offoffoff theater



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Theater section
  • Theater main page
  • Theater archive
  • Theater links

    Current theater

  • Fall Briefs
  • Nick


    Complete archive, 1999-present

    2008-2009 reviews:
  • Anaïs Nin Goes To Hell
  • beast: a parable
  • Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire
  • Blasted
  • Buffalo Gal
  • China: The Whole Enchilada
  • The Corn Maiden
  • Crawl, Fade to White
  • Doruntine
  • Extraordinary Rendition
  • The First Breeze of Summer
  • Fringe Festival 2008
  • Fringe Festival favorites
  • The Glass Cage
  • Hair
  • Hidden Fees* (A Play About Money)
  • Jailbait
  • King of Shadows
  • The Longest Running Joke of the Twentieth Century
  • Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising
  • Macbeth
  • The Master Builder
  • Missa Solemnis, or The Play About Henry
  • Mourn the Living Hector
  • A Nasty Story
  • Nowadays
  • the october crisis (to laura)
  • Oresteia
  • Other Bodies
  • Prayer
  • Psalms of a Questionable Nature
  • Raised by Lesbians
  • Reasonable Doubt
  • Sleepwalk With Me
  • Small Craft Warnings
  • Something Weird . . . in the Red Room
  • Soul Samurai
  • The Sound of One Hanna Clapping
  • Southern Promises
  • The Third from the Left
  • Twelfth Night
  • Voices from Guantánamo
  • The Wendigo
  • Zombie


    Homosexual Acts

    "Acts" and you shall receive

    The short plays in "Homosexual Acts" deliver funny and touching scenes about gay life, from high-schoolers struggling with coming out to a dastardly plot by Doris Day's biggest fan.


    "Homosexual Acts" is not quite as saucy as its coy title would have you think — actually, these "acts" are seven rather well-mannered one-acts about gay life adding up to an alternately funny and moving night of theater. Most of these short plays are smartly written and flawlessly acted, and although the issues they cover are already quite familiar, the pieces comment entertainingly on a range of cultural and social subjects.

    Directed by: Mark Cannistraro.
    Includes individual plays: "I Should Have Said No" by Doug Cooney; "Annunciation" by Carl Morse; "The Doris Day Collection" by Robert Shaffron; Anything for You" by Cathy Celesia; "The Virtual Closet" by James Edwin Parker; "The Virgin Tango" by Tom W. Kelly; "It's Our Town; Too" by Susan Miller
    Cast: Suzanna Bowling, Jessica Faller, Suzanne Gilad, Stephen Hope, Nathan Johnson, Gregg Moore, A.J. Triano, Justin Wilson.

    Related links: Official site
    One of the best is "The Virgin Tango" by Tom W. Kelly. It's about two high-schoolers, the football team captain and the junior class president, who share a mutual attraction but are both in the closet. That is, not just "in the closet" but literally in the closet — they're hiding from the rest of the kids at the school prom in an adjacent storage room.

    As the music plays outside, the two share wine straight out of the bottle due to the lack of glasses — an omission that the shy class president Mark (Justin Wilson) repeatedly apologizes for. At least, he claims, "this is more romantic."

    "Is it?" the more assertive Stan (A.J. Triano) says.

    "Yes," answers Mark, stalling out of nervousness. "Let's make a toast."

    Stan immediately leans in for a desperately desired kiss.

    "That is not a toast!" howls Mark.

    The two teenagers want each other but they dread the abuse of their peers. The question is not only whether they can overcome the inhibitions between themselves — which could almost be the stuff of any teen romance — but whether they have the courage, as Stan keeps hinting, to go out into the dance hall and claim a place on the dance floor alongside the straight couples.

    A very funny play is "The Doris Day Collection" by Robert Shaffron, about two men in a Southern California cafe, enjoying a conversation about the pantheon of gay film icons and arguing over who co-starred with Doris Day in which pictures. Hank (Stephen Hope) is the expert in this area — he happens to be editor of the newsletter of the Doris Day Movement. He also has a fiendish plan.

    "I have everything Doris," he boasts. "I have the most complete collection of Doris Day memorabilia in the world. My collection lacks only one thing."

    "What's that?" asks his friend Stone (Gregg Moore).

    "Doris herself!" Hank answers.

    As you may already have guessed, this plan goes awry almost immediately.

    By the way, you'll know you're in the West Village when the audience bursts spontaneously into "Que Sera Sera" along with the between-set music.

    I have reservations only about the last episode, "It's Our Town, Too," Susan Miller's takeoff on "Our Town" in which gay couples are included in the homey townscape. The piece comes off a little too didactic, with characters making speeches about how it's okay to have two mommies or two daddies instead of facing their own issues in a way that develops their characters. Families with same-sex parents are presented as if merely showing them qualified as a plot development. And the only visible challenge to their way of life comes from an inarticulate straight guy who walks on and rants for 15 seconds. (We know he's straight because his hair is mussed.)

    But on the whole, these seven short plays are well worth seeing. I haven't even gotten around to describing the very funny one about Internet dating. You'll just have to see it for yourself.

    AUGUST 20, 2001

    Reader comments on Homosexual Acts:

  • Welldon   from atif khan, Dec 19, 2005
  • thts nastly dude!   from Caitlin, Jan 14, 2006
  • homosexual   from christy, Mar 18, 2006
  • Re: homosexual   from Bon Dominic G. Dela Cruz, Jul 17, 2008
  • Does anyoen know AJ Triano?   from frank, Aug 7, 2007
  • cool!   from sushovan, Mar 13, 2009

  • Post a comment on "Homosexual Acts"