I’ve been writing this column for a month now and I think it’s finally time to tell you a little bit about me. I was born and raised in the City and my parents started taking me to theater before I could even talk (yay, Mummenschanz!). At age 19, I began writing theater reviews for The Village Voice. I bet you’re wondering how the hell I was qualified to be a critic at that age. Well, I wasn’t. I’m probably not now, either, but I’m going to make you a promise: I will do my best not to promote any crap. But you’ve got to help me. If there’s something I should know about, speak up! Unlike Ben Brantley at The New York Times, I’m aware that I don’t know everything. Email recommendations (or shows to avoid) to email@example.com.
Why did I start on this rant this week? Because there ain’t shit happening. Seriously, with all the Broadway and off-Broadway openings, the underground circuit seems to be on an extended intermission. But there’s something to be said for commercial theater — hell, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with having money. And one of the most glorious uses of green on the Great White Way is Wicked (Gershwin Theatre, 222 W. 51st St.), the inverted musical telling of Oz. Now every Saturday morning at 10am you can take a sneak peek Behind the Emerald Curtain to find out how Elphaba flies, what Glinda wears, and what the hell that awesome wizard’s head is made from. There’s even a question-and-answer session with selected performers. I’ll finally get a chance to ask cast member Rue McClanahan if Betty White is as much of a bitch as she’s rumored to be.
If you find the Land of Oz a little too nice, I’ve got a nasty place for you to visit: Sodom: The Musical (The Kraine Theater, 85 E. 4th St, Nov 4-Dec 3). Recounting the last days of the wickedest city in history, this campy tuner stars — sit down now — Randy Jones! Who’s he? For those of you who don’t know (and clearly you’re not as gay as I am), Randy is the cowboy from the Village People. And he’ll be playing God. I’ve always pictured the Almighty in leather chaps.
And finally, a plug for my fellow geek Charles Ross, whose One-Man Star Wars Trilogy (The Lambs Theatre, 130 W. 44th St.) was recently extended through the end of the year. In honor of Halloween, from Oct 28-31 he’ll be handing out otherworldly treats (Wookkie Cookies, Darth Malts, yeah they make me groan too) and holding nightly costume contests. I’m betting on an army of Mon Mothmas and Porkins.