Gay Camp

Theater, Musicals
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Gay Camp
Ken Urso, Christian Mansfield and Philip Mutz in Gay Camp

[Note: This review is from the show's run at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival.]

Christian Mansfield, Philip Mutz and Ken Urso (who collectively play all of the roles in Gay Camp) are adorable, boundlessly energetic and rarely less than hilarious in their delivery. Using only crude wigs and hastily changed shirts, the chameleonic trio morphs so completely into different characters that you may find yourself forgetting which actor played whom. Unfortunately, the material (cowritten by Mutz and Susan-Kate Heany) is unworthy of the performances. Set in a reprogramming camp for non–gender-conforming youths, the play recycles extremely tired tropes (gay men are scared of vaginas! Lesbians love Home Depot! John Travolta is a queer!) as it tells the story of a group of kids plotting a rebellion from the inside. There are so many Grindr references that the hook-up app surely paid for the mentions, and the word Santorum is tossed around like it's 2003. The show also makes light of gay reprogramming without ever alluding to how serious the subject can be: Administrators at the camp are portrayed as more wacky (and closeted) than dangerous. Still, thanks to charming actors and the comfort of familiar jokes, Gay Camp should leave much of its audience smiling on the way back to their favorite Hell's Kitchen bars. (Visit the FringeNYC Encore Series website for more information.)—Ethan LaCroix  


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