Tonight marks the final performance of David Dillon’s very funny play “Party” at the Footlight Theatre.
ORLANDO — The plot set-up for “Party,” the play now being performed at the Footlight Theatre in Orlando, feels familiar at first, vaguely similar to one of the earlier gay-themed plays, Mart Crowley’s “The Boys In The Band.”
Set in the apartment of gay roommates Kevin and Peter, there are drinks, chips and card games awaiting five friends who are coming over that night for a party.
As the play goes along, memories of “Boys in the Band” quickly start to fade — and it becomes abundantly clear how much has changed since 1968, when Crowley’s play was first performed Off-Broadway.
In that play, when a group of gay friends — and one straight man — gather for a birthday party, the snappy quips and clever one-liners eventually give way to a steady stream of revelations about how much some of the characters absolutely hate being gay and what it means to live in a homophobic society — so much so, that the play can seem difficult for modern gay audiences, and has been dubbed an example of “self-homophobia.” Whatever Crowley’s original intentions were, there were few if any discussions about gay liberation in that play. Continue reading
Mad Cow Theatre is now producing the popular Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q.”
ORLANDO — There was definitely a “Broadway” crowd at the Mad Cow Theatre on the afternoon I went to see their new production of “Avenue Q.”
More than a few of the patrons told me about how they had seen this very popular show on Broadway, in all its splendor. I stood out, in a sense, because I had never seen the show before. Several people, after I mentioned that fact, gave me an odd look, as if to ask if I had been living on Mars the past few years.
Although I hadn’t seen the musical before, I was aware of its reputation as a kind of naughty adult version of “Sesame Street” — although it’s hardly an X-rated version of that children’s program, as some have claimed. This musical in two acts, written by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, is more like shifting the Sesame Street concept outside of childhood and applying it to young adults — particularly twenty-somethings just out of college, now facing the harsh realities of a tough job market, having no money, and wondering if there’s someone out there who will decide you’d be a great person to date. The real world, as they say, is no picnic.
The show opened Off-Broadway in March 2003, then was transferred to Broadway within three months. It went on to win three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and ranks 23rd on the list of longest running shows in Broadway history. Continue reading
“Murder Sleep” opens on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival.
ORLANDO — Freeline Productions’ original thriller “Murder Sleep” won the Patron’s Pick award for its venue, and did a seventh performance on Memorial Day at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival.
The play, written by Michael Freeman and directed by Laurel Clark and Jim Cundiff, featured Steven Johnson, Mickey Layman and Sara Cutlip as three people staying at a strange historic hotel in Fort Lauderdale.
The play’s author and producer said it was a great honor to be among the Patron’s Picks this year.
“It feels terrific, especially knowing we went up against some great shows,” Freeman said. “But I also give a tremendous amount of credit to Laurel and Jim for their amazing direction, and to a superb cast.”
“Murder Sleep” beat out the competition in the Purple Venue (the Patron’s Room at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center) after a highly successful run at the 25th annual Orlando Fringe Festival, the longest running Fringe festival in the nation.
During its run, the play drew praise from area critics. Continue reading