more from GayFest!
GayFest! is running plays in repertory and all four of the full-productions are on this week. Not a small feat on limited budgets, and the festival’s corp of designers, directors and performers have been willing to wear more than one hat. .Last weekend, some of the directors were onstage themselves, showing their acting chops, in the staged reading of Standing on Ceremony a benefit for Equality PA. And MVP GF! actor Calvin Atkinson is not only is starring in one of Daniel Talbott trio of plays as the young bullied man who knows baseball and Beyonce moves also did a great job directing Geoffrey Nauffts’ play Next Fall about Luke, a devout young gay Christian/waiter-actor in New York, who falls in love with Adam, a writer/retail worker and devout agnostic in the middle of a midlife crisis. They have great sex and are simpatico if they just avoid religion, but their world really gets turned upside down and Luke’s divorced parents appear on the scene after Luke is in an accident. The ultra-conservative dad and Adam fight over their respective right to speak for Luke when he is unable to speak for himself. The tragic plot leads to exploring weighty themes that Nauffts’ appropriates without didactic conclusions. Peter Zielinski and Richie Sklar have palpable chemistry as the lovers. Craig Copas brings all the necessary grit to the dad, and crucially, does not over do the character’s morbid bigotry. Peggy Smith as the mom steals your heart with humor, grace and lilting southern accent, who knows she talks too much and says more with her silences and tender gestures.
Next Fall runs through 8.22 at Adrienne Theater’s Skybox