Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Flying High: Five Flights Is Breathless Fun-And Bravura Art Too

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Flying High: Five Flights Is Breathless Fun-And Bravura Art Too

Article excerpt

Five Flights * Written by Adam Bock * Directed by Kent Nicholson * Starring Jason Butler Harner, Matthew Montelongo, and Alice Ripley * Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, New York City (through February 22)

Adam Bock's Five Flights features file best gay male kiss I've ever seen on the stage. It s a long, juicy, passionate smooch between Ed (the charismatically nerdy Jason Buffer Harner) and Tom (the studly Matthew Montelongo) that builds huge tension in the theater, shifts just enough to let the audience laugh a little, then keeps on going.

The kiss is only one step in a mating dance that Bock depicts in all its awkward glory. Ed and iris two siblings must decide what to do with the aviary their recently deceased father built in a vacant lot as a tribute to his dead wife. Jane (Joanna P. Adler), wife of Ed's brother Bobby, wants to sell the properly to a developer. Ed's sister, Adele (Lisa Steindler), and her best friend, Olivia (Alice Ripley), want the aviary to house Olivia's birdbrained Church of the Fifth Day.

That's where Ed meets Tom, a pro hockey player who's attracted first to Olivia's gospel and then to Ed. They approach, they avoid, they date--then Ed backs away. Someone hurt him once, and he doesn't want to risk that again. Tom counters with some gentle advice: "Rejection bounces us out of our bodies, and we have to find a way back in."

If it were only a portrait of an up-to-the-minute gay relationship, Five Flights would be a winner. …

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