Sunday, August 09, 2009



For those who don't know me, outside the occasional mention of my novels, Band Fags! and Drama Queers!, I first came to New York in the mid-'90s to pursue a career as an actor. Needless to say, I didn't get very far, outside the occasional off-off B'way play, and serving Meryl Streep salad in the 1998 tear-jerker, One True Thing. (I'll say it again, she was robbed of her Oscar by Gwyneth!)

I've also participated in the New York International Fringe Festival, which kicks off for the 13th(?) season this week, and runs from Friday 8/14 thru Sunday 8/30, 2009. As always, the shows can be hit or miss, but who knows? Maybe you'll witness another Avenue Q before it hits the Great White Way. And, as always, there are a number of GLBT-themed offerings. So be sure to check them out!

Here's a sneak peek, courtesy of

"The Jungle Fun Room is a crazy mix of farce and drama. It's a comedy with big broad characters—actors who work children's birthday parties at the zoo—who get all shaken up with the arrival of a new kid on the block as well as the birthday girl's Oscar-winning mom. But the craziness is blended with a real, honest relationship between two old friends—one who has gotten everything she's ever wanted, and one who's continued to watch her (and life) pass him by. At the heart of it all, it's about that moment in your life when you come to terms with an old dream that continues to haunt you. It's about that encounter you wish for, you dread, and is ultimately necessary for you to move on." Written by Brian Hampton. More info here.

*Full disclosure: playwright, Brian Hampton, is a friend of a good friend, Kim S. Goldfeder, who happens to be in the show. I had a chance to see a staged-reading of this whacky play back in the early Spring. It was a laugh-out loud good time, and I'm looking forward to seeing Brian's revised script when its brought to life onstage.

"1-900-SELFPLEX dials into the imagination where the self is as slippery as the myriad stories constructing it. Alberta Lesalle is a 40-year-old woman who desperately wants to be famous. She's spent most of her life trying and failing to "make it" as a rock star, poet, and sex advise columnist—all while eking out a living with the help of her husband, a guitarist/recording engineer who, like her, keeps hitting a dead end. Her husband is ready to throw in the towel, but Alberta sees one last shot at recognition—by writing under the alias of her alter-ego: a transgendered, teenage boy." Written by Alex DeFazio. More info here.

*Full disclosure: I just realized that I also know this playwright, too. Alex and I took a writer's workshop together over the CBS soap, As the World Turns back. I know he's a Fringe veteran, but I'm not familar with this play. To me it calls to mind the whole J.T. Leroy scandal. I look forward to seeing how this one plays out.

"38 Witnessed Her Death, I Witnessed Her Love: The Lonely Secret of Mary Ann Zielonko (Kitty Genovese Story). The brutal murder of Kitty Genovese on March 13, 1964 shocked the world—38 people witnessed her murder and not one person called the police or came to her aid. Her death highlighted the apathy of a city. Forty years after Kitty Genovese's murder, Mary Ann Zielonko revealed her love affair with Kitty. I contacted Mary Ann who granted me a rare interview on which her monologue is based. In this play, I portray three characters who tell the story: the killer on the witness stand, the New York Times editor who made it front page news, and Mary Ann Zielonko who reminisces about Kitty, their love affair, the murder, and gay life in the 60's in New York City. A supporting cast of dancers from Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects portrays the 38 witnesses." Written by LuLu LoLo, based on interviews with Mary Ann Zielonko. Read more here.

"Dirty Stuff. What do a gay pimp, a blaxploitation movie diva, a spoiled Arab circuit boy, a trailer park superstar wannabe and a closeted gay boy have in common? Jonny McGovern plays them all in this shockingly un-p.c. one man tour de farce. Dirty Stuff sets the lives of these characters into loopy cartoon club crawl into a world where glamour reigns supreme and a fake Chanel bag is worth its weight in gold!" Written by Jonny McGovern, from The Big Gay Sketch Show. More info here.

"John and Greg's High School Reunion. Our show, at its heart, is about friendship and growing up. John and Greg, who've been best friends since high school, receive an invitation to their 10 year reunion. This re-ignites old passions, dreams and fears about returning to a place that was so paradoxically amazing and abusive Audiences can expect to laugh... and then laugh some more. And because John and I play all the parts, I think there are about 16 of 'em, it creates an added sense of excitement and anticipation." (Editor's Note: Plus, John and Greg look kinda cute!) Written by Greg Ayers and John Halbach. For more info.

For a list of all GLBT-themed shows at FringeNYC 2009, go here. All tickets are just $15 and can be purchased in advance online at or at the shows' box office. But remember, most of the venues are small, and they often SELL OUT. Enjoy the show(s)!

1 comment:

GuyDads said...

“Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party” by Aaron Loeb was a hit here in San Francisco earlier this year. Loeb is an amazing west coast playwright.

The show was presented at San Francisco Playhouse. It is done in 3 acts that look at same events from different points of view. At the start of the show the audience votes on the order based the titles of the acts: Power, Liberty, and A House Divided. (The playwright is also a game designer.)

The plot revolve around a son coming out in a conservative family and a "Star is Born" mentorship between an aging "good ol' boy" Republican and politically raising, conservative black woman who take each other on in opposing sides of a court battle. A grade school teacher is on trail for teaching that Lincoln was gay. Sort of a gay version of "Inherit the Wind."

The show is 100 times better than the campy title implies.