Photo by Don Kellogg

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Kid

This seems to be the break-out season for contemporary gay-themed plays and musicals of all kinds  - The Temperamentals, The Pride, Yank, Next Fall.  Each of them is different - an almost forgotten historical gay movement, a mysteriously time shifting play comparing the 1950's and the 1980's, a musical about a military romance during the war, and a contemporary family shocked from all sides by an accident face each other in a hospital.   One way or another, they all involve important social issues of our today - family, relationships and love.  The Kid is no different.  Dan Savage, sex columnist, wrote a book about his experience of adopting a baby with his partner.  This is their story set to a wonderful score with an eclectic and magnificent ensemble cast.

Christopher Sieber (Dan) and Lucas Steele (Terry) give a tender, romantic, and honest performance  - so honest in fact, that you might think they are an off-stage couple as well (alas, they are not).   The supporting ensemble peppers them with with sage advice, warnings, a splash of humor, and of course lots of great harmonies.   Jill Eikenberry, as Dan's mother, sings a song in Act II that brought tears to my eyes about a mother watching her son grow up and letting him be who he needed to be.   The always adorable Tyler Maynard hammed it up as only he can as Chad and a few other scene stealing characters.  Susan Blackwell usually known for her sardonic wit kept things uncharacteristically serious and real as Anne, the adoption agent.   Ann Harada, as Ruth (and others) had several comedic cameos.

Not only was the musical score divine, the set had a multi-media backdrop where video blurbs and graphic animations were shown.  The final animation clip was a perfect way to end and entirely enjoyable evening of theatre. There's a lot of competition in this market segment this year - but I have a feeling that this won't be the last time we see The Kid on a New York stage.