Daniel’s Husband touches on some very important issues

Daniel's Husband

There are so many things we are dealing with now and so many things we need to shed light on. These issues have, thankfully, been showing up in our art to bring awareness and hopefully let people who are going through them know they aren’t alone. I always say great entertainment does more than simply entertain and I love when there is a touch of social good mingled in with my art.

Daniel’s Husband is a touching, heartwarming, funny, impactful, and sad story that may be all to familiar to many. It deals with what happens when a couple (in this case a gay couple) isn’t married and they haven’t taken care of the proper legal steps they need to in case of a medical emergency. It also addresses family drama and the differences in individual beliefs when it comes to marriage.  I suggest bringing some tissues because the play (and the acting) definitely hits you in the feels.

“Daniel and Mitchell are the perfect couple. Perfect house, perfect friends – even a mother who wants them married. They’d have the perfect wedding, too, except that Mitchell doesn’t believe in gay marriage. A turn of events puts their perfect life in jeopardy, and Mitchell is thrust into a future where even his love may not prove to be enough. Daniel’s Husband is a bold reflection of love, commitment, and family in our perilous new world.”

Daniel’s Husband is playing Off-Broadway right now and I suggest you catch it, it will leave you with plenty to think about as well as plenty to discuss with whoever sees it with you.

Daniel's husband Poster

Here’s a bit about the stars:

Matthew Montelongo (Mitchell, Daniel’s Husband) has appeared in numerous New York productions, including the Broadway revivals of A View from the Bridge and The Ritz. Off-Broadway, he has been seen in One Night (Cherry Lane); This Backstage Life (Atlantic Theatre); His Daddy (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Whore (Summer Play Festival); God’s Ear (Vineyard Theatre/New Georges); Five Flights (Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre); The Mineola Twins and Arms and the Man (Roundabout Theatre Company); and Tartuffe (Shakespeare in the Park/Public Theatre). Regionally, Matthew has performed in the national tour of Looped and in productions at Washington D.C.’s Studio Theatre, Hartford TheaterWorks, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Signature Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth Theatre (Helen Hayes Nomination for Best Ensemble), Alliance Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, Capital Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Old Globe, Two River Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, and Seattle Repertory Theatre. Matthew’s television appearances include “Ray Donovan,” “Elementary,” “Sneaky Pete,” “Forever,” “Gossip Girl,” “Law & Order: SVU” (x2), and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” He recently starred in the feature film Bear City 3 and the popular new web series “West 40s.”

Ryan Spahn (Daniel) began his Off-Broadway career in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Pulitzer Prize finalist Gloria at the Vineyard Theatre. He went on to appear in Michael McKeever’s Daniel’s Husband and Ike Holter’s Exit Strategy, both for Primary Stages, as well as the revival of Summer and Smoke with Transport Group and Classic Stage Company. His recent regional credits include Hamlet at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Halley Feiffer’s Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Gloria at Goodman Theatre, Exit Strategy at Philadelphia Theatre Company, and Nina Raine’s Tribes at Actors Theatre of Louisville. His feature film credits include Woven (co-writer), He’s Way More Famous Than You (co-writer), and Grantham & Rose (writer). He co-created the digital series “What’s Your Emergency,” was a writer and producer on Logo’s “Cocktails and Classics,” and appeared on TV in “Tanner on Tanner,” “Ugly Betty,” and “Star Trek: Voyager.” He will be seen next in episodes of “Half Life” and “The Blacklist” and the upcoming film Shirley, directed by Josephine Decker. Ryan received his BFA from The Juilliard School.

Anna HolbrookRaising (Daniel’s Mom)  has appeared in Jo (Theatre Row), Skeletons (Broadway Bound Festival), Daniel’s Husband, The Dolphin Position (Primary Stages), Natural Life, Hot L Baltimore (Gloria Maddox Theater). Regional: Crimes of the Heart, Three Viewings, My Fair Lady. Film: I Love Trouble, Those Who Wander, Boxed. Television: “Blue Bloods,” “Bull,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Law & Order,” “L&O SVU,” “The West Wing,” “Spin City,” “One Life to Live,” “All My Children,” “Another World” – Daytime Emmy®www.annaholbrook.com

Leland Wheeler: Off-Broadway: Daniel’s Husband (Dir. Joe Brancato, Primary Stages/Penguin Rep). Film & Television: 1/1 (with Lindsey Shaw & Judd Nelson), We Need to Talk about Kevin (Dir. Lynne Ramsay), “Blue Bloods” (CBS). Student of Deborah Hedwall. Since 2001, Leland & his family annually produce the award-winning Heritage Music BluesFest in Wheeling, WV.

Lou Liberatore: BroadwayBurn This (Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Award Nominations), As IsLondonBurn ThisOff-BroadwayPushkin (american vicarious/Sheen Center), Daniel’s Husband (Primary Stages, Penguin Rep), A Class Act (New World Stages), Orpheus Descending (Bartley/Glezos Prods), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Masterworks Theatre Co.), Rocket to the Moon (Peccadillo Theatre Co.), Turnabout (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Sight Unseen (Manhattan Theatre Club). Also: The Vineyard, Naked Angels, The Lark, Orpheum, Second Stage, Circle Repertory Company. RegionalAngels in America, Parts 1 & 2 (Actors Theatre of Louisville), The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide… (Berkeley Rep), The Diary of Anne Frank and That Championship Season (Westport Playhouse), A Thousand Clowns (Two River Theatre). Also: The Alley, Theatre J, Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Pioneer Theatre, Steppenwolf, Mark Taper Forum. FilmSleeping with the Fish (upcoming), Barrio BoyBlood from a Stoner, Box, Mary and Louise, It’s My PartyRosen’s Son, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience (Disney World, Epcot Center). TV: “Deception,” “The Affair,” “The Good Wife,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Sex and the City,” “Law & Order.” Education: Fordham University (Lincoln Center), William Esper. Member Artist: Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actor’s Center, Circle Repertory Company (1985-1996).

Let The Other Day take you where it began and began again

the other day

I was very lucky and thrilled to be invited to see a touching, important off Broadway play called The Other Day. Theater is one of my favorite ways to spend an evening, especially on the weekends. I can get lost in the city for an entire day and then end it by seeing a great play or musical. It is all so very entertaining and in some cases, as is with The Other Day, it can leave you thinking about so much.

The other day is a story about relationships, the good and the bad parts, the sweet and the sad parts. It’s about two couples: a gay couple who meet in rehab and a straight couple where the husband is so consumed by his job and success that he is driving his wife away (and straight to a flask).

TheOtherDay-Play

Unfortunately, it was a very limited run this time around but I’m hoping it comes around again and you all get to see it. There are so many powerful moments, so many touching moments, and just so many life moments. What impressed me most is that a character’s sexuality is becoming less important as we all realize these stories, the things that happen to us in life, are so universal. In the case of this play, you could interchange the straight characters and their situations with the gay characters and their situations. Love is love and being human just means we all basically experience the same things when it comes to life, love, losses, and vices.

Look out for it and of course, I will keep you updated as to when and where you can see it as soon as I know! This one is worth catching, tears and all.

The Book of Merman

book of merman

Yes, you read that correctly, The Book Of MERMAN. This is a delightful Off-Broadway musical comedy where two Mormon missionaries ring the doorbell of Ethel Merman and you can just imagine where the hilarity begins.

It’s a three person cast of performers who posses some of the biggest voices I’ve experienced on or off Broadway and their comedic timing is completely on point throughout.

How can you go wrong with a show about two Mormon Missionaries who happen upon Ethel Merman’s apartment? Ethel causes quite the stir an a few cathartic moments for the young men and the young men provide Ms Merman with a few self realizations of her own.

Here’s a little about the cast from the night I was lucky enough to see it:

Carly Sakolove is Ethel and absolutely does Ms Merman proud. Carly is a long time fan of Ethel Merman and pays tribute to her, other Broadway divas, as wells as pop divas in her one woman show, “I’m Every Woman”. Her viral YouTube video “Broadway Divas Send in the Clowns” featuring her diva impersonations, has been hailed by Timemagazine and The New York Times. Off-Broadway: The Marvelous Wonderettes (Betty Jean),NEWSical the Musical and Girls Night: The Musical (Carol). She was recently seen in the national tour and Royal Caribbean companies of Mamma Mia! as Rosie. Favorite credits: Mazeppa in Gypsy (Sharon Playhouse) and Helena in The Mystery of Edwin Drood(Speakeasy Stage) and Robert Anne in Nunsense (Feinstein’s 54 Below)

book of merman 2

So, Carly supplies the Ethel part and two more talented actors provide the Mormon part. Kyle Ashe Wilkinson (Elder Braithwaite) and Chad Burris (Elder Shumway) do that wonderfully. In this cast, each voice is as grand as the others. At one point we are even treated to a Merman-off where Ethel challenges Elder Shumway to a voice-off.

Kyle recently made his NYC debut in the developmental presentation of Manifesto: The Diaghilev Project at the Robert Moss Theatre. Some favorite credits include Harold Bride in Titanic: The Musical (Rocky Mountain Rep), Chris inBecky’s New Car (Florida Rep), Justin in Good Boys and True (Theatre UCF), and Man 1 in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Theatre UCF). BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida.  www.kyleashewilkinson.com 

Chad has been part of: National Tour: The Book of Mormon (Elder Cunningham) Regional: Cleveland Playhouse, Cape Playhouse, Arkansas Repertory Theatre. He is the co-creator of the web series, City Boyz.

I thoroughly enjoyed Saturday night at this musical and so did my guest. I left with a few of the songs stuck in my head and a smile on my face.

If you’re looking for some fun, to be entertained, and to have a reason to tap your feet, get yourself over to see The Book of Merman. I think you’ll find it’s a great way to spend the evening, part of a date, or to entertain out of town guests. Since it’s an off-broadway production, the price point is quite affordable and the theater setup makes every seat a great one!

 

TV’s DAVID DEAN BOTTRELL & SANDRO ISAACK To star in award-winning playwright MARK JASON WILLIAMS’ THE OTHER DAY

the other day.png

TV’s DAVID DEAN BOTTRELL & SANDRO ISAACK To star in award-winning playwright MARK JASON WILLIAMS’ ‘THE OTHER DAY’ Directed by ANDREW BLOCK

Begins Performances on September 7; Opening September 13

At Theater at the 14th Street Y

David Dean Bottrell   Sandro Isaack   Elizabeth Inghram      John Gazzale

New York: Loretta Michael Productions in partnership with the Theater at the 14th Street Y will present the The Other Day, written by award winning playwright Mark Jason Williams, directed by Andrew Block. The Other Day stars TV’s David Dean Bottrell (“Modern Family,” “The Blacklist,” “Boston Legal”) and Sandro Isaack (Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle”)  with Elizabeth Inghram (AMC’s “Dietland,” Girl Most Likely) and John Gazzale (NY: All My Sons, Our Country’s Good).

The Other Day begins performances on September 7 and opens on Thursday, September 13, 2018 and runs through September 23, 2018 at the Theatre at the 14th Street Y (344 E 14 street at 1st Ave). Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by visiting www.14streety.com

In the new play The Other Day, two men, powerless to their addictions, find each other along the 12 steps, taking us on an unexpected journey through love, loss, redemption and dreams of Amsterdam, that will redefine their relations, and themselves, in surprising ways.

This run comes after an successful run at the Planet Connections Festival where it garnered the 2011 Planet Connections Award for Outstanding Playwriting.

MARK JASON WILLIAMS (Playwright) is a New York playwright and essayist whose work is published by The Washington Post, Salon (“You’re too vanilla”: Confessions of a sexually tame gay man), Good Housekeeping, Out (Phone Sex Change), Far and Wide, The Denver Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Stuff(New Zealand), The Daily Dot, Honeysuckle, and more. His essay, Phone Sex Change, is published in The Byline Bible by New York Times bestselling author Susan Shapiro, and inspired a story for Jezebel. Mark’s plays have been produced across the country in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C. He has a BFA in Dramatic Writing, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

ANDREW BLOCK (Director) is an award-winning Director, as well as representative for the Off & Off-Off Broadway community for TDF. He received the Ovation and L.A.Drama Critics Circle awards for the world premiere of John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair (Best Director & Production). Selected credits include: Lost and Found (FringeNYC Encore, Lortel); This Stretch of Montpelier (The Fire This Time); Straight Faced Lies (FringeNYC); Why Bother? (Best Director, Planet Connections Festivity); David Caudle’s Downward Facing Debbie (World premiere, Planet Connections); Adam Rapp’s Bingo With the Indians (GLAAD award nomination for Outstanding Theatre, West-coast premiere); Illuminati (Best Director, Network One-Act Festival); Bedroom Farce (FAPC); Reach (Ivy Theatre Company); Company (Gallery Players);Avenue Q (Manhattan College); Inherit the Wind (Manhattan College); Rumors (AADA); The Shape of Things (Adelphi University); Recovery (FringeNYC); A proud native of New Orleans.

Listing info:

The Other Day

Begins performances on September 7  – 23; Opens on Thursday, September 13, 2018

Theatre at the 14th Street Y  is located at 344 E 14 street at 1st Ave).

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by visiting https://www.14streety.org/nowplaying/season/

Performance schedule:

Friday, September 7 at  9 PM

Saturday, September 8  at 4 PM

Saturday, September 8 at  8:00 PM

Sunday, September 9 at  4:00 PM

Thursday, September 13 at  8:00 PM

Friday, September 14 at 7:00 PM

Saturday, September 15 at  2:00 PM

Saturday, September 15 at  6:00 PM

Sunday, September 16 at  2:00 PM

Sunday, September 16 at 6:00 PM

Monday, September 17 at  8:00 PM

Friday, September 21 at  9:00 PM

Saturday, September 22 at  4:00 PM

Saturday, September 22 at  8:00 PM

Sunday, September 23 at  4:00 PM

Press performances are:

Saturday, September 8th 4:00 PM; Saturday, September 8th 8:00 PM ; Sunday, September 9th 4:00 PM; Thursday, September 13th 8:00 PM

The cast and creative team are available for interviews. To arrange interviews or press seats please contact

JT Public Relations at joe@jt-pr.net / (646) 481 -6583

CAST:

DAVID DEAN BOTTRELl has guest starred on many shows including “Modern Family,” “The Blacklist,” “Mad Men,” “NCIS,” “Criminal Minds,” “True Blood,” etc, as well as playing recurring roles on “Rectify,” “Days Of Our Lives” and “Boston Legal”.  His extensive theatre work includes shows at the Long Wharf, the Second Stage, and the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. And his new book, WORKING ACTOR is coming out in February published by Ten Speed Press (Random House).

SANDRO ISAACK  is a New York based Brazilian actor and storyteller. Off Broadway: Brecht’s Arturo Ui (Ontological Theatre), Apple Of My Eye (Nettles Company, performed at U.N./Unicef). Regional: The Merchant of Venice (Yale/Dartmouth), Day of the Kings (Alliance Theatre, GA), Marat/Sade, Enrico IV, The Island of Anyplace, King Lear, Othello (American Repertory Theatre, MA), Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew (Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, KY). International: Man of La Mancha (Russia), Cher Moliere (Italy), Edward II, The Snow Queen, Boys From Paul St (Brazil). American TV: Amazon Studio’s Mozart in the Jungle. Sandro is currently adapting his children’s book Stork M.I.A. to the stage.

ELIZABETH INGHRAM has been seen on AMC’s “Dietland,” “Gypsy,” “The Blacklist,” “Person of Interest,” “Royal Pains,” “Gossip Girl” and opposite Kristin Wiig in Girl Most Likely. On stage in NYC, Elizabeth’s credits include The Chekhov Dreams (Beckett Theatre, Theatre Row), Romantic Trapezoid (Lion Theatre, Theatre Row), To Each Their Own (FringeNYC), as well as shows at the The Irish Rep, Metropolitan Playhouse, New York Musical Theater Festival and more.Her regional credits include Where’s Charley (Goodspeed Opera House), Hello Dolly (National Tour) and Man of La Mancha (Cleveland Playhouse). elizabethinghram.com

JOHN GAZZALE All My Sons with VOICETheatre.  Also with VOICETheatre: Our Country’s Good (Sideway/Collins); Birds on a Wire (Shimon); Hay Fever (Simon);  Barefoot Theatre Company: Raft of the Medusa (Donald); A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley (Scrooge); Dog Day Afternoon (Leon); Balm in Gilead (Frannie);  Gallery Players: Company (Peter);  FringeNYC 09 Encore:  Terranova (Hearst);  Lobo Theatre:  Spring Storm (Arthur – New York Premiere);  Member of Barefoot Theatre Company and VOICETheatre.  M.F.A. Actors Studio New School.

About the Theater at the 14th Street Y

The Theater at the 14th Street Y focuses on social awareness and change through big picture narrative. Inspired by works that welcome artists of all backgrounds, we place artists at the heart of our community and seek to create an inclusive and open cultural experience for all. Art is incubated here.

About the 14th Street Y

The 14th Street Y’s philosophy is grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection and learning. No matter what your background, we aim to inspire you to live your best life. We’re committed to the development of the whole person, to strengthening family connections and to building inclusive and sustainable communities.The 14th Street Y serves more than 20,000 people annually with a variety of community programs and is proud to be a part of Educational Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit

organization with a 128-year history of serving New Yorkers downtown.

Brandon Haagenson Shined his way through Afterglow

Brandon Haagenson headshot

Last year I was sent tickets to a little play at the Davenport Theater in NYC. At the time, it was a limited run and they wanted people to review and promote it. I LOVE NYC theater so I happily accepted and read up on it. From the press releases it looked so interesting and slightly risqué with the disclaimers about nudity and the shower scene promos. The beautiful thing about it was the story seemed so relatable and the actors were all fresh-faced, it was a no brainer to give it a try.

What I didn’t know was how blow away I would be by the performances. I took two friends from Los Angeles with me the first night and we all couldn’t stop talking about it through dinner and drinks afterwards. I knew that night that I wanted to see it again. Thankfully, the show was extended so many times, it gave me an opportunity to bring different groups of friends from various cities three more times! This past week, I was offered tickets once again and, once again, I jumped on the chance to see it, bring another friend, and enjoy! Then I was offered the added bonus of interviewing one of the stars, Brandon Haagenson, who was in every single performance since day  one!

After+Glow+Promo.pngA few things to note, every person I took with me agreed with me that the nudity was something that was simply part of the story and added to the intimacy, vulnerability, and humanizing of the characters. It made them real, it made the story real, it added to the ability of the audience to relate on a deeper level.

The bad news is, the show will end its run in NYC on Sunday, August 12th. The good news is you still have a few weeks to catch it and to watch Brandon bring Josh to life. Another piece of good news is that I had a chance to have a delightful conversation with Brandon and I’m sharing it here!

Here’s a little official info on Afterglow:

AFTERGLOW is a raw, one-act play exploring the emotional, intellectual, and physical connections between three men and the broader implications within their relationships. Josh and Alex, a married couple in an open relationship, invite Darius to share their bed one night. When a new intimate connection begins to form, all three men must come to terms with their individual definitions of love, loyalty, and trust as futures are questioned, relationships are shaken, and commitments are challenged.

AFTERGLOW opened to strong audience and critical reviews who called the play “A must-see! Afterglow is necessary, honest and vulnerable.” Pride.com; “Compelling, raw, and sometimes uncomfortable (as any honest theater piece is), This is a show not to be missed!” Advocate; “Frank, explicit, insightful, unflinching, vivid and honest. Gelman’s characters grapple articulately with issues many gay men regularly face. Vivid and honest depictions like these that foster a greater understanding of the way we live now.” Towleroad; “Afterglow is inherently watchable, well-paced and a compelling introduction to Gelman’s theatrical voice.” Huffington Post; “Compelling. The trio is exceptionally easy on the eyes. It effectively adds to the authenticity of the story. Afterglow succeeds as it titillates.” Gay City News; “Raw and beautifully complicated, but above all, relatable.   No gay New Yorker should miss this play.” Unicorn Booty; “Fresh and riveting. S. Asher Gelman has set the bar high with his first play, Afterglow.  Gelman is nuanced as both a director and a writer. The nudity—and it is extensive—is presented with a charged eroticism rather than gratuitous titillation. There is no long-term afterglow for the characters in Gelman’s play. But for the audience there surely is. It comes from experiencing an impressive calling card from a gifted new playwright and director.” OffOffOnline; “Afterglow is a raw and real. Playwright S. Asher Gelman brings to the stage the very personal story of open relationships with heart, grit and a non-gratuitous exploration of the complex theme. This is not just another gay play or limited exclusively for the LGBT community but a play for everyone.” BeautyNewsNYC; “Compelling. Highly charged and extremely sexual. They certainly know how to grab our attention.” Times Square Chronicle; “There is amazing acting happening on stage. Afterglow is a bittersweet love story that will touch you.” ReviewsOffBroadway.com.

Brandon Haagenson Afterglow.jpg

The cast of Afterglow includes Joe Chisholm (Regional: The Little Mermaid, My Fair Lady) and Brandon Haagenson (National Tour: Beauty and the Beast. NY: My Big Gay Italian Wedding) and David Merten (Regional Theatre: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, And Then There Were None (Judson Theatre Company). Creative team includes Ann Beyersdorfer (Scenic Designer), Fabian Aguilar (Costume Designer), Jamie Roderick (Lighting Designer), Alex Dietz-Kest (Sound Designer), Mike Ross (Dramaturg), Nina Kauffman (Assistant Director), Kate Lumpkin (Casting Director), Laura Malseed (Production Stage Manager), Will Chaloner (Assistant Stage Manager), Evan Bernardin Productions (General Manager), and Gwynne Richmond (Company Manager) AFTERGLOW is presented by Midnight Theatricals.

And now, here is my interview with Brandon:

Brandon Haagenson glasses

Q: I’ve found Afterglow has a different message for different people. What is the message you take away from it and has it changed since you first read the script?

Brandon Haagenson: For one, Alex and my relationship on stage has become more intimate. The marriage has become stronger over time.

The message is totally different too, it used to be a story about a polly-amorous couple but now, it’s about a marriage and what you need from someone. The longer we run, the more it became about this marriage and what they need from each other that they aren’t getting.

This causes Josh to land on this guy, Darius, and he truly thinks he can have it all. But, boyfriends and husbands are different. What makes someone “husband material” is different from what a boyfriend is.

Q: Congrats on all the success! Afterglow was extended so many times and with good reason. How did that feel?

BH: SO exciting! The first few times, it was like “OH WOW”, then it felt like it would run forever!

Q: Did you have any reservations about the nudity? 

BH: I didn’t. I always said I would do it as long as it served the piece I was working on. There was no nudity in rehearsals and it was never about hot bodies or showing off your body. It was a natural part of the story.

Brandon Haagenson.jpg

Q: You were in every performance, so that probably helped you to develop Josh more over time. Did you change anything about him from the first performance to now? 

BH: Totally! When I first started there were a few decisions he made that I wouldn’t. So I played him as this other person. I built Josh around someone who only tells half of the truth.

After playing him for a while, I started playing the circumstances and I started feeling like Josh was me. I feel more connected to him now.

Q: I ask this to everyone because I feel it tells a lot about people. What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

BH: I absolutely cannot live without family. I mean long-term friends, my family back home, friends I consider family. The cast became family as we worked together all this time. Family means more than just blood relation.

I wish we could all live without beating ourselves up. The more you want to be successful, it seems the more you have to be your own bully at times. I wish we could all learn to live without doing that.

 

I truly hope to see much more of Brandon in future performances as he goes on to the next projects in his career. I also plan to catch him in Afterglow one more time before it ends and I encourage you to go see it if you haven’t or go again if you have! It really has evolved and the characters have so much depth. Head over to Afterglow’s website for ticket info and times.

I’d also love to talk to him once Afterglow is done to ponder what happened to the characters or where he thinks they may have ended up. No matter what, I plan to keep an eye out for him and the rest of the cast!

S. Asher Gelman’s Record-Breaking, Hit Off Broadway Play AFTERGLOW Offers a “Pay What You Wish” Ticket Through August 5, 2018

afterglow doorI plan to see Afterglow a few more times before it ends its current run in NYC and I hope to bring you a few interviews as well. I wanted to share this press release with you to encourage you to get out and see it if you haven’t and if you have, head out to see it again! It’s a powerful play that leaves you feeling so much and wanting more. – Tommy

**Press Release**

“This is a show not to be missed!” The Advocate

“It’s clear “Afterglow” will be a must-see among New York theatregoers” Huffington Post

“Frank, explicit, insightful, unflinching, vivid and honest” Towleroad

“Compelling” Gay City News

“Bold and Buzzworthy” NewNextNow

“Provocatively entertaining” Theatrescene.net

New York: NY’s hit, Off Broadway play, AFTERGLOW, written and directed by S. Asher Gelman, will have performed 467 performances to nearly 25,000 audience members when it ends its successful run on August 12, 2017. In an effort to make sure that everyone has a chance to see the “compelling and raw” drama, “that is not to be missed,” the show will offer ten (10) “Pay What You Wish” tickets at each performance, on a cash only, first come first serve basis through August 5, 2018, at The LOFT at The Davenport Theatre (354 West 45 Street, 3rd Floor). Tickets are normally $59.50 – $109.50 and available by visiting Telecharge.com.

AFTERGLOW owes its success to the wonderful community that has supported us throughout our incredible 14-month run.  In honor of that support, which allowed us to extend well past our initial eight-weeks, we wanted to make the play as accessible as possible.  Effective immediately, we will be offering 10 “Pay What You Wish” tickets to each performance.  As we enter our final weeks in New York City, we want to ensure that everyone who wants to experience the show can have that opportunity.” Playwright/Director, S. Asher Gelman

afterglow hugAFTERGLOW is a raw, one-act play exploring the emotional, intellectual, and physical connections between three men and the broader implications within their relationships. Josh and Alex, a married couple in an open relationship, invite Darius to share their bed one night. When a new intimate connection begins to form, all three men must come to terms with their individual definitions of love, loyalty, and trust as futures are questioned, relationships are shaken, and commitments are challenged.

AFTERGLOW opened to strong audience and critical reviews who called the play “A must-see! Afterglow is necessary, honest and vulnerable.” Pride.com; “Compelling, raw, and sometimes uncomfortable (as any honest theater piece is), This is a show not to be missed!” Advocate; “Frank, explicit, insightful, unflinching, vivid and honest. Gelman’s characters grapple articulately with issues many gay men regularly face. Vivid and honest depictions like these that foster a greater understanding of the way we live now.” Towleroad; “Afterglow is inherently watchable, well-paced and a compelling introduction to Gelman’s theatrical voice.” Huffington Post; “Compelling. The trio is exceptionally easy on the eyes. It effectively adds to the authenticity of the story. Afterglow succeeds as it titillates.” Gay City News; “Raw and beautifully complicated, but above all, relatable.   No gay New Yorker should miss this play.” Unicorn Booty; “Fresh and riveting. S. Asher Gelman has set the bar high with his first play, Afterglow.  Gelman is nuanced as both a director and a writer. The nudity—and it is extensive—is presented with a charged eroticism rather than gratuitous titillation. There is no long-term afterglow for the characters in Gelman’s play. But for the audience there surely is. It comes from experiencing an impressive calling card from a gifted new playwright and director.” OffOffOnline; “Afterglow is a raw and real. Playwright S. Asher Gelman brings to the stage the very personal story of open relationships with heart, grit and a non-gratuitous exploration of the complex theme. This is not just another gay play or limited exclusively for the LGBT community but a play for everyone.” BeautyNewsNYC; “Compelling. Highly charged and extremely sexual. They certainly know how to grab our attention.” Times Square Chronicle; “There is amazing acting happening on stage. Afterglow is a bittersweet love story that will touch you.” ReviewsOffBroadway.com.

The cast of Afterglow includes Joe Chisholm (Regional: The Little Mermaid, My Fair Lady) and Brandon Haagenson (National Tour: Beauty and the Beast. NY: My Big Gay Italian Wedding) and David Merten (Regional Theatre: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, And Then There Were None (Judson Theatre Company). Creative team includes Ann Beyersdorfer (Scenic Designer), Fabian Aguilar (Costume Designer), Jamie Roderick (Lighting Designer), Alex Dietz-Kest (Sound Designer), Mike Ross (Dramaturg), Nina Kauffman (Assistant Director), Kate Lumpkin (Casting Director), Laura Malseed (Production Stage Manager), Will Chaloner (Assistant Stage Manager), Evan Bernardin Productions (General Manager), and Gwynne Richmond (Company Manager) AFTERGLOW is presented by Midnight Theatricals.

afterglow trio.jpgAFTERGLOW

Written and Directed by S. Asher Gelman

The Loft at The Davenport Theatre is located at 354 West 45 Street, 3rd Floor

FINAL WEEKS!

Performance Schedule through August 12, 2018

Monday & Wednesday at 7:30 pm; Thursday – Saturday at 8 pm

Saturday at 3 pm and 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm and 7 pm

Running time 90 minutes NO intermission

Tickets can be purchased by visiting Telecharge.com.

Now Through August 5, 2018

10 Tickets Available – “Pay What You Wish”

Cash Only at the box office, based on availability

Tickets are $59.50 – $109.50

PLEASE NOTE:  AFTERGLOW contains nudity.

18+, No Late Seating

For more information on AFTERGLOW, please visit www.afterglowtheplay.com

 

 

She Calls Me Firefly will take you on a journey you’ll remember

sean fireflyI was blessed to see She Calls me Firefly on a dress rehearsal night a few weeks ago at the Soho Playhouse. It’s only running for about a month for Pride Month in NYC and sadly, ends it’s run Pride weekend. That means you only have one more week left to catch it before it’s gone. I plan on seeing it at least once this week, if not a few times before Sunday June 24th! It’s totally worth checking out a few times because I feel like it’s the type of art that will present new facets each time you see it.

Full disclosure, one of the stars, Sean Hudock is a good friend of mine but my desire to see the play has all to do with his amazing talent. During the rehearsal show, his performance moved me to tears, made me laugh, and touched my heart. He soars in any role he takes on and is one of the biggest supporters and allies of the LGBTQ community I know. I don’t think I’ve ever actually told him before but he constantly inspires me on my own journey and gives me so much strength when I need it. He has encouraged me to continue to be involved, fight, and be there for others in my community.

The show takes place in a Kentucky dive bar called Freddie’s Place, where it’s always nickel beer night and there’s live musical entertainment to start out each evening. You’ll be transported there for each performance because you’ll be seated in the bar, enjoying the live performance until the show begins around you.

cast fireflyHere’s the official description from the website:

‘It’s Nickel Beer Night at Freddie’s Place. Ken has come to drown his sorrows, but no amount of alcohol can wash away the pain of his broken relationship with Levi, nor the dark and difficult secrets of his past. As you enter Freddie’s you will instantly be transported from New York City streets to a Kentucky dive bar. Pull up a stool, grab a drink, and find yourself immersed in the searing world of She Calls Me Firefly.’

A new play written by Teresa Lotz, directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser.
​​A co-production by Parity Productions and New Perspectives Theatre Company.

It’s the broken relationship that brings Ken into Freddie’s Place and this will tug at your heart-strings but it’s the dark and difficult secrets of his past that will shock you and bring you to tears. This play is a reminder that sometimes we must deal with our past in order to move on to the future we deserve. What holds us back and keeps us from happiness does not serve us. I don’t want to give away any of the important parts of the story but I feel like everyone can relate to it for sure!

She Calls Me Firefly is an official NYC Pride Partner and a perfect partner it is! If you are in NYC visiting for Pride or you live here, make this show part of your NYC Pride experience….You won’t be sorry. You can get tickets here for Monday June 18th, Wednesday June 20th, Thursday June 21st, Friday June 22nd, and Saturday June 23rd.