At The Flash by Sean Chandler and David Leeper, Woodland Hills, CA
At The Flash is a multi-character history of a fictitious gay bar
called The Flash as seen through the eyes of five specific, yet
universal characters whose stories are told through a series of
inter-woven scenes representing LGBT history from the 1960s to today.
One actor plays all the roles in this theatrical tour-de-force.
Sean Chandler and David Leeper, legally married since 2008, reside in
Woodland Hills, CA. Together and separately, their additional scripts
include Kissing the Frog Prince, Radical Morality, Everyday Joseph, Make
Mine a Double, and The Pack.
Hello Norma Jeane by Dylan Costello, London, UK
Joe has his life turned upside-down when his grandmother admits her
deepest secret - that she is in fact Marilyn Monroe, coming out of
hiding 50 years after faking her death in 1962. Can Joe really be the
gay grandson of Marilyn Monroe? Joe's search for the truth, his
self-worth, and his love for his grandmother are tested to the limit in
this funny drama that is full of surprises.
Native Londoner Dylan Costello is a screenwriter and playwright. His
debut movie Coronado is currently in pre-production in Hollywood and his
first two plays were produced in London in 2010. His short climate
change film Edge of Existence was also shown at the Copenhagen Climate
Change Summit in December 2009
Lost in History by Adam Siegel, Maplewood, NJ
In Lost in History, we meet Ben Goldfarb, a man who is caring for his
demanding father while trying to have a baby through a surrogate. When
his father gets a new roommate at the nursing home where he is living,
Ben learns it is Isaac Strauss - the famous psychiatrist and Holocaust
survivor. What will Ben learn about his father, about Isaac, and about
himself in this new powerful new drama of family and history?
Adam Siegel is the author of several plays, including The Legacy,
winner of the 2008 New Play Festival at South Carolina's Centre Stage.
In addition, the play has had readings at regional theaters around the
country and was a semifinalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference.
Mr. Teddy by George Smart, Quincy, MA
Teddy explores the sexy and complex dynamics of a long-term
relationship between three men who are a part of the gay subculture
where role playing is the norm and a way of life. 'Daddies' Alex and
Marc have enjoyed 10 years together with their 'son' Teddy, until their
friend Joan instigates a confrontation that tests the very definition of
George Smart, a Boston based playwright, enjoys exploring the world
as seen from a gay perspective in his writing. Produced 10 minute plays
include IDWYT, Bottom And The Big Bad Bat, You Don't?, and It Doesn't.
Full length plays include A Dog and His Boys and Charlote's Crossing.
Under A Rainbow Flag by Leo Schwartz, Chicago, IL
Navy Medical Corpsman Jon Philips finds himself in the company of
other gay men, both stateside and on the battle field in World War II.
As we follow Jon and his friends from 1943 to 1951, we learn of love,
joy, and loss in this brand-new musical. Under A Rainbow Flag is based
on actual events in the life of Navy corpsman, Jon Philips, resident of
Evanston, Illinois, and is the first musical to be named a finalist in
Leo Schwartz is a multi-award winning composer of Musical Theatre,
Film, Concert Music, and Jazz. In 2011, he won a Gold Medal for Film
Scoring at the Park City Film Music Festival. His works have been
performed Off-Broadway, in Europe, on the radio, and in concert halls
across the United States. www.leoschwartz.com
2011 GAY PLAY WEEKEND
All five works will be featured in a festival of staged readings
at the Hoover-Leppen Theater in the Center on Halsted in March
Chicago, IL - Five new plays featuring GLBT characters or themes have
been selected as the finalists in the first Great Gay Play Contest
sponsored by Pride Films and Plays. All five scripts will be performed
in a festival of staged readings March 3 Â– 6, 2011, at the
Hoover-Leppen Theater at the Center on Halsted in Chicago.
The five finalists are:
False Reality by Joe Lauderdale, Los Angeles, CA
Learn To Be Latina by Enrique Urueta, San Francisco, CA
Save the Date by Tyler Dean, Chicago, IL
Short Expanse by Corinne J. Kawecki, Chicago, IL
The Times by Mark S. Watson, Key West, FL
The final judging in the contest is being done by an esteemed panel of
directors and artistic directors including Marshall W. Mason, Jason
Moore, Doug Finlayson, Patricia Kane, Jeremy Cohen, Patrick Trettenero,
Brian Fonseca, and others.
The five final scripts will be
presented in a festival of staged readings at the Hoover-Leppen Theater
in Center on Halsted, Chicago, on the weekend of March 3 Â– 6, 2011.
Details of the performance schedule will follow.
thrilled to be assisting with the development of fresh GLBT work,Â” says
Pride Films and Plays Executive Director David Zak. Â“We believe that
all of these scripts are ready to be given serious consideration for
productions at theaters across the country for next season.Â”
Here are the five synopses and authorsÂ’ bios :
False Reality, by Joe Lauderdale, Laguna Beach, CA
To deal with his difficult family, Trevor has created a fictional
identical twin Aidan whose life is much better. But Kyle falls for Aidan
and their intense, tender, romantic relationship is full of good
intentions and fraught with mistakes. When TrevorÂ’s fiction and reality
collide, the relationship is tested in a terrifying moment of truth in
Joe LauderdaleÂ’s new drama.
Joe Lauderdale was the Youth
Theatre Director at the Laguna Playhouse for 17 years. He directed or
produced more than 70 productions for both adults and youth. His stage
adaptation of Cut, the story of a teenage girl dealing with self-injury,
received wide acclaim and his production of The Wrestling Season was
presented for a GLAAD Los Angeles special event.
Learn To Be Latina, by Enrique Urueta, San Francisco, CA
In Enrique UruetaÂ’s irreverent new comedy, Hanan Mashalani is
beautiful and talented, but she's Lebanese and that just doesn't a pop
star make. As she's made over by FAD records to be the next Latin
bombshell, she falls in love with an actual Latina. She struggles to
maintain the image everyone expects her to be, which ultimately tests
her relationship and her own identity.
Enrique Urueta lives in
San Francisco and is the author of the plays The Danger of Bleeding
Brown, Forever Never Comes, and Get Your Troy On. He has a BA in theatre
from The College of William & Mary and a MFA in playwriting from
Save the Date by Tyler Dean, Chicago, IL
Today is the biggest day of wedding coordinator Bradford Curtis'
career. Not only is he the best man, but the mother of the bride happens
to be the editor-in-chief of one of the nation's most prestigious
wedding magazines. When someone from the groom's past shows up with
intentions of stopping the wedding, it's up to Bradford to make sure
everything goes as planned. With mistaken identities, plenty of chases,
and double entendres galore, Save the Date is Tyler DeanÂ’s modern twist
on a classic farce.
Dean is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, and sketch comedian. He is a
Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. His newest play
Run-of-the-Mill is receiving its world premiere production in Chicago in
Short Expanse by Corinne J. Kawecki, Chicago, IL
ItÂ’s 1997 and ChloeÂ’s 10th birthday. Lydia, ChloeÂ’s swim coach and
neighbor, and Colleen, LydiaÂ’s partner of 8 years, have thrown a
costume party to celebrate. David, their friend, and Star, ChloeÂ’s
mom, are in attendance. A happy time Â… or is it? Revelations abound
and the past changes the future forever in KaweckiÂ’s new drama.
Corinne J. KaweckiÂ’s plays, A Bridge to Something, The Moon, the Lake
and Fire, Demons and Monsters, Serious, The Interview, Wishes, and
Lesbian Nightmare, have been produced in cities across the country
including Chicago, New York, Santa Ana, CA, and Baton Rouge, LA. Corinne
is a Network Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a Member of the
The Times by Mark S. Watson
Noah is reunited after 10 years with his college sweetheart Christian.
But a wedding announcement in the New York Times brings unexpected
comedy, drama, and twists of identity and fate.
Mark S. Watson
is a North Carolina native who has resided in Key West, Florida for the
past 12 years. He received his Bachelors in Dramatic Art and Speech
Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mark has performed in regional theatres across the United States as an
actor, singer, and dancer. The Times marks his professional debut as a
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MJR (Michael J. Roberts): How did you come up with the concept for 'There Goes The Gaybarhood'?
AM (Amanda Murphy): The original idea actually came out of the opening number, which is about going to a gay bar. We thought it would be fun to write songs that could, in one way or another, take place in that environment, with the focus being on the different relationships that develop or are highlighted by being in the gay bar. Founding member Patrick Serrano came up with the title, and that helped us stay on target with additional material.
MJR: How has the production changed since its first inception?
AM: We pretty much stayed the course once we decided to focus on the location. Once we decided to go that direction, we really enjoyed mining for more and more material that filled that goal.
MJR: What character in the production was the most difficult for you to write musically and why?
AM: I wrote a song about a girl who has two fathers. The first draft I wrote, well - I've always been told to heighten when writing comedy, which I did. But the first draft didn't say what I wanted it to say. It was just vulgar, to be honest. So I went back and did a rewrite based on how I really felt, left the "heightening" to those who do it better, and it was much more successful. It's the song I'm most proud of, and Beverley Bailey does a beautiful job of it.
MJR: Tell me a little about Alliance Sketch Group. What is the mission of the Group? How did you become involved?
AM: The Alliance is a group of straight and gay performers who write shows from an LGBT perspective, and in honor of that community. I think we bring some unique angles to our material. We are a very collaborative group. I became involved when founding member and director Meredith Melville, whom I met when we both performed for Infinite Sundaes at the Second City Training Center, asked me if I'd be interested in MD'ing their next show, which was all songs. I was thrilled when I was given the leeway to not only write the music, but to edit, develop, pitch and write lyrics for the group as well. The Alliance really honors collaboration.
MJR: What is next for Alliance?
AM: We are looking ahead to the spring for our next production. Once we're finished with Sketchfest, it's back to the drawing board. Anyone can find us on Facebook, or at www.alliancesketch.com
Shopping for the man in your life will get a little easier this holiday season with the opening of the first-ever men’s magazine pop-up store in Chicago! From Wednesday, December 7 through Wednesday, December 21, Men’s Journal, a leading national men’s lifestyle publication, will open the Men’s Journal Collection at the 900 North Michigan Shops, where it will present an interactive retail showcase of this year’s hottest gear.
The store will feature gift ideas from the 2011 “Gear of the Year” list, which is handpicked by the editors and published in the December/January “Best of” issue, as well as other featured products. Items on display will represent an array of categories including adventure, electronics, fitness, style and travel, and can be ordered online at kiosks throughout the store.
“We have been looking to bring our ‘Gear of the Year’ platform to life, to give consumers a chance to interact with our key brand partners in a retail environment,” said Michael Wolfe, Men’s Journal Publisher. “And we needed to do it in a city that embodied the modern and adventurous spirit that Men’s Journal projects each month. I can’t imagine a more relevant and exciting partner city than Chicago.”
Not in Chicago? Log on towww.mensjournal.com/collection to explore the virtual edition of the store where you can view listings, photo galleries and videos of all the items, create a custom “wish list,” and share content on Facebook and Twitter. Products will be available to purchase through each of the brands’ preferred online retailer.
The Men’s Journal pop-up shop’s operating hours are Monday - Friday 10 AM to 8 PM, Saturday 9:30 AM – 8 PM and Sunday 11 PM to 6 PM.
About Men’s Journal
Launched in 1992, Men’s Journal is an award-winning, general interest men’s lifestyle magazine with a total audience of 3.8 million per issue. Built on the idea that men are always looking to experience and achieve more, Men’s Journal is dedicated to providing its readers with the gear, know-how, style and insights to “live the interesting life.”
About 900 North Michigan Shops
Anchored by Bloomingdale’s, 900 North Michigan Shops features 70 luxury retailers on seven levels, including Gucci, MaxMara, Michael Kors, Mark Shale, DNA 2050, Club Monaco, J.Crew, Lululemon Athletica, Williams-Sonoma and many more. Over its two-decade residence, the 900 North Michigan Shops has provided the Magnificent Mile with a diverse collection of luxury lifestyle brands, demonstrating its commitment to maintaining Michigan Avenue as an internationally recognized shopping mecca.
900 North Michigan Shops is located at 900 North Michigan Ave. For more information, call 312.915.3916 or visit www.shop900.com.
Store hours: Monday - Saturday 10 AM to 7 PM; Sunday 12 PM to 6 PM.
‘Alien Queen: The Concert’ returns to the Metro for one night only, Saturday, December 10 at 10pm. I talked with the show’s star Ryan Lanning about the history of the show and the demands of performing the songs of Queen. For tickets, please visit:http://bigtopjojo.com/scooty/tickets/alien-queen/
M.J.R. (Michael J. Roberts): What was the genesis of Alien Queen?
R.L. (Ryan Lanning): Well, Scott Bradley, who is ‘Scooty’ of ‘Scooty & JoJo’ fame came up with the idea. They had initial produced a show called Carpenter’s Halloween, which of course is the movie Halloween set to the music of the Carpenters and Scooty went back to the drawing board and decided to do the same treatment with the first two Alien movies. Then he was listening to Queen music and discovered that their music really fit into the “Alien” story line.
M.J.R.: Has the show changed a lot since its inception?
R.L.: When it was first done at Circuit it was more of a musical theatre piece with a lot more of the scenes from the movies with music sprinkled in between where the songs would fit in. Then a couple people from the Metro came and saw it and wanted to bring to their venue in more of a concert format. The Metro of course is known for being a place for rock concerts, so we had to totally rethink the show and format. We added some more songs and different songs selection. Now the show is more based on the characters from the Alien films coming together and forming a Queen tribute concert. There is still some of the scene work in there to keep it coherent but there is a lot more music.
M.J.R.: Tell me about your character?
R.L.: I play Ridley, a dragged out version of Sigourney Weaver’s character Ripley. I am the communications’ officer of the ship that gets lost out in space. It is interesting the way it works out because when the movie of Alien was written, the part of Ripley was written for a man. Then they cast Veronica Cartwright in the role. Interestingly, Veronica showed up to a costume fitting and was told she was going to play Lambert and Sigourney got the lead. When Scooty and JoJo were casting for the role they didn’t know which way the wanted to go with the part. There were two of us at the call backs for Alien Queen, myself and Megan Murphy. We both had the same reaction when we heard each other sing, think each other got the part. But Scooty and JoJo wanted to play with the gender bending idea and so I got the role. Plus I think the male voice suits the Queen songs a little better.
M.J.R.: Do you still use the fantastic hand puppets?
R.L.: Oh yes!! We still have Joansie in the first act and Mute in the second act. We still the Face Huggers and the Chest Burster and of course the hero Alien and Alien Queen costumes which are just brilliant.
M.J.R.: What are some of the Queen songs used in Alien Queen?
R.L.: Well we have some lesser know pieces. There is a really gorgeous song called “Never More” featured at the end of the first act. There are some well known pieces as well like “We Are The Champions” a little “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen”, “March of The Black Queen”, “White Queen”….
M.J.R.: So in other words, you have a lot of queens (both laughing).
R.L.: A damn lot of queens!
M.J.R.: How vocally difficult are these songs to sing?
R.L.: It has grown on me. At first it was very difficult for me to get through the whole show, but it is getting more natural now. I am definitely done at the end of the show.
M.J.R.: What is next for you Ryan?
R.L.: Baliwick Chicago, the company I am involved with, is working with New Colony on a new piece called ’The Rise of the Numberless’. We work shopped it and start rehearsals in January which I am very excited about.