Tag Archives: Andy Rogow
Franklin Graham, the homophobic alt-right son of Billy Graham, just finished a revival tour of Florida this weekend. Too bad he didn’t attend the revival of the musical Altar Boyz at Island City Stage that energetically, if gently, teases boy bands and evangelistic Christian pop rock by infusing a decidedly gay undercurrent. It would have driven him crazy.
Island City Stage, which focuses on gay-themed work, apparently thought it was time to revive the genus of the British sex comedy with the world premiere of Lipstick, whose primary twist is that the farce centers on lesbians and the gay men in their orbit.
From White Plains at Island City Stage is ostensibly about bullying and responsibility, but it’s really about something simpler and deeper: The past owns us.
Jonathan Tolins’ satirical Buyer & Cellar provides a steady supply of giggles and guffaws in this tale about an actor hired by Barbra Streisand to staff in shops that she built in the basement of her estate’s barn in Malibu. But Island City Stage’s production, while certainly funny, lets us view Tolins’ more serious glimpses of just how different life is for celebrities cut off from the real world.
The world premiere The Radicalization of Rolfe at Island City Stage implies a truly intriguing nesting of premises: starting with how Rolfe, the sweet messenger boy romancing Liesl in The Sound of Music ends up with a swastika on his arm helping the Nazis hunt down the Von Trapps? But this gay-themed drama needs a lot more work on the script.
Island City Stage’s highly entertaining production of the musical Zanna, Don’t! will never be confused with a show by Stephen Sondheim, though there are numerous references to the famed composer. Amid the numerous pop culture references, , and well-timed humor, Zanna, Don’t! slyly, yet forcefully, maintains that everyone has a right to love whom they want.
In this uncertain world, the ever-changing standards of what life is or even should be make it nearly impossible to chart a path forward when we have less idea what might be ahead than Columbus. That may be one of the takeaways – there are likely a half-dozen more — from the nightmarishly dark but hilarious 2014 comedy Hir bowing at Island City Stage.
The stage is a fungible place. Sets can transform, actors can fly, characters can break walls, especially the fourth. There is limitless potential in the blank canvas of floorboards and lighting, as Stuart Meltzer’s gently experimental The Goldberg Variations reminds us at Island City Stage.
Some directors say if you cast a show well, you’re more than halfway home to a successful production. So while the acting is just barely adequate in Broward Stage Door’s The Most Happy Fella, have they ever casted the voices beautifully and that makes for some stirring satisfying moments well worth the ticket.
When Topher Payne’s Perfect Arrangement bowed in 2013, the satirical indictment of homophobia, hypocrisy and a half-dozen other themes was a witty and insightful commentary. In the context of last week’s election, Island City Stage’s production is a terrifying reminder of the dangers of navigating a repressive culture through submissive accommodation.