BOTTOM LINE: A really, really enjoyable night at the theatre. As long as you’re not easily offended, go see this show!
So, I had no idea what to expect when I went to see Paul Rudnick’s night of short plays at the Newhouse Theatre, located in the basement of Lincoln Center. I don’t typically love one-person shows, and that’s what this new work essentially is. It’s really just a series of three monologues culminating in a fourth scene where the characters from the three previous scenes all meet in a hospital maternity ward. I didn’t think that I would particularly enjoy this convention, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The show opens with Tony Award winner, Linda Lavin, also known for her extensive film and television credits, as she addresses a support group for parents of Gay, Lesbian, Transsexual, Transgender, etc, etc, children in Long Island. She gets the show off to a wonderful start and you will be laughing for nearly twenty minutes straight while she holds the entire audience in the palm of her hand. Next, Peter Bartlett, direct from Broadway’s The Drowsy Chaperone, plays the gayest man in Miami who hosts his own public access television program. He is joined by his special guest, played by Mike Doyle, (who is a series regular on Law and Order: SVU). These two men are equally hysterical and shocking as the first scene and leave you laughing all the way to intermission. Next Jane Houdyshell, fresh off her critically acclaimed performance in The Receptionist, plays an eccentric Midwest craft enthusiast who has you laughing one minute then crying the next. She gives a truly top notch performance not to be missed. And finally all of the characters magically converge in a maternity ward of a Manhattan hospital for the final scene.
Paul Rudnick, who wrote the screenplays for Addams' Family Values and In & Out, has created a wonderful night at the theatre. While the ending seems a little forced, you don’t care because you really love all the characters he created and are excited to see them meet each other. The show deals pretty frankly with issues that some audience members might find a little uncomfortable, but if you’re still reading this review, then you can probably handle it. You should see this show as soon as you can. It’s great and I guarantee that you will have a good time and maybe think about life just a little bit. Seriously, go see it.
(The New Century plays at the Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center, 150 W 65th Street,
Tuesday, Thursday - Friday at 8pm, Wednesday & Saturday at 2pm & 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are available at telecharge.com. Visit http://www.lct.org/ for more information.)