When I entered the theatre of Classic Stage Company in New York City to see "Unnatural Acts" on June 18, 2011, written by members of the Plastic Theatre, it felt as though I was immediately transported into the prestigious surroundings of Harvard University and automatically part of the action until the very end of the show when the lights came up.
"Unnatural Acts" tells the true story about how one student's suicide leads a group of Harvard students, one assistant professor, one recent graduate and four men unaffiliated with the institution, to not only be asked to leave Harvard University, but the city of Cambridge as well. The reason: they were convicted of "homosexualism." In today's society this might seem unimaginable, but in the 1920s, this was not the case.
Everything about this show is terrific! From the writing to the set and costumes to the cast who effortlessly bring this story to life. Featured in the cast are Jess Burkle, Joe Curnutte, Frank De Julio, Roe Hartrampf, Roderick Hill, Max Jenkins, Brad Koed, Jerry Marsini, Devin Norik, Will Rogers, and Nick Westrate. The chemistry of this cast is one I rarely see. Each cast member uses their talent to tell their character's story, while simultaneously still working together as one cast. It's really hard for me to single anyone out because I feel everyone is needed and well deserving of press, but if I had to pick out a few cast members to highlight, I would say Nick Westrate does a great job of leading the cast as "Earnest Roberts" who is at the center of the investigation, while Brad Koed who plays "Eugene Cummings" always makes himself known when on stage, usually with some humorous remark or body movement. Will Rogers really brings "Joseph Lumbard", who I would consider the "newbie" of the group, to life with a great portrayal of a character who is very insecure of exploring his sexuality. While some might think Roe Hartrampf was brought on just for the sexy factor, he does have the talent to back it up as he portrays "Kenneth Day." Frank De Julio has quite a dramatic moment as "Keith Smerage" which he displays very memorably.
This limited engagement is only through July 10. I would highly suggest seeing "Unnatural Acts," a play that is insightful, mesmerizing, and one that should not be missed! "Unnatural Acts" plays at Classic Stage Company in New York City (136 East 13th Street) through July 10! Click here for tickets!