Cyrano de Bergerac Reviewed in this issue.
In the Next Room or the vibrator play Reviewed in this issue.
Southern Baptist Sissies Del Shores' comic drama about growing up gay and Southern Baptist in Texas preaches a little bit to the choir, but that's by design. Shores knows his audience and supplies it with validation, along with some gentle criticism. So while gay Baptist Mark (James Slover) rails against the church's hypocrisy, barfly-cum-Greek chorus Peanut (Michael Shreves) laments the foolishness of a life wasted by hiding in gay bars. Shreves is hysterical, a catty and lecherous wit who destroys the audience at least twice. Slover and Drew Pannebecker (who plays the self-denying T.J.) are the soul of the play, however. Pannebecker's militant abnegation of his true self is fraught with tension — how long can he keep it up? — while Slover's slow-burning defiance of the church becomes a valiant rebellion by the end, one that sends us home with a manifesto to love one another better and more honestly. Presented by Citilites Theatre under the direction of G.P. Hunsaker through March 27 at the Gaslight Theater, 358 North Boyle Avenue. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 314-773-1879 or visit www.citilitestheatre.com.
— Paul Friswold
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