The Very Best of NYC Theatre

Missa Solemnis, Shogun Macbeth, Wig Out!, and more…


In the midst of all the celebrating for the results of the Presidential election let us not forget that there are some important issues still left on the table, specifically the anti-gay marriage amendments that passed in several corners of this country. One of the most profound and well-timed reminders can be found in the play Missa Solemnis or The Play About Henry, which is showing at TBG Arts Center until Nov 22. The show covers the last year of the life of a man who killed himself because he couldn’t reconcile being an accomplished, devout Mormon with being gay. Inspired by actual events, the tragedy of Henry Stuart Matis will pull at your heartstrings as you watch him fall in love, and, inevitably, fall from grace.

After a tearjerker like that you’ll probably want to find an escape from reality for a little while, which is the perfect time to check out the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre’s production of Shogun MacBeth. Adapted from the play by Shakespeare, this version transports the audience to 12th century Japan during a feudal military dictatorship rife with warring clans. The classic characters are transmuted into gorgeous samurai warriors and Yojos, and an impressive Buddha statue dominates the stage. The play runs all month at the Julia Miles Theatre.

In other Shakespearean news, this month brings us two different takes on Twelfth Night. T. Shreiber Studio, a prestigious acting school that has trained many well-known stars, brings us a steampunk take on this cross-dressing tale in their Gloria Maddox Theatre. The Queen’s Company production, on the other hand, takes the cross-dressing idea to a whole new dimention with their all-female cast. A decidedly more light-hearted, comedic approach to the play, this version includes lip-synched musical numbers and a barefoot cast. This cast will perform at Urban Stages, and both shows run through the 23rd of the month.

If that wasn’t enough cross-dressing for you, get your glitter on and head over to Wig Out! Picking up where Paris is Burning left off, this show leads us through two competing drag houses and the drama that comes with the struggle for power and glory. This show has received rave reviews from all over, and is currently in its second extended run at the Vineyard Theatre. Expect high-energy antics and vogueing all up in your face in this intimate theatre that has brought you some amazing productions in the past (Avenue Q, [title of show]). We don’t know how many more encores these divas will do, so don’t delay, this show is expected to close on the 16th (for real this time) with a special benefit performance.

Don’t hang up your gender-bending shoes just yet! Playwright Lisa Haas (of the Lesbian Overtones) has penned a twisted queer comedy that explores sexual orientation and gender self-identification and their evolution over time from plain ol’ lesbian to the various incarnations such as genderqueer, tranny, boi and so on. Told through the story of Doris, a 50-something lesbian who decides to open a community center for the lesbians who will be dying off in the next 30 years, In Heat is a work-in-progress being featured in the Artists of Tomorrow Festival and shows for two nights only (Nov 20 & 22) at the West End Theatre.

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