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Comedy pairs gay theater critic with good ol’ boy kidnappers

Gray Area

Out comedian/director Sherri Denise Sutton has returned to Atlanta and already has a slew of projects lined up. First up is directing the comic “Gray Area” at Aurora Theatre.

It’s a farcical show, written by John Ahlin, about what happens when a New York theater critic makes an on-air crack about Civil War re-enactors as his last public statement — and is promptly kidnapped by three good ol’ boys. It stars openly gay actor Glenn Rainey as the critic, Farragut. The character is gay, says Sutton, which the kidnappers don’t know when they nab him.

“They think he is straight – they have no idea he’s gay,” she says. “The audience is in on the joke.”

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‘Shakespeare Follies’ takes audiences on a bawdy romp through the classics

Wednesday was a six-espresso-shot day for local playwright Timothy Gray.

It's the Wednesday before his company, Odd Man Out, opens "Shakespeare Follies" again in Atlanta, this time for a two-night benefit run April 1-2 at 7 Stages in Little Five Points. Proceeds benefit 7 Stages.

Between packing costumes, load-in at the theater and tech rehearsals, he phoned in to chat about the show and how he's managed to teach an old bard new tricks.

"I love Shakespeare so much," Gray says, "but I know everyone hates it because it was one of those things that was forced on us in high school, so I set this show up like a 1920s vaudeville show — little rapid fire acts, boom, boom, boom."

Gray, who is gay, writes comedies as a rule, and his approach to Shakespeare is no different. Promotional materials call the presentation a "bawdy romp through the most famous (and infamous) of Shakespeare's masterpieces" with “elements of cabaret and vaudeville, hilarious comedy and shameless T&A.”