The Debate Society
The Debate Society is made up of actors Paul Thureen and Hannah Bos as well as director Oliver Butler. Buddy Cop 2 was one of my favorite shows of 2010, and its ironic title (and marketing image) belie what a smart, funny, natural, and touching piece it is. It's being remounted at The Atlantic in January. Don't miss it!
I love, love, love Half Straddle and the work of their resident playwright, Tina Satter. The girls and gays of Half Straddle combine poetic language with comedy and music and dancing in ways that are surprising and delicious. Tina Satter's Family was another one of my favorite shows of 2010. Their description: "Twenty-year old Lily is about to be impregnated with Rudolf Nureyev’s frozen sperm to make her mother happy. Little sister Frarajaca wants to stage an artistic gangbang. And Mum doesn’t want to deal with anymore goddamn idiots. It’s a family drama. Sort of." Amazing! My beloved Jess Barbagallo (from MilkMilkLemonade) is also a member of this company.
Michael Yates Crowley
I reviewed Michael Yates Crowley's Evanston: A Rare Comedy at PS 122 a while back and have been following his stuff ever since. He runs theater company Wolf 359 and a monthly salon series, Hearth Gods. Wolf 359 "takes a chainsaw to language and pretension to create a new kind of American theater." A to the motherfucking MEN. Michael is in the Soho Rep Writers/Directors Lab this year and I can't wait for his reading.
Full disclosure: Joe and I have worked together before. Not that this matters, really, since I'm not a critic. Joe is one of the brightest, funniest, nicest, cutest playwrights I know and a member of Ars Nova's Play Group. He writes plays about gay werewolves and dance parties aboard satellites. Enough said. He is really, really taking off.
What can I say about The Amoralists that hasn't already been said? They are probably the single most important theater company downtown and resident playwright Derek Ahonen has a real set of brass balls. This is what mainstream theater would look like if it weren't so boring and dusty.
And finally, Little Lord
I'll confess to being partial to a junky, toy theater aesthetic and the Little Lords have mastered it. Little Lord "manipulates classic texts, pillages faulty nostalgias, and celebrates the homemade as a means to create vibrantly bawdy, offbeat, intelligent, queer, funny (and often musical) theater." I loved, loved, loved their version of Babes in Toyland with David Greenspan and I look forward to their version of the tale of John Smith and Pocahontas.
Happy New Year!