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Sunday Paper by David Zellnik
Review by Doric Wilson
June 19, 2001

What better way to celebrate Gay Pride in New York City than to discover a remarkable new gay playwright — we are not talking here about “beginning” or “promising,” instead we are in the presence of a full-fledged playwright. Many young writers seem to be just biding their time in the theater until they sell their film treatment, or get hired for a TV series. Their plays — episodic and lean of structure — loiter awkwardly on the stage waiting to be picked up by a more lucrative media.

David Zellnik’s play Sunday Paper is wise and witty and occupies the stage assured that its author is to the theater born. A gay man and a close woman friend spend a Sunday morning at the beach amid a scatter of towels and newspapers and the ache of loss. Cell phones, often maligned, here become instruments of intimate and healing truth. With elegant restraint, Rebecca Kendall directs Pam Karlin and David Weincek — a perfect cast in a perfect production.

The play is part of Short Stories 3, NativeAliens Theatre Collective’s Third Annual Short Play Festival. The other plays featured in this year’s festival include:

  • Flight, an amusing take on butch and fem role-playing, by Joe Godfrey. Direction by Mark Finley, and featuring Jack Boslet and Ashok Sinha.
  • This Will be the Death of Him, a harrowing investigation of gay murder, by David DeWitt. Direction by Randy Lichtenwalner, and featuring David Mason, Brian Quirk, and Terrell Tillford.
  • Fag Hag Anon, a 12-step romp into disco-co-dependency, by Rebekah Morgan. Direction by Craig Skelton, featuring Peter Herrick, Inga Hyatt, Katherine Proctor, Jodi Lynn Smith, and Robyn Weiss.
  • The Job, a multi-faceted, almost cubist dismantling of a relationship by Brian Deming and Adam Moore. Direction by Scott Gilmore, featuring Alice Bugman and Kerrie McKeon.
  • Hand Me Downs, or who gets to wear the wedding dress, by Dave DeChristopher. Direction by David Leventhal, featuring Paul Hertel, Vivian Meisner, and Joe Zarro.
  • And last (but not the least afraid of Edward Albee), Afraid of Heights, a very interesting variation on two people on a park bench (and in search of a director) by David Folwell. Features David Ari and Charles Major.
The NativeAliens set, as usual, a high standard of playwrights with this series:
NativeAliens
212-726-8891
nativealiens@yahoo.com


Sunday Paper ran June 19-23, 2001 at The John Houseman Studio Theatre, 450 West 42nd St., NYC.

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