Fresh Fruit Festival Presents Bedillion's Forbidden Fruit, July 22-28

News   Fresh Fruit Festival Presents Bedillion's Forbidden Fruit, July 22-28 Jeff Bedillion's Forbidden Fruit will be part of the Fresh Fruit Festival, billed as "The First International Lower East Side Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Theater and Performance Festival."

The 29-year-old Bedillion wrote the play a decade ago while a student at Kent State University. The love story set in the midwest played a controversial run at the now-closed Cabaret Dada in Ohio — the Ohio City Council wanted the piece removed from the theatre's schedule — and the playwright has since revised the piece for the festival, where it will run July 22-28.

Bedillion spoke to Playbill On-Line about his work, explaining, "It's set in an abstract Garden of Eden — the Midwest. It's a love story of two men, basically the history of the two men before they met eachother. One of the main characters is named Christian. He has a religious journey, coming to terms with his sexuality and confronting his mother, who's a religious tyrant. . . . There's also a love triangle with a character named Brian and a woman he's dating named Lisa. They both fall in love with his friend Michael."

The company of Forbidden Fruit comprises Bobby Abid, Kurt Alger, Michael Ellison, Claysey Everett, Katharine Heller, Christopher Blake Mays and Joel M. Peterson. The work is underscored with African drumming and features a live drummer onstage. Bedillion also added that Fruit is a "movement oriented piece. There are two major dances, some smaller dances and a really lewd musical number, 'Nice Girls.'" The "sexually aggressive" production also contains nudity.

Produced by All Out Arts and New Village Productions, the Fresh Fruit Festival began July 14 and will run through Aug. 3. Among its other offerings are GayCo, Chicago's LGBT comedy troupe; David Koteles' Bald Diva!; Deian McBryde's alter-ego, Mabel Dawn Davis; and short plays and performances by Michael Burke, Fides E. Daruthayan, Danny Katz, Lissa Moira, Diana Son, Maiana Minahal, Mary F. Unser and Elizabeth Whitney. For more information about the festival, visit www.newvillageproductions.org.

Forbidden Fruit will be performed at the Milagro Theatre, 107 Suffolk Street. The performance schedule is July 22-25 and July 28 at 8 PM, July 26 at 3 PM and July 27 at 5 PM. For tickets, call (212) 868-4444 or log on to www.smarttix.com.