L.A. Scene September ’09: Mia Kirshner’s Benefit, GLAAD “Top Chef” Invasion, and The Gay Marriage Plays

 
 

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays

The theatre was the number one venue for social change for about a billion
years. Where did it go? Nothing on YouTube, but there is something to
be said for people who are actually artistically trained.

When Prop 8 passed, the Attic Theatre’s Artistic Director Brian Shnipper contacted
accomplished American playwrights and asked them to write short plays on the
subject of gay marriage. The result was Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays,
a one night staged reading benefiting the Human Rights Campaign.

The
event was held at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, an area of Los Angeles I don’t
frequent unless I’m craving a carjacking.
The theatre itself is stunning, old, and smallish, with 354 seats. I didn’t count them. I just have Google.  

The
evening was kicked off by Miss Coco Peru, a funny drag queen who has
hosted at least five events I’ve been to this year. We must have common Facebook friends or
something.

Eleven
short plays made up the night, which opened with Susan Miller’s lesbian-themed
play Human Affairs, starring Amy
Brenneman, Roma Maffia
, and Zachary Quinto. Amy Brenneman made a very hot lesbian.
She should consider it full time.
Susan is a two-time Obie winner and co-creator of the hit web series Anyone But Me.

Another
play, Resolution, by Nancy Nyman and
Heather McNama was about lesbians in the 1800s where one was actually living
publicly as a man. The comedy came when
they attempted to switch roles, as somebody had to be a man in that society,
and the one who’d been doing so got tired of it. You think we’ve got it rough in 2009? Think again.

Also
lesbian-centric was the play Doubtless
by Albert Innaurato, which featured gay nuns played by Kate McGregor-Stewart and Mindy Sterling.

Gay
kudos should also be given to Debra Messing, Alfre Woodard, Peter Paige,
Timothy Olyphant, Dan Lauria, Wilson Cruz
(Rickie!), and hugely to Jason
Alexander
who was really really excellent as a homophobic businessman. Also to everyone else, but this list is
getting boring.

The
plays lasted two and a half intermission-less hours. Hopefully all slow-moving audience members
have recovered from any injuries suffered as a result of my vaulting over them
on my way to the restroom.

A
reception followed with lots of wine, elaborate food, and wedding cake. For a while I tried in vain to find someone I
knew. Nope, only people I knew from
television. I thought about approaching
Debra Messing but she was busy looking worried as usual. I wouldn’t look so freaked out all the time
if I had had her decade.

I
caught up with the aforementioned playwright Susan Miller, who was there with
her partner and son. I also ran into
Paul Adelstein (Private Practice) and
his wife Liza Weil (Gilmore Girls)
who were there to lend their support.

Susan Miller, Paul Adelstein, Liza Weil, and Zachary Quinto

This caused Zachary Quinto to come over and chat, followed by Timothy
Olyphant and his wife Alexis. Lots of
wine was consumed by all, apparently too much by me.

Actors Timothy Olyphant and Sarah Allan

When Wilson Cruz walked by I’m pretty sure I
accused him of following me there from the Top Chef event. Ugh.
At least I didn’t call him Rickie.

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