As if openly gay actors Ty Autry and Brian Jordan didn’t see each other enough during the day, now they are sharing a stage together in Out Front Theatre Company’s new “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.” Roommates for a year now, they are now the two leads in the new production.
Directed by Out Front Artistic Director Paul Conroy, the comedy opens April 27, closing out the company’s first season. Written by Paul Rudnick, the production follows Adam and Steve from their time in the Garden of Eden to modern day New York, with friends Jane and Mabel in tow.
Autry plays the role of Adam. He got his hands on the script about six months ago and fell in love with it.
“From that I knew I wanted the role of Adam,” he said. “I identified with his struggles. I knew I wanted to play this character.”
According to the actor, Adam is big into asking questions, hard questions that Christians are afraid to ask of themselves.
“It’s beautiful seeing this journey of discovery and exploring what it means to be a man of faith, loving someone and reconciling that with a love life and working it out all for the good,” he said. “He starts so optimistic about life and his arc is about discovering reality. One thing that drives him crazy is questions without knowing the answer.”
Autry laughed out loud reading the script, realizing this was a different take on the Bible than he was used to seeing growing up in the Bible Belt.
“It asks questions in a comical sense,” he says.
Although he has a degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, he knew he wanted to go into acting his senior year in college. He booked roles in two musicals that year – “Rent” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” – as well as choreographed his own variety show and followed that with an apprenticeship with Georgia Ensemble Theatre. In his first year after school, he choreographed “9 to 5: The Musical” at OnStage Atlanta and starred in a dinner theater version of “Santaland Diaries” in Marietta. After the Out Front show, he moves to New York to join Atlantic Acting School.
Jordan, who plays Steve, grew up in Augusta, then studied theater at Columbus State. Instead of moving back home, where there is no professional theater, he relocated in Atlanta. He has been seen in several Serenbe Playhouse productions, including the current “Grease” and last year’s “Miss Saigon.”
He describes Steve as the more solid of the central pair.
“He is the rock of the four friends,” said Jordan. “He is very grounded and more realistic.”
Being roommates with Autry before being cast definitely helps the relationship onstage.
“We are more comfortable with each other,” said Jordan. “He is a close friend.”
As part of the production, both actors appear frontally nude at one point, which they said was awkward at first.
“There was this moment of hesitation when I had to do it in the final callback, but we jumped in and did it,” said Autry. “It is a bit daunting, though, knowing that about 1,500 people will have seen me naked onstage before the show is over.”
“The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” April 27 – May 14th Out Front Theatre Company 999 Brady Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 www.outfrontheatre.com