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‘Auntie Mame’ mixes genders, while puppet play explores a white minority

Topher Payne stars in 'Auntie Mame'

Topher Payne and DeWayne Morgan, who work together on Process Theatre’s “Designing Women,” are joining forces for a version of the campy “Auntie Mame.”

Payne stars as the infamous titular character while Morgan plays sidekick Vera Charles. The theatre company had been talking about doing the play for a few years and found a place for it this season, with the two popular openly gay actors in the forefront. The show runs April 14 to May 4 at Onstage Atlanta.

Payne says bringing Mame to life has been enjoyable but trying.

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‘Cheezecake Boiz and the Diva’ looks for love beyond labels

The cast of Cheezecake Boiz and the DivaWhen Towonda Kilpatrick pitched a TV show to a network and the ensuing deal didn’t quite work out the way she had hoped, she didn’t toss the idea – she simply decided to take it to the stage instead. Her gay-inclusive “Cheezecake Boiz and the Diva” returns to Atlanta this weekend.

The playwright wrote the first draft back in 2008 and envisioned it as a reality show, but when she learned it wouldn’t be headed to television, she made a few changes. The biggest were  adding the “Diva” to the mix and turning it into a musical. The revamped version premiered in June as a showcase and the reaction was positive. An investor saw it and talked to her about doing it again locally and then touring it, beginning in October.

“Cheezecake Boiz and the Diva” is about a Diva (Lauren Jones) who has been through four unsuccessful marriages and gets something of a comeuppance by four men in her life, three of them gay. They are called the Cheezecake Boiz and include a marketing guru (Queshan Hayes), a fashion designer (Anthony Davis), an escort host (David Massey) and a producer (played by R&B singer Tony Terry).