Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Review: Cornbury: The Queen's Governor

For Back Stage. Yep.

Here's the tease:

As he minces, flounces, and flits, watching David Greenspan as Edward Hyde -- history recalls him as Lord Cornbury, the cross-dressing colonial governor of New York and New Jersey from 1702 to 1708 -- is a trés gay fey treat. The play is Cornbury: The Queen's Governor by the late Anthony Holland and William M. Hoffman; the idea behind Theatre Askew's whimsical production is that something meaningful and contemporary can be gleaned from this fantasia about a footnote in the annals of sexuality.

Directed by Tim Cusack, one might call this a Ridiculous fantasia, for the cast includes Everett Quinton, inheritor of the mantle of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company from the late, legendary Charles Ludlam. Playing Pastor Cornelius Van Dam, one of Cornbury's political enemies, the lip-curling Quinton snarls and cavorts as if in a fine Restoration comedy.

Indeed, Hyde would be the perfect character for that genre. In Calvinist times, he was sexually adventurous. He regularly raided the public coffers. Bribery meant little to him if it improved his wardrobe. He used his kinship to his cousin Queen Anne of England to perpetrate moral high jinks upon his people.

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