note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Larry Stark
Original Music & Sound Design by Nathan Leigh
Scenic Design by Cristina Todesco
Costume Design by Gail Astrid Buckley
Lighting Design by Jeff Adelberg
Production Stage Manager Dawn Schall
Paul Rudnick can be a very good playwright ("The Naked Eye") a funny playwright ("I Hate Hamlet") a Gay playwright ("The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told") even a great, funny Gay playwright ("Valhalla") --- and with the four pieces that constitute "The New Century" he has tried his hand at Gay stand-up comedy --- to roll-in-the-aisles success. Each of the stars is given a character to portray and they all meet in the final piece, and there are two minor characters brought in mostly to illustrate ideas, but these are direct-to-the-audience monologues: not-yet-plays, as it were. They are so full of cracks and jokes and one-liners, though, that laughs never stop rolling, and so solidly, flamboyantly acted everyone, straight or gay, can enjoy the hilarity.
The one short break from hilarity comes when Kerry A. Dowling, playing a crafts-mad "artist" (she's never without her glue-gun!) finds fulfillment decorating a pink velvet square for her son in The AIDS-quilt. It's as gaudy, personal, shallow and badly-composed as all her work, and Rudnick brings her back to giggly self-parody again before the end, but in this hour-long celebration of "Life-Style Choices" it has its place.
Paula Plum plays the proud, unde-steanding Jewish Mother of three differently Gay boys. And Robert Saoud is the haughty host of a Palm Beach public-access t-v show who smugly insists "I'm so Gay I can turn anyone Gay just by a glance at them. Zing!" he says to the audience, "Well, that was easy!"
Bud Weber gets all the beefcake-roles as Gay son or most-recent lover; Emilie Battle, with her little black baby strapped to her stomach, pleads for Mr. Charles to do his magic-thing to give him a better opportunity in life. They are both proof on-stage that The Boston Conservatory is the greatest treasure theater in Boston, America, and the world has ever known.
Straights and Gays may laugh at these over-the-top stereotypes from different angles, but no one can resist the non-stop onslaught of Rudnick's ebullient send-ups.
And it's running another THREE week-ends!
Need I say more?