What does it feel like to be in New York City for the first time when you’re young, gay and from Iowa? An adrenaline rush. A sensory overload of sights, sounds and action. A constant stream of insights and new experiences. Oh, and an unforgettable introduction to Grindr.
One Night in New York! encapsulates all these feelings in a delightfully bawdy revue that follows the young Iowan Michael (Paul Luckenbaugh) as he sets out in search of sex and revelation during the one night he has in the Big City before visiting with an aunt in New Jersey. Throughout his night, he encounters various obstacles, learns important lessons about growing up and finding his identity, and fields many the worried phone call from his mother (Ryan Westerkamp).
One Night in New York! sets out to be both a tongue-in-cheek parody as well as a glitter-drenched Valentine to the New York City romanticism found in films such as On the Town or Manhattan.
Michael arrives in New York as green as anything, and within minutes a yellow taxi-cab driver (Richard Weinberg) cheerfully offers to “show him all the sights”. Not to mention the concierge (Matthew Begin) at the Sheraton drops more than a few hints that he’ll be able to service Michael’s every need.
But what young gay man’s trip to New York be complete without a visit from the Cock Fairy? Donning drag and high heels and giving out equal doses of wisecracks and wisdom, Fringe new-comer Ryan Patrick Welsh steals every scene he’s in as the Cock Fairy, Michael’s fairy godmother and trusty guide to the gay party scene in Manhattan. From the unapproachable “Chelsea Boys” to the last call losers at the Dirty Sanchez, the Cock Fairy coaches the clueless Michael on the different kinds of men that make up Gay New York, and the do’s and don’ts of courtship.
But the straight-laced Michael is quickly intimidated by the catty insider culture within the gay hookup scene in Manhattan. We watch as our beloved twink from the Heartland shyly hits on and gets ritually dismissed by a number of suitors.
One Night in New York!
by Eric Tipler
at GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square
3333 14th Street NW
Washington, DC, 20010
Details and tickets
Michael is instantly friendzoned by the gay Bobsy twins, Robby (Pasquale Guiducci) and Bobby (Peyton Lynch) and mercilessly shot down by Abercrombie model look-alikes like the Chelsea Boys (James Ellzy, John Jackson,Richard Weinberg, Rick Westerkamp and Charles Wright).
Worst of all, Andy (Logan Sutherland) the man, who, in Michael’s eyes, has it all–the boyfriend, the fabulous social life, the downtown apartment–is so horrified when Michael hits on him that he stalks away. The only people interested in Michael seem to be the high-heeled dominatrix (John Jackson) and the sailor (Charles Wright) who turns out to be too good to be true.
When all hope seems lost, and the big city seems as lonely as ever, Michael finds the wholesome, board game loving partner of his dreams in Steve (Darius Epps).
The choreography and music in One Night in New York! is the most polished of any Fringe effort I’ve seen. Directed and choreographed by Craig Cipollini, the song-and-dance numbers in One Night are in a classic Broadway chorus-style with a modern twist.
Melding together a storyline that includes dominatrixes and fairy drag queens with such classic choreography is no easy task, but with an exceptional cast and expert staging, One Night in New York! pulls it off beautifully.