coram Boy


From May 2007:

This is one of the most gratifying Broadway spectaculars in recent years. Coram Boy may not be the deepest show you’ve ever seen, but it is exquisitely well-crafted, gorgeously designed and seat-of-your-pants gripping. This play is set in 18th-century England, and features unequivocal good guys (choirboy teenagers who truly, deeply, madly love music) and bad guys (a scowling but honorable mean dad and a truly mustache-twirling villain who moves from ghastly infanticide to human trafficking). As someone who doesn’t like Les Mis but liked Hugo’s novel and gets its appeal,  Coram Boy is very much the show I wished Mis could be. 

The “Coram” of the title is a home for deserted children, which forms the fulcrum of the complicated plot of this deeply-felt sentimental thriller. The “Coram Home” actually existed in the London of the day. It was a charity dear to the heart of G. F. Handel, the composer of the “Hallelujah Chorus”, whose music is key to the plot – and theatrical impact – of Coram Boy. This National Theatre production from Britain, directed by Melly Still, features a full orchestra and chorus who provide underscoring that beats anything you’ll hear at the movies, as well as interpretations of Handel’s music that would leave only the hardest heart unmoved. This is very traditional, well-made theater at its satisfying best.

Archive Feature: 2007 Broadway Beauty Pageant

From May 2007:

The winner of the first annual Mr. Broadway pageant held last Monday, April 30th, Mr. “Mamma Mia” Frankie James Grande, is living proof that saying “she ain’t right” doesn’t preclude sexiness – crazy can be crazy hot! Grande went way out on a limb with his “talent” performance, singing “You’re the One that I Want” as Gollum from “Lord of the Rings.”

He went even further, mixing in the idea that Gollum was a contestant on the recent “Grease” casting show bearing that song’s name. It certainly didn’t hurt that ultra-athletic back flips were part of his act, or that he sang in a loincloth, or that his swimsuit was the skimpiest of the lot (combined with body oil, which host Tovah Feldshuh praised as “attention to detail”).

Judge Seth Rudetsky (a Broadway musician also known for his one-man show “Rhapsody in Seth”, and “Broadway Chatterbox” his weekly live talk show at Don’t Tell Mama) revealed that “Nancy Opel and I did a show together on Saturday and we looked at each other and said ‘This pageant on Monday could really be awful.’ We’ll do it for the terrific organization it benefits –the Ali Forney Center (AFC) which provides shelter for homeless LGBT youth in New York City – but we were both sort of dreading it.”

“But,” Rudetsky enthuses, “it was so well done! Amazing, so well produced, the talent level was incredible, I thought. Tovah Feldshuh, the host, was hilarious, doing her Borscht Belt shtick, which the audience just ate up. I totally want to do it again! I mean I’d love to be in it but I’d have to do a 40 pound weight loss and drop 20 years in age. I was so impressed with the acts, they could have just come out and sang their audition songs, but they were so well thought out and brave.”

Each of the contestants went head to head in talent, interview and swimsuit competitions in front of judges who are celebrities on the Great White Way – or nearby gay bars — but ultimately, the final vote was left in the audience’s hands. The judges were Scott Nevins, Opel and Rudetsky.

Grande wasn’t the only candidate to rely on comedy: Mr. “Mary Poppins” Kevin Yee gave an interpretation of Tom Jones’s “Sex Bomb” that playfully parodied boy-band choreography and costuming (Yee was part of boy-band Youth Asylum when he was a teenager).

Mr. “Curtains” Ward Billeisen earned points for dressing elegantly for his talent, but lost points for singing the melodically easy “Moondance.” His swimsuit featured “curtains” that rose to reveal his bare butt, which the judges found provocative for its combination of cleverness and sexiness.

Mr. “Wicked” Kenway Kua’s talent was a dance that also involved a serious story about finding self-esteem and some artful choreography. Full disclosure: Kua got my vote because the choreography was his own, and incorporated technically difficult moves and good storytelling – and, yes, a gradual shedding of costume revealing his svelte physique.

Mr. “A Chorus Line” Paul McGill both hacked off and challenged the judges with an early revelation that he was only 19, born in 1987. He also caused a stir in the swimsuit competition with a package that was either quite well-hung or artfully-stuffed. “It was crazy,” said Rudetsky. “Did he wrap his dick four times over? I don’t understand how it can look like that.” In the interview section he did a very hard to-the-ground split. Maybe that’s why he was first runner up to Grande — though it might also be because he very nearly nailed the Michael Bennett‘s choreography for “Music and the Mirror,” a bravura dance number from “Line” in heels no less, which he chose for his talent.

Mr. “Hairspray,” Arbinder Robinson is clearly a singer before everything else, staking everything on his interpretation of “Georgia on My Mind” which he delivered with chops that more closely resembled real soul than “American Idol” screaming. He copped out on the swimsuit portion of the evening, but was candid and winning in the interview, speaking about his upbringing and theatrical career.

Mr. “Tarzan” Nick Sanchez got major technical points for attempting to set a world record for toe touches (high jumps with hands extended to meet the feet) – he made it to 50. He charmed the judges, especially Nevins, in the interview, and caused a stir by swallowing an entire bottle of Corona during his swimsuit walk.

On the subject of the Center’s financial need AFC Executive Director Carl Siciliano comments that “We want only the best for the kids in our program. The services they can get from the government are minimal. It’s like getting a baloney sandwich when they need and deserve a four-course meal. At the Ali Forney Center, we want to make sure they get the four-course meal.”

Ali Forney was a homeless queer teen who was forced to live on the streets of New York during the 1990s. Ali was dedicated to the safety of other homeless queer youth; he was a committed HIV prevention worker, and aggressively advocated that the NYPD investigate a series of murders of the homeless queer youth he had befriended. In December of 1997, Ali was murdered on the streets. His tragic death called attention to the atrocious conditions for homeless queer youth in New York. Ali’s murderer has never been identified. According to AFC statistics, as LGBT teens come out of the closet, 25% are rejected by their families, 11.5% of gay and lesbian youth report being physically attacked by family members and 42% of homeless youth self-identify as gay or lesbian.

AFC was started in June 2002 in response to the lack of safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City. They are committed to providing LGBT youth with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs can be met and where they can begin to put their lives back together. AFC has quickly become the nation’s largest and most comprehensive organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth. AFC currently provides help for 2,000 persons a year with services including three emergency housing sites, three transitional housing sites, a network of resources in New York City, and a day center that offers clinical and support services.

While the total amount raised had not been tallied at press time, the audience was given the opportunity after the show to make an additional donation to the Ali Forney Center, resulting in over $2000 in cash raised at the door alone.

Archive Review: Frost/Nixon

From May 2007:

Peter Morgan is best known as the screenwriter of the award-winning films The Last King of Scotland and The Queen. In Frost/Nixon, his first play, Morgan continues his great success in transforming critical moments in late 20th century history into gripping drama.

The play is not, as some have suggested, a mere staging of the highlights of David Frost’s famous 1977 interview with disgraced ex-president Richard Nixon. Over three-quarters of the show are concerned with the context of that history making interview. Frank Langella’s oddly charismatic version of Nixon artfully portrays the tense enigma of this most perplexing American politician. The real heart of Frost/Nixon, however, is Frost’s struggle to be taken seriously as a journalist, as the man who took Nixon down.

As Frost, Michael Sheen presents the slyly reserved surface of this icon, all the while investing every moment with barely concealed ambition. Frost/Nixon is a really engaging piece of historical drama, which has the most to teach people unfamiliar with the incredibly high stakes of the Watergate scandal.

Archive Review: Inherit the Wind

From April 2007:

Inherit the Wind is the most theatrically satisfying play revival of this season. The 1955 play is a highly fictionalized gloss on the 1925 “Monkey Trial,” in which John Scopes was prosecuted for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. Scopes broke a Tennessee law that barred teaching “any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.”

Director Doug Hughes makes this (and much else) crystal clear, doing the best work of his career in a production that brims over with vivid textures and personalities. Brian Dennehy intensely underplays the role of prosecutor Matthew Harrison Brady (based on William Jennings Bryan, a turn of the 20th century presidential candidate), and Christopher Plummer conjures many colors for agnostic defense attorney Henry Drummond (based on Clarence Darrow).

 While the play focuses on the contest between faith and reason, at its heart it’s a rueful tribute to Bryan, portraying his tragic journey from heroic politician to oblivious ultra-conservative joke. He is the character that “inherits the wind,” dying after winning the trial’s battle but losing the war against Darwinism. While this play doesn’t catch the complexities of Bryan’s inevitably self-contradictory politics, it successfully captures the tragedy of an egotistical idealist who outlives his time. That’s a message to you, Rudy.

Archive Review: West Moon Street

From April 2007:

Director turned playwright Rob Urbinati has done a truly marvelous thing: He’s turned an infrequently read Oscar Wilde short story into a play that actually improves on Wilde’s original. “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime,” the basis for Urbinati’s “West Moon Street,” tells the tale of young Lord Arthur (David Ruffin), who’s on cloud nine – he’s just down from Oxford and engaged to be married to the appropriately aristocratic Sybil (Melissa Miller). His naïve happiness is smashed to smithereens by a night spent at the residence of his confidante Lady Windermere (Judith Hawking), at which a mysterious palm-reader foretells a deadly turn of events. 

Wilde’s original is filled with wit and subtly subversive humor. Urbinati’s adaptation takes Wilde’s lead and runs with it, making clear things that would have been taboo in Oscar’s day and subtly suggesting things that are still subversive today. For example, Urbinati transforms Herr Winkelkropf (the sharp, intelligent Michael Crane) – merely a German “revolutionary” with “Russian” leanings in the original – into a frankly acknowledged anarchist, and gives him lines that underline political and social points only hinted at in Wilde’s story.

Even more, Urbinati turns the originally mild role of Lady Windermere into a cunningly manipulative force of nature (like her namesake in Wilde’s play “Lady Windermere’s Fan”), and Hawking turns the role into an unquestionable “lead” performance, replete with quotable lines and juicy motivation. Glenn Peters gets the “Lady Bracknell” award for giving the evening’s only drag role (the stiff-necked but hedonistic Lady Clem) a truly believable interpretation.

This production also benefits from the designs of Lee Savage (set) and Naomi Wolff (costumes). Savage sets the tale’s visuals against an aquatic blue background, which achieves the right balance between light comedy and the murderousness of Lord Arthur’s “dark quest.” Wolff’s costumes also tell their own story: Many of the show’s biggest laughs arrive through the overstated outfits of silly clotheshorse Jane (Jocelyn Greene).

In the central role of Lord Arthur, Ruffin unfortunately takes his time to get the role right, mumbling many of his lines until it’s time for Arthur to take center stage. Once he’s on a roll, though, Ruffin clearly expresses Arthur’s dilemma, which is only exacerbated by the fact that Lord Savile is a certifiable idiot. “West Moon Street” is a Wilde ride indeed!

Archive Review: And He Made A Her

From April 2007:

In the beginning, there was the Caffe Cino. This legendary place was the birthplace of both Off-Off-Broadway and American gay theater. The key playwright in both events was Doric Wilson (now the general director & founder of TOSOS II, the city’s most vibrant gay theatre troupe).

His very first play to be produced, AND HE MADE A HER opened to great acclaim at the Cino (named for proprietor Joe Cino) in 1961, where it, in the words of playwright Robert Patrick, “helped establish the Cino as a venue for new plays, and materially contributed to the then-emerging concept of Off-Off Broadway.”

AND HE MADE A HER is receiving its first New York Revival in over 40 years, in a very entertaining TOSOS II production briskly directed by the company’s artistic director Mark Finley. It is an “Adam and Eve” play, taking a highly satirical view of humanity’s first couple.

Many, many plays and musicals have been written about this duo, most of them beyond dreadful. AND HE MADE A HER is easily the best play on the subject I’ve ever seen, largely because of the subtle feminism of Wilson’s Eve (deftly underplayed by Jamie Heinlein), and the gay sensibility of two oh so fey angels. My husband astutely remarked that it’s vastly better than the first act of the recently revived APPLE TREE, also a dramatization of the first few chapters of Genesis.

That said, AND HE MADE A HER is clearly the work of a very young playwright—not as probing or funny as, say, Wilson’s excellent Stonewall drama STREET THEATER—but an intelligent young playwright with abundant wit and a distinctive point of view on subjects ranging from philosophy to warmongering. It’s also very much of its time, featuring “an angel of conservative cant” named Disenchantralista (Roberto Cambeiro, hitting just the right note of gimlet-eyed resentment) who could have easily walked out of one of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist masterpieces.

Doric has commented that this is one of his least gay plays (it is mostly about the original heteros, after all). What gayness it possesses comes mostly from the two fey angels mentioned above: Disenchantralista’s opposite number Urhelancia (Nick Matthews), “an angel of liberal enthusiasm” and Silvadorf (Chris Weikel). Matthews gives Urhelancia the feel of playfully excitable queer activist, while Weikel’s Silvadorf is the very soul of mid-century gay New York supper club sophistication.

Matt Rashid has the most difficult job, playing “straight man” Adam in the midst of this swirling vortex of eccentric spirits—and he carries it well. All in all, this little bit of theater history is well worth repeating.