By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
By the way, the best food in SoBe was at the waistline-expanding Meat Market; the newest boho hangout was the Williamsburg-y Bardot (which was like being transported to a very special episode of Friends); and the gays still grope the go-go boys at Twist, then head to Fort Lauderdale for some real action.
Back in New York, I donned three gunnysacks and went to Purgatorio, the Halloweeny space in Times Square produced by the Box's Simon Hammerstein and Randy Weiner. In a matter of minutes, I was fondled by a little person in a mask, served faux–menstrual blood to wash down a suppository, and entertained by a singer who told the crowd, "You know you're in hell. Michael Musto's here."
And on Broadway, blondes kept coming, like Sienna Miller, who starts the weird exercise called After Miss Julie a little too one-note imperious, but way improves as things get more twisted, especially when they involve ritual happenings with dead-bird blood. At one point, the man behind me muttered, "Wake me when something happens," but it does—and since the play involves the perils of sleeping with the help, it's as fresh as the tabloids Miller is all too familiar with.
A lively, well-performed retro romp, Memphis gets worse as it goes along, alas. Act One is slick and entertaining, but the second half becomes so synthetic you just know the mute will vocalize and the bigot will start preaching desegregation. Still, the phrase "Hockadoo—is that dirty?" may long resonate.
Hopes are high for David Mamet's Race, though at a meet-and-greet with the cast last week, metaphorical police tape was put around the divulging of too many details. David Alan Grier said he loves the play, as opposed to other work he's done where he's had to inform them, "Black people don't talk like this." Does he always have the nerve to speak up? "It depends on how desperate I am for a paycheck," he replied. And how desperate is he now? "I wouldn't be here," he said. "I'd be performing in saloons, telling dick jokes!"
Co-star Richard Thomas is also under the play's trance, so much so that he went into Mametspeak when he laughingly told me he did it because, "The next time someone says, 'Richard Thomas is not a Mamet actor,' I can tell them to go fuck themselves!" I'm guessing he hasn't been slowing his rhythm.