Archive for May, 2009

Francis Jue

Francis JueObie and Lucille Lortel award winning actor Francis Jue has been seen on Television, Broadway, Off-Broadway and regionally around the country. Francis was awarded the Obie and Lucille Lortel award as well as a Drama Desk and Drama League nomination for his performance in David Henry Hwang’s  “Yellow Face”.  Prior to this Francis was featured in the Tony Award winning musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” as Bun Foo, henchman to the evil “Mrs. Meers” (portrayed by the Tony Award Winner Harriet Harris) as well as Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway production of “Pacific Overtures” as “Madam” & “Dutch Admiral”. Francis has also had recurring roles on TV’s “Law& Order: SVU” & “One Life To Live” as  Dr. Fong & Dr. Yamagatchi respectively. Currently, Francis can be seen in the new and recently extended Off-Broadway smash hit “Coraline” at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City through July 5.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? When I was 12, I saw my older brother play Prince Chulalongkorn in a high school production of The King & I.  He was one of only 2 Asian Americans on that stage, if I remember correctly, but it didn’t matter to me.  As far as I was concerned, they were all Siamese.  My brother is now a manager for IBM, and I’ve spent my life indulging in fantasy on stage.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? The first person who comes to mind is Peter Brook.  But there are so many I wish I’d collaborated with and learned from.

3. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? I have never felt freer than I did playing a dozen different characters in David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face.  There was something about NOT changing costumes and having to completely inhabit all sorts of different people, especially David’s father Henry, that gave the whole company permission to show off proudly and bravely. The worst experiences I’ve had on stage have been when I’ve taken a job for the money, even though I disliked or disagreed with the show.  I remember my ass hanging out of a Japanese fundoshi during a chase scene in an adaptation of The Mikado, which the audience found hilarious. But my partner Randy made me promise never to do a job like that again, because he couldn’t take how miserable I was.

4.  Who do you consider to be your hero? Dr. Haing S. Ngor.  It doesn’t get any better than his performance in The Killing Fields.  Total integrity.  Emotional availability.  Making use of his life.

5. Favorite TV Show? Currently, Big Love.  Of all timeThe Carol Burnett Show.

6. Favorite Comedian? Bob Newhart What other comedian has ever beat Elvis Presley on the Billboard charts?

7. Favorite Meal? Steak!

8. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks tall coffee, with half and half and raw sugar.

9. Favorite way to stay in shape? I love watching people do yoga. I’m hoping I will be able to join them once my knee and back feel better.

10. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs!  But I don’t care what anyone else wears, as long as they look good…

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Photo credit: Rosemary Alexander

Photo credit: Rosemary Alexander

Del Shores (writer/director/producer/activist) has written, directed and produced film, television and stage.

Shores’ career took off with the play “Daddy’s Dyin’ (Who’s Got The Will?), (1987) which ran two years at Theatre/Theater in Hollywood, winning many Los Angeles theatre awards, including LA Weekly’s Best Production and Best Writing.

“Sordid Lives”, his fourth play, opened in Los Angeles May 11, 1996 and ran 13 sold-out months. The critics raved — ultimately 13 of them awarding the production “Critic’s Choice.”  The play went on to win 14 Drama-Logue Theatre Awards, including three for Shores for writing, directing and producing. He was also nominated for Robby, L.A. Weekly and GLAAD Awards for writing, directing and producing.

In 1999, Shores wrote and directed the film version of “Sordid Lives” starring Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, Beth Grant, along with most of the cast from the play. The movie won many festival awards including Best Film at the New York Independent Film & Video Festival, Atlanta Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival.  The movie has become a cult phenomenon.

On October 5, 2006, Shores was given a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars “for his lifetime achievement in the field of entertainment and contribution to the world of prominence of Palm Springs.”

His new series “Sordid Lives: The Series” premiered on LOGO July 23, 2008 starring Olivia Newton-John, Rue McClanahan, Leslie Jordan, Beth Grant, Caroline Rhea, Bonnie Bedelia, Jason Dottley and many of the original stage and film cast including Newell Alexander, Rosemary Alexander and Sarah Hunley. Shores created, wrote, directed and executive produced all twelve episodes. The show became LOGO’s biggest hit to date.

“Southern Baptist Sissies” is Shores most personal play — a tragicomedy. It enjoyed a ten-month sold-out run in Los Angeles in 2000 and 2001, then enjoyed a sold-out run at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary Theatre in Dallas. The play opened at the Bailiwick Theatre in Chicago to rave reviews July 2002 and was the theatres’ biggest hit during their “Pride” summer series, garnering two After Dark Awards for Best Direction and Best Ensemble. The original LA production of “Sissies” received 20 Los Angeles Theatre Awards, Shores alone receiving the LA Weekly, Robby and Maddy for Best Direction and the Backstage West Garland, Robby and Maddy for Best Writing. The play was also awarded the prestigious GLAAD Award for Outstanding Production of the Year.

In 2003, “The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife” became his most critically acclaimed and darkest play to date. After a six-month sold-out run at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles, Shores’ won the prestigious Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle’s Ted Schmitt Award for World Premiere of an Outstanding New Play. The Circle also awarded the play Best Production and Beth Grant Best Lead Performance.

In addition to “Sordid Lives: The Series”, in television, Shores has written and produced for “Maximum Bob”, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, “Live Shot”, “Touched By An Angel”, “Ned and Stacey” “Family Ties” “Dharma and Greg”. Shores also produced for the last three seasons of the ground-breaking, acclaimed Showtime series “Queer As Folk” for which he wrote many episodes.

Currently Del and various cast members from “Sordid Lives” are touring the country in “Del Shores: The Storytellers”. For tour dates and a complete bio on Del, visit: www.delshores.net.

1. Who inspired you to become a writer, director, and producer? So many influences.  But Mom told me first I was a good writer and should pursue that. Love Tennessee Williams, Horton Foote, Preston Jones (all playwrights).  I’m always a writer first, then director and producer as an extension of that.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Meryl Streep 🙂

3. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? No, not in my nature.  This is what I do and no matter how I do, to what degree, whether small theatre or film or TV, it’s my lifeline.

4. Who do you consider to be your hero? Today — Harvey Milk!

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can twirl baton.  My Aunt Reta taught me when I was a little boy.

6. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Hmm… what an odd question.   I guess my Mom, who passed away in 2001. I’d love to talk to her again, see what’s up.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? Spinning, pushups, sit ups — sex.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs

9. Favorite website? Facebook.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

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If you are looking for a movie to see this weekend, check out “Tennessee” starring the other Adam Rothenberg (theater, television, and movie star), Ethan Peck, & pop-star Mariah Carey (who is also a movie-actress hopeful). “Tennessee” centers on two brothers (Adam Rothenberg & Ethan Peck) who while in search of their father pick-up a woman (Mariah Carey) trying to escape from her controlling husband.

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The ITBA Awards were announced (Independent Theater Bloggers Association) on Thursday, May 29. The awards recognize the best theatrical productions from Broadway to Off-Off Broadway to productions from around the country. Congratulations to the all the winners: www.theaterbloggers.com!

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Jeffrey SolomonJeffrey’s Award Winning play “Mother/Son” has been touring in the US & abroad  for 10 years. Originally premiering at HERE Art Center in New York City, “Mother/Son” continued on to Provincetown, MA, playing an extended sold-out run at the U.U. Meeting House Theater and in Chicago Jeffrey was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award. At the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theater Festival, the production received awards for Best Playwriting (Solo), Best Male Solo Performer, Audience Favorite (Solo) as well as the Heidi Award for Best Touring Production.  Jeffrey’s other work, “Santa Claus is Coming Out” premiered at the Bailiwick Theatre’s Pride Festival in Chicago and opened Off-Broadway at the Gene Frankel Theatre in New York City. The play won Best of the 2002 Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theater Festival, beating out 24 productions from around the U.S. and Canada.  Jeffrey is also a founding member and Artistic Director of  Houses on the Moon, a New York City theater company dedicated to presenting new dramatic work that sheds light on untold or under-exposed human stories and experiences.  On Television, Jeffrey was wrote the pilot episode for Jim Henson’s “CityKids” which received an Emmy nomination for Best Children’s Special as well as winning an Ollie Award for Excellence in Children’s Programming. He went on to be a staff writer for the series of the same name as well as writing projects for Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, and Disney Channel. For more info and to find out when Jeffrey will be performing in a city near you, visit www.jeffsolo.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My parents nurtured my obsession. My dad built me a puppet-house, my mom got me puppets.

2. When did you realize you wanted to become a performer? Five years old. I could perform the entire Wizard of Oz record, word for word.

3. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? Immigration Law.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? No.

5. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

6. Animal crackers or Oreos? Oreos.

7. Today Show or Good Morning America? I am sleeping at this hour.

8. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I’m a Starbucks guy. Bold coffee, black, no sugar, no milk.

9. Favorite Play? The Iceman Cometh

10. Summer Resort or Winter Retreat? Summer.

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Tom D'AngoraNaked Boys Singing Ptown 2009“Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Tom D’Angora & his partner Michael Duling are bringing the Off-Broadway smash hit “Naked Boys Singing” back to Provincetown, MA this summer with an all new cast of HOT, SEXY, & TALENTED BOYS!

Performances begin June 25!

Post Office Cabaret (303 Commerical Street).

Showtimes: Friday-Monday at 7:30pm & Tuesday/Wednesday at 10pm.

For tickets call: 508-487-0006

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Sordid LivesPlease help save “Sordid Lives: The Series” by clicking on the website below. It’s a great show on the Logo Network and deserves more seasons. Created by the brilliant Del Shores, the stellar cast includes: Jason Dottley, Rue McClanahan, Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia, Caroline Rhea, Beth Grant, David Steen, Leslie Jordan, Ann Walker, Sarah Hunley, Newell Alexander, Rosemary Alexander, & Georgette Jones as “Tammy Wynette”.


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