ADAM & STEVENR
Adam (Craig Chester) and Steve (Malcolm Gets) meet in less-than-cute-fashion in 1987 when, on a first-night tryst, drugged-up go-go dancer Steve embarrassingly suffers from incontinence, which traumatizes him as well as the romantically hapless wannabe Goth Adam. They meet 17 years later, with Steve now a sexually promiscuous, commitment-phobic psychiatrist, and Adam a still insecure Central Park tour guide. A romantic liaison is struck up between them against the impossible odds of their respective neuroses, the opinions of various friends (Parker Posey, Chris Kattan) and crazy immediate families.
Adam & Steve writer/director/star Craig Chester has a good ear for the snappy one-liner and this, plus his obviously hard-earned knowledge of the quirks in the gay mating game, put over his determinedly black romantic comedy. "Have fun in the low-self e-steam room!" Steve's roommate calls out to him as he heads once more to his always sexually fecund gym. "I wish I had your body with my face," an obnoxious twink whispers, emblematic of all the ceaselessly brain-dead bar talk one can be forced to hear. "Oprah has made it impossible for me to have a close relationship with anyone besides Oprah," one character whines. If at times Chester's farce is drawn a tad too broadly-the satirical handling of gay bashing doesn't really work-the genial nature of his piece and his game, hard-working cast keep your spirits up.
Established farceurs Paul Sand, Julie Hagerty, Melinda Dillon and Sally Kirkland, as well as newbie Kristen Schaal, sink their teeth into juicy, off-the-wall roles, and there are some quirky musical numbers as well. But I wish Chester had made more use of Gets' considerable musical talents, which have been so glowingly displayed in Broadway musicals like Amour.