Theater Reviews: The Culture Wars Are Alive and Well in Other Desert Cities

By
http://img1.nymag.com/imgs/daily/vulture/2011/11/03/03_otherdesertcities1.o.jpg/a_560x375.jpg Thomas Sadoski & Stockard Channing Photo: Joan Marcus Photo: Joan Marcus

Like all the great desert tribes of antiquity, Palm Springs Republicans deserve their own sacred text. (For the purposes of this review, Prop 13 and My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan don’t count.) Jon Robin Baitz, a gay liberal humanist, has delivered them a doozy with Other Desert Cities, his off-Broadway hit, which has now ripened admirably on Broadway. Power, passion, and superbly crafted palaver stippled with blowdarts of wit—this is what Baitz (The Substance of Fire, TV’s Brothers and Sisters) does best. He’s written his favorite sort of story, a simple tale of parents and children and blame … in which the legacy of the Old American Century and the unsteady prospect of a new one just happen to be at stake.

Other Desert Cities is at the Booth Theatre through January 8.
Suicide, Incorporated is at the Roundabout's Black Box Theater through December 23.