ACCIDENTALLY, LIKE A MARTYR
December 15, 2011 – January 7, 2012
Paradise Factory Theatre
Written and Directed by: Grant James Varjas
Stage Manager: Michael Friedlander
Assistant Director: Kate Hodge
Scenic Designer: Clifton Chadick
Lighting Designer: Brian Tovar
Sound Designer: Roger Anderson
Costume Designer: Melinda Basaca
Fight Coordinator: Ben Newman
Graphic Designer: Alex Munson
Press Representative: Sam Rudy Media Relations
Though these men are only sometimes good to one another, they are good company for 80 minutes in the theater, especially Mr. Blasius’s warm, wounded Edmund. You find yourself rooting for him, whether or not he’s rooting for himself.
Bars can be comforting refuges. They can also be lonely as hell. Grant James Varjas gives us both in his effective new ensemble play about the denizens of an East Village gay bar. The cast is winning.
It’s quite refreshing to see a gay-themed play that features not only a mostly middle-aged cast, but nary a flash of skin or a well-muscled backside to create a reason for existence.
A taut ensemble who create believable archetypes, especially McDermott’s weary, grasshopper-sippin’ elder and Brett Douglas’s warm, sassy, over-it bartender.
SHOW BUSINESS WEEKLY:
Varjas mixes humor and melodrama, while also embedding some pointed commentary. Bittersweet but still affectionate portrait of aging gay men dealing with love and loss.
An excellent job of recreating the feel of a Lower East Side dive. Clifton Chadick’s set design smartly positions the audience as the mirror running along the back of the bar. Succeeds in reproducing an intensely relatable environment for anyone who has spent any time in a gay bar.
Charles could easily have been a caricature, but as compassionately interpreted by Keith McDermott, he is a heartbreaking, recognizable figure often misunderstood or written off today.