Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's Back! Shocks & C*cks 3: Cold C*cked - All Nude All Dude Review

Santa's got six more packages just for you at burlesque impresario Jonny Porkpie's latest all male burlesque, Shocks & Cocks 3: Cold C*ckedThe outrageous all-nude, all-dude revue returns with a brand-new holiday tale that will warm the cockles of your heart. The cast of the original Shocks & C*cks -- including international boylesque superstar Tigger!, Mat "Sealboy" Fraser, Hard Cory, Ferro, Albert Cadabra and host Jonny Porkpie -- return for a night of seasonal cheer.Chances are stockings aren't going to be the only thing that get stuffed at this show.

Jonny Porkpie presents SHOCKS & C*CKS 3: COLD C*CKED
Starring:   Jonny Porkpie, Albert Cadabra, Ferro, Hard Cory, Mat "Sealboy" Fraser, Tigger
Thursday,  December 29 at 10:00pm
The Kraine,  85 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003
Price:   $20
For more information, visit jonnyporkpie.com or horsetrade.info

Photo by Beau Allulli

Friday, December 23, 2011

TONIGHT: A Very Tawny Christmas!

Following up on the popularity of her appearances at “Fag Bash,” “Showgirls,” and other festive events in P’town last summer, Tawny Heatherton will arrive this yuletide season to debut her own blonde-swept brand of sunny, funny cheer with the holiday show A Very Tawny Christmas! for one-night-only at the Crown & Anchor in Provincetown, MA. With onstage musical direction by John Thomas, and a special guest appearance by Bulgarian diva Elena Mancheva, A Very Tawny Christmas! will perform on Friday, December 23rd at 8PM in The Crown Cabaret at the Crown & Anchor, 247 Commercial Street in Provincetown, MA. All tickets are $15, and can be obtained in-person at the box office, or by calling 508-487-1430, or online at www.onlyatthecrown.com.


Purportedly the niece of Serta Mattress superstar Joey Heatherton, Tawny is the newest theatrical creation of Obie Award winner David Drake (The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me). Not one to stay in the shadow of her famous and talented aunt, Tawny is also a showbiz survivor of the ‘80s European disco zeitgeist -- with her breakout hit, “Run Crazy Man!”. Underneath the glitz and glamour (and hardscrabble life of being a “one-hit-wonder”), Tawny still retains the hopeful, happy nature of her childhood upbringing with the People of the Rainbow tribe.

In A Very Tawny Christmas!, Tawny will sing songs of the season while telling stories of wandering the world as a “Rainbow Warrior!” These include Tawny’s stint as a USO dancer with Bob Hope (“Christmas in Nicaragua... now there’s a memory!”), her escapades as a disco queen, her starlet days (as a bit player on Knot’s Landing), and her wash-a-shore journey to Provincetown -- by getting on the wrong bus after a night of partying at Mohegan Sun. Naturally, Tawny will do a some dancing.**


DAVID DRAKE is an actor-writer-director who washed ashore in Provincetown from NYC in 2008. Best-known as the Obie Award-winning playwright/performer of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, one of the longest-running solo shows in NY theater history, David has also starred off-Broadway in Vampire Lesbians of Sodom (succeeding Charles Busch for 856 performances), originated the role of “Miss Deep South” in the musical smash Pageant, as well as co-starring with Jim J. Bullock in End of the World Party at the 47th St. Theater, and with B.D. Wong in A Language of Their Own at The Public. His TV credits: LAW & ORDER, THE BEAT, NY UNDERCOVER, and LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. Feature films: Jonathan Demme’s Academy Award-winning Philadelphia, as well as It’s Pat, Naked in New York, David Searching, Bear City, Longtime Companion, and starring in his own adaptation of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me. As a stage director, David has twice been a Directing Fellow at the Sundance Theater Lab, and has directed new works in New York at The Public’s “Under the Radar” Festival, Joe’s Pub, Rattlestick, Theater for the New City, and the NYC International Fringe Festival. Regionally, David has directed productions in San Francisco, Baltimore, Anchorage, and this past fall returned to the Provincetown Theater Company on Cape Cod to direct the critically acclaimed world premiere of Myra Slotnick’s drama The Weight of Water. Previously in P’town, David directed the premiere of David Parr’s Slap & Tickle, the New England premiere of Brad Faser’s Poor Super Man, and the acclaimed revival of Thornton Wilder’s classic Our Town. Most recently in New York, David was a director of the 2009 world premiere of Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge at Here, which made the “10 Best Lists” in The New Yorker, The NY Post, The Advocate, Paper Magazine, and won a 2010 Village Voice Obie Award.

JOHN THOMAS is a Provincetown-based composer, pianist, music director, actor, photographer, writer and event producer. A man of many talents, his long list of credits includes composing Pure PolyESTHER: a biblical burlesque (with Abe Rybeck) and music for theater productions from Provincetown to Cape Cod Community College. He wrote and performed the solo show Spontaneous Me: A Night with Walt Whitman. He has been music director for Hair, Cabaret, The Wild Party, Naked Boys Singing, Working, Candide, and other shows. He portrayed Cosme McMoon, Florence Foster Jenkin’s flamboyant pianist, in Souvenir, Mashkan, the Viennese vocal coach, in Old Wicked Songs and Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. He has performed at Boston Symphony Hall, in California, New Hampshire and Connecticut, and on the Greek island of Mykonos. His music is featured in films and his photographs have been exhibited in Provincetown’s museums and Berta Walker Gallery. His compact disc of original music is titled Composing Myself. johnwthomas.com.

ELENA MANCHEVA was born in the small town of Sandansky in Bulgaria, fifteen miles north of the border of Greece. She grew up listening to and performing Bulgarian traditional music with her father (who is a professional musician). Elena received her bachelor’s degree in music teaching at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. During the past year, she has performed Bulgarian and American music in Provincetown at the Monday Night Coffeehouse at The Mews, the Waterford, the Celebration of Life annual concert, and at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Colton Ford Gives Us the Naked Truth About "A Molly Jolly Christmas"

By Byrne Harrison

Maybe you know this Peace Bisquit / Woop Woop recording star from his albums, Tug of War and Under the Covers.  Perhaps you saw the documentary about his music career, "Naked Fame."  Then again, maybe you're familiar with some of his more adult endeavors. But however you know him, chances are Colton Ford made an impression.

Now you have a chance to see Colton in a new light, as a participant in the must-see Christmas cabaret of the season, Molly "Equality" Dykeman's A Molly Jolly Christmas.  I had a chance to catch up with Colton (and Molly, as you'll see) and ask him about Molly, his career and what 2012 holds for him.

Colton, you're known as, well, a man's man. Molly is a fan of the lovely ladies.  Other than both being unbelievably butch, you don't seem to have too much in common.  How did you wind up being part of A Molly Jolly Christmas?

Well the fact that I came out of a vagina I think spoke to her. You know Molly. Any vagina reference and it's on!!

Yes, Molly can be a little Pavlovian that way.  Now anyone who knows Molly knows that this show will feature lovely ladies, humor, poetry, and as you mentioned, vagina references.  What can we expect to see from you at the show?

True testosterone. I'll show you the man Molly really wants to be.  And you can expect to hear some hot music too!

Who'll be in the show with you and Molly?

(At this point, Molly "Equality" Dykeman, who has been sitting nearby eating Cheetos--no nachos on the menu apparently, perks up and joins the interview)

I'll field this question, Colton. Why don't you just sit there and look pretty? My friend Michael Musto of The Village Voice is going to stop by. He graduated from an Ivy League school and I've slept with a lot of Ivy League ladies so I think we'll have a lot to talk about. The sexy and talented Victoria Libertore will be performing one of the most twisted Liza's to hit the stage in a long time, and then I usually invite someone I met on the subway to come and do the show. There's so much great talent on the F train. I tried to get the Mariachi band to come play but they turned me down. Thankfully,Colton said yes.

(Molly started to say more, but was distracted by a leggy Latina and wandered away.)

Wow, okay then. So Colton, you've had a... remarkably varied career.  Looking back on all of it, what would you say was the highest point so far?

There have been several memorable moments over my career. When I was signed to acclaimed songwriter, Denise Rich, got a major label deal, and was paired up with Frankie Knuckles all in the same year. That was really cool! Performing in Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour two years ago was brilliant. Singing with Chaka Khan was amazing. Also, just having all the music that I have out there is a great accomplishment.

Given all that you've done in 2011, I imagine 2012 is going to be an even busier year for you.  What do you have coming up?  Will we see you back onstage soon?

Well, I've been back on two Off-Broadway stages just this month, and hope to continue in 2012. I've got a new album coming out, "The Way I Am," which includes collaborations with Nervo, Chris Willis, Wawa, Redtop, Razor N Guido to name a few. I also have a stripped down, more acoustic EP coming out around fall of 2012. Other things are brewing for the New Year, but I ain't gonna share just yet!

Well, that's a bit of a tease, but I suppose I can wait.  So let's do a hypothetical.  If I could grant you any performance wish, what would be your dream gig?

Being able to gig at Madison Square Garden would be one!!

And if you could collaborate with anyone on your next album, who would it be?

Well, I've been really fortunate to work with some amazing people throughout my career. It would be cool to collaborate with Darkchild. Missy Elliott. Gaga.

Well, let's hope they see this. Since it's the holidays, what are your Christmas plans?

Chillin' at home.

What's your dream date for the perfect New Year's Eve?

Bringing in the New Year with my partner, and just enjoying where the evening takes us!

Since Molly hasn't come back, how about a little question about her? I can only imagine what Molly is like in rehearsals and backstage. Any good gossip to share?

None. Molly is a pleasure. Vagina-focused for sure, but a sweetie!

Molly, Colton, Michael Musto and Victoria Libertore can be seen in the final performance of A Molly Jolly Christmas at the Laurie Beechman Theatre at 42nd St. and 9th Ave. (inside the West Bank Cafe) on Thursday, December 22nd at 7:30 PM.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thank you for being a friend...

By Byrne Harrison

On December 17th, Hunter Auction Galleries will be holding an auction made of the items from various estates.  Included in the auction are items from Rue McClanahan's New York apartment.  Among them are the expected "Golden Girls" items, but also a Wicked package, and a personal letter from Rue describing her work as an understudy to Marian Seldes and Brenda Vacarro in Father's Day, and another personal letter from 1957 written backstage at a theatre.

Visit Live Auctioneers to see (and bid on) the items.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I've a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore

By Byrne Harrison

Last week I had a unique opportunity to see a pair of ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."  Not just any pair, mind you, but the pair that were used during the close-up when Dorothy clicked her heels together and said, "There's no place like home."

The shoes are expected to sell for more than $3 million this week at auction.  Visit the website for more information about the auction (and check out some of the other items up for bid - Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion costume, Marilyn Monroe's wedding ring).

While seeing the ruby slippers was a bit of a thrill, it was only one part of an amazing afternoon.  The viewing was held in conjunction with the Hotel Plaza Athénée's afternoon tea service.  The afternoon tea, with its plates full of tiny sandwiches and tiered serving trays piled with delectable sweets, was charming. As was "The Wizard of Oz"-themed music, featuring a keyboard player and violinist performing songs from the film.  There was even a strolling magician performing sleight of hand.

The afternoon tea, held in the stylish, yet comfortable Arabelle restaurant in the hotel, was the perfect event to complement the ruby slippers display.  And that's not just the ruby-tinted champagne talking.

Dorothy was right, there is no place like home.  But considering that my home is a cramped one-bedroom in Queens, I'm more than happy to spend an afternoon enjoying the elegence of some place not at all like home.  My next trip to the Plaza Athénée will probably not involve "The Wizard of Oz" or ruby slippers, but I know it will be just as much of a treat.

About The Plaza Athénée:  One of the most well-respected hotels in the world, New York City’s Hôtel Plaza Athénée provides European grandeur with the intimacy of a boutique hotel. Located on the fashionable Upper East Side of Manhattan on a quiet tree lined street, the hotel offers a unique relaxing atmosphere surrounded by refined townhouses. One short block from Central Park and steps from Madison Avenue, the Plaza Athenee is the perfect getaway from Midtown Manhattan and a welcoming retreat after a long day of seeing the sights.

"A Molly Jolly Christmas" - A Comic Christmas Treat

Review by Byrne Harrison
Dancing Molly photo by Laura Turley
Molly and presents photo by Ron Lasko
Cross-posted from StageBuzz.com

Molly "Equality" Dykeman is a slightly bewildered, pill-popping, mullet-sporting, Cheetos-munching, lesbian security guard/poet, who wants nothing more than to put on a Christmas show to remember, full of leggy, stacked dancers and hot, downtown performers.  The results are a cringe-inducing train wreck.

While that could be the kiss of death for most shows, it is exactly what A Molly Jolly Christmas is supposed to be.  Molly is the wacky and delightful creation of Andrea Alton, the talented actress and comic, who has been performing as her alter-ego for several years now and most recently kicked some downtown ass in The F*cking World According to Molly at FringeNYC.  She also performs as Molly throughout the city at events as diverse as Butch Burlesque and Will Clark's Porno Bingo.

A Molly Jolly Christmas is an absolute riot.  Molly is in rare form as she performs her poetry (a good deal of her poetic style can be inferred from just the title of her first poem: "I Wanna Fuck Meredith Baxter Birney," which is, amazingly, the least offensive of her poems), dances with her leggy dancers, the Mollettes (Victoria Smalc and Meliza Fernandez), and introduces her guest stars.  And, oh my, the guest stars.  While the line-up changes for each performance, her show on Friday, December 9th, included a flamenco dancer/comedian (Inma Heredia), a Lady Gaga impersonator (Athena Reich), a twitchy monologist (Allen Warnock) who performed a dramatic reading from "Gremlins," and The World Famous *BOB*, the amazing burlesque star whose take on "Hard Candy Christmas" from Best Little Whorehouse left the crowd speechless.  Upcoming shows will feature performance artist Shelly Mars, singer/actor/former porn god Colton Ford, burlesque star Vicky Sin, actress Victoria Libertore, and Village Voice columnist and man-about-town, Michael Musto.

In between acts, Molly reminisces about her childhood, reads her Christmas letter to Jesus (she's a little unclear on the whole concept), and dances.  That's right, dances.  Watching Molly and her Mollettes perform "Xanadu" (choreographed by the terrific John Paolillo) is worth the price of admission.

If you're tired of the sugar-plum, treacly Christmas shows that abound this time of year, but you still want something with a good heart and plenty of Christmas spirit, A Molly Jolly Christmas is the show to see.

A Molly Jolly Christmas
Written and performed by Andrea Alton
Directed by Mark Finley
Choreography by John Paolillo

December 6, 9, 13 and 22 at 7:30 PM
The Laurie Beechman Theatre
407 W. 42nd St (at 9th Avenue) in the West Bank Cafe

Tickets: $18 (plus a $15 food/drink minimum)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

There's No Place Like Home


The Wizard of Oz’s Ruby Slippers will be the stars of an exclusive Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Athénée in New York on December 5, 2011 from 4-6pm.

This private viewing of the original screen used Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” will be a onetime special event at the Hotel Plaza Athénée before they go to auction on December 16th in California presented by Profiles in History. The pair on display was used when Dorothy clicks her heels three times to return to Kansas, stating “There’s no place like home.” The slippers are appraised in excess of $3 million.  Additional information can be found on the website http://www.profilesinhistory.com/

“We are extremely proud to organize this magical afternoon which is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season,” said Bernard Lackner, General Manager of the Plaza Athénée. “Our hotel has had a long history of welcoming some of the greatest movie stars from Hollywood. Hosting the Ruby Slippers is nothing short of hosting a moment of American movie history,” he added. “There is no place like home” will be the Plaza Athénée for one day only.”

All attendees of this special event will have a unique opportunity to have an up close and personal look at the iconic pair of shoes. Ever since the movie was released, the Ruby Slippers have become one of the most iconic artifacts of American culture. Generation after generation, mothers and daughters have grown with the magic of Dorothy.

“I am thrilled to be working with the Plaza Athénée to bring the fabled Ruby Slippers to NYC for a once in a lifetime private viewing of the most iconic film artifact in the world," said Joe Maddalena, owner of Profiles in History.

To reserve your table, please contact: Cheryl Plonski, Director of Sales and Marketing at 212-606-4635.

Full afternoon tea served. Price: $75 per person. Taxes and gratuities are not included.

Space is limited.

About The Plaza Athénée:One of the most well-respected hotels in the world, New York City’s Hôtel Plaza Athénée provides European grandeur with the intimacy of a boutique hotel. Located on the fashionable Upper East Side of Manhattan on a quiet tree lined street, the hotel offers a unique relaxing atmosphere surrounded by refined townhouses. Located one short block from Central Park and steps from Madison Avenue, the Plaza Athenee is the perfect getaway from Midtown Manhattan and a welcoming retreat after a long day of seeing the sights.  There’s plenty to see and do from this wonderfully central location.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh, Mary… "Little House on the Ferry"

Review by Nic Dris
Photos by Iannelli Photography & Peter Lau Photography

It’s a tale as old as Falcon Studios time. A group of gay friends go on vacation somewhere with hidden dunes, alcohol, and men. Drama happens when a sexy boy gets added into the mix. Said group of friends sleep with each other and knockdown brawls reach intense peaks. However, there’s always a happy ending on the horizon (…after the after-party).

Set on a present-day early summer weekend, a band of friends travel to Fire Island --- a gay man’s Pleasure Island. Leading man Randall (Seph Stanek) is determined to take his relationship to “the next level” with his uptight sophisticated boyfriend Timothy (Sean Loftus). Newbie Antonio (Kit Balcuns) wants to get the entire Fire Island experience and when he spots their housemate, Max (beloved Colton Ford), love strikes a merry threesome tune. All the while, annoyingly acerbic House Mother Donnie (Matt Rodriquez) lives his youth vicariously through this young clan. What good gay farce isn’t complete without the ex-boyfriend coming out of nowhere though? When Randall’s charming ex-boyfriend Key West Jake (Chris Van Kirk) unexpectedly drops in, Randall must decide which of the two is his true heart’s desire! What’s a boy to do when he’s caught between two boyfriends and their hard place(s)?

Little House on the Ferry shares much in common with your typical night out in Hell’s Kitchen. It always seems like a good idea at first until a little while after it’s started. You may even have some fun and find yourself laughing at the silliest things. A dirty gay joke is funny the first few times, but after twenty of them, you start tuning them out. And there’s always the long, painful regret of the inevitable hangover the next morning and you rethink why you went in the first place. As much fun as this little musical wants you to believe the cast is having, Little House on the Ferry is one doomed sinking ship.

Seph Stanek’s quirky and sweetly mixed-up Randall doesn’t know whether to play the faithful, dedicated boyfriend or the passionate, DJing lovesick puppy to Chris Van Kirk’s endearingly sweet Key West Jake. It’s not that hard when Loftus plays Randall’s boyfriend, Timothy, as vain and self-involved as he does. Speaking of lovesick puppies, gay porn’s critically acclaimed Colton Ford plays the usual part he was born to play – a heartthrob hunk of muscular man flesh. Colton Ford’s huge talents are underutilized except when his character Max hums an addictive risqué tune, “After Hours,” where tableaus of various sexual positions are illustrated downstage (to their fullest). After all, what’s a good Colton Ford project without a little group sex?

The hard working ensemble does their best to act beyond their rock hard abs and pop-infused voices while playing their campy stereotypically Adonis roles with stand-out numbers such as the deer-led “Jump That Fence.” A boy band of deer serenade the drugged out Randall to make a decision about the two men in his Fire Island life.

Little House on the Ferry carries club-hoppin' show tunes that you’ll find a hard time thump-a-thumpin’ out of your mind. Their title anthem, “We’re on Fire Island,” showed the ensemble’s own exuberant spirit that was a treat to watch. There were some clunkers that the musical could do without and besides, who needs a song about a “Steroid Queen?” Homage to cult fan favorites like “Grease” is paid with songs such as the silly-school-girl “Did You Score?” This camp piece of work tiptoes on the line of being too earnest with lithe songs like the saccharine sweet “With a Friend Like Me” where House Mother Donnie tries to cheer up Randall. When the musical doesn’t try so hard to be funny and embraces the natural camp of it all, it works at its best.

These men could carry a conversation, but like their meek cosmos --- not very strong. Gould & Wechter’s dialogue carried far too many jokes fueled by endless cheap sexual innuendoes. In the program, there was a Fire Island vocabulary provided in case you couldn’t figure out what really complex terms such as “Bottom,” “Top,” or “Grindr” were. But who needs a vocabulary list? Gould & Wechter’s book stopped mid-action where one character would explain to the other the rules and terminology of Fire Island living. “What’s a ½ Share? Let me tell you!” became the running, tiresome diatribe and dynamic exchanged between these Love! Valour! Compassion! misfit wannabes.

While Wetcher struggled with providing the voices of these men, he even struggled more with providing them a sense of direction. Wechter’s direction left the actors traipsing around the stage with nothing to do (but pat the occasional bottom or four). The pacing for the set changes in between scenes was so awkwardly large that you could carry a full five minute cocktail conversation in between them. Much of the ballads were wrongly played out on the second floor as the ensemble stole the audience’s attention with ballet dance or suggestive sexual staging on the first floor. I’ll admit though --- it’s hard to keep your eyes off an ensemble of chorus boys in speedos.

Considering most of this musical takes place in either a brothel, a townhouse, or a club – the versatile and suggestive set fulfilled its duty to give off a brotherly Fire Island vibe. Leuck’s costume design must have been the simplest job since the boys wore either their underwear or their everyday preppy wear. The clichéd and stereotypically Broadway-styled choreography and musical staging gestures do nothing new to add for the camp factor, except the continual reminder that yes, this IS a gay musical. 

Does this musical know what it wants to be? Not quite yet, but it’s getting there. Clocking in at almost three hours, this musical can’t decide whether it wants to be an earnest classic romantic comedy or a campy, farcical work of fluff. Like its leading man Randall who’s too confused with emotions to make a decision about men --- this musical carries that confusion in its tone. It should learn a lesson or two from its doe-stopping number and jump that fence. Little House on the Ferry is one boat ride you can afford to miss catching.

Little House on the Ferry

Featuring: Seph Stanek (Randall), Kit Balcuns (Antonio), Chris Van Kirk (Jake), Sean Loftus (Timothy), Matt Rodriquez (Donnie), Colton Ford (Max)

Conceived by Robert Gould
Co-Authors: Robert Gould & Jeremy Wechter
Music, Lyric, & Composition: Robert Gould & Robert Arbelo
Directed by Jeremy Wechter
Scenic Design by Courtney Smith
Lighting Design by Kate Febles
Costume Design by Vanessa Leuck
Sound Design by Sean Brennan
Choreography by Sean Roschman
Production Stage Manager: Nicole Gross

Presented at the American Theatre of Actors
314 W. 54th Street
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE FERRY ran through Nov. 20 at ATA.
For more information, see www.littlehouseontheferry.com
Closed: November 20, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Four More Chances to see "Shadow Boxing," Part of the 2011 Brits Off Broadway festival at 59E59 Theaters

Produced by Cross Cut, SHADOW BOXING is part of THREE BRITISH SOLOS, three solo shows performed in rep. Single tickets are $25 ($17.50 for 59E59 Members). A three-show package is available for $50; a two show package is $35. To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or go to www.59e59.org.  For more information, visit www.britsoffbroadway.com.

Through Sunday, November 20th 
Thur at 8:30 PM, Sat at 2:30 PM & 9:30 PM, Sun at 7:30 PM

The son of a boxer who couldn't win, Flynn becomes a successful fighter through utter dedication. But is his gruelling training merely an avoidance tactic? A crisis builds as he moves to the title fight and the drama hurtles to a shattering conclusion.

Jonny Collis-Scurll delivers an emotionally intense and highly physical performance hailed for “effortless precision” (The Scotsman) and called "one of the most intense and hypnotic solo performances of the year" (Broadwaybaby.com). 

James Gaddas (playwright) is a British stage and television actor of long experience. He had a continuing role in the iconic television series, Coronation Street. More recently, he  played Captain Hook in the British classic, Peter Pan, and was in the West End production of Billy Elliot. In 2005, he was a parliamentary candidate.

Donald Pulford (director) is an Australian director and academic now living in the UK. His Australian production of Weepie won the Members’ Choice Award for Best Production at the Blue Room and the English production won Best Production at the international Absolut Gay Theatre Festival in Dublin. Shadow Boxing achieved five 5-star reviews and a ‘MUST SEE!’ from the British theatre trade paper, The Stage. He is currently rehearsing a play inspired by the music of British cult band, The Smiths.

Jonny Collis-Scurll’s (actor) recent credits include lead roles in two award-winning British productions in international festivals in Dublin and Poland amongst other internationally touring productions and pieces of new writing in the North of England.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Divine Madness," a Tribute to Bette Midler and Lady Gaga, to Benefit the Trevor Project on Halloween

Dance Party & Cash bar follow the show!

Monday, Oct 31st, 2011
9:30 PM - 11:45 PM
The Divine Miss B: Jen Brooks
The Bathhouse Bettie's: Landen Jones as Chelsea Piers & Jared Ross as Velvytte Winters
The Haus of Mimosa's:
Travis Barr as Anita M Buffem
Steven Incammicia as Gina Marie Rittale
Plus Special Guests!

Reservations highly recommended
Dance party and Cash bar to follow show!

All proceeds will go to Trevor Project. http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Tickets: $20 general admission/ 2-drink minimum

Three easy ways to get your tickets! 
* Purchase your Tickets securely online by credit card  
* Or make a Reservation online at no charge and pay cash at the door 
* Or call the 24/7 ticket hotline at 1-800-838-3006.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Earl Dax Presents "Pussy Faggot!" Tonight at The Delancey

Earl Dax Presents
Guest Co-curated by Edwin Ramora
Resident hosts Penny Arcade & Jordan Fox
Photo booth by Liz Liguori
Door by La China Loca

Thursday, October 27 | 8pm-4am
The Delancey
168 Delancey St. (at Clinton), New York, NY
THREE Floors! 5 DJs! Over 20 Performers! Rooftop Installations! Video Art!
$10 cover / $6 with RSVP to rsvp@pussyfaggot.net

Queer Comedy Showcase at 8p | Open Vodka Bar 9-10p | $3 Well Drinks Midnight-12:30a

It's that time again... PUSSY FAGGOT! returns home to The Delancey for the first time since April. For this edition they have instituted a new "guest co-curator" role, and Edwin Ramoran has exceeded all expectations. Building on his background as a curator for fine art institutions, he has brought a stronger visual arts element to the event with video screenings (including the premiere of a new video by Ivan Monforte, New Sound Karaoke and Robert Melee's "Home Movie Montage"), mixed-media installastions by Jeffrey Owen Ralston, Paulo Rojas, it/EQ (Carol Quispe + Ethan Shoshan) and Jordan Eagles and the roaming performance installation that is Jacolby Satterwhite. Together he and Earl have gone a long way toward making the event more diverse, more inclusive and more surprising -- exactly what was hoped for when the guest co-curator position was conceived.

Things kick off at 8 pm with another PUSSY FAGGOT! first -- a Queer Comedy Showcase hosted by Sirius Radio personality Keith Price and featuring Obie-nominated playwright, performance and comic Marga Gomez. You'll also the exceptional comic talents of Janine Brito, Jessica Halem, Ben Lerman and Greg Walloch.

The open vodka bar happy hour (9-10p) is hosted by This is FYF. Join them at the main bar (street level) for the Monforte and Melee videos as well as music provided by DJ Cody Critcheloe. Cody recently relocated to NYC from Kansas City, and his band Ssion has quickly become one of the most exciting musical acts in town. Street level performances throughout the night by David Antonio Cruz, Raul de Nieves, Lotus Eater Machine and Coco Chizzle.

Downstairs the evening shifts into high gear as Penny Arcade takes the reins as host of a performance set beginning around 10p featuring Warhol poet Taylor Mead, Tomashi Jackson, Machine Dazzle, Nicholas Gorham, and Gio Black Peter. Later in the evening, our late night host, Jordan Fox, is sure to regale you with tales of his adventurous road trip for PUSSY FAGGOT! NOLA. Performances by Lawrence Graham-Brown, Shane Shane, Clifton, Sick Cell, Nana Nazario, Z Collective and Neko (with the House of Old Navy).

DJs throughout the evening include Designer Impostor, Austin Downey, Chauncey Dandridge and Michael Paul, so you know that this is set to turn into a serious late night dance party!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paige Turner Talks About "So You Think You Can Drag" -- Finale Will Be October 26th

By Byrne Harrison

Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner has been working the NYC scene for the past few years - with a little retro flair and a whole lot of showstopping theatrics. She is everybody’s girl, not to mention the ultimate Barbie!

Her trademark phrase “Slurp!” has become an epidemic, and she currently headlines at Vlada, Stonewall and Splash. Her hosting skills have landed her with Logo, the Grammercy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, Pride, Fire Island and corporate events for Rite-Aid and Microsoft. Michael Musto of the Village Voice says “Paige is the Holly Golightly of drag,” and the NY Times says “Paige ALWAYS gets everyone to sing along.”

Paige is also the host of “So You Think You Can Drag” at New World Stages, showcasing the hottest new queens on the scene.

"So You Think You Can Drag" is coming up on its finale (Wednesday, October 26th at 10:30 PM). How has the competition been this year?

Incredible, we've had to turn contestants away. The response has been overwhelming, and everyone who has competed has come to win this thing! I'm very proud of everyone involved both onstage and behind the scenes.

Any highlights that particularly stand out in your memory?

I have to say what stands out is the dedication and the spirit. You know sometimes you forget why you do drag or maybe why you should be doing it. There has been a lot of joy and celebration this year in watching people not only improve each time, but consistently give it their best! It has really been about the performing and entertaining aspects this year.

Who will be judging the finale?

Cast members from Priscilla Queen of the Desert! How perfect right? Emily Mcnamara is our resident judge and my partner in crime throughout the season, and they will join her.

What can the audience expect for the finale?

They can expect a group number with me and the girls, lots of outfits and quick changes, not to mention show stopping performances from last season's winner and other special guests!

I think the audience won't know who to vote for because the final five will be in it to win it! There have been about a dozen girls competing weekly since the start, but we narrow it down to five for the finale.

How did SYTYCD get started?

The producers of New World Stages had an idea for a drag competition -- they have a very successful karaoke competition every year. I judged that and they started talking to me about hosting the drag competition. They brought in promoter Austin Helms from 21st Century Life and we started meeting and discussing how we can make something fresh and different and still celebrate the spirit of drag. Doing it in a theater venue really helps that.

What else is coming up for you this year?

Sleep hopefully! I was just nominated for a GLAMMY Award for Best Comedy Performer! These next few months will be crazy. I have several weddings I'm doing, my 1-year anniversary show for SLURP! at Vlada. Many Halloween shows, then I will be back at New World Stages December 10th for A Paige Turner Christmas with lots of guest stars and special performances. Very much like a retro Xmas TV special! You can find me at www.paigeturnernyc.com or sit on my facebook and watch my demo!

So You Think You Can Drag - Finale
Wednesday, October 26th at 10:30 PM
Lower Theater Lobby of New World Stages
340 W. 50th Street
$5 COVER at the door

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Southern Comfort" - A Polished and Nuanced Production

Review by Rob Hartmann
Cross-posted from StageBuzz.com

Southern Comfort (playing through October 29th at CAP 21 Theatre Company) is a new musical adaption of Kate Davis’ award-winning 2001 documentary about the life and death of Robert Eads, a transgender man living in rural Georgia. This polished and nuanced production has the relaxed and comfortable feel of an off-Broadway hit enjoying a long run; the ensemble cast, lead by Annette O’Toole in a striking performance as Eads, creates a world that feels authentic, lived-in and familiar.

The musical (like the documentary) follows Eads in the last year of his life, from Easter through the following winter. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, found it difficult to find proper medical treatment, as doctors and hospitals claimed their other patients would be made uncomfortable by his presence.

Although the gradual progress of Eads’ illness provides the underlying tension, the musical does not wallow in sentimentality or anger. Instead, the smart and understated book and lyrics by Dan Collins chronicle the close-knit community of individuals surrounding Eads, detailing their family rituals and traditions in tiny Toccoa, Georgia. Robert sings in the opening sequence of a backyard Easter celebration:

Family’s an iceberg we ride into the sea
The parts that break away we gotta lose.
But it could melt entirely and I know I’ll still be
Kept above the water by the family I choose.

Jeff McCarthy (as Lola Cola, left)
and Annette O'Toole (as Robert Eads)
Photo by Matthew Murphy
At the Easter gathering, Robert has invited his new girlfriend, Lola Cola, to meet his “chosen family”, who gather every Sunday: transman Cas and his wife, Stephanie (Todd Cerveris and Robin Skye); and Maxwell, a young transman (the impish Jeffrey Kuhn) who has a sometimes-testy father-and-son relationship with Robert. Lola (played by Urinetown’s Jeff McCarthy, in a sharp performance which evokes a mixture of Allison Janney and Anjelica Huston with a basso Kathleen Turner voice), is less comfortable in her own skin than the others. In one of the standout songs of the evening, “Bird”, Lola sings of her desire to escape her masculine frame and deep voice, as she strips away her women’s attire to resume her everyday male identity, John, proprietor of a heating-and-cooling repair shop.

In the song, McCarthy duets with a member of the band, Lizzie Hagstedt (also playing bass), whose pure soprano is what Lola wishes her own voice could be. Hagstedt and three other actor-musicians (Allison Briner on percussion, David M. Lutken on guitar and Joel Waggoner on violin) function as singing storytellers, occasionally stepping into the story in the roles of outsiders (primarily medical personnel and estranged parents – including standout work from Briner and Lutken as Eads’ mother and father, who stubbornly call him by his birth name, Barbara.) Astonishingly, they all play the score from memory (led by music director and pianist Emily Otto.)

As time passes, Lola becomes part of the circle, while Maxwell finds a girlfriend of his own, transwoman Cori.  As the group prepares to attend Southern Comfort, the annual Atlanta transgender conference, conflict arises between Robert and Maxwell over the younger man’s decision to pursue phalloplasty – what the characters refer to as “the bottom surgery.” The script delves into the conflicting opinions surrounding the procedure without becoming didactic.

ROBERT: This is crazy.  We always agreed that man or woman was about what’s in your heart and your head, not between your legs.

MAXWELL: Then why’d we start takin’ testosterone?  Why’d we get the top surgery? 

ROBERT: That’s just about bein’ able to function out in the open as who we are without gettin’ ourselves killed. We gotta pass.

MAXWELL: Well, I want to pass more.

ROBERT: So what does that make me?

MAXWELL: Ain’t about you, it’s about me.

ROBERT: Like Hell it ain’t about me.  You think what’s happenin’ to me – my cancer –  is just Barbara eatin’ me up inside cuz I ain’t real.

Being ‘real’ and what that means is one of the central themes of the story: in the CAP21 space, the audience surrounds the stage – throughout the evening, you are aware of watching the audience watch the performers. This awareness adds an extra layer of tension to the performance – underlining the constant stress the characters are under to “pass.”   Unlike some film-to-stage adaptations, the piece reveals itself to be innately theatrical because it is so much about the actors’ performance of gender, in every variation. This aspect of the show is distilled in the joyous and energetic second act song “Walk the Walk”, when Cori (a luminous Natalie Joy Johnson) leads a seminar on ‘Sensual Feminine Movement’ at Southern Comfort:

Cuz a girl ain’t what she’s wearin’
And a boy ain’t how he’s born.
You’re the moves you make n’ they gotta take you
Past the things you’ve worn
Cuz what a body is or not
Is just a whole lot a’ talk
You gotta walk the walk.

Annette O'Toole (as Robert Eads)
Photo by Matthew Murphy
The cast’s work is subtle, detailed and completely believable. Annette O’Toole, perhaps most widely known for her role as Martha Kent on Smallville, throws herself into the role of Robert Eads in a fearless and full-bodied performance. Her voice, throaty and clear, is well-suited to composer Julianne Wick Davis’ folk and bluegrass score. Davis, also responsible for orchestration, builds interesting instrumental textures, and sensuous, layered vocal harmonies. The music is at times restrained, at times soaring, finding rhythmic complexity in the folk idiom. Occasionally the density of the text setting makes lyrics difficult to catch on first hearing, but the joy of hearing natural, unforced and unmiked voices in the intimate space is worth losing a word or two here and there. Davis makes clever use of vocal ranges, often placing male and female voices in unison.

Robin Skye (as Stephanie, left)
and Todd Cerveris (as Cass)
Photo by Matthew Murphy
The costumes, by Patricia E. Doherty, instantly define character in their bulls-eye specificity, from Robert’s western-cut leather jacket with bolo tie to Lola’s Talbot’s-pantsuit ensembles; the warmly humorous Robin Skye as Stephanie wears Wal-mart pharmacy eyeglass frames exactly right for a particular type of Southern trailer-park gal whose culinary specialty is Snickers salad (“Snickers, green apples, cool whip and vanilla puddin’.  Secrets in the puddin’.  It’s gotta be instant!”) The hair and wig design by David Brian Brown, along with April Schuller’s makeup design, bring the characters to fully realized life, while never veering into Southern-eccentric caricature. The hair and makeup work comes into play in one small but moving moment when Cas (the low-key and affecting Todd Cerveris) shaves off his beard, as he prepares to visit the family who only know him as their daughter Debbie.

The set, by James J. Fenton, transforms the small CAP21 black box into Robert’s weathered porch and backyard. Shelves illuminated by small sconces filled with curios and bric-a-brac line the walls: closer inspection reveals that the objects are totems of masculinity and femininity (a toy truck, a ‘Skipper’ doll carrying case, a tobacco can.) In one subtle effect, the sconces light up during Robert’s song about his childhood, “Barbara”, illuminating actual photos of Robert Eads as a young girl.  (Careful observers will also spot a small photo of Eads as you enter the theater.)

The beautifully textured lighting design, by Ed McCarthy, manages to depict not only the Georgia sun in every seasonal variation from summer to winter, but also the unforgiving harshness of blue-white hospital lights for several crucial sequences.

Thomas Caruso’s fluid direction nimbly handles the script’s shifts from naturalistic scenes to documentary-style direct address, to the more abstract moments when the musicians enter the story as peripheral characters. The pace is leisurely at times, but does not drag: Caruso trusts that the small, nuanced moments of the story will hold our interest (which they do), and does not try to rush the story unduly.

Southern Comfort is also very funny: bookwriter Collins deftly punctuates the script with sly humor that feels true to the characters. The script handles the more emotional moments skillfully, never descending into oversentimentality or cliché. The show stealthily builds to an emotional climax: a substantial percentage of the audience was reaching for tissues to dab at suddenly-moist eyes. The message of Southern Comfort is universal and simple:

            Down with living your life under there.
            Up with spring.
            Oh, spring up everywhere.

With Southern Comfort, CAP21 continues their tradition of presenting intelligent and moving new musicals. One hopes that this production will find the backing it needs to make the transition to an open-ended run. This is a powerful evening.

Southern Comfort runs through October 29 at the CAP21 Black Box Theater, 18 West 18th Street. Show times are Wednesday-Saturday at 7 PM.

Tickets are $18 and are available through OvationTix or online at http://www.cap21.org/.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Matt Alber Hides Nothing For His Provincetown Debut

Interview by Greg Waagner
Photo by Rob Davidson

On Saturday, October 8th, the Crown and Anchor welcomes Matt Alber to the Paramount for his Provincetown singing debut. Alber released his solo album, "Hide Nothing," in November of 2008, an autobiographical and sentimental collection of love songs reminiscent of singers like Ben Folds, Iron & Wine and Imogen Heap, all of whom Alber counts as influences. Matt enjoyed five years, seven albums and two Grammy awards as a soprano in America's premier classical a cappella ensemble, Chanticleer.

As Matt prepared in Seattle for his first weekend in Provincetown, GT-NYC's Greg Waagner called from the Cape to catch up with the singer about music and life and the upcoming release of Matt’s as-of-yet untitled second album.

Greg Waagner: I won’t be coy, Matt. I think "Hide Nothing" is a beautiful collection of music, and I have no sense that I’m alone in this estimation.

Matt Alber: Aww, thanks Greg.

GW: Have you been surprised by responses to your album?

MA: Yes, all the time.

GW: How so?

MA: I’m surprised every time people show up for the concert, even after three years. I keep thinking this time it’ll be all over and no one will be there. But they do.  They keep showing up…and it’s great, and you all really seem to like what I’m doing.

GW: Matt, thank you. I heard “End of the World” for the first time at exactly the ideal moment for me to do so. I already had the breaking heart, but your song - and delightful video - made it okay to feel all the pain and complicated emotions while still shining that ray of sunlight on the hope for what would come after. The power of the song is that it comes from your own real experience. What’s it been like sharing something so personal?

MA: I wrote that on a bus in San Francisco, remember scribbling on a bank statement as it all came to me, notes, chords… and started to feel like it wanted to be a song. Maybe a good one. It’s been cool how this one song has introduced me to so many people.

GW: Did singing him the song get your guy back up in that giant balloon?

MA: What? Oh, it did not. It didn’t work very well in that regard.

GW: But what a song. Your music resonates with honesty and hope and seems to go hand-in-hand with so many great things we’ve seen recently: advances in marriage equality, the It Gets Better campaign, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. How does it feel to be some part of that, to be making the sort of music that you must have longed to hear as a gay kid growing up in Missouri?

MA: I’m grateful to have survived life as gay kid, to have grown up to be where we are now. I remember, as a little kid, watching a Superman movie and imagining what it would be like to be Lois, to be there in the Fortress and lay my head on a strong man’s chest, to fly with him. You’re right, there is this wave of momentum and it does feel good to be some part of it. It’s good to let young people know that they’re okay, that they have every right love someone, to hold hands. But it’s a little bittersweet, too. It’s exciting to be in the cities of change – New York, San Francisco, Seattle and so on – but in places not at all far away from those cities are other places where there’s nothing for the same kids, except maybe the Internet, with no protections or safety.

There’s a church not far from here that has a program called The Tower of Light, which is essentially teaching young homosexuals that they should “find their holiness” by rejecting what they feel, who they are. It’s outrageous. And I try to figure out why it works and I see how they can suck these kids in and prey on their fears and shame and such that comes of the dark places a young queer kid is still forced to go to find answers, which is usually some cruising spot or Internet sex hook-up website. And all the while they have to sneak around, because ‘it’s wrong.’ They’re told it’s wrong and shameful. And I’m not saying get rid of Manhunt or Craigslist or whatever, those things are fine for adults, but its too easy to click a button and say ‘sure, I’m eighteen’ and find yourself into something more than you were ready for.

GW: I seem to recall at a younger age I really just wanted to talk to someone who felt the same way about things as I did, somebody I could ask all kinds of questions of. Perhaps that’s one of the coolest things about “It Gets Better”, that it is – I hope – something that queer kids can easily find on the Internet that gives them some reason to believe.

MA: Yes, exactly. Dan and Terry hit the nail on the head with this. It Gets Better is so amazing, so positive. We need to keep creating more positive and visible, accessible safe places for young gay kids. We need to keep asking the question, how to make it better. Answering those questions and being part of the change, that makes better futures.

I guess we should be talking about the music more.

[It’s at this point the interviewer wishes he’d had the presence of mind to point out that we were, still, talking about Matt’s music, that he is already creating safe friendly spaces for queers young and old, with his songs about romance and love and heartache and holding hands, songs in which pronouns don’t need to be changed. Songs about self-discovery, like "Monarch," or gay history like "Beotia," in which he pays tribute to the Sacred Band of Thebes and in so doing reminds us there was once a strong and brave army of male lovers who can’t be erased from history.]

GW: Matt, I think we’re all lucky you’ve decided to explore a solo career, but you’ve spent so much of your life involved with chorale groups one way or another. Chorale singing is the sort of powerful experience that sticks with a person. Do you miss it? Are you singing with a chorus these days?

MA: Yes. Yes! I’m blessed to be able to sing with the chorale ensemble Conspirare - which means “to breath together” in Latin - in Austin, Texas. The group was started by Craig Hella Johnson, who brought me into Chanticleer back in San Francisco. In early December there’s a sort of non-Christmas Christmas concert: there’s so very much to celebrate in the season beyond Christ and we have a great time.

GW: Your show at the Crown and Anchor this Saturday is, I believe, your singing debut in Provincetown, but is this also your first trip to the Cape of Cods?

MA: Yes, finally! Ever since I saw the movie “Splash” I’ve wanted to visit the Cape. It’s where he meets Daryl Hannah. So often I’ve wanted to dive into the sea and the arms of a beautiful mer-man.

GW: So Matt, are you traveling with a Field Trip Buddy to Provincetown this weekend?

MA: Yes, my boyfriend’s coming along on the trip and we’re looking forward to it.

GW: What’s on your Must See/Must Do list for the weekend?

MA: We don’t really have a list. We’ll be on the red-eye Wednesday, so at first just a lot of recovery from that, but we’re looking forward to walking around and taking it all in, exploring the town. Saturday is the concert, so most of that day I’ll be rehearsing, getting ready for that. You might find us out dancing at some point.

What about you, Greg? Are you bringing a Field Trip buddy to the show?

GW: Oh, no. Not really. I guess I’m sort of comfortably single these days. But it has been about three years now since the End of the World, so I keep an open mind. For now I’m content to be in love with our whole tribe.

MA: Three’s a magic number, you know. Better bring that open mind on Saturday. Sometimes things happen at my shows, between the people who show up. I’m just saying.

GW: And are there still Field Trip Buddy t-shirts available through your marketing people (or suitcase)?

MA: There are only about ten left, sadly all Mediums. I promise we’ll do another run once we get the new album out.

GW: "Hide Nothing" holds such delightful diversity. What can we expect from the new album in November? Is there a working title?

MA: I have a couple ideas I’m considering. Maybe “These Tall Tales”…o r “Taller Tales.”

GW: T-a-l-e-s?

MA: Ha, yes. Or maybe “Atoms”.

GW: Like molecules? That’s kinda catchy… and there’s the whole homophone thing. Adams.

MA: …like Atom and Steve…

GW: Yah, like that. Can you tell us about some of the new tunes you’re most excited about, or are you all about building suspense for the show on Saturday?

MA: I do wanna try out some new stuff. I haven’t decided yet. If I’m feeling really brave, you might hear “Old Ghosts”. You may hear “Wallingford.” It’s a neighborhood in Seattle, where Dave Matthews is from. But it’s not about that, but an incredible date I went on there once…

GW: I can’t wait for the concert. What else would you like us to know, Matt?

MA: Whatever I call the new album, I’ll be releasing it on November 15th. Watch my website at http://www.mattalber.com/ for all the details. And come join us at the show in Provincetown Saturday night!

The Crown and Anchor presents Matt Alber: One Night Only.

Saturday, October 8th, 2011.
8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35/$25 and available online at http://www.onlyatthecrown.com/.
Preferred seating for Central House Dinner Patrons.
The Crown and Anchor, 247 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA.

(508) 487-1430

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Looking for something to do today?  Check out Noċtú, the dance performance that Judd Hollander of StageBuzz.com calls, "one of the best shows of the 2011-2012 season and one that should definitely be seen by all - and as many times as possible."

Check out some amazing photos from the show (Photos by Carol Rosegg).


Dancers: Jack Anderson, Peta Anderson, Ellen Bonner, Orlagh Carty, Joseph Comerford, Niamh Darcy, Gyula Glaser, James Greenan, Kyla Marsh, Megan McElhatton, Ashlene McFadden, Kienan Melino, Nick O'Connell, Katrina O'Donnell, Aislinn Ryan, Callum Spencer

Conceived and directed by Breandán de Gallaí
Lighting Design: Michael O'Connor
Costume Design: Nikki Connor
Original Music: Joe Csibi
Script Consultant Seán De Gallaí

Irish Repertory Theatre
132 West 22nd Street
Tickets: 212-727-2737 or http://www.irishrep.org/
Running Time: 75 Minutes

Closes: October 2, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

This Month's Title Photo

This month's title photo comes from Redd Tale Theatre Company's production of Will Le Vasseur's Gabriel.  It features Michael Wetherbee and Will Le Vasseur.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene Can't Beat At Hand's The Big "A"

It looked like The Big "A" had been bested by Hurricane Irene when the Fringe Festival's final weekend was cancelled, but Dan Horrigan won't be stopped that easily.  The Big "A" is getting one more performance on September 1st as part of the FringeNYC Make-Up Series.



Written by Dan Horrigan
Directed by Matthew DiCarlo

The Laurie Beechman Theatre

407 West 42 Street

Armed with only his wit, Dan Horrigan does battle with evil bosses, giant hairy nipples, sassy nurses, and living with HIV... all while searching for the perfect set of kitchenware. Come and find out if laughter really is the best (anti-retroviral) medicine!

From NY Daily News: "People have told me I'm funny," he says. "But what if I could make people laugh and challenge them by talking about something that's difficult. Being positive is a very different situation than in the '80s. But there's still shame and stigma. The story is about a person who is growing up and confronting things."

"Run, don't walk to see The Big "A"... Dan shares his story with passion, razor sharp comedic timing and gentleness." - nytheatre.com

"Dan knows how to hold your attention for 70 minutes with his amazing mixture of humor and heart!" - adamubellesquest.com

Tickets $15 plus food and drink! https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/871005

Writer / Performer: Dan Horrigan
Director: Matthew DiCarlo
Stage Manager: Shelley Miles
Lighting Design: Josh Bradford
Producer: Justin Scribner
Associate Producer: Nick Catania
Company Manager: Laura Wright

Redd Tale Theatre Company Presents Its Take on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in Two One-Acts

By Byrne Harrison
Reposted from StageBuzz.com

As part of their "Summer of Creation," Redd Tale Theatre Company breathes life into a pair of one-act plays inspired by Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein."

The first, Frankenstein With Mary Shelley, is an adaptation of Shelley's work by Virginia Bartholomew, who also performs the piece.  This outstanding one-person play has Bartholomew at turns playing Shelley, Victor Frankenstein and his Creation, as Shelley recounts how the story came to be and brings it to life for her audience.  Bartholomew is a versatile actor and seamlessly moves from character to character, bringing a remarkable depth to her performance.  Her tormented Creation is particularly moving and effective.

Ably directed by Redd Tale Artistic Director Will Le Vasseur, Frankenstein With Mary Shelley is a wonderfully atmospheric piece, dark and somewhat creepy.  Le Vasseur's set and Jason Richard's lighting for the show successfully recreates the feel of a dark drawing room where supernatural things are bound to occur.

Across the board an excellent play, Frankenstein With Mary Shelley will no doubt be brought back for future productions (and if that isn't already in the works, it should be).

The second play of the evening is Gabriel, Will Le Vasseur's take on the Frankenstein story.  In it Le Vasseur plays Henry, an exceedingly wealthy man with a scientific bent, who discovers an astounding secret in human DNA.  With the unwitting help of his colleagues Susan and Pierce (Cameran Hebb and James Stewart), he is able to leapfrog human evolution by 2 million years.  The result is Gabriel - not a monster, but like Shelley's original, something unique, out of place and lonely.  To add to the sense of otherworldliness, Gabriel is played by two actors; Michael Wetherbee, who performs Gabriel onstage and Michael Komala, who voices the telepathic Gabriel from offstage.  It takes some getting used to, but it is an effective portrayal.

Le Vasseur's Gabriel is intriguing and does a good job of bringing the Frankenstein story out of the age of electricity and reanimated corpses and into the modern era of molecular biology and space travel.  The exploration of the ethical implications of creating something so different and strange is fascinating and well thought out by Le Vasseur, not to mention his exploration of the bonding that occurs between creator and creation, between a lonely man and the lost soul that he has brought to life.

The acting in the piece is strong, with particular praise going to Wetherbee for his child-like Gabriel, and Hebb for her comic timing.  Michael Komala does an excellent job with a potentially difficult part (playing a disembodied voice is no doubt challenging).  Stewart and Le Vasseur acquit themselves well, as usual, with Le Vasseur doing particularly effective work with Henry's longing - whether it be for love or to create a legacy.

My only issues with Gabriel have to do with its length and the juxtaposition of this play and Frankenstein With Mary ShelleyFrankenstein With Mary Shelley draws much of its atmosphere from Gothic horror.  Gabriel is a much lighter piece, with dry humor and even some moments of farce (there is a wonderful bit of comedy between Hebb and Stewart after Hebb's Susan is accidentally put into sexual overdrive by Gabriel's telepathy).  This is a stark contrast to the creepy and intimate Frankenstein With Mary Shelley, and it is a bit jarring, even with the intermission between the two pieces.

But more to the point, Gabriel is a bit overstuffed.  Le Vasseur has a lot that he wants to explore in the play, and as a result some of the show, especially the love story between Henry and Gabriel, feels rushed.  This is not to say that Gabriel needs to be cut, rather that Gabriel deserves to be explored and nurtured into something larger.  I, for one, would like to see a full-length version of this play where Le Vasseur has time to fully explore his characters and themes.

With the loss of Nicu's Spoon Theatre, this will be the last full performance from Redd Tale this year (though I hold out hope that they will continue their one-off sci-fi movie festivals, radio shows, etc., until they find a new performance space), but they will be back with full productions in 2012.

Frankenstein With Mary Shelley
Adapted by Virginia Bartholomew
Directed and Edited by Will Le Vasseur
Featuring: Viriginia Bartholomew (Mary Shelley/Victor/Creation)

Written by Will Le Vasseur
Directed by Lynn Kenny
Featuring: Will Le Vasseur (Henry), Cameran Hebb (Susan), James Stewart (Pierce), Michael Komala (Gabriel's Voice) and Michael Wetherbee (Gabriel)

Set/Lighting/Website Design - Will Le Vasseur
Stage Manager - Brittany Ray
Assistant Stage Manager - Michael Komala
Poster Design - Graeme Offord
Ligting Design/Production Photos - Jason Richards