Uptown Players, the gay-centric theater group in Dallas, opens the final official show of its 2017–18 season next week, but it’s “shoulder” season continues to grow.
Angels in America: Part Two — Perestroika was already set to run Sept. 28–Oct. 5. Today, the company announced it has added to more shows to the October slot for an upcoming Gay History Play Festival, focusing on Gay History Month.
Perestroika, written by Tony Kushner and appearing on the mainstage of the Kalita Humphreys Theater, follows 2016’s Part One and picks up right where that one left off, with the epic conclusion of the fate of two couples in which one partner has abandoned the other and God has abandoned Heaven. The play explores gay culture, race, political injustice and inequality through the lens of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. Tickets are $30–$50.
After that production concludes, Uptown will stage two more plays at the intimate Bryant Hall venue next door to the main building: The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne and Straight by Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen.
Absolute Brightness is the affirmational tale about the difference one young boy makes in the lives of a small New Jersey town. Chuck is a brash detective, eager to solve the disappearance of teenager Leonard Pelkey. Digging deeper and deeper into Leonard’s life, Chuck follows clues that lead him to unexpected places and show him how one boy’s bravery can light the way toward truth. Terry Martin portrays all the characters in this tour-de-force solo show.
Straight is a provocative new play that deals with fidelity, sexuality and identity in “post- equality” America. It follows Ben, a 26-year-old investment banker in Boston who struggles to understand what he wants, and what he thinks he should want. Enter Chris, a college student who’s also coming to terms with his sexuality. What begins as a one-night stand evolves into something more — a significant and sincere connection between two men trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be.
Tickets for The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey and Straight are $20. Performances take place Oct. 12-21 in Bryant Hall. Tickets can be purchased online at www.uptownplayers.org or by phone at 214-219-2718.
— Arnold Wayne Jones