Thursday, April 29, 2010

Next Fall

Photo: Carol Rosegg

I wish we had more plays like Geoffrey Nauffts's flawed but solid Next Fall: thoughtful, well-developed, largely aware of and sympathetic to its characters' faults and strengths, well-directed (by Sheryl Kaller), and well-acted (particularly by Cotter Smith, who fully inhabits his character in a way the others don't achieve). The story of a gay couple, one a religious Christian who believes that gay sex is a sin, the other an atheist who cannot accept his lover's beliefs, Next Fall explores the meaning of love, faith, and family in a funny, touching, and heart-breaking manner. The show is a tad doctrinaire on second viewing and some of the characters could be more three-dimensional, but it is a solid B+ evening in the theatre. I do wish, however, that Next Fall had been able to have a successful run Off-Broadway, where it felt more at home: small cast, no stars, solid but not great writing. This is in no way an insult--I consider the withering away of for-profit Off-Broadway to be a tremendous loss to New York City.


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