“When you’re in same-sex couple, you can have the same name as your partner, that’s a very surreal thing,” Cynthia Nixon explained.
It's the comic irony at the center of the new, very funny off-Broadway play Steve.
“Steve it’s a whole theme in the play, the main couple they’re both named Steven,” Nixon said. "Steven Sondheim is a theme, there's an off-stage character named Trainer Steve and then there's Esteban."
It's all about a man's midlife crisis, how handles the fear of being cheated on, his best friend dying of cancer and other unavoidable realities of aging. Cynthia Nixon is the show's director, he second go around in this role.
“It used to be all about wow isn't fascinating to be 18, there's still a lot of that, but now there’s a lot of like wow it’s fascinating to be 50 in ways books, movies and plays have never talked about before,” Nixon said.
The Emmy Award winner makes it all very relatable. There are even scenes where the actors just text each other on stage.
"When you’re texting someone or sexting them you feel like you’re having a conversation," she explained. "But it’s very revealing, I think to sit in a theatre and see people just typing and it looks kind of weird,” she laughed.
And to pull this whole thing off she needed just the right people.
“Guys would come in and audition but they'd say before I read I just have to say where did you get a hold of my journal and can I have it back please," Nixon laughed.
One of those guys, fellow Sex and the City alum, Mario Cantone. These two go way back, even before their hti HBO series.
"We were both in June Moon together off-Broadway when you got it," Cantone remembered. "And Michael Patrick King, who was the writer and director, was someone I did stand-up [comedy] with back in the 80s and that's how I got it. I was lucky!"
Cantone stars alongside his real-life husband, Jerry Dixon.
“How is it directing you?" I asked. "I don’t want to brag but come on," Cantone smiled. "They're pretty adorable," Nixon added. "It’s not even about adorability [sic], we get along and we keep our [stuff] outside," he said.
While their relationship is much different off-stage, Cantone says the themes in Steve ring true to real life.
“Every relationship has its own rules and every marriage has its own rules," he explained. "And those rules you share with your closest friends and hope they don’t judge you but at the same time those rules are none of anybody’s business/”
Steve is rounded out by a number of witty musical numbers throughout, and even before, the show.
"Get there early! At 15 minutes before the show there's music," Cantone explained.
And I think the question on everyone's minds though, when will these two be back on screen together again?
“Do you get tired of being asked about Sex and the City 3 movie?" I asked. "I’d do it," Cantone said. "I have my plot-line and I will not tell you,"
Of course, it's not an officially plot-line, just one he created for himself!
You can catch The New Group's production of Steve currently playing at the Pershing Square Signature Theatre.