Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Local gay playwrights make good


New plays by Prince Gomolvilas and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb

Jeff Cohlman (center) in the title role of CaptainQueer. Photo: Lois Tema
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Tis the rainbow season again, which may or may not have anything to do with the world premieres of two plays by local gay authors, but a hook is a hook.

Arriving first is The Fabulous Adventures of Captain Queer, a gay variation on the superhero template that sees a nerdy kid turned into the kind of guy who can flesh out a spandex suit and confront social injustices. In playwright Prince Gomolvilas' spin, the villains are world-class homophobes with names like Reginald Screamingbottom, Doctor Octopussy, and Gustav Lederhosen.

Captain Queer, opening June 10 at New Conservatory Theatre Center, is Gomolvilas' fifth collaboration with director Arturo Catricala. These include two previous NCTC productions, Debunking Love and Mysterious Skin.

Gomolvilas, a former full-time San Franciscan, now splits his time between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. He has been accounting his adventures, theatrical and otherwise, on a blog at, where you can learn his opinions of theater critics ("all theater critics' mothers suck cocks in hell"), flavored lubricants ("I don't understand"), and on living in Los Angeles ("sent me into therapy").

Jeff Cohlman will be donning the primary-color tights for the title role, and the various villains and jocks-in-distress are being played by Dennis Parks, Christin Davis, Donovan Keith, Markham Miller, and Heidi Wolff. For ticket info, call 861-8972 or go to

The second premiere by a local gay playwright is straight in its synopsis about a reunion dinner of two couples where secrets, suppressed feelings, and primal urges are unexpectedly unleashed. But according to playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, his dark comedy Hunter Gatherers comes with "a decent mix of sex, violence, and 'straight' men wrestling. Perfect for June, I think."

Hunter Gatherers, beginning performances June 8 at the Thick House, is the first full-length play for the sketch-comedy company Killing My Lobster. It's the second full-length play for Nachtrieb, whose first, Meaningless, was gay all the way. It's the tale of a directionless young gay man in 1990s San Francisco, whose personal crash mirrors the dot-com bust. When it was produced at Chicago's Bailiwick Theatre in 2004, it received a passel of good reviews, including a comment from the Chicago Free Press that "it's as fun as a runaway cable car."

Tracy Ward is directing Hunter Gatherers, which features KML regulars Jon Wolanske, Melanie Case, and John Kovacevich, in addition to Alexis Lezin. For more info, go to

Summer songs

New Conservatory Theatre Center continues its annual In Concert summer series in 2006 with three productions ranging in music from Harold Arlen to Tammy Wynette.

The cast of Hunter Gatherers.
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Peter J. Macon and Justin Leith in Happy End. Photo: Ryan Montgomery

But it's an original score that is featured in the opening attraction, Insignificant Others, running July 13-Aug. 13. With book, music, and lyrics by Jay Kuo, the romantic musical comedy follows the stories of five friends who move to SF from the Midwest. Directed by George Quick, it's billed as a final workshop production prior to a fully-staged production.

Singer Meg McKay and pianist-husband Billy Philadelphia return to NCTC, this time with a cabaret show titled From Ballads to Blues: The Songs of Harold Arlen. The tribute to the composer of such songs as "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Stormy Weather," and "Over the Rainbow" runs Aug. 17-Sept. 17.

It's a tribute of sorts to country music in Rhinestone Cowgirl, in which Stephanie Temple takes on the persona of Gertie Sue, who travels in a Winnebago with her karaoke machine to share the songs of her favorite country-music divas. Temple, an assistant in NCTC's youth program, is being directed by Allen Sawyer. The run is Sept. 21 through Oct. 15.

More info at 861-8972 or

Short scenes

● It's the final weekend for Magical Acts Ritual Theatre's production of Corpus Christi at Theatre Rhino. This is Terrence McNally's controversial retelling of Jesus' life and death from a 20th-century gay perspective. The director is Angelique Heddings, described as a "director/ritualist/high priestess/diva." Call 861-5079 or go to

● ACT is closing its season with Happy End, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's 1929 follow-up to The Threepenny Opera. Carey Perloff is directing the gangland fantasy, running through July 9 at the Geary Theater. Call 749-2228 or go to

● The Palo Alto Players are closing out their 75th season with Noel Coward's Private Lives. The 1930 comedy about divorcees who collide while on honeymoons with new spouses runs June 17-July 2 at the Lucie Stern Theater. Call (650) 329-0891 or go to

Richard Dodds can be reached at

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