Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hit the Wall **

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
Ike Holter's version of the Stonewall Riot of June 1969, now at the Barrow Street Theatre, is lively and contains some affecting moments, but it offers no new insights about the event and isn't even a very effective history lesson. The energetic ensemble cast tries, with varying success, to breathe life into stereotypical characters, chosen to reflect the diversity of the participants. Thus we get one drag queen, one black militant feminist, a WASP from suburbia appopriately called Newbie; a pair of wisecracking friends, one black and the other Hispanic; an innocent draft-dodger, a butch teen-aged lesbian, her straight sister, a closeted Wall Streeter, a cop and some hippie street musicians. Mix and match. There's dancing, rioting and a little gratuitous nudity. Nathan Lee Graham and Rania Salem Manganaro stand out as the drag queen and the young lesbian. Lauren Helpern's set design is a bit fragmented. David Hyman's costumes are fine. Director Eric Hoff keeps things moving. Ultimately, the play sheds more heat than light. Running time: 95 minutes, no intermission.

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