Patricia Clarkson: "I'll Never Get Married!"

Chatting with her about Cairo Time. Plus: Judging penises, walking down Broadway.

But Stritch has caustic majesty to burn, and once she settles into the part's bittersweet wryness, she totally kills. (And dies.) Meanwhile, inspired by the new levels, everyone else in the cast who was good is now great, and so are the ones who were annoying. It's the longest show in town, thanks to the standing ovation.

Still standing at attention is Puppetry of the Penis, the most unusual show about an organ since Phantom of the Opera. The genital origami revue is back at 45 Bleecker, where I joined stars Rich Binning and Gavin Stewart last week in auditioning possible tour performers ready to ad-lib with a woody of their own. Eight guys came in off the street to drop trou and turn their privates into classic flesh structures like "Wristwatch," "Hamburger," and "the Loch Ness Monster." I was amazed at how unself-conscious these men were, even when I prodded them to stretch and try doing "Rolex" and "Cheeseburger Deluxe."

While judging, I learned that the "Eiffel Tower" trick is especially difficult if you're circumcised—as seven of the contestants were—but one of them did so well with it that I could have sworn I saw Tom proposing to Katie somewhere in there. A Brazilian man was nice enough to attempt my suggestions like "Sugar Loaf Mountain" and "Christ of the Andes," while another contestant volunteered an impression of Raven Symone simply by tucking his privates and putting a smirky expression on his face.

Clarkson does Cairo.
David Shankbone
Clarkson does Cairo.

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Most poignant of all was the contestant who admitted, "I played with myself all last night, trying to come up with something, but all I ended up with was this." It was an isolated view of his scrotal sac, all puffed out to look like a brain. I found it poetic, considering the way so many men think these days. I can't get married!

musto@villagevoice.com

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