[Broadway Ad Network]

[Broadway Ad Network]

Follow Spot
by Michael Portantiere

A Meeting of the 'mos (and Their Friends)

  • JustinSayre.jpg

    A Meeting of the 'mos (and Their Friends)

    If you've ever wondered exactly what the so-called "gay agenda" consists of, now's your chance to find out. The Meeting, a monthly comedy/variety show for homosexuals and their friends, will launch Pride Week with a star-studded session to benefit The Ali Forney Center on Monday, June 21 at 10pm.

    The hit monthly series is billed as a gay romp through politics (sexual and otherwise), social news, music, skits, and other life-changing information. The usual site of the festivities is The Duplex Cabaret Theatre on Christopher Street, but this special edition will take place at Le Poisson Rouge (185 Bleecker Street, between Thompson and Sullivan).

    Directed by Christian Coulson, the show will feature Jeffery Self and Cole Escola (Logo TV's Jeffery and Cole Casserole), the fabulous drag king Murray Hill, Bridget Everett (At Least It's Pink, We've Got Tonight), Erin Markey (Puppy Love: A Stripper's Tail), and Molly Pope (The Diva-lution of Molly Pope, Our Hit Parade), with other special guests to be announced.

    The Meeting makes comic hay of the mythical "gay agenda" and is structured as any organizational meeting for homosexuals would be. Business of the day -- from politics to prophylactics -- is discussed and interwoven with comedy sketches, musical numbers, and other "homo-hijinks." The show is hosted by actor/comedian Justin Sayre (pictured above), who has assumed the title of "chairman of the I.O.S., The International Order of Sodomites -- the centuries-old secret organization of homosexuals and their friends."

    What sort of subject matter is fodder for the performers? "Well," says Sayre, "we've done a series of sketches on the breakup of the gay penguins at the San Francisco Zoo. Did you know they broke up? Zoologists were baffled! We also play games. In this version, we're going to play Celebrity Match Game; Murray Hill will be the host, and we'll have people playing the ghosts of Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly. Oh, and each month, we celebrate a gay icon -- everyone from Bea Arthur to Bette Davis."

    What else? "HBO is making a movie about the life of Anita Bryant, so we've had people 'audition' for the role. And we always end with a segment called 'New Rulings from the Board,' which is kind of a roundup of what's in the news with a lot of jokes about where we are and where things stand."

    Sayre is very pleased that Ali Forney Center will benefit from the June 21 performance: "Our show is all about community, so we wanted to end our season during Pride month with a charitable event. When I was thinking of really great gay charities in the city -- and there are so many -- Ali Forney stuck out, because the work they do is so, so important."

    The center provides housing and other services to homeless LGBT youth. Financial and moral support of the organization is particularly vital at the moment, since one of its shelters was recently defaced by vandalism including the words "We don't want gay people here" graffitied on the shelter wall.

    "The fact that this happened in Astoria is mind-boggling to me," says Sayre, who happens to live in that neighborhood. "It's such a melting pot here -- and there are so many actors! There was a big rally in Union Square Park on Monday to protest the hate crime. I'm told the kids were upset by the graffiti incident but they weren't really freaked out about it; they said they felt safe, and they just looked at it as some idiot trying to take a stand on something. I think the fact that these kids are so confident and so proud says a lot about the Ali Forney Center."

    Tickets for the special edition of The Meeting are available at LPRNYC.com. There is a $25 cover charge and a two-item per person minimum at tables, and you must be 18+ years of age to attend. For more information, visit facebook.com/TheMeetingWink and www.aliforneycenter.org.

    Published on Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Michael Portantiere has more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has interviewed theater notables for NPR.org, PLAYBILL, STAGEBILL, and OPERA NEWS, and has written notes for several cast albums. Michael is co-author of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: BEHIND THE MYLAR CURTAIN, published in 2008 by Hal Leonard/Applause. Additionally, he is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several major websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.) He can be reached at [email protected]

    Why are you looking all the way down here?
    For more articles by Michael Portantiere, click the links below!

    Previous: The 2010 Phony Awards

    Next: Falling in Love Again

    Or go to the Archives

[Broadway Ad Network]

[Broadway Ad Network]