Even though Larry Kramer is a pugnacious sort who regularly vilifies newspaper editors and intimidates talk-show hosts, his brand of political crusading is ultimately a compassionate one. At least that's the effect his polemic had on actor Brian Houtz, who played all of the characters in the Theatre Group's production of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me
. Helped in no small measure by director Nicholas Sugar's astute guidance, Houtz performed David Drake's one-man show as if it were a forthright conversation with a good friend. He also became more androgynous as the show progressed, speaking for an entire generation of men and women who have never known a world without AIDS and are struggling, somehow, to claim their place in it. Which, all things considered, was the greatest tribute that Houtz and Sugar could pay to Kramer's persistent head-banging.