Lavender Men live out loud thanks to About Face Theatre

Sat. May 18, 2024 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

About Face Theater's Lavender Men tells a tall tale about Abe Lincoln from a unique queer perspective. Directed by Lucky Stiff and written by Roger Q. Mason Lavender Men is a fun fable and full of fantasy. Be warned it is not all fun and games, there is triggering language and a sex scene that was necessary to convey love and abuse on the stage.

The story begins with a magical maven named Taffeta who conjures up real-life people and places them in new situations to observe what they might do. President Abraham Lincoln and army officer and later law clerk Elmer Ellsworth are explored with a queer narrative never seen before. Taffeta's issues unravel in a journey that is not always easy to watch in the intimate theater but is never boring.

Julian “joolz” Stroop stands out and proud as Taffeta. This original character named after a fabric sews up each scene with extraordinary skills. The other performers sometimes struggle not to be upstaged, but that's a losing battle for dear Abe and Elmer with Taffeta in the scene. The actors take opportunities to add layers to the text thanks to the talent of Matt Martin playing Abe and Shea Petersen personifying Elmer Ellsworth.

The trio of performers carry the material that they are given to new heights with barely any lag to their drag. The ride lasts just over an hour and a half with a concise storyline that has no intermission, which is addressed within the text of the show. Forget the Confederacy's flag colors of red, white and blue and wave a lavender flag instead!

Here's some real queer history, About Face Theater has worked for almost three decades to highlight the rainbow of projects involving LGBTQ+ creatives on the stage. The organization has accomplished that goal once again with Lavender Men.

Snatch up tickets at before it's too late to taste this rainbow!

Lavender Men kick up their heels at The Den Theatre, 1331 North Milwaukee from now until June 9, 2024. There will be no matinee performance on May 11 and May 25 and June 1 require masks for all who attend. AFT offers a ticket system that allows people to decide the price they can afford. This is a perfect example of putting your money where your mouth is while offering inclusion to live theater fans.