REVIEW: ‘Standing on Ceremony’ anthologizes new plays about gay marriage | New York Theater | -- Your State. Your News.

May 22nd
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REVIEW: ‘Standing on Ceremony’ anthologizes new plays about gay marriage

standingceremony111411_optBY MICHAEL SOMMERS

Platform drama in more ways than one, “Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays” offers an anthology of nine new works by different authors regarding topical aspects of gay marriage.

A roster of delectable actors charmingly animate the program of mostly upbeat short plays that runs a quick 90 minutes at the Minetta Lane Theater, where “Standing on Ceremony” opened on Sunday.

While a distinct preaching-to-the-choir feeling inflects this worthy aggregation – you can bet that Rick Santorum ain’t ever gonna see ‘em – the plays are at least agreeable, and in most cases, considerably better than that.

Coming from different sides of the emotional scale, the works contributed by Moises Kaufman and Paul Rudnick are particularly noteworthy.

A touching solo piece, Kaufman’s “London Mosquitoes” eloquently commemorates thousands of unsung 60s-70s-80s-90s-00s longtime gay relationships as voiced by Richard Thomas, at his heartfelt best, as an older gent giving a eulogy for the beloved partner he met at college in 1963.

The ever-clever Rudnick provides two comical interludes, both largely performed by the hilarious Harriet Harris, a peerless interpreter of his timely social comedy. In “The Gay Agenda,” Harris sweetly portrays a nice middle aged lady-next-door who freaks when she realizes how gay the world speaks to her. Ricky Martin? And what about the guy on the Bounty paper roll? She’s going crazy. In “My Husband,” Harris is a wildly liberal mom who goes beyond pressuring her gay son to wed – she’s faked an announcement of his perfect marriage for The New York Times.


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