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The Dallas Morning News
Jerome Weeks Theater Critic of The Dallas Morning News
Published: September 24, 1993
We've had A . . . My Name is Alice, the wildly popular but only mildly feminist music revue. And we've had Ball Games, the men's-movement revue inspired by Alice. Theatre Three, which debuted the lackluster Ball Games last month, originally referred to it as B . . . My Name is Bob.
And now we have Lovers, which could be called G . . . My Name is Gavin and I'm Gay. Actually, the show, which the Moonstruck Theatre opened Sunday, was written in 1974, long before Alice. As one of the first gay pride plays, Lovers appeared off-Broadway and made the rounds of U.S. theaters several years ago. For this production, Moonstruck has updated Steven Sterner's songs and Peter del Valle's book and lyrics with local references and two new numbers. The show's early birth date helps explain its earnestly gee-whiz spirit. Yes, among its three young gay couples, the brief cabaret revue must confront a premature death. And it does struggle with the stresses and strains of relationships, trying to find some accommodation between the demands of fidelity and the fun of the bar scene.
But overall, Lovers has the sunny, get-with-the-program naivete of a war-bond rally put on by enthusiastic college kids who are into leather. Directed by Jack Presley, Lovers is nothing if not affirmative.
No doubt the gay community, like other minority communities, needs some amount of affirmation. But you have to wonder what affirmation must mean if it demands all of these bright smiles, winsome singing and inane lyrics. They're bad enough in straight musical comedy, where they can frequently be undermined as camp. But in a gay revue, what you get is a kind of cutesy, clean-cut camp - even in the S&M number.
Actually, Lovers wouldn't be too bad if it were done much more crisply and confidently, in a space that doesn't swallow voices, with musical instruments that do not manage to sound both tinny and too loud.
In any musical effort, there are often moments that don't redeem much but do highlight a talent or two. At one point, Richard Frederick is amusing as a small, stiff, incongruous cowboy. In the cabaret number Hanging Out with the Boys, Jeff Scott gets to show he's probably the most proficient member of the cast when it comes to movement.
And in Somebody Hold Me, Clinton Gandy displays an appealingly sleepy, bluesy voice, a talent that exists beyond questions of affirmation. With some training and practice, it could amount to something. Something more than Lovers, certainly.
Lovers, presented by Moonstruck Theatre Company at the Hickory Street Annex Theatre, 501 Second Ave., through Oct. 9.
Tuesday-Wednesday and Sunday 8:15 p.m. Performance reviewed was opening night Sunday. Additional performances Sept. 26 at 3 p.m., Oct. 8 and 9 at 11:30 p.m. Tickets $12. Call 526-2700.
PHOTO(S): Richard Rollin (left) and Richard Frederick
are one of the three couples in Moonstruck's Lovers.; PHOTO
Copyright 1993 The Dallas Morning News Company
Friday, March 30, 2012
Jermome Weeks the entertainment reviewer was really a dick head to a lot of productions in Dallas but he didn't really go after us with a hatchet and he more than liked my voice. It was the first time I was paid to act and sing in a live theatrical show. I think half the people involved in the show are dead now but it seems just like yesterday we were rehearsing in a hotel ballroom space where the director Jack Pressley was in management at. Worst toupee on the planet but he was sincerely driven when it came to live theatre and plays/musicals that affirmed the plight of the gay man in the 90's.
Posted by etexman903 at 5:39 AM