Last week, I talked with local actor Jason Kane and his new (to Dallas) one-man show Why Am I Not Gay? Growing up a fan of musical theater and the Pet Shop Boys, he apparently set off a lot of gaydar. In his show, he pokes fun at this throughout the years with a peppering of showtunes and pop songs (gay).
I hit up the show last night at Tucker’s Blues in Deep Ellum, which by the way, is an amazing venue. Kane, in appropriately drab clothing (straight) took the stage about 7:30 opening with a tune (gay) and launched into his monologue about the trials and tribulations of being mistaken for an M4M kinda guy.
Accompanying him, along with his music director Daniel Ezell, is a scoreboard with “G” and “S” and along the way, he added tic marks for his varying degrees of orientation (Get it? “G”ay, “S”traight.). With hilarious nods to music preferences and The Golden Girls (way gay), he gains a whole lot of “G” marks, but counteracts with some of his more breeder-like tendencies that put “S” on the board. However, he didn’t employ this schtick enough. When he returned to the board, he was attempting to recall what he should have been marking which made for an awkward moment. Kane had great recovery time and easily whipped out (gay) snappy one-liners to compensate.
His audience threw him off his game a few times. Having friends come to your show is fine but some began mistaking his monologue for dialogue. Kane kept composure but high school tales that audience members begged for more information on upset song cues and rhythm.
Kane has great singing chops (gay). Sometimes the songs took a serious turn after a punchline, but a surprisingly beautiful voice emanated from this imposing gruff straight guy (closet gay). Add to that some key moments like his bear bar tale and explaining why every girl has become his BFF because “he doesn’t like vaginas.” Funny stuff.
The show could easily be misconstrued in a lot of ways. He uses “homo” enough to make any gay person wonder if he’s being derogatory (way straight). But then he relates how he’s always supported his LGBT friends and takes on issues like Prop 8 (gay-friendly). Admittedly, it took some time to process the show, but ultimately, I found it a fun piece that doesn’t just dole out the laughs, but leaves people, straight and gay, something to think about.
And yes, he’s straight — straighter than he thinks he is.
The show closes Thursday night: Why Am I Not Gay? at Tucker’s Blues, 2617 Commerce St. Aug. 19. 7 p.m. $10.