Strouss handles Molina's self-admitted queenly mannerisms very well, with understanding and respect rather than mincing excess. The aggression of Tang's Valentin comes across as forced in the first act, but by the second, when the character has calmed down and been befriended, he is much more natural and convincing — to the point of transformation. This is crucially important if we are to believe that the relationship between the two could become sexual. The Warden stands out as well, as Thurston humanizes what could have been a stock villain by presenting a man convinced he has right on his side.

At one point, Molina explains that he needs his movies to remind them that there can be love and beauty and loyalty and such in the world. Manuel Puig's novel managed a similar accomplishment in 1976, and this musical strives far in that direction, as does this well-intended production.

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Related: Review: Brown's As You Like It turns the tables, A feisty Lady Windermere’s Fan at Brown, Photos: Kirsten Hassenfeld at Bell Gallery, More more >
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