Director Dan Kirsch, aided by an uncredited projection design of vintage photos and a fine understated musical score played live by composer Thomas Hodges, keeps the show flowing smoothly, though it feels too much like a staged documentary film. The seven-person cast shares the role of Milk while taking on other parts. Standouts are Vash Boddie as a no-nonsense drag queen Milk befriended, Scott Striegel as activist Cleve Jones (his account of the creation of the AIDS quilt, though insufficiently linked to Milk, is a highlight), and Mark Peters as Milk's gay nephew Stuart Milk, whose family tales anchor the show. There's also a surprising, greatly moving climax that won't be given away here.
Presented by Diversionary Theatre as part of the New York International Fringe Festival at the SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam St., NYC. Aug. 20–28. Remaining performances: Tue., Aug. 24, 5:45 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 26, 10 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 28, 8:15 p.m. (866) 468-7619 or www.fringenyc.org.