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April 10, 2014

by Lee Hartgrave


NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER 


STANDING ON CEREMONY: 
THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS

Ta Ra Da Ra Ta Day -- Gay Marriage is on the way. And thanks to all that will follow on this: Without Paul Rudnick, Neil LaBute, Moises Kaufman, Wendy MacLeod, Jose Rivera, Mo Gaffney, Jordan Harrison and Doug Wright. 

Brian Shnipper conceived a comedy-drama called "Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays." 

Most of the plays are really fun and juicy - Paul Rudnick's little farce is a hoot. Then there is the Jewish liberal democrat mom that tries to marry her son to another man. 

The exceptional actors give us bend over laughs throughout the show -- but near the end of the show, two of the boys drag out a long, long Wedding Ceremony. They do exchange vows -- but they seem to want to draw back. However, they did come to wearing the veil eventually. 

Neil LaBute's "Strange Fruit" is a little to heavy for humor. But wait -- there is a Lesbian couple that is determined to have a wedding. Their minds are strong. 

The play is really all over the place - and it should be in these small vignettes. Some of it delivers a Tour De Force. There are a some couples that really give the audience frolicking knockout laughs that are guaranteed. 

Just yearning - won't do it. You either get married to each other or you lose that epic intimatesy. Yep -- love is all over the place. There is nothing else on the stage like it. It's like Impressionism painting. You're bound to get that squirly fleeting sensation. What should you guys wear? Matching pants would be nice. 

Hey - no need to fret. You're going to Love "Standing on Ceremony". What a great idea. Some of the couples will stay together and as we know - some will fly away. That always happens whether you are a Gay Couple or just a Couple of Straights. Nothing lasts forever. 

In the show there are Christian Families - Some are Jews - Some would like to meet a Muslim. Someone sez: "You're not Gay Enuf" - to make wedding plans!  Then there is this: "You look beautiful" ... What happened? 

THE OUTSTANDING CAST: Patrick Barresi, Katharine Chin, Scott Cox, Colleen Egan, Sal Mattos, and Heidi Wolff 

RATING: SIX STARS******(highest rating) 
Or if you prefer - Six Glasses of Champagne!!!!!!

(((Lee Hartgrave contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced a long-running Arts and Entertainment Segment on PBS KQED - 7 years)))





  


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