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Queen Christina Goes Roman

Howard Casner's drama suffers from so much exposition of offstage events that not even this play's time-traveling gays can resuscitate it. Inspired by her lover, Sister Gizelle (Konima Parkinson-Jones), Queen Christina (Julie Burrise) converts to Catholicism. She summons Pope Julius II (Donaco Smyth), who's accompanied by his lover, Father Sebastian (Levy Baguin), and also by Roy Cohn (Thomas Colby, in a scenery-chewing performance). While eager for her conversion, the hypocritical men want her to keep her lesbian relationship secret, as does Tchaikovsky (Gregory Blair). Enter King Edward II (Mikhail Blokh), wearing black chaps and a matching crown, who's determined to convince Christina that it is her duty to go public. Blokh brings some much-needed energy to the play, and some of his banter with Burrise's starry-eyed queen hints at the play's potential. But too many cell-phone calls to an offstage Oscar Wilde drive the plot. To compound matters, the play is slackly directed by Chrisanne Blankenship-Billings and Thomas Colby. The costumes by Allan Jensen and Azniv Azizyan, however, provide some much-needed eye candy. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Jan. 12. Continues through Feb. 18, 2008


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