Saturday, June 26, 2010

George Bernard Shaw and Gay Rights

George Bernard Shaw was a fierce advocate for human rights. Consider this story from David Staller, founder and artistic director of the Gingold Theatrical Group.

In 1889, London, a man who described himself as a 'conservative minister' was arrested as an accomplice in the operation of a house of male prostitution. A trial was quietly and without notice, carried out. Then a publication called TRUTH broke the story as a sensational cover-up with promises to name names. Various well-known aristocrats were being threatened with penal servitude, blackmail and death-threats. Finally, some names were printed with the expected summons to law. With the solemn understanding that the crime in question involved adults and not children, Shaw recognized this as a violation of basic human rights and wrote to the editor of the threatening newspaper.

"I am sorry to have to ask you to allow me to mention what everybody declares unmentionable. My justification shall be that we may presently be saddled with the moral responsibility for monstrously severe punishments inflicted not only on persons who have corrupted children, but on others whose conduct, however nasty and ridiculous, has been perfectly within their admitted rights as individuals. To a fully occupied person in normal health, with due opportunities for a healthy social enjoyment, the mere idea of the subject of the threatened prosecutions is so expressively disagreeable as to appear unnatural. But everybody does not find it so. There are among us highly respected citizens who have been expelled from public schools for giving effect to the contrary opinion; and there are hundreds of others who might have been expelled on the same ground had they been found out. Greek philosophers, otherwise of unquestioned virtue, have differed with us on the point. So have soldiers, sailors, convicts, and in fact members of all communities deprived of intercourse with women. A whole series of Balzac's novels turns upon attachments formed by galley slaves for one another - attachments which are represented as redeeming them from utter savagery. Women, from Sappho onwards, have shown that this appetite is not confined to one sex. Now, I do not believe myself to be the only man in England acquainted with these facts. And I strongly protest against any journalist writing, as nine out of ten are at this moment dipping their pens to write, as if he had never heard of such things except as vague and sinister rumors concerning the most corrupt phases in the decadence of Babylon, Greece and Rome. I appeal now to the champions of individual rights to join me in a protest against a law by which two adult men can be sentenced to twenty years penal servitude for a private act, freely consented to and desired by both, which concerns themselves alone. There is absolutely no justification for the law except the old theological one of making the secular arm the instrument of God's vengeance. It is a survival from that discarded system with its stonings and burnings; and it survives because it is so unpleasant that men are loath to meddle with it even with the object of getting rid of it, lest they should be suspected of acting in their personal interest. We are now free to face with the evil of our relic of Inquisition law, and of the moral cowardice, which prevents our getting rid of it. For my own part, I protest against the principle of the law under which the warrants have been issued; and I hope that no attempt will be made to enforce its outrageous penalties in the case of adult men."

-- George Bernard Shaw (see COLLECTED LETTERS edited by Dan H. Laurence, p.230)

George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 ~ 2 November 1950) was born in Dublin and moved to London when twenty. His first success was as a music and literary critic, but he was drawn to drama. He decided to write plays, and continued to write them until his death at 94. He was fiercely proud of being a free-thinking humanist, dedicated to presenting the cause of human rights for all.

Project Shaw is the Gingold Theatrical Group's monthly staged reading of the complete works of George Bernard Shaw. Between 2006 and 2009, every sketch, full-length and one-act play was performed using all-star casts. Many of these plays had never before been seen in New York, or anywhere in this country. This constitutes more than 60 of Shaw’s plays, all performed to sold out audiences.

The next Project Shaw performances will be Man and Superman on July 19th, Candida on September 27, Captain Brassbound's Conversion on October 25, How He Lied to Her Husband on November 22, and Heartbreak House on December 20th.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Broadway Bares XX: Strip-opoly Smashes Records

By Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

Far from its humble beginnings in 1992, when seven dancers stripped at a downtown bar and raised $8,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, this year's Broadway Bares XX: Strip-opoly made history by raising $1,015,985 to benefit BC/EFA, marking the first time that the $1 million dollar mark was reached. This goal was set in January by Broadway Bares creator and executive producer, Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell.

This year’s total shatters the previous fundraising record which was set in 2008 when $874,000 was raised. To date, the 20 editions of Broadway Bares have raised more than $7.5 million for BC/EFA.

Jerry Mitchell said in a statement, “Some people thought it couldn’t be done, especially in today’s economy, but we did. . . I couldn’t imagine a more spectacular way to celebrate 20 editions of Broadway Bares for Broadway Cares.”

The evening featured the work of 15 choreographers and 216 of the sexiest male and female dancers from Broadway’s biggest shows baring nearly all to benefit BC/EFA. A $150,000 check from M·A·C Viva Glam was presented to BC/EFA by M·A·C’s Senior Vice President Jennifer Balbier who also saluted the extraordinary skills of 93 M·A·C make-up artists who worked on the show.

Highlights from this year’s Broadway Bares XX: Strip-opoly included:

· Kristin Chenoweth, Euan Morton, and Vanessa Williams performing the side-splitting opening number “The Best Game in Town” by David Nehls (The Great American Trailer Park Musical) which featured Chenoweth and Williams rising on a bright red swing over the adoring crowd.

· Joshua Buscher showed off tremendous assets and an amazing stimulus package as the featured strip in “The Bank.”

· Special guest appearances were made by Lucy Liu on behalf of “the community chest,” while Jackie Hoffman sent Katie Finneran “directly to jail” for stealing scenes, referencing her Tony-winning performances in both Promises, Promises and Noises Off.

· Felicia Finley and Rachelle Rak turned the heat up on “Connecticut Avenue” as a Stepford wife introduced to the community’s new, rowdy neighbor.

· The crowd went wild over the “Boardwalk” which featured Broadway actors playing the cast of the hit MTV show “Jersey Shore” including Jennifer Cody as ‘Snookie’ and John Carroll as ‘The Situation.’

· Broadway Bares XX poster boy Charlie Williams appeared as an attentive bell hop who ended up in only a wash-cloth when repeatedly answering the call for “more towels, please” from statuesque hotel guests, played by some of La Cage Aux Folles’ Cagelles.

· Kyle DesChamps and a host of hot inmates lost their stripes and turned the tables on their warden, played by Bares favorite Sebastian LaCause in “Go to Jail.”

· Vocal powerhouses Alysha Umphress and Diana DiGarmo grabbed the spotlight from dozens of nearly naked dancers with their dynamic renditions of Journey’s “Lights” and Queen’s “Play the Game,” the event’s grand finale.

· Choreographer Nick Kenkel showcased his racy hip-hop moves on two teams of high-speed dancers in “Pass Go.”

· On “Orient Avenue,” The Living Art of Armando stopped the show with dazzling acrobatics high above the crowd.

· A finale that showcased celebrities and iconic dancers from the previous 19 editions of Broadway Bares that culminated with Jerry Mitchell taking the stage in the tribal head dress and loincloth he wore as ‘The Indian of The Dawn’ from 1992’s The Will Rogers Follies, the performance on a tom-tom that inspired Broadway Bares.

For more information on Broadway Bares and the other marvelous fundraisers for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, please visit the BC/EFA website.

Want to see what you missed?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Interview With Lenny Schwartz of The Six Month Cure

By Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

Name: Lenny Schwartz
Play: The Six Month Cure
Relationship to production: Playwright

How did you first get involved in theatre?

I used to act in high school and college... my first play I was in was Anything Goes in 1993 in high school in Cranston, RI. I wanted to be an actor...and even graduated with a B.A. in performance! I actually got started. It was in college I wrote my first play. I was bored in a math class and I started to write my first play, Lost In a Daydream in 1995. At the end of the class I had a full script and an A in the class. 15 yearsa later I am still writing and look forward to what the future brings!

Who are your biggest influences?

For me it's a mixture of comic books, theatre, books and film: For comics Alan Moore, Daniel Clowes, Will Eisner. For Theatre: Harry Segall, Arthur Kopit, and Neil Labute. Books: Chad Kultgen and Tom Perotta. Film: Peter Weir, Michel Gondry, Woody Allen... too many to count!

What is your show about?

The play is about Kate, a comic book collecting grandmother, who goes on a road trip during her final months alive to the biggest Comic Book Convention in the world. Along the way she meets Mandy, a lost soul and slowly start to fall in love with each other.

What inspired you to write it?

Why I wanted to write this show is that I feel that there are not enough interesting characters for women to play. There are so many great actresses and most of the time, women are relegated to performing in shows about certain body parts. And those shows are great, but I always felt there are many more dimensions and stories that can be told about women. I also wanted to write a story about love. Not heterosexual or homosexual... just love. A story in which the gender and the sexual orientation become secondary and the emotion involved are at the forefront.

What made you want to perform in an eco-friendly theatre festival like Planet Connections?

I am impressed by the eco-friendly ideas brought forth by the festival.
We have learned a lot about how simple things like recycling set pieces, costumes, props etc, really make a difference. It is fun to learn those things in a creative setting.

Plus they donate a portion if the proceeds to charity from every show. My company in RI does the same thing. The idea of the arts being useful to helping those less fortunate is awesome and something I always want to be a part of.

What charity have you chosen and why?

Sloan Kettering Cancer Research. It fits into a lot of the themes of the play and they are a spectacular originization. It is an honor to raise money for them.

What's next for you after Planet Connections?

I am writing and directing two shows for the coming year. One is called Black Friday which debuts in Rhode Island in November 2010. It is a twisted holiday show. Then in the spring i am doing a bio play on silent film star Buster Keaton. The play, entitled Buster Keaton: Fade To Black, is a script that I have been working on and off on for the past ten or so years. However it won't be a typical bio and will be in the style more of his films... self-reflexive, inventive, and full of ideas.

And finally, if you could go back in time and meet yourself as a kid, what advice would you give your younger self?

I would say "Keep believing, young Schwartz. Your dreams will come true. Oh and don't go out with that girl on October 2 1994. She's crazy and will try to run you over with that car. Even if she says it was an accident."

The Six Month Cure
Written by Lenny Schwartz
Directed by Norah Turnham

Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission

Venue: The Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street

Performance dates:
Fri 6/18 @ 7pm
Sat 6/19 @ 1:30pm
Sun 6/20 @ 11am
Sun 6/20 @ 8:45pm

Meet the Cast - Promises, Promises and Next Fall

There are two upcoming opportunities to meet the casts of two top-rated Broadway shows at the Lincoln Triangle Barnes & Noble.

Celebrating the release of the new cast recording of Promises, Promises, Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenoweth, Tony Goldwyn, Katie Finneran and Dick Latessa will be signing copies of the new CD on Thursday June 24, at 5:00 PM.

On Friday June 25, at 5:00 PM, the cast members of Next Fall will be on hand to discuss the creation and themes of this new work exploring love, commitment and religion. Guest moderator will be author Tom Santopietro.

The Lincoln Triangle Barnes & Noble is located at 1972 Broadway, New York, NY.

Old Lady Gaga

Broadway's Jackie Hoffman (currently appearing in The Addams Family) parodies Lady Gaga's Alejandro.

Interview with Sahil Farooqi of A Brown Monkey Goes to McDonald's

By Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

Name: Sahil Farooqi
Play: A Brown Monkey Goes to McDonald's
Relationship to production: Playwright/actor
Website: Planet Connections

How did you first get involved in theatre?

By doing theatre from childhood.

Who are your biggest influences?

Regie Cabico, M.I.A., and John Leguizamo.

What is your show about?

It is based on my semi-autobiographical journey of an immigrant. A Brown Monkey Goes To McDonald’s reveals the stories and dreams of a boy moving to America and his continuous search for cultural identity and acceptance in western society. But in the post 9/11 world his dreams of America are changed forever.

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to have my stories be heard, and I believe this solo show reveal things that are yet to talked about.

What made you want to perform in an eco-friendly theatre festival like Planet Connections?

Eco-friendly theatre is the future.

Planet Connections is fairly unique in that a portion of the box office for each show is donated to a charity. What charity have you chosen and why?

I have chosen SALGA-NYC - it is the only South Asian GLBT organization in NYC. It is important to supports groups that have very little presence, this way they can have a stronger voice in the community.

What's next for you after Planet Connections?

I am doing a documentary series with the Sundance Channel, which will be airing in October. So shooting for the show. And also trying to do a college/university tour of my solo performance.

And finally, if you could go back in time and meet yourself as a kid, what advice would you give your younger self?

Don't think that you dreams are false. You can make anything happen.

A Brown Monkey Goes to McDonald's
Written and Performed by Sahil Farooqi
Directed by Regie Cabico

Running time: 60 minutes, no intermission

Venue: The Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street

Performance dates:
Fri 6/11 @ 7:30pm
Sat 6/12 @ 6:30pm
Mon 6/14 @ 9:30pm
Sat 6/19 @ 11:30am
Wed 6/23 @ 7:30pm

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Interview with Diánna Martin, Director of Good Lonely People at Planet Connections Festival

By Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

Name: Diánna Martin
Play: Good Lonely People
Relationship to production: Director

How did you first get involved in theatre?

I was born into it, really. My parents are in the industry. My mother, Ann Wedgeworth, is a Tony-Award-winning actress of stage, film, and TV; my father, acting teacher and director Ernie Martin, was one of Lee Strasberg’s protégées, head of the Ernie Martin Studio Theatre in the 80s (where the Mint is now) and a former Artistic Director for the Actor’s Studio West Coast. I got away from theatre for several years when I lived in St. Louis, but even then I was doing some form of entertainment, i.e. directing and hosting live television (the equivalent to NY1 here in NYC) and as a Disc Jockey for radio. Eventually, in 2000 when I moved back to NYC to be closer to my family, I became involved slowly but surely in what my roots really were all about.

Who are your biggest influences?

Well I am both an actress and a director, so my influences are spread out across representatives of both mediums. There are so many to name; I would honestly have to start with my parents, for they are brilliant, and were my first teachers. In terms of directing theatre, specifically, I would have to include Mike Nichols, whose direction of Hurlyburly in the 80s was amazing – it is one of the plays that has always stuck in my mind; Sam Sheppard (whose directing I was able to see when my Mother was in the original A Lie of the Mind). I also really love Alex Dinelaris - another award-winning playwright who is a wonderful director – who directed me in Hello Out There. Another would be Will Frears, who directed Alex’s Still Life at the Lortel; the staging he did for the show really inspired me visually.

What is your show about?

Good Lonely People is on the surface about a fractured, albeit religious, family coming together on the night of President Obama’s election, all of whom are Democrats in a mostly-Republican area, yet are extremely divided about the issue of Proposition 8 and homosexuality in general. It is, however, also very much about how no matter what your political or religious affiliation, one’s actions speak very much louder than words, how people who love one another deeply also wound others – and how they find the path to middle ground.

What inspired you to direct it?

Besides the fact that it’s a great play and is produced by MTWorks, of which I am a company actor, I was inspired because I have been witness first hand to similar events that take place in the play. I have gay family members and friends who, although they are loved deeply by others in the family, are either not allowed to be themselves completely or have been shunned. I also grew up in New York City, and saw first hand how parents of many children I went to school with would march for every cause on the planet, but often would be emotionally and physically neglectful parents (but with money)…and it always made me think that no matter how many buttons they wore or bumper stickers they had, their actions at home spoke volumes.

What made you want to perform in an eco-friendly theatre festival like Planet Connections?

I think it’s a wonderful idea to give back to the community more than just creatively, and this is a great way to do it. I love the idea of providing the Off-Off Broadway community the opportunity to raise awareness for the environment as well as charities and organizations that many audience members may not even know about. It’s a great opportunity to do something positive for others as well as yourself.

Planet Connections is fairly unique in that a portion of the box office for each show is donated to a charity. What charity have you chosen and why?

We have chosen PFLAG – Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians and Gays - as our charity (organization) to donate proceeds to for a myriad of reasons. At the top of the list are: 1) It’s completely appropriate for the show – if the characters in the play had the opportunity to benefit from an organization like PFLAG, their lives would be so much easier. 2) It’s an organization whose mission is very important and dear to most everyone involved with the production on various levels. 3) PFLAG needs more exposure than ever, as we can see even in our current political climate; one thing I find interesting is that no matter who is in office, the issue of homosexuality and rights are always in the eye of a storm.

What's next for you after Planet Connections?

I will be directing Jim Tierney’s The Banshee of Bainbridge in the Fringe Festival, which is very exciting! I’m also putting together readings of revivals that are very dear to my heart, both as director and actress – using actors that I am familiar with, which is a project that has been in the works for some time (I go into depth about it more at my website I also teach acting classes at both Martin Acting Studios (my school) and Hunter College, although this summer is so busy I’m only privately coaching until fall when I start classes up again. I’m looking forward to what the fall brings – some acting possibilities are on the horizon, and it would be nice to go back to that soon. I also write reviews for The Happiest Medium.

And finally, if you could go back in time and meet yourself as a kid, what advice would you give your younger self?

HA! Do you have an hour? I suppose a couple of things I would say are: 1) Don’t take anything for granted: people you love, a sunset, having good health; and in regards to this interview, especially the creative gifts that you have been given – make use of them always. 2) Be proud to be YOU, don’t try to be anyone else, because your unique aspects are to be celebrated and can be used in great ways. 3) The choices you make will effect things later in life, so make ‘em count.

Good Lonely People
Written by Carol Carpenter
Directed by Diánna Martin

Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission

Venue: The Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette Street, 3rd floor

Performance dates:
Thurs 6/3 @ 8:30pm
Fri 6/4 @ 9pm
Sat 6/5 @ 3:30pm
Sun 6/6 @ 11am
Sun 6/13 @ 7pm
Wed 6/16 @ 4:45pm
Sat 6/26 @ 7pm

Casting Announced for David Parr’s SLAP&TICKLE Directed by David Drake

By Byrne Harrison
Photo by Jim Lande
Cross-posted from

Casting has been announced for David Parr’s Slap&Tickle, directed by Obie winner David Drake. Opening at the Provincetown Theater July 6th, the cast includes J. Stephen Brantley, Todd Flaherty, Joe MacDougall, Christopher MacDow, Joseph Mahan and Aaron Tone.

The play is set in a contemporary bathhouse and in it, six actors portray 20 recurring characters whose lives intersect in surprising, humorous and revealing ways.

The Provincetown production of Slap&Tickle features original music by the DJ Susan Morabito. Lighting design is by Chris Page, with set design by David Drake. Slap&Tickle is proudly sponsored by Manhunt.

Slap&Tickle performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. at The Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford Street, Provincetown, MA from July 6th through August 14th, 2010. All tickets are $33.50; and can be obtained by calling (866) 811-4111; or online; or at the theater box office on performance days, starting at 6 p.m.. The play runs approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.

*WARNING: Slap&Tickle contains strong language and nudity. It is recommended for mature audiences only.

Back: Joseph Mahan, Aaron Tone and J. Stephen Brantley
Front: Todd Flaherty, Christopher MacDow and Joe MacDougall

Patrick Breen on Next Fall

Patrick Breen writes about Next Fall and the effect it's had.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kelsey Grammer of La Cage Aux Folles on CBS' The Early Show

Kelsey Grammer, currently starring in his Broadway musical debut in La Cage Aux Folles, will be a guest on CBS’ “The Early Show” on Saturday, June 19. In the New York area, “The Early Show” airs on WCBS Channel 2 between 7:00 and 9:00 AM. Check local listings.

La Cage Aux Folles opened on Broadway on April 18 at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street). The production stars Kelsey Grammer as Georges; Douglas Hodge as Albin; Fred Applegate as M. Dindon/M. Renaud; Veanne Cox as Mme. Dindon/Mme. Renaud; Chris Hoch as Francis; Elena Shaddow as Anne; A.J. Shively as Jean-Michel; Christine Andreas as Jacqueline; Robin De Jesús as Jacob; Heather Lindell as Colette; Bill Nolte as Tabarro and David Nathan Perlow as Etienne.

Also starring as the notorious and dangerous Cagelles are Nick Adams, Sean A. Carmon, Nicholas Cunningham, Sean Patrick Doyle, Logan Keslar and Terry Lavell. The production also features Christophe Caballero, Todd Lattimore, Dale Hensley, Caitlin Mundth and Cheryl Stern.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Broadway Bares XX, Strip-opoly, Announces Guest Stars

By Byrne Harrison

Broadway Bares XX has announced the special guests at Sunday's performances. Notable names scheduled to appear include: Nick Adams (La Cage Aux Folles), Kevin Burrows (Spamalot on Tour), Charles Busch (The Divine Sister), Kevin Chamberlin (The Addams Family), Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth (Promises, Promises), Jennifer Cody (Shrek The Musical), Tony Award winner Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), Diana DeGarmo (Hair), Lea DeLaria (The Rocky Horror Show), Felicia Finley (The Wedding Singer), Tony Award winner Katie Finneran (Promises, Promises), Barrett Foa (Avenue Q), Tony Award winner Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins’ Broadway), Julie Halston (The Divine Sister), Jackie Hoffman (The Addams Family), Denis Jones (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski (“30 Rock”), Sebastian LaCause (The Rocky Horror Show), Reichen Lehmkuhl (My Big Gay Italian Wedding), Norm Lewis (Sondheim on Sondheim), Lucy Liu (God of Carnage), Julia Murney (Wicked), Christopher Sieber (Shrek The Musical), Rachelle Rak (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Andrew Rannells (Jersey Boys) Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray), Tony Award winner Lillias White (Fela!), Vanessa Williams (Sondheim on Sondheim), and more.

This year’s opening number is entitled “The Best Game in Town,” and is written by David Nehls (The Great American Trailer Park Musical). The number will be performed by Euan Morton (Sondheim on Sondheim).

BROADWAY BARES XX: “STRIP-OPOLY” is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Executive Produced by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Love Never Dies, Catch Me If You Can, Legally Blonde), and will be directed by Josh Rhodes (The Drowsy Chaperone, Fosse).

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (212) 840-0770 x268.

9:30 PM SHOW: $650 Benefactor - includes reserved seat at a cocktail table and open bar before the show; $250 VIP - includes non-reserved standing ticket in VIP area closest to stage or VIP Mezzanine with open bar before the show; $100 Priority - includes non-reserved standing ticket in Priority Viewing area close to the stage; $55 General Admission -non-reserved standing ticket.

MIDNIGHT SHOW: $650 Benefactor - includes reserved seat at a cocktail table and open bar before the show; $250 VIP - includes non-reserved standing ticket in VIP mezzanine with open bar before the show; $55 General Admission - non-reserved standing ticket.

BC/EFA is pleased to announce the return of the “VIP BACKSTAGE PASS” PACKAGE ($10,000). You and a guest will be escorted into Roseland for a sneak peek of the dress rehearsal, and meet Jerry Mitchell and a guest celebrity. Enjoy dinner and drinks at a private cocktail party with Jerry and Broadway stars. Come back to Roseland and join the entire company backstage for a short visit before you are escorted to your table in the VIP lounge and stay for both shows. After the Midnight show, you will join the cast as VIP guests at the post-show cast-party. This package is extremely limited in availability.

For photos from past performances, click here.

Jerry Mitchell, Broadway Bares Creator and Executive Producer, at Seth's Broadway Chatterbox

Jerry Mitchell, creator and Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS's Broadway Bares, will be Seth Rudetsky's guest at tonight's Seth's Broadway Chatterbox, a one-hour weekly talk show featuring Broadway celebrities. Seth's Broadway Chatterbox happens on stage Thursday evenings at 6 PM at Don't Tell Mama (343 West 46th St. in New York City, between 8th & 9th Avenues). The cost is $10 (which is donated directly to BC/EFA) plus a 2 drink minimum. Call 212-757-0788 or book online at Don't Tell Mama for reservations.

So I Like Superman: A One-Nerd Show

In 1938, at the height of the great depression, the world was introduced to the greatest hero of all time.

In 1982, at the height of his mother's post-partum depression, that character was introduced to the biggest, gayest nerd of all time.

In So I Like Superman, writer/performer/comic book nerd Michael Hartney tells the secret origin of his lifelong obsession with the Man of Steel, oddly mirroring the plot of "Superman: The Movie".

You will believe a nerd can believe a man can fly.

Directed by Chris Kelly
Videos by Dustin D'Addato
Phone Booth by Guy Patton
Tickets: A paltry $5

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interview - Johnathan Cedano of Confessions of Homo Thug Porn Star

By Byrne Harrison
Confessions Image: Photo by Shirley Miranda-Rodriguez and Design by Somos Arte

Johnathan Cedano recently performed in James Earl Hardy's Confessions of Homo Thug Porn Star at the Downtown Urban Theater Festival. Confessions won the Best Short Play Award at the Festival. He will be reprising his role in the Fire Island production on August 13th.

I caught up with him to find out what it was like working with Hardy, who also directed Confessions, and playing a porn star.

You've been performing for several years with a variety of theatre companies. What has your best experience been so far?

I would have to say that my best experience so far was actually my second acting job in New York City. I was cast in a Doric Wilson play called Street Theater that was actually performed at the Eagle Bar on 28th street. That has been so far the most fun I've had while doing a show.

What is your theatrical background?

I started studying theater very young in the Dominican Republic and appeared in several productions over there. Then after moving over here, I enrolled in several acting schools. Currently I'm going to HB Studios in the Village.

Tell me a little something about Confessions of a Homo Thug Porn Star.

Confessions of a Homo Thug Porn Star is based on actual writing sessions between Tiger Tyson and James Earl Hardy. I believe the idea of a one-man show came up during one of these sessions and they decided to go with it. When you see the show you get the feel Tiger is speaking to an unseen interviewer.

I'll admit I'm more familiar with James Earl Hardy through his novels. What is it like working with him as a playwright/director?

Just like you, I was only familiar with his "B-Boy Blues" books. He gave me a lot of freedom, which was liberating and terrifying at the same time. I feel very honored that he along with Tiger chose me to play this part.

Was it intimidating playing Tiger Tyson?

To be honest with you, there were times I didn't think I was going to pull it off, but as I found common ground between Tiger and myself, I was able to understand him and what he does, and in the process understand myself and what I do. I wanted to meet Tiger before I saw any of his movies. I never seen one before and I was glad about that, because it gave me a chance of meeting the man before I saw the performer. I did meet with Tiger at James' place and spent a few moments with him that day, but after that I dove into interview footage to do the rest of my homework.
Tiger did come to see the show and really liked it. I have to tell you, though, having Tiger Tyson and James Earl Hardy in the audience front and center staring at you and hanging onto your every word was one of the most intimidating/exhilarating experiences I've ever had.

Do you have any words of advice for people who are thinking of a career in theatre?

Never give up. It may not happen right away or it may not happen like you planned, but it'll happen.

What else do you have planned for 2010?

Confessions in Fire Island. Also, there's a one-night-only production of Street Theater on June 18 at the LGBT Center, and I haven't checked but I believe a great musical I did called Peepshow Male (You notice a theme?) might be coming back in September and of course if they ask me back for Los Nutcrackers: A Christmas Carajo at BAAD (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance) I'll be doing that as well around the holidays.

Confessions of A Homo Thug Porn Star will be held at the Whyte Hall’s Brandon Fradd Theater in Fire Island Pines on Friday, August 13, 2010. Showtimes are 8:00pm and 10:00pm. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the theater the day of the performance.

For more about Johnathan and his upcoming projects, visit

Del Shores - Tour Guide

By Byrne Harrison

Playwright Del Shores takes you on a guided tour of the set of Yellow, his latest play currently in production at The Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood.

New York Neo-Futurists Present Their Gay Pride Edition of Too Much Light

By Byrne Harrison
Photo by Matt Lucas

The New York Neo-Futurists present their 4th Annual Gay Pride edition of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, their twice-weekly critically acclaimed, energetic show of original short plays.

Too Much PRIDE Makes the Baby Go Gay: 30 Gay Plays in 60 Straight Minutes, will be raising money to benefit LGBTQ advocacy in Uganda through the Fund for Global Human Rights, in an effort to combat proposed legislation that could make it a criminal offense to be gay, with punishment by imprisonment and even execution.

Too Much PRIDE Makes the Baby Go Gay will be performed at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003) on Friday, June 25th and Saturday, June 26th at 10:30pm. Tickets are $20.00. Advance tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 212-352-3101.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Win a Copy of The Lady in Question is Charles Busch

Channel 13 (WNET) in New York is giving away a copy of The Lady in Question is Charles Busch, signed by Charles Busch himself.

For details, click here.

And be sure to watch The Lady in Question is Charles Busch on Sunday, June 20th at 10:30 pm.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Broadway Bares CD To Be Released


In celebration of the 20th edition of BROADWAY BARES, Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS and Jerry Mitchell are proud to announce the upcoming release of BROADWAY BARES OPENINGS, a CD of 13 original opening numbers from BC/EFA's popular annual burlesque show. Each song is recorded by the Broadway stars who debuted them on the BROADWAY BARES stage.

Pre-orders for the album are being accepted now at and the album will be officially released Sunday, June 20 at this year's BROADWAY BARES.

All proceeds from BROADWAY BARES OPENINGS will benefit BC/EFA. To listen to audio clips of some of the songs featured on the album, visit:

BROADWAY BARES OPENINGS features vocals by such Broadway luminaries as Shoshana Bean, Mary Birdsong, Heidi Blickenstaff, Tituss Burgess, Sara Gettelfinger, Debbie Gravitte, Jane Krakowski, Leslie Kritzer, Anika Larsen, Andrew Lippa, Euan Morton, Julia Murney, Mo Rocca, Christopher Sieber, and Lillias White.

Songwriting teams represented include: Gary Adler and Laura Kenyon, Jeff Bowen, Andrew Lippa, David Nehls, and Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

BROADWAY BARES creator and executive producer Jerry Mitchell expressed his thoughts on the upcoming CD release, "A great strip always starts with a great tune and this is just the beginning! Now you too can be the stripper you always wanted to be in the privacy of your own bedroom with this first BROADWAY BARES CD. Have fun!"

BC/EFA Producing Director Michael Graziano said, "People have been asking about getting a copy of these songs for years, so BC/EFA was thrilled when Mike Croiter and Yellow Sound Lab volunteered to take on the project, re-mastering all the original orchestrations and recording new vocals. And best of all, 100% of the proceeds are benefiting the charity. It's fantastic!"

Shoshana Bean, who recorded "Doctor's Orders," written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman from BROADWAY BARES 15 said, "Revisiting this sexy and seductive tune made me wanna take off all my clothes and get naked for a good cause again!"

Julia Murney, who recorded "Comic Strip" penned by Andrew Lippa for BROADWAY BARES 12 said, "Singing 'Comic Strip' at BROADWAY BARES is probably the closest I'll ever get to feeling like a rock star: grinding guitars, hot dancing chicks, a screaming sea of humanity filling every sweaty nook and cranny of Roseland."

Euan Morton, who will be singing "The Best Game in Town," the opening number by David Nehls for the upcoming edition of BROADWAY BARES said, "What an honour to be involved in this exciting project! The only downside of listening to "The Best Game in Town" on CD is that you won't see the girls flashing the crowd!!"

Pre-orders for the album are being accepted now at and the album will be officially released Sunday, June 20 at this year's BROADWAY BARES held at Roseland Ballroom.