Lips Together, Teeth Apart – A Revival That’s Dead on Arrival

LTTA-Title-ImagesI always wonder before I see a revival why the play is being revived. I try not to read reviews of the original production but often when I leave the theater I ask myself, “Was it necessary to bring that show back?”

That was my thought when leaving Second Stage Theatre’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart by playwright Terrance McNally. McNally is a prolific playwright and has written a number of shows about homosexuals and their families. This play does give us a glimpse of what life was like during the AIDS crisis but the production felt wrong on a number of levels. The pairing of America Ferrera and Michael Chernus as husband and wife didn’t ring true, Tracee Chimo (who I loved in “Bad Jews”) played a character who was so manic that I really wanted an explanation, and while all the characters are suffering from their own private pain, their disconnect was rarely powerful.

There are some funny lines interspersed throughout the show and a couple of “reveals” that are interesting. But the show is overly long and left me sad that the talented actors didn’t have better material. This is one show that should’ve stayed in the closet. AFW

Second Stage Theatre 2162 Broadway

Tickets: $79

Discounts available thru $43, CODE: TMOL,, papering services (on ocassion)

Through 11/23

Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes, two 10-minute intermissions


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