Who doesn't love a wedding? What little girl doesn't adore the Barbie decked in tiered white tulle? Or fetishize her. Who ever thought such beloved and at times tacky traditions would be so political? And also terrifying? Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays at the Minetta Lane Theater, features eight playlets by the playwrights Mo Gaffney, Jordan Harrison, Moises Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, Jose Rivera, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright. If you cry at weddings, straight or gay, you can consider these cathartic canapés.
Harriet Harris is hilarious as a bigoted neighbor in Paul Rudnick's “The Gay Agenda.” In Neil LaBute's “Strange Fruit,” interwoven monologues by Bierko and Mark Consuelos illustrate that no matter if gay marriage is legal, same sex love may still be life-threatening. The gentlemen in Jose Rivera's “Pablo and Andrew at the Altar of Words,” (Bierko and Consuelos) do throw their bouquets. On opening night, one landed at my feet and I carried it to the wedding reception at 24 Fifth Avenue. Actor Hunter Herdlicka caught the other.
The Standing on Ceremony concept came from Brian Schnipper, realizing one day in California in 2008, we may be breaking ground with our first African American president, but we may lose Prop 8. Feeling diminished as California laws made something as important to him as the right to wed arbitrary, he initiated the project, asking friends, writers in the theater world to contribute these dramatic takes on gay marriage. Only Edward Albee declined, said Schnipper, but it's Albee so he's entitled.