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Theatre Review: Field Guide to the Gays and Pillow Talk

June 11, 2013
By

Last month, I saw 50 shows at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, and wrote review of about half of those, but even with the combined efforts of OW's staff we only managed to cover 50% of the 100+ productions available. Thankfully, a few of the shows that slipped under our radar are being remounted around town. For the next three Saturdays, two shows that tied for Purple Venue Patrons' Pick with their sold-out Fringe runs, are teaming up to share a double bill at Parliament House's Footlights Theatre.

I've know writer/performer Logan Donahoo for over a decade, ever since he began emceeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Universal's Citywalk, and last year he brought his love of bad movies to Fringe with his hilarious Trash Cinema 101. This year, he applied a similar PowerPoint-propelled stand-up style to A Field Guide to the Gays, a funny yet thoughtful primer on homosexual identity and iconography. There's plenty in this fast-paced hour to scandalize breeders and make queers cackle; if you need to know the definition of “twerk” (on its way to becoming word of the year) or the proper way to cleanse you bowels before backdoor fun, you've come to the right place. But beyond the big laughs, what makes Logan's lecture special are the self-aware sociological insights into the conflicting instincts towards self-love and self-loathing that impact the GLBT community. Whether you're a daddy, otter, fag-hag, or just an open-minded friend of the family, you'll likely learn something you'll never forget — whether you like it or not.

Pillow Talk was heavily promoted to Fringe's gay followers, but both characters in Peter Tolan's lightwieght one-act are resolutely hetro, excepting experimental circle-jerks. Doug (Jay Pastucha) and Aaron (Kurt Roth) are a couple of college buddies on a cross-country road trip who stop for the night at Grandma's Arizona trailer. Forced to share a bed in cramped quarters, the pair squabble over sleeping arrangements like a standard sitcom couple, as the slapstick situation strains their friendship and challenges their conceptions of manhood. The performers are both appealing and have an easy way with Tolan's quips, but I felt director Jamie DeHay's pacing was a little slack; TV comedies run 23 minutes for a reason, and this episode feels about five minutes overlong. At least you can pass the time placing bets on which of the two will briefly bare all in the end.

 

June 15, 22, & 29 @7:30pm

$12-$15

Tickets available online at Wanzie.com

 

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