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Wendy R. Williams'
August 2008 Theatre Column

August 16, 2008

The Fringe Festival has arrived in town, presenting two-hundred-and-two shows from August 8 - 24th.

I have only seen one Fringe play, Katherine Heller's The Boy in the Basement. Boy is a spoofy sexy tale about four roommates who catch a HOT! HOT! HOT! burglar in the act of stealing their TV. The lusty young ladies make a Faustian deal with the boy: They will not turn him into the local constabulary if he will spend a weekend chained in their basement, dispensing sexual favors (one of the women [Anna, played by Meghan Power] just left the innocence farm and thinks he is there to perform household chores).

Katharine Heller and Tom Macy Tom Macy and a Leg
Megan Powe and Tom Macy From Bottom Left Counter Clockwise: Lynne Rosenberg, Meghan Powe, Katharine Heller, Anna Stumpf and Tom Macy
All of the above photos are by photographer Luke Ratray.

is twisted feminist romance, more Camilla Paglia than Gloria Steinem. It is totally politically incorrect and therein lies the fun; it is soft-soft-soft porn with a riotous script. And the actors are obviously having a great time on stage.

Boy is skillfully performed; all the actors have great comic timing. There is even an over-the-top narrator, Nick Fondulis. Katharine Heller was amazing as the hot-to-trot housemate who knows a good thing when she sees it. Megan Powe did a funny job of playing the virginal coed who also knows a good thing when she sees it. Lynne Rosenberg and Anna Stumpf added sass and trash to the happy quintsom. And as for the object of everyone's lust, Tom Macy, he is both sizzling and funny. Bravo to playwright Heller and director Balaban.

The Boy In The Basement is written by Katharine Heller and directed by Nell Balaban (Assistant Director of Golda’s Balcony and The Foreigner on Broadway). The show features original music on piano performed live by Jon Quinn. Performances are at the SoHo Playhouse (Venue #7), located at 15 Vandam Street between 6th Avenue & Varick in NYC. There are two more performances of Boy: Thursday August 21st @ 11:45PM (it's about sex; you can stay out that late) and Saturday August 23rd @ 10PM. Visit TheBoyInTheBasement.com to learn more about the show.

For more information about the Fringe Festival, log onto their website or check our listing section.

The next festival to hit town will be the Fifth Annual New York Musical Theatre Festival which will run from September 15th - October 5th. Here is a quote from their press release:

"The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) celebrates its fifth year with 24 full productions, a dance series, a developmental series, concerts and special events. NYMF is an annual three-week event that has premiered over 130 musicals in its first four years – many of which have gone on to award-winning productions in New York, in regional theaters and on tour in 38 states, and nine countries worldwide. NYMF 2004 hit Altar Boyz has played well over 1,000 performances off-Broadway and spawned two National Tours; fellow NYMF alum [title of show] recently opened to rave reviews at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway; Off-Broadway audiences will soon see return engagements of The Blue Flower and My Vaudeville Man."

For more information about the New York Musical Theatre Festival, log onto their website www.nymf.org or check our listing section.

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