Tuesday, July 16, 2024
EntertainmentNew YorkTheatre

New York’s 2nd Stage theater offers lots of gay options

Gay men in particular seem well represented on and off Broadway this season. We can thank Second Stage Theater for many of these offerings.

Second Stage Theater has always had a lot of diverse and progressive shows and this season is no exception.
Currently running on Broadway is the revival of the Tony Award-winning Take Me Out, which is eligible again this year for Tonys. Will lightning strike twice?

With powerful performances from a great ensemble, the answer might be yes. The cast is led by Jesse Williams, who plays the star center fielder who comes out of the closet and has to deal with all of the aftermath, whether it be from his team or the public. Williams, in his Broadway debut, commands the stage and seems like a real ball player.

The supporting cast is uniformly wonderful with Michael Oberholtzer a standout as a bigoted back-woods teammate. Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson also has some nice moments, but they are overshadowed by the other actors/characters who make up the team.

Director Scott Ellis keeps the production tight and the plot moving along. For a simple set and staging, the team of David Rockwell (scenic) and Kenneth Posner (lighting) take full advantage of the stage including an on-stage shower…still don’t know how they dried the floor. The show has become quite popular and has extended its limited run through June 11.

Second Stage Theater, aka 2ndStage, just had another gay play end its run Off-Broadway. To My Girls was dubbed a sort of Boys in the Band for the West Coast. The show takes place in an AirBNB in popular Palm Springs where a group of friends gather, party and uncover secrets. While the younger men have appeal to younger theatergoers (giving them someone to relate to)  it’s the under-utilized Bryan Batt who has the best moments.

The show, which runs without an intermission, tries to offer something for everyone, often feeling forced.  The show features songs from about every gay icon — perhaps a little too much. Further, while the show moves along smoothly, it should have ended 15 minutes earlier. There’s a plot twist towards the end that is completely unnecessary and even introduces a character that wasn’t even needed.

On a side note, over the past few years, Palm Springs has been the destination in several gay New York plays, which makes one wonder if it’s the location gay New York snowbirds go while the straights flock to Florida. Just a thought.

You can get tickets for Take Me Out and check for other exciting shows coming up by visiting www.2st.com.

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, www.reelkev.com and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for Examiner.com and contributes to progressivepulse.com as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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