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

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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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