Music from The Go-Go’s, feline creatures from T.S. Eliot and queer short plays are some of the treats on tap now or on the horizon in local theater.
At Actors’ Express, Trevor Perry is starring as Pythio in the company’s version of “Head Over Heels.” The show opened on Broadway last year complete with songs by ’80s band The Go-Go’s such as “We Got the Beat,” “Vacation” and the titular number, as well as some of Belinda Carlisle’s songs as well. It revolves around about a royal family in Arcadia trying to keep their kingdom. Perry’s Pythio is the oracle, a magical entity telling folks in the kingdom that they will lose their beat and not be able to thrive unless they change their way. Perry saw the show on Broadway this year and was taken aback at how inclusive the show was, by performer Peppermint being the first transgender woman to originate a role on Broadway, and by the character of Princess Pamela being a woman of size without anyone remarking that she is a bigger woman. “She is the most beautiful woman in the land and that is a widely accepted fact,” Perry says. Perry also loved the choreography, which is an homage to the ball scenes of the ’80s and ’90s, and the show’s message. The performer, who identifies as non-binary, moved to the area seven years ago and has been almost nonstop busy, seen in Actor’s Express version of “Rent” as well as the company’s “Little Shop of Horrors,” among others.
Out actor Dan Hoy is part of the cast of the new national touring version of “Cats.” It’s a dream gig for the young performer, who has always been a fan of the musical. “When I was a kid I had a VHS copy of the original production and I watched it so many times, I broke the VHS tape,” he recalls. “It had a central place in my heart and was an introduction to musical theater. Being in the show has been a cool full-circle moment for me.” He plays Munkustrap, the leader in training of the group. His job is to keep things flowing throughout the evening of the Jellicle Ball, where his cat colleagues are going to nominate one of their own to go to their version of Heaven. Hoy, who’s been on the road since the beginning of the year, feels that the musical is still incredibly relevant. “There is nothing else like it in musical theater. It’s the poetry of T.S. Eliot with the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,” he says. “It’s crazy how many people say this was their introduction to musical theater and now I’m introducing my kid. It’s timeless. We also have a large LGBT following.”
This weekend, Out Front Theatre Company hosts “Summer Shorts,” a series of plays and monologues staged by the company’s Young Professional Performers Series. According to Paul Conroy, Out Front’s artistic director, the Young Professional Performers Series was established to give high school students and young adults (ages 16-21) the chance to perform in a theatrical atmosphere outside of the classroom. The series allows the performers a chance to engage “in a show that may not typically be presented in an educational setting, as well as allow them the opportunity to perform on a professional stage while confronting topics and themes that are true to their community,” says Conroy. “Summer Shorts” runs through Sunday.
Aug 6 -11
“Head Over Heels”
Through Aug 15
Out Front Theatre Company
Through Aug 4