Incoming: quirky & queer
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About this time each year, as the big theaters prepare for summer vacation, productions that may be one or more of the following â€" original, quirky, imaginative, shoestring, and what-were-they-thinking? â€" begin popping up like toadstools on a wet summer morn. News of the first blooms has begun arriving, though this is unlikely the final flurry.
One of the incoming shows has played such venues as the Bonita Springs Elks Lodge, Silver Lake Cricket Restaurant, and Fred's Food, Fun, and Spirits. These establishments are in Florida, an apparent demographic match for Assisted Living: The Musical!, and now creators Rick Compton and Betsy Bennett have sent their show on the road. Its SF venue will be the Imperial Palace restaurant, where weekend matinee performances run June 18-July 31. Geriatric jokes, sketches and popular songs with parody lyrics ("Nobody Loves You When You're Down with Gout") are served up with dim sum. Tickets at (888) 88-LAUGH or www.assistedlivingthemusical.com.
The target audience is probably younger for the world-premiere musical OMFG! The subject is online dating, and bogus stories and fantasy scenarios pile up while a web-wired couple procrastinate over an in-the-flesh meeting. While the protagonists are a man and a woman (Jackson Davis and Cindy Goldfield), composer Christopher Winslow and librettist-lyricist Gavin Geoffrey Dillard are both gay, with the latter's name perhaps recognizable for his career in adult-sex services, his chronicles about it, and his homoerotic poetry. OMFG! will run July 8-17 at the ODC Theater. More info at www.odctheater.org.
Local gay playwright Stuart Bousel is doing double duty this summer, with two new plays running within a few blocks of each other. At the Exit, The Edenites is having its premiere run through June 25 under the aegis of No Nude Men Productions. Gay, straight, bi, and otherwise-oriented characters mash it up in a play described as part soap opera, part Chekhov, part fluff, and part autobiography. Tickets through www.sffringe.org. Nearby at StageWerx, Wily West Productions is presenting Bousel's Juno en Victoria through July 2. In the funny-sad play, Bousel uses the conventions of Victorian parlor drama to reinterpret Greek mythology. Tickets at www.wilywestproductions.com.
John Orlock's Indulgences in a Louisville Harem had the distinction of being one of the first two plays presented in the now internationally famous Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The year was 1977, and its companion piece, The Gin Game, went on to win the Pulitzer, the Tony and subsequent multiple productions. Orlock's Indulgences is receiving one of its rare revivals June 17-July
The Book of Liz really isn't a summer pop-up, but for the brother-sister team of Amy and David Sedaris, we'll bend the rules. This theatrical collaboration between two social observers nonpareil is the final production in Custom Made Theatre's season, running June 24-July 31, at the Gough Street Playhouse. The plot is hard to describe, except that it involves a member of an Amish-like cult escaping into the real world, where "real" is open to interpretation. By the way, and seriously, cheese balls play a pivotal role. More info at www.custommade.org.
Make room for Marga
You can get a double dose of Marga Gomez in the coming days before she heads East for a Big Apple gig. First up there is Marga & the Tomboys, June 24 at the LGBT Center as part of the 14th annual National Queer Arts Festival. This is her fifth year as a festival headliner and procurer of rising comedy talent, and she shares the bill with Janine Brito. You can get the full festival schedule at www.queerculturalcenter.org.
Gomez will then move over to the Marsh for a final workshop run (July 7-24) of Not Getting Any Younger before the solo comedy show heads to the 20th annual edition of Hot! The NYC Celebration of Queer Culture. As its title indicates, Not Getting Any Younger is a "coming of middle age" tale in which "ma'am" becomes a slur when uttered by salesclerks. Call 826-5750 or go to www.themarsh.org.