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Introducing PrideLight: Our Spotlight on Theatre and Entertainment

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This week at TravelPride, we introduce PrideLight, your guide to recommended best bets in entertainment. Fall is a popular time for theatre companies to schedule season openings, so there’s a lot going on in almost every town across America, too much to cover in one pithy column. But this seems a fitting time to focus on some of the cities where foliage tours and the waning last days of outdoor amusement might take you hiking, biking, and exploring in the less urban centers. For example, Asheville and Richmond might not make the cut every week. While larger markets like San Francisco and leading LGBTQ-specific theatres will receive more consistent coverage, I’ll seek to guide you off the beaten path to seek out the best of regional and community theatre events that might not pique your curiosity at first glance.

The goal is exploration, after all.

Asheville, North Carolina

What: Carry On written and performed by Murphy Funkhouser Capps
Where: Asheville Community Theatre
When: September 29-October 1

Playwright Murphy Funkhouser Capps (great name, right?) expands on her award-winning one-act play with a new act and a fresh title. In 2007, Murphy Funkhouser Capps quit her job and hit the road with 500 pounds of luggage hooked to the back of her Subaru to take her one-act Crazy Bag on the road. The autobiographical one woman show about her journey from minister’s daughter to rebellion to redemption premiered at Colorado Theatre Festival and won numerous awards, including one recognizing Capps for her acting chops in the Festival performance and a nomination for Best Solo Performance of 2008 by the Denver Post.

Crazy Bag went on to rave reviews in Breckenridge, Aspen, Denver, Albuquerque, and Oklahoma City and was accepted into the 2008 San Francisco Fringe Festival. The journey brought her back to Asheville where her story began two decades before. Do not be repelled by the “community theatre” stigma that can sometimes haunt the small-town playhouses of middle America. This performance is a must see for those who love to discover that unexpected gem, and support original work by talented artists. The performance is one weekend only, and tickets are available at www.ashevilletheatre.org and range in price up to $50. The company website provides detailed travel and parking directions and advertises free parking after 6 pm.

What: Listen to This hosted by Tom Chalmers
Where: Asheville Community Theatre
When: October 26, November 30
What to do? You just missed Carry On at Asheville Community Theatre. If it’s a Thursday, head to the theatre for the 7:30 performance of Listen to This staged in ACT’s intimate black box space 35below every Thursday. Quickly becoming Asheville’s most popular series, actor/comedian Tom Chalmers hosts this collection of stories and songs from Asheville’s most interesting writers and performers, a fresh theme and new performers each week bring to mind a good old fashioned southern potluck. Fair warning: the show could be hit or miss depending on the featured artists chosen, but for an admission price of only $15, I’d say it’s worth the risk. The company encourages you to enjoy refreshments in the theatre but also cautions that seating is limited and punctuality a must, both for parking availability and choice seating (even for those with tickets in hand). Purchase tickets in advance at www.ashevilletheatre.org. Arrive and park earlier in the day and check out the Tom Wolfe Memorial, downtown shops, and other sites of the quaint downtown area.

Atlanta, GA

What: Atlanta Black Theatre Festival
Where: West End Performing Arts Center
When: October 4-7

A diverse lineup of artists drawn from around the globe to around the corner. The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival is “40 plays in 4 days,” hardly enough time to preserve and share the stories of the African diaspora. But whether you’re a lover of Tyler Perry, August Wilson, or world-class Black Art, the amazing shows and international vendors’ market will make this popular fall festival one of your favorite things to do in Atlanta. Don’t just pick a play; pick a DAY (or all four) and immerse yourself in a marathon of bold, exciting theatre. Produced by Micah 6:8 Media “a professional management company.”

Boston, MA

What: Faceless by Selina Fillinger
Where: Zeitgeist Stage Company at Boston Center for the Arts
When: NOW PLAYING through October 7
With especially positive reviews in The Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, Broadway World, and Boston Arts Review for its solid performers and the visual impact of its set designs, founder and artistic director David Miller has lead this smaller fringe company in exploring contemporary plays and rediscovering historic works for 17 seasons. In Faceless, eighteen-year-old Susie Glenn is on trial for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism, and recent Harvard Law grad and practicing Muslim, Claire Fathi, has been brought on to prosecute. Though pitted against one another in the courtroom, these two young women are fighting a similar battle to defend their morals, motives and religious freedoms in this riveting and timely new drama. An explosion of identity politics, questions of faith, and a face-off between two seemingly diametrically-opposed women drives this compelling narrative.
Faceless is presented at the Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts. Purchase tickets and peruse other upcoming Boston productions at www.bostontheatrescene.com. Tickets for Faceless are reasonably priced at $20. Count on having an intimate theatre experience in the 90-seat black box, expect thought-provoking subject matter, and enjoy excellent performances from the play’s two strong female leads.
What: Wicked Queer
Where: Boston Museum of Fine Art
When: Ongoing
While in Boston, also check in with Wicked Queer: the Boston LGBT Film Festival housed in the Museum of Fine Art, Boston. The group sponsors ongoing events and film screenings. Check the user-friendly calendar prior to your trip at www.wickedqueer.org for titles and showtimes.

Boulder, CO

What: The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson
Where: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company at Dairy Arts Center
When: NOW PLAYING through October 8

You may think you know Marie Antoinette. You don’t. You may believe you can outsmart Charlotte Corday. You can’t. You may have never heard of Olympe de Gouges. You will. In this irreverent, girl-powered comedy, these women live, die, and dare boldly in revolutionary Paris.
Producing Artistic Director Stephen Weitz shared his thoughts about the programming for this season “…as things were unfolding over the last eight to 10 months, we had some internal conversations about who we wanted to be in this climate.” This season, the company has assembled the most diverse ensemble in the company’s history. For the season debut of The Revolutionists, for example, BETC assembled an all-female production staff to complement the show’s all-female cast, and a majority of the plays in their 6-show lineup are written by women or persons of color. Tickets range from $20-$45 (most tickets priced at $36.50). The $45 ticket on opening night September 16 includes admission to the post-show reception. Purchase tickets at www.thedairy.org and investigate more about BETC at www.betc.org.

Chicago, IL

What: A Perfect Arrangement
Where: Pride Films and Plays at Pride Arts Center
When: NOW PLAYING-October 22

In Topher Payne’s comedy A Perfect Arrangement, it’s 1950, and new colors are being added to the Red Scare. Two U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, have been tasked with identifying sexual deviants within their ranks. There’s just one problem: Both Bob and Norma are gay, and have married each other’s partners and moved next door to each other as a carefully constructed cover. Set amidst the earliest stirrings of the American gay rights movement, madcap classic sitcom-style laughs give way to provocative drama as two “All-American” couples are forced to stare down the closet door.
This relatively new theatre company in the Chicago theatre scene is housed at Pride Arts Center. Pride Films and Plays, seeks to bring theatre to the Chicago area that is “essential viewing” for all audiences. The Huffington Post has called this, “A powerful and empowering entity.” Tickets are on sale now www.pridefilmsandplays.com.
What: The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier, music & lyrics by Joe Stevens and Keaton Wooden, book by GLAAD Award nominated writer/producer Jay Paul Deratany
Where: Stage 773 (Permoveo Productions)
When: NOW PLAYING through October 15
This new musical, set between 1862 and 1915, tells the astonishing, “timely, essential, insightful” and true story of “an amazing figure from [our]history” -The Windy City Times. In The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier, Albert Cashier is a Civil War soldier with a secret that resonates with today’s modern world. Detailing the soldier’s life fighting in more than 40 engagements during the Civil War, the musical follows Cashier through retirement and the onset of dementia, when a life-long secret was discovered: That Albert was born Jennifer Hodgers. Causing an uproar in the small southern Illinois community where Cashier lived, Cashier was prosecuted for impersonating a soldier, requiring fellow soldiers to return once again after 60 years to detail Albert’s heroism and life.
Stage 773 acts to embody the vibrant spirit of Chicago off-loop theater. The group strives to present excellent and affordable theatre and provide a foster home for emerging artists and creative groups. The theatre hosts various companies and acts throughout the year. See Bullets over Broadway or choose from a list of other current shows now playing. Tickets for The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier are $40. Visit www.stage773.org or www.theatreinchicago.com.

Dallas, TX

What: In the Tall Grass written and directed by Paul Kalburgi
Where: TeCo Theatrical Productions at Bishop Arts Center
When: NOW PLAYING through September 24
In the Tall Grass, produced in association with Transgender Education Network of Texas, follows the harrowing true story of the murder of Shade Schuler, a 22-year-old Dallas transgender woman. The community is left asking “why” and fearing who could be next. Told through the first-hand testimonies of trans women of color in Dallas, the world premiere of In the Tall Grass explores the circumstances which force many to exist in the underworld – ignored by society, cut off from support and legal systems.
TeCo Theatrical productions, an award-winning multi-cultural “oasis for the next generation” of artists, was founded in 1993. The company offers a full season of theatrical performances, jazz concerts, a speaker series, and year-round arts education programs. Tickets range in price from $12-$25 and can be purchased online at www.bishopartstheatre.org.
What: Hair: the American Tribal Love Rock Musical
Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni & James Rado
Music by Galt Macdermont Directed by Kevin Moriarty
Where: Dallas Theatre Center
When: September 22-October 22

Dallas Theatre Center is aptly named as it is truly the center of the Dallas Theatre Scene with a long-standing record of excellent professional entertainment. They just won a Regional Tony Award in case you missed it. If you’re a resident or frequent visitor, you already know about them. Granted, their offerings are a little more commercial, a little more mainstream, but this production is somewhat of a diversion for them and really caught my eye. People in red states are just dying to rip their clothes off, apparently. I was about to scroll on by until I saw this:

WARNING: This production will include Hippies cursing, smoking pot, getting naked, mocking societal conventions, meditating, taking LSD, flaunting their sexuality, celebrating their race, creating a happening, singing and dancing. Also, there will be audience participation. Consider yourself warned, and come to the Be-In.

Ok, so if you haven’t already seen Hair, besides just assigning you a failing grade in Musical Theatre class, I’m going to push you through the doors to see this production. Find tickets and more at www.dallastheatrecenter.org. (TravelPride is not responsible for any STDs you acquire during this performance.)

New York, NY

What: Fearless: Art in the Face of Adversity
A series of performances by LGBTQ artists
Where: The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center
When: Ongoing throughout 2017-18, Next event opens September 29

Artists at The Clemente created this series of works in direct response to the tragedy in Orlando and continuing attacks against the LGBTQ community. Connected by the theme of understanding and unity, these events are spread throughout The Clemente’s 2017-18 season. See Tjasa Ferme’s “The Female Role Model Project,” directed by Ana Marginaunu September 29-October 1. The artists describe it as a “scientifically enhanced multimedia-devised theatre piece built by an ensemble of female-identified artists about recreating modern female role models in the world of cataclysmic climate change, cataclysmic political change, and possibility of reprogramming our brains.” Check www.theclementecenter.org for other titles coming up in this exciting series. Admission is $15 per performance.
Since 1993 The Clemente has focused on “cultivation, presentation, and preservation” of Puerto Rican and Latino culture. Equally “determined to operate in a multi-cultural and inclusive manner,” the organization promotes artists and performance events that “fully reflect the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side and the city as a whole.”

What: Torch Song by Harvey Fierstein, Directed by Moises Kaufman
Where: Second Stage Theater at Tony Kiser Theater
When: Opens September 26

Torch Song takes place in 1979 in New York City. Arnold Beckoff is on a quest for love, purpose and family. He’s fierce in drag and fearless in crisis, and he won’t stop until he achieves the life he desires. Now, Arnold is back… And he’s here to sing you a torch song. The Tony Award-winning play that forever changed the trajectory of Broadway returns for a new generation.
Second Stage Theater produces an adventurous range of premieres, musicals, bold new interpretations of contemporary plays, and unique theatrical experiences from America’s most dynamic writers of the 21st century. Through the discovery of emerging talent, the commissioning of new work, and the creation of a training base for directors, Second Stage reflects the diverse city and the world we live in today and reaches an ever-growing audience through its Broadway runs, national tours and regional productions.
Torch Song runs 2 hours and 20 minutes including intermission. Ticket are limited and prices vary, so we recommend contacting the Box Office at 212-246-4422. The theater also offers student access tickets one hour prior to curtain to full time students and $30 under 30 tickets will be available in advance for patrons under 30 and for limited performances before October 19. (Valid ID required.) Find out more at www.2ST.com.
What: {my lingerie play} 2017: The Concert and Call to Arms. Story, Music, and Lyrics by Diana Oh
Where: Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre
When: September 27-October 28

What drives an artist to stand in her black corset in Times Square on a soapbox? It began for Diana Oh at 17 with her first shoplifted f*ck me bra. Over the course of this unfiltered and soul-baring, performance art event, Diana Oh’s personal collection of unmentionables comes on and off as she and her band ignite the audience to create a saner, safer, more courageous world for us all.
World premiere {my lingerie play} is a play, a protest, a concert, and an installation all at once. Through this concert-play, Diana and her band explore mainstream culture’s relationship to the body and the deep and complex dynamics that exist regarding sex and gender politics. This culminates in a genre-bending soulful rock and R&B concert-play and final installation of {my lingerie play} 2017: 10 underground performance installations in lingerie (as supported by the Venturous Theater Fund of Tides Foundation for 2017) staged in an effort to provide a saner, safer, more courageous world for women, trans, queer, and non-binary humans to live in. Tickets range from $10-$30 (preview performances) and $40 general admission after October 13. Rattlestick is on the cutting edge of art and theatre. Explore www.rattlestick.org to purchase tickets and find out more.

 Portland, OR

What: Hand of God by Robert Askins
Where: Triangle Productions (The Sanctuary at Sandy Plaza)
When: NOW PLAYING through September 30
Nominated for 5 Tony Awards including Best Play for its Broadway production, Hand of God is a must see. If you missed this dark comedy in New York, don’t worry. Regional theatres across the country are jumping at the chance to produce it. The plot follows Jason who finds an outlet for his anxiety through the Christian puppet ministry in a conservative town in Texas, but when his puppet Tyrone takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality of his own, Jason’s life is thrown into upheaval. Based on Triangle’s 27-year history and consistently positive reviews, expect a solid production of Hand of God in Portland. Presented in The Sanctuary at Sandy Plaza, Hand of God couldn’t be a better choice for this company that produces “rich stories told through diverse perspectives, particularly the gay perspective.” Audience members sit in church pews! A full bar and bistro with a limited dine in menu opens an hour and a half before show times and stays open after the show. The company’s website offers other nearby dining recommendations that range from Asian to American BBQ. There are two free parking lots and free parking on the street close to the theatre, a rare find in Portland. Tickets are still available from $15-$35 (no handling charge) and can be purchased online through the company website www.trianglepro.org

Richmond, VA

What: Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill
Where: Richmond Triangle Players
When: September 27-October 3
Hailed as the best professional theatre in Richmond of any style or stripe, Richmond Triangle Players is taking a big bite out of the queer theatre anthology in its 25th season. If you took a modern theatre class in college, you’re probably already familiar with at least one play by the illusive, reclusive playwright Caryl Churchill who is known for evading questions about her plays preferring that each audience member decide for themselves what “it” (fill in the blank) means. Graduate students could write tomes on any one of her plays. Cloud 9, the surreal, gender-bending, ethnic cross-casting comment on feminism, colonialism, and gender identity was decades ahead of its time when it first premiered in the 80s, but the show still feels futuristic to today’s audiences. This theatre fare is less for those seeking a delightful theatrical diversion, but more for those who love provocation, to think and to discuss long after the final curtain goes down. Look to be challenged, enlightened, dumbfounded, and entranced. You’ll wake up the next morning still thinking about the ins and outs of this one. Look for a feature column on this exciting company in TravelPride next week. RTP’s 25th season is well-chosen, thought-provoking, joyous, and balanced with a little something for everyone (everyone except Granny Kate, that is). Go to www.rtriangle.org for more information and to purchase tickets in advance.

San Diego, CA

What: Homos, OR Everyone in America by Jordan Seavey
Where: Diversionary Theatre
When: NOW IN PREVIEWS, open September 23-October 15
Founded in 1986, Diversionary Theatre provides quality theatre for the LGBT community with a vision for amplifying the next generation of LGBT voices. By exploring stories of what sets our culture and history apart, as well as stories that focus on LGBT people’s humanity rather than their sexuality, Diversionary bridges the gaps of cultural understanding. Homos, Or Everyone in America a new play by Jordan Seavey follows a Brooklyn couple attempting to navigate the complexities of contemporary gay life together. Hopscotching back and forth over the timeline of their relationship, a sensual, hilarious and compelling story of their bond emerges. This brave, new play confronts the lingering dangers and interconnected values of our nation, and the way our future may be found through our past. Previews began September 15 with a September 23 opening. Look for a feature on this ground-breaking company, the 3rd oldest continuously producing LGBT theatre in the United States. Diversionary’s decades-long track record of collaboration and new work development has solidified the company’s status as a leading queer theatre- a must see if you’re in the San Diego area.

San Francisco, CA

What: The Legend of Pink by Kheven LaGrone
Where: Theatre Rhinoceros at the Gateway Theatre
When: NOW PLAYING through September 30
GLAAD Media Award Winner Theatre Rhinoceros now in its 40th season and the longest running queer theatre in the world presents the world premiere of a new play The Legend of Pink, a local story set in West Oakland. The time is the late Twentieth Century. Drug wars rage and the lovely African American transgender woman, Pink, does her best to bring a bit of beauty to the harsh environment. But people are watching Pink as she tries to form a connection with a beautiful young man, and they don’t like it.
All shows produced at the Gateway Theatre (formerly Eureka Theatre). Tickets are $20-$40. Call the 24-hour box office hotline at 1-800-838-3006 or link to Brown Paper Tickets. If you miss The Legend of Pink, find information about future shows at this leading queer theatre company at www.therhino.org.
What: Dash Improv: An hour of free-form comedy chaos
Where: Un-scripted Theater Company
When: Saturdays at 10 pm
If you don’t get your act together in time to catch The Legend of Pink at the Rhinocerous, drop by Un-Scripted Theater Company Saturdays at 10 PM and enjoy all the fast, funny, fearless hilarity the company can jam into an hour for an admission price of only $10. The fact that this show is offered weekly is testament to the company’s depth of talent and audience demand. Un-Scripted bills the weekly show as “a seamless, spontaneous, and continuously morphing spectacle of excitement and laughs.” www.un-scripted.com

Seattle, WA

What: Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts
Where: Fantastic.Z
When: September 29-October 14
Named last year by Playbill as one of “15 Regional Theatre Companies Leading the Charge in Gay Theatre,” may I introduce Fantastic.Z. An artist founded and run company presenting quality theatre focused through a queer lense, Fantastic.Z’s presence in the national queer theatre scene has been growing in recent years. With a commitment to producing new plays in the Puget Sound area, the company produces an annual New Works Festival of 10-minute plays and also seeks out new full-length plays to be considered for its mainstage season. Upcoming production Next Fall takes a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment, and unconditional love. This timely and compelling new play forces us all to examine what it means to “believe” and what it might cost us. Tickets available www.fantasticZ.org.
When you see any of the shows on our list, please share your thoughts about the experience and the welcome you received. Did we get it right or miss the mark? Do you have a favorite theatre company or performing arts group in your area? Tell us about them!

Originally posted 2017-09-19 14:35:02.

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The Assassin Chronicles: Chapter 4 – Dreams of Dublin

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CONTENT ADVISORY:  Contains Strong Violence and Sexuality, Grisly Images, and Some Language

 

Smith had tried to stay awake all night, but the events of the past week had slayed him.

Edward knew it.  When he sat up in bed and saw his son sleeping upright, he decided that having another human being to worry about was simply not in Smith’s nature.  So, he took out a pen and pad from an oak drawer and scrawled a lengthy note on it.  He placed the note on his pillow.  With one last look at his boy, he crept out of the room as rays of sun began to settle on the floor.

That same sun brightened the lavish stateroom about an hour later.  Smith found the note before his butt ever left his chair.  He picked it up, balled it up, uncurled it, balled it up again, then finally smoothed it out to silently read it.

“My darling David,” it began, “This is all on me.  Years ago, when I left your father for a tall, lanky American girl, he was heart-broken.  I had just found out I was pregnant, but Susan wanted to be with me even still.  Love is a wonderful thing.”

If you were to look Smith in the eyes, you might see a small puddle beginning to form in one of them.  The letter went on, “Somehow, you’re father found out about ya.  That’s why he’s after us.  He wants the family back I took away.  Jeremy Wolf, that cunt.  Yes, I suspect him of digging up old secrets.  If that’s true, it’s better to part ways love, at least for now.  I’m gonna collect Susan – sorry you won’t get to see us renew our vows.  Love always, Edward.”

The Assassin showed his first human weakness; he headed for the bar.  It’s funny how cruise ship bars look no different than high-class dive bars.  It amused him, at least.  He sat down on the cold, gold colored stool, anxious to taste something eighty proof.  His lips almost quivered.

A gorgeous brunette bartender with an overweight, yet desirably curvaceous figure sauntered over to him.  “Scotch man,” she asked in a sultry voice. She called herself Tracey to some men, Mandy to others.  Tonight she was Trixie.

Smith was born in Ireland.  He hated it.  That’s why he did, in fact, prefer scotch to standard whiskey and nodded at his new best friend.

“Neat.”  Trixie slid the glass over.  It didn’t contain an ounce of ice.

Smith tried to laugh.  Instead, a horrific cackle eked out of him.  It was like someone trying to talk while choking on their own esophagus and it disgusted Tracey, er… Trixie.

She tried not to give herself away, but in this case that’s like trying not to fall right to sleep after fucking your brains out.

Kowalczyk just smiled, then tapped the glass for a refill.

Langley, VA; unlike Palm Springs, was nothing to boast about. Tourists flocked here every year in a misguided attempt to catch clandestine agents running in and out, heading to secret dangers they hoped to one day experience themselves.  Langley was actually filled with CIA paper-pushers – at least to outside appearances.

In the basement of the CIA headquarters, however, Wolf was clinging to life on a medical gurney.  My God, he looked like hell.  A surgeon continued chipping away at his bottom jaw, ripping out teeth and broken bone fragments.  He was restrained, but he was awake.  The screams coming from his exposed throat weren’t human.

Graham came in, Frankenstein admiring his creature.  “Wolf, you’ve never looked better.”

Wolf gurgled.

“I’ll keep this short.  You and your friends cocked up a perfect operation and you’re gonna pay for it, boy.”

Wolf tried to push the doctor away.  He didn’t have the strength.

“The end of that operation, to capture Fred Phelps, meant the end of my promotion to DDO.”  Graham leant over the table.  He put a hand on Wolf’s shoulder.  “Unless you get me Hans.”

Graham’s helpless victim just stared up at him, wide-eyed.  He shook his head side-to-side with great effort.

“What makes you think you got a choice.  You’re my dog now, Wolf.  My bitch!”

Still on the ship, a very drunk, former pro-killer zig-zagged across a side deck.  Smith was plastered and zero shits were given.  He turned a corner and was horrified at what he saw:  Four young men were breaking bottles over the most beautiful nineteen year old boy ever seen.  He had caramel skin, deep brown eyes, an oddly attractive sinewy build, and nice natural waves in his hair.

Something triggered in Smith.  He was back in Dublin , a very built-up city in Ireland.  This was his hometown.  It was idyllic and sleepy.  Aside from a few domestic IRA scuffles, not a lot happened.  

Unfortunately for him, he surely didn’t have the luck of the Irish.  Growing up gay was not something the IRA tolerated.  A group of them turned down the same street Smith had one day, and found him giving a special birthday present to his boyfriend.  In fairness to Smith, his killer instincts had not kicked in yet, and this present required him to be on his knees.  He did not hear anyone approach due to the moaning.

The IRA snatched him up by the neck, smashed a piece of glass, and slit the other boy’s throat.  They made Smith watch his lover bleed out in that alley.  When he finally passed, the gang still needed more fun.  They dropped the bloody piece of glass, crushed it into slivers, and forced them all into Smith’s mouth.  After making him chew them a while, they held his nose and forced him to swallow.  The mystery of his speech problems had finally been solved.

Even drunk and swaying on the water, Smith managed to plug each of the four men with his handgun.  He tossed the men overboard and helped the boy up.  It seemed he was a stowaway – his clothes had not been changed and his feet were dirty.  To return the favor, the boy helped Smith sway back to his stateroom.

His name was Nick.  It took a while before he opened up to Smith, but when he did, he was frank.  Writing back and forth, the two exchanged a few words about who they were.  Nick was a professional thief and bankrobber.  Switzerland had proved too challenging for him.

Right now though, he was in the shower.  Smith watched from the doorway, astonished at Nick’s total lack of boundaries.  The curtain was clear and Smith watched Nick soap every area of his body.  First his lanky arms, then his muscular chest.  When Nick got to his bare buns (of steel), he watched Smith watch him wash them.  They were so tight and firm; Smith couldn’t resist.  He disrobed, stepped into the shower, and shoved Nick against the wall.  Necking, kissing, groping, and when the foreplay was over, Smith opened Nick’s back door.  Nick grabbed one of Smith’s free hands and placed it on his lucky charm.  They got off together.

Smith had forsaken his values a second time.  This time, he prayed, he wanted it to last.

Neither knew that the cruise was nearing an end.  It was going to make port in a few days… in Tokyo.

FADE OUT.

I really hope you enjoyed this chapter!  Feel free to leave comments on ways you might like the story to evolve, and please continue supporting us at TravelPride.  We really appreciate it.  Thank you.  – Ryan MariK

Originally posted 2017-10-21 18:25:31.

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October PrideLight: Our Spotlight on Theatre and Entertainment

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PrideLight seeks to guide you off the beaten path to seek out the best of regional and community theatre events that might not pique your curiosity at first glance.

The goal is exploration, after all.

Atlanta, GA

Who: Alliance Theatre Company
Where: Dad’s Garage
When: NOW PLAYING – November 12

http://alliancetheatre.org/production/2017-18/hand-god#section–venue

HAND TO GOD: Regional and community theatres can’t wait to get the irreverent puppet comedy Hand to God on their stages. (We covered the Portland production at Triangle Players last month.) Described as “darkly delightful” (The New York Times), Hand to God – Tony Award nominee, and the most produced play in American regional theater in the 2016/17 season – makes its Atlanta debut. After the death of his father, meek Jason finds an outlet for his anxiety at the Christian Puppet Ministry.  Jason’s complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door, and—most especially—his mother are thrown into upheaval when Jason’s puppet, Tyrone, takes on a shocking personality all its own. Produced in association with Dad’s Garage and performed – appropriately? – in their new theater space in a renovated church, Hand to God explores the startlingly fragile nature of faith, morality, and the ties that bind us.

Alliance presents Hand to God at Dad’s Garage. Founded in 1995, Dad’s Garage is a non-profit comedy theatre located in the heart of Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. With award-winning improv comedy, scripted shows, and a fully-stocked bar, it’s a major part of Atlanta nightlife and a great venue for date night. Open Wednesday through Saturday, every week of the year, Dad’s Garage offers improv classes, theatrical plays, corporate workshops, private shows, video production, and more

More from Alliance Theatre in Atlanta:
Where: Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
When: NOW PLAYING – November 25

http://alliancetheatre.org/production/2017-18/crossing-delancey#section–venue

CROSSING DELANCEY: The play that inspired the hit film, Crossing Delancey is the story of Izzy, a beautiful, intelligent, single young woman, and her 80-year-old Bubbie, who is determined to see her granddaughter get married before she dies. Giving Cupid a nudge, this irascible granny hires a matchmaker and sets out to find her granddaughter the perfect mate. But will Sam, the neighborhood pickle man, be the kind of man Izzy has in mind? Performed at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s warm and intimate Morris & Rae Frank Theatre, this hilarious and heartwarming play takes a bemused look at the clash between traditional Jewish-American immigrant culture and the more modern aspirations of the next generation.

“The MJCCA is pleased to welcome the Alliance Theatre’s production of Crossing Delancey. This play’s themes of family, memory, and finding one’s soulmate celebrate and complement the mission of the MJCCA.” -Noah Aronson, Chair MJCCA Arts & Culture

The Alliance Theatre puts world-class work on stage, but prides itself as one of the most successful and respected acting education programs in the country. Devoted to theatre, arts, and arts education; Alliance has won awards for its work and advocacy.The company has become one of the leading theatres in the Southeast, creating the powerful experience of shared theatre for diverse people.

Boston, MA

What: 3/Fifths’ Trapped in a Traveling Minstrel Show
Where: South End/Calderwood Pavilion at Boston Center for the Arts
(presented by Sleeping Weazel theatre company)
When: November 3 – 11

3/Fifths’ Trapped in a Traveling Minstrel Show turns minstrelsy inside out and upside down in a blend of song, dance, video, and storytelling, at turns hilarious and terrifying, and sometimes both. A new piece inspired by Scruggs’ original 3/Fifths, which enjoyed a critically acclaimed NYC premiere in May 2017, this lean, mean theatrical machine features three high-voltage actors slyly performing this country’s racist history and ongoing need for dialogue and change. This show is dangerously fun!

Sleeping Weazel is a critically-acclaimed, Boston-based multimedia theatre company whose socially progressive, experimental work crosses and confounds the boundaries of “mainstream” and “avant-garde” as well as boundaries between art forms. The company has presented a dozen productions of original works and is currently a resident company at Boston Center for the Arts. They are also a member of the Resident Lab at Charlestown Working Theatre. Sleeping Weazel works from the premise that the best live theatre celebrates the ridiculous, the sublime, and the earth-shattering. Combining bold, experimental style with social justice ideals, the company motto, “Making Different Possible,” means “we dream awake” with audiences in Boston, and beyond. http://www.sleepingweazel.com/

What: A Guide for the Homesick by Ken Urban
Where: South End/Calderwood Pavilion at Boston Center for the Arts
(presented by Huntington Theatre Company)
When: NOW PLAYING through November 5

Huntington Theatre Company brings together rising star playwright Ken Urban (Huntington Playwriting Fellow) and director Colman Domingo, a face many will recognize from his starring role on AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead.” The Story: On his way home after a year in East Africa, a young aid worker goes back to a shabby Amsterdam hotel room with a fellow American. The two strangers look for redemption from their pasts and confess their shared fear that they betrayed the people who needed them most. A passionate encounter becomes a chance to confront the truth in this new play.

Performances run Tuesday through Saturday evenings with matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays. Approximate running time is 75 minutes with no intermission. Tickets range from $20-$85 with discounts offered for students, people under 35, and seniors.

“Ken Urban is one of the most exciting writers and most generous of human beings. The Huntington is a theatre where I’ve created groundbreaking work with Mary Zimmerman (Journey to the West) and with Lisa Kron (Well). What an exciting time to dive into the deep end of the pool with Ken’s latest work A Guide for the Homesick. A home that is built to examine our inner human struggles and global crisis. I am thrilled to be at the helm of this collaboration,” -Director Colman Domingo

Peruse other upcoming Boston productions and purchase tickets for both of the shows mentioned above at www.bostontheatrescene.com.

Previously Recommended in PrideLight:
What: Wicked Queer (a series of films with a queer perspective)
Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
When: Ongoing
Tickets, Titles, and Show times: www.wickedqueer.org

Chicago, IL

What: Hard Times adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens
Where: Lookingglass Theatre Company
When: NOW PLAYING through January 14

The Industrial Age is in full swing as the citizens of Coketown stumble through the smoke-choked streets. But when a small traveling circus comes to town, a ray of hope flickers through the gloom. Artistic Director Heidi Stillman adapts and directs this timeless, Dickensian tale of haves and have nots, toil and greed, beauty and hope.

The Lookingglass Theatre Company combines a physical and improvisational rehearsal process with training in theatre, dance, music, and the circus arts. We seek to redefine the limits of theatrical experience and to make theatre exhilarating, inspirational, and accessible to all. Recipient of the 2011 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, Lookingglass has built a national reputation for artistic excellence and ensemble-based theatrical innovation. Notable world premieres include Mary Zimmerman’s Tony Award-winning Metamorphoses.

It’s really not enough to merely read about this theatre company. Check out the visual feast of imagery and movement that Lookingglass typically serves up in Chicago. I’d recommend planning a trip to see this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=0cgK7SGdJzk

“Heidi Stillman—in her finest, most nuanced work as both adapter and director—has crafted a show of tremendous grace and heart, darkness and light. She has brought to life a Victorian-era epic that bursts with wit and whimsy, and all the outrage, hope, severity, and sentimentality of the novel.” – Chicago Sun-Times

Previously Recommended in PrideLight:
What: A Perfect Arrangement
Where: Pride Films and Plays at Pride Arts Center
When: NOW PLAYING-October 22
Tickets: www.pridefilmsandplays.com.

Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

What: Life Sucks by Aaron Posner “sort of adapted from Checkov’s Uncle Vanya”
Where: Stage West Theatre in Fort Worth
When: NOW PLAYING through November 12

Life is, like, really hard. It’s tough being the gorgeous woman desired by all but understood by none. Or the homely girl with a heart of gold. Or the middle-aged man insightful enough to see the cavernous depth of his own failings. A quirky and deeply human new installment in the Chekhov cycle in this regional premiere from the playwright of Stupid F*cking Bird – full of all the delight and charm that love and longing can inspire.

Stage West has risen from modest, storefront beginnings to a highly-respected place among American regional theatres. Over the years, the theatre has produced a wide range of works – classic American and world drama, Shakespeare, Shaw, contemporary Broadway plays and musicals, as well as new works by aspiring playwrights, including 12 world premieres.

Previously Recommended in PrideLight:
What: Hair: the American Tribal Love Rock Musical
Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni & James Rado
Music by Galt Macdermont Directed by Kevin Moriarty
Where: Dallas Theatre Center
When: NOW PLAYING-October 22
Tickets: www.DallasTheaterCenter.org 212-880-0202

WARNING: This production will include Hippies cursing, smoking pot, getting naked, mocking societal conventions, meditating, taking LSD, flaunting their sexuality, celebrating their race, creating a happening, singing and dancing. Also, there will be audience participation. Consider yourself warned, and come to the Be-In.

This show is getting rave reviews. Here’s a taste in this “making of” mini-documentary about Dallas Theatre Center’s Hair at the Wylie Theatre in Dallas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1YBOO_Pp1Q

Guthrie, Oklahoma

What: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Where: The Pollard Theatre Company
When: NOW PLAYING – October 28

You’re thinking, “Where in the world is Guthrie, Oklahoma, and why would I want to go there?” Believe it or not, there’s a thriving theatre community in the Oklahoma City Metro area, and this city has had quite a passionate love affair with Hedwig.

Starring as “Hedwig” at The Pollard will be Matthew Alvin Brown who performed the role in its self-produced Oklahoma premiere at OKC’s StageCenter in 2002, then soon after at The Nightingale in Tulsa, The Opolis (Norman, Ok), the IAO Gallery (OKC), and The Sooner Theatre (Norman, OK), then again at The BOOM drag club and dinner theatre in 2008. When a group of Hedwig aficionados decide you’re going to see Hedwig, it doesn’t matter how “red” your state is; you are going to see Hedwig, thus the Wig was introduced to Oklahoma.

A few years after The BOOM production, there was a growing fan base and enough of a buzz among Oklahoma Wig-lovers to bring the show to the Freede Theatre at Civic Center Music Hall. OKC Theatre Company did a two-week run of the show at the Civic Center with Brown, director Christopher Castleberry, costume designer Christopher Sieker, and most of the original band and cast reassembled including Renee Anderson as “Yitzhak.”

Brown switches seats and climbs into the co-director’s chair next to artistic director Jerome Stevenson in The Pollard’s Hedwig (with Tulsa Project Theatre). He’ll perform the role through the first half of the run, then hand off the Wig to local favorite Jared Blount for the second half. (Clever marketing, guys. Now, I’ll have to see it twice!) Get your tickets here: https://tickets.thepollard.org/. You can sit/dance/sway/fist pump next to me.

(Full disclosure: I live in Oklahoma and am darn proud of the arts scene here. People that persevere to make art – queer art – happen in middle America have to be a dedicated and passionate bunch. In other words, we like our theatre down here.) Expect an energetic, immersive, and passionate performance of Hedwig in Guthrie, but don’t wait to get your tickets. The shows typically sell out.

Now here’s the “where” and “why” on Guthrie, Oklahoma. Located approximately 40 minutes from OKC’s Will Rogers World Airport, charming Guthrie is the town that time forgot (in a good way…ok, ok… In some ways, admittedly). You are venturing into “red state” country, but be not afraid. Chances are, you won’t be the only fabulous person there.

While just over a century old, the state of Oklahoma and Guthrie (it’s Territorial Capitol) has a surprising selection of antique malls and boutiques that will tickle the fancy of pickers and collectors of every stripe. The historic town’s ongoing restoration efforts make its downtown area the largest Historic Preservation District in the nation. Take a trolley tour through downtown to find fascinating history, one-of-a-kind stores, and more than a dozen Bed & Breakfasts housed in charming Victorian-era buildings or in a lovingly restored Victorian home, some within walking distance of the theatre. Discover the diverse collections of Guthrie’s many museums, including the Oklahoma Territorial Museum.

The Pollard Bed & Breakfast is located next to The Pollard Theatre and consists of 12 beautiful guest rooms, each with a private bath and individual temperature control. This B&B is decorated with a Victorian flair and is filled with antiques and historic charm. The Eager-Hirzel building was built in 1904 and originally housed the Guthrie Savings Bank. The hallways and suites are full of beautiful antiques and histories of past influential people of Guthrie and Oklahoma. Check out, https://www.pollardbb.com/. If they’re booked or fall outside your budget, there are several other top-rated Bed & Breakfasts in Guthrie, and autumn is a lovely time to visit this part of the country.

London , U.K.

What: The Exorcist
Where: Phoenix Theatre
When: NOW PLAYING – March 10, 2018

Inspired by true events, The Exorcist is William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel, which captured the attention of an entire generation. Adapted into a highly controversial 1973 horror film, the terrifying tale is unleashed into the West End for the first time ever, in a unique theatrical experience that is bound to petrify London audiences.

Award-winning film and theatre director Sean Mathias leads the production, which is set to play at the Phoenix Theatre throughout autumn and winter. Widely considered to be one of the scariest stories of all time, William Friedkin’s two-time Academy Award-winning masterpiece shocked audiences into fainting, and went on to become one of the top ten highest grossing films of all time. After a hit season at Birmingham Rep, the majority of the original cast transfers with the production. Now, The Exorcist creeps on to the Phoenix Theatre stage for a strictly limited season, just in time for a very chilling Halloween.

Performances are at 8pm Monday-Thursday, with two showings at 4pm and 8pm on Saturday. Friday performances are at 6pm and 9pm.

Find tickets at https://www.phoenixtheatrelondon.co.uk/the-exorcist/ and see a glimpse of the terror here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bxlgo4X1JGk

What: Of Kith and Kin
Where: Bush Theatre
When: NOW PLAYING – November 25

Daniel and Oliver are about to have their first baby with best friend Priya as surrogate. They’ve turned the study into a nursery and the bottles are sterilized. All that’s missing is the bundle of joy they’ve been pining for. But when Daniel’s chaotic mother crashes the baby shower, the cracks in Daniel and Oliver’s relationship begin to show. Are they as ready for this as they think they are? Everyone knows you can choose your friends. Chris Thompson’s gripping new comedy takes us to the heart of what happens when we choose our family too.

The Bush Theatre co-produces Of Kith and Kin in association with Sheffield Theatre. Now in its newly renovated space, the Bush Theatre invites you to come for a drink in the Library Bar, discover plays in their Reading Room, or see a show. It’s a one-stop destination (for theatre nerds, but yes, for you as well). For tickets, call 020.8743.3584 Mondays-Saturdays from 10:00am-6:00pm. Bookstore is open until 11:00pm. Purchase your tickets here: https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/

Los Angeles, CA

What: Bright Colors and Bold Patterns written and performed by Drew Droege
Where: Celebration Theatre at The Lex
When: NOW PLAYING through October 25

Written and performed by Drew Droege (Drunk History, Bob’s Burgers, and the internet’s “Chloe”) and Directed by Michael Urie (Ugly Betty, Modern Family, and Logo’s Cocktails & Classics), Bright Colors And Bold Patterns is a riotous new solo play that storms the stage with ferocity and wit, called a “sidesplitting rant on gay marriage” and “hilariously expressive minimalist perfection” by critics (Annenberg Digital News, Stage Happenings LA) when it last ran in Los Angeles.

Josh and Brennan are about to get married in Palm Springs on a lovely Saturday afternoon. However, the night before becomes a drunken, drug-fueled scream riot, because their friend Gerry has arrived, furious that their invitation says “please refrain from wearing bright colors or bold patterns”. In the struggle for equality, what do we really want? What do we lose? And is there any cocaine left?

Celebration was founded in 1982 by gay rights pioneer and co-founder of the Mattachine Society, Chuck Rowland, and continues to provide a safe and supportive forum for professional and emerging LGBTQQIA writers, directors, designers, and performers, giving voice to the full experience of gay culture. And in the past decade, the theater has expanded outreach into its own community, offering educational and family programs, as well as partnering with numerous community organizations, like the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and Congregation Kol Ami. Over 30 years later, Celebration remains the only professional theatre with the mission of creating an outlet for LGBTQQIA voices in Los Angeles.

Bright Colors and Bold Patterns is selling out fast. Here are some other titles with tickets still available that are NOW PLAYING at Celebration Theatre So Long Boulder City starring Jimmy Fowlie, and The View UpStairs a new musical by Max Vernon. Explore various ongoing events and purchase tickets: https://www.celebrationtheatre.com/

If you’re headed to Celebration Theatre, here’s some helpful hints on parking and getting to the theatre: https://www.celebrationtheatre.com/faq

What: Head of Passes by Tarell Alvin McCraney directed by Tina Landau
Starring Phylicia Rashad
Where: Center Theatre Group at Mark Taper Forum
When: NOW PLAYING through October 22

An astonishing, deeply moving new drama about family, acceptance, and the power of faith from MacArthur “Genius Award”-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney (The Brother/Sister Plays, Oscar® winner for Moonlight), featuring Tony Award® winner Phylicia Rashad.

At the mouth of the Mississippi River, Shelah’s family and friends have come to celebrate her birthday and save her from a leaking roof. But in this contemporary parable inspired by the Book of Job, unexpected events turn the reunion into the ultimate test of faith and love. As her world seems to collapse around her, Shelah (Rashad) must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s greatest challenges in this poetic and piercing new play.

As one of the nation’s most influential nonprofit theatre companies, Center Theatre Group proudly continues a 50-year tradition of using the art of theatre to broaden horizons and illuminate new perspectives.

Find tickets ranging from $20-$99 for Head of Passes at Mark Taper Forum: https://www.centertheatregroup.org/

New York

What: KPOP conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim,
book by Jason Kim, music and lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon
Where: Ars Nova at A.R.T
When: NOW PLAYING in an extended run through October 21

Have you been sitting on a plane all day on your way to New York? Does the thought of sitting in a theatre seat make you want to run? Ars Nova has the antidote. This show moves, and so will YOU! Ars Nova presents the world premiere of KPOP, and promises that America will never be the same. Inviting you into an immersive performance with the Korean pop music factory where stars are made…and broken, they describe the show as an “all in” experience. Zachary Stewart of Theatremania calls KPOP “the most ambitious off-Broadway musical of the year.”

Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Dubbed by The New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work. Ars Nova has been honored with an OBIE Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work.

Ars Nova want you to be aware of the following:
-All audience members will be standing, walking, and climbing stairs. We strongly suggest wearing comfortable shoes.
-For your convenience and the safety of the performers, there will be a mandatory, complimentary coat-check.
-There is no late-seating or re-entry. Please arrive early, use the restroom and take advantage of the cheapest drinks in midtown!
-KPOP is wheelchair accessible. If you require accessible seating or have mobility issues, please purchase Wheelchair Accessible tickets. Please note, there is no Transfer Arm Seating for this production. If you have questions about accessibility, please reach out to Christopher Pritchard.

The show runs 2 hours 30 minutes with an intermission. Shows are Mondays through Wednesdays at 7:00, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00, and check to see if a 3:00 pm matinee is offered during your NYC excursion. Tickets are $25-$100. Buy them at http://arsnovanyc.com/KPOP. If the show is sold out online, don’t despair. Ars Nova wants to fill the house each night and get as many people in to see this show as possible. “Stand by” tickets are typically available. The Waitlist forms outside the theater every night to scoop up the seats vacated by cancellations and no-shows. Thirty minutes prior to every performance, names are taken in the order of the line. First come, first serve, and no guarantees. (Worth the risk in my opinion. If you get through the door on this hot ticket, can I be your date?) Starting October 9, Ars Nova is holding 10% of the house at $25 for audiences under 30 years of age. No advance sales on this deal, so show up early ready to line up and grab yours at least 30 minutes prior to curtain.

What: Jesus Hopped the “A” Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis
Where: Signature Theatre (Irene Diamond Stage)
When: NOW PLAYING through November 12

Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Adly Guirgis (Between Riverside and Crazy) begins his Residency at Signature with a new production of his darkly comic meditation on redemption and faith, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, directed by Obie Award-winner Mark Brokaw. Angel Cruz is a 30-year-old bicycle messenger awaiting trial for the death of the leader of a religious cult. Inside Rikers Island, a terrified Angel is befriended by a charismatic serial killer named Lucius Jenkins. Lucius has found God and been born again, and now, Angel’s life and the course of his trial will be changed forever.

Signature Theatre  invites you to a chat after the show with the cast and creative team about their process creating the production on October 12, 12; November 7, 9. On November 5, at 4:30pm, come together with fellow audience members to discuss the play with each other. Have your questions answered, explore the play’s themes, and discover where the conversation leads you!

Find tickets and read about upcoming shows at Signature.

Previously Recommended in PrideLight:
What: Fearless: Art in the Face of Adversity
A series of performances by LGBTQ artists
Where: The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center
When: Ongoing throughout 2017-18
Tickets: Check www.theclementecenter.org for upcoming titles in this exciting series. Admission is $15 per performance.

What: Torch Song by Harvey Fierstein, Directed by Moises Kaufman
Where: Second Stage Theater at Tony Kiser Theater
When: NOW PLAYING
Tickets: 212-246-4422
The theater offers student access tickets one hour prior to curtain to full time students and $30 under 30 tickets will be available in advance for patrons under 30 and for limited performances before October 19. (Valid ID required.) Find out more at www.2ST.com.

What: {my lingerie play} 2017: The Concert and Call to Arms. Story, Music, and Lyrics by Diana Oh
Where: Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre
When: NOW PLAYING through October 28
Tickets: $40 general admission. Explore www.rattlestick.org to purchase tickets and find out more.

Portland, OR

What: Insignificance by Terry Johnson
Where: Defunkt Theatre Company
When: NOW PLAYING – November 18

Award winning playwright Terry Johnson imagines a 1950’s hotel room in which The Scientist and The Actress (who look suspiciously like Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe) meet and discuss the universe, guilt, regret, America, and the meaning of life. They are interrupted by two Joes: The Senator and The Ballplayer (looking an awful lot like McCarthy and DiMaggio), who bring with them the menace and mayhem of the outside world. Co-Artistic Director Andrew Klaus-Vineyard follows last year’s celebrated production of HIR with this searing evening of theater that the London Independent says “transports us to the birth of celebrity culture” and “has a rare quality of timelessness about it” that has grown timelier with age.

Known for imaginative productions of bold, provocative material, Defunkt is Portland’s destination for theater that makes you think and feel and talk about afterwards. The Oregonian described their 2010-11 season as “fearless and unflinching” and writes “Defunkt Theatre reminds us why risky theatre is worth our time,” while Kevin M. Thomas (San Francisco Examiner) says “If you want exciting theatre in Portland, I would race right now and get tickets to Defunkt Theatre.”

Located in the heart of the vibrant and historic Hawthorne district (with an entrance located inside Common Grounds Coffee Shop) , Defunkt is a distinct presence in Portland’s arts community. No other company offers more to the public at such a low cost. With a deep belief and commitment to the idea that theatre should be accessible to all, Defunkt recently embarked on its first “Pay-What-You-Will” season, but you can reserve tickets here: http://www.defunktheatre.com/show-seats/

San Diego, CA

Previously recommended in PrideLight:
What: Homos, OR Everyone in America by Jordan Seavey
Where: Diversionary Theatre
When: NOW PLAYING thru October 15
Tickets: www.diversionary.org
This show is getting great reviews, so if you’re in San Diego this weekend, put this at the top of your “to do” list.

San Francisco, CA

What: The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Where: Davies Symphony Hall
When: October 31, 8:00pm

Kicking off a long-awaited eight-city tour, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra are headed to the States for a soulful series of concerts that calls for peace in this unsteady world. Conducted by its Music Director for Life Zubin Mehta, and exciting triple program awaits patrons at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. (Click the link for tickets to this and other music events at Davies Symphony Hall.)

The concert kicks off with noted film composer Amit Poznansky’s Footnote Suite, followed by Beethoven’s celebrated Symphony No. 3 Eroica, which has remained one of his most popular works. Next will be Ein Heidenieben by Johann Strauss. The program features Grammy Award-winning Israeli-American pianist Yefim Brohfman.

Formed in 1936 at a time when many Jewish musicians were being ejected from European orchestras, its inaugural performance took place in Tel Aviv in December of that year.

Tickets range from $124 – $260. Helpful hints on getting to Davies Symphony Hall and parking.

Previously Recommended in PrideLightDrop by Un-Scripted Theater Company Saturdays at 10:00pm and enjoy all the fast, funny, fearless hilarity the company can jam into an hour for an admission price of only $10. The fact that this show is offered weekly is testament to the company’s depth of talent and audience demand. Un-Scripted bills the weekly show as “a seamless, spontaneous, and continuously morphing spectacle of excitement and laughs.” www.un-scripted.com

When you see any of the shows on our list, please share your thoughts about the experience and the welcome you received. Did we get it right or miss the mark? Do you have a favorite theatre company or performing arts group in your area? Tell us about them!

Read last month’s PrideLight.

 

Originally posted 2017-10-19 16:35:23.

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Entertainment

Interview with New York Time Best Selling Author Mackenzi Lee

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LGBT novels are a tricky nut to crack. They are either a tragedy, a coming out story, or both. And bisexuality or asexuality? Well, you’re better off looking for the entrance to Hogwarts than finding a story that isn’t littered with the words “I don’t believe in labels” or “confused.”

Maybe that’s why Mackenzi Lee’s newest novel A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is like a breath of fresh air for an audience desperate for diversity away from tragedy. A Gentleman’s Guide is set in the 1700’s and stars Henry “Monty” Montague, professional family disappointment and first-class rake, who goes on a Grand Tour of Europe with his biracial best friend and not-so-secret crush, Percy, as one last blowout before Monty is subjected to a closeted life running his strict father’s estate. Tagging along with them is Monty’s smart but sour-puss sister, Felicity. Shenanigans ensue.

This book is equal parts light YA romp and a deep, heartbreaking book that leaves the reader laughing on one page and crying on the next. Beneath the cheesy surface lies a hidden depth of a multitude of issues not covered by most YA novels. It deals with topics such as bisexuality, race issues, feminism, chronic illness/loving someone who is chronically ill, and just how hard it is to make good when you feel like you’ve screwed up your whole life. In a book that’s marketed as a tropey novel, it actually breaks all the tropes of the stereotypical YA novel, creating something both beautiful and real.

I had the absolute honor and privilege to be able to interview New York Times Best Selling author and Bad Ass Babe Mackenzi Lee about A Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue, as well as her upcoming book Bygone Badass Broads coming out in March. She is also currently working on a follow up to GGTVV called A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy.

Your book is a beautiful blend of a light YA romance and deeply felt heart-tugging novel; did you have a certain tone you were trying to hit when writing or did you simply let your book guide you?

The seriousness of it really caught me off guard—it kind of snuck up while I was writing my fun adventure novel, but felt so organic to the story that I ended up making room for it. I always wanted the novel to be fun and light and tropey and have a no-holds-barred happy ending for the queer characters, but the undercurrents of pain started to rise to the surface the deeper I dove into the characters and that fun plot. Leaning into that really made the book what it is.

GGTVV has a lot of a representation from LGBT, biracial, and mentally ill characters, and now an asexual character. Because your book is so diverse do you think a book like this would have been published ten or twenty years ago?

Heck no. I didn’t think it would be published four years ago, when I started working on it, and all jacket copy for queer books was still using coded language, “But then he develops a special bond with a special friend….” So much foundation has been laid by amazing queer writers in the last ten years who I owe the success of this book to.

You said in the past that this book was inspired by your own grand trip through Europe. What was your favorite part of the trip, and did any aspect of your trip make it into your book?

The itinerary in the book is based around my favorite places I went in Europe, so none of my tour stories are in there, but the places they visit are very much from my tour. I have a lot of memories from traveling—a lot of bad decisions you can only make when you’re broke and nineteen and living out of a backpack. But it was an amazing experience. My favorite part of the trip was getting outside the small community I had grown up in and being exposed to so many different people and places. It’s cheesy, but oh man were my horizons broadened.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Balancing historical details, attitudes, and context with a storyline and characters that would be relatable to modern readers.

What character in GGTVV are you most similar to you, and what character do you relate to the most in any media?

Oh man, it’s not very flattering, but Monty and I are very, very similar. We’re both super insecure narcissists who don’t always feel like we are enough for the people we love, make bad decisions, and use humor to avoid dealing with conflict. We are also both bisexual, late sleepers and have a tendency toward the dramatic (and little sisters who are much smarter than us). Though our vices are very different—he has his booze, I have my Diet Coke.

In general, I’m a pretty solid amalgamation of Liz Lemon from 30 Rock, Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Oliver Wood from Harry Potter.

October is LGBTQ History month. As a former history major and the author of the upcoming Bygone Badass Broad book, tell us your favorite LGBTQ history fun fact.

In the 1700s, the English were exporting female prostitutes to the pirate islands in the Caribbean to attempt to get the male pirates to stop getting it on with and marrying each other.

Will some of the characters from GGTVV appear in a Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy?

Yes! Monty and Percy will be making out in the background of every scene.

   If the Characters from GGTVV lived in the Harry Potter-verse, what would their Hogwarts houses be (also what’s your Hogwarts house)?

I’m a Ravenclaw! And so is Felicity. Percy is definitely a Hufflepuff, and I think Monty, much like Harry, could do well in Gryffindor or Slytherin. Depends on what part of the book we’re at when he’s sorted.

What is your favorite line from GGTVV?

“If the good lord didn’t want men to play with themselves, we’d have hooks for hands.”

Still not sure how no one made me cut that.

Bisexuality is an often underrepresented sexuality both in the media and in the LGBTQ community. What kinds of responses have you gotten from the community about Monty’s bi-ness and what advice to do have for other authors writing bisexual or asexual characters?

It’s been an incredible response—so many people have reached out to tell me how amazing it is not just to see their underrepresented sexualities on the page, but also in a historical adventure novel, where most plotlines about queer people are tragic and minor. I’d tell other authors to not shy away from writing characters on the LGBTQIA spectrum, but make sure you’re doing your homework and learning all you can and listening to the community.

You can buy a signed copy of A Gentleman Guide to Vice and Virtue here and follow her twitter here.

Originally posted 2017-10-19 16:13:08.

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