After female impersonator Dorian Corey passed away in 1993 of AIDS-related complications, a mummified body of a man with a bullet hole in his head was discovered in Corey's apartment. To playwright Richard Mailman, there was a story to explore—one to musicalize.
Mailman and Baltimore composer Ryan Haase are collaborating on the new musical Dorian’s Closet—set to open in April 2017 on the Howard Community College Campus produced by Rep Stage. Mailman has written the book and lyrics, Haase the music. The two, joined by a group of eight actors, recently gathered for a three-day workshop, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“It was the first time we put the music and text together,” Joseph Ritsch, co-artistic director of Rep Stage and director of Dorian’s Closet, told the Sun.
Haase reportedly composed over two dozen songs for the show, which explores Corey’s life, drag ball culture à la Paris Is Burning, and the mystery behind the man found dead in the apartment.
Haase, Mailman and Ritsch are expected to reunite in the winter for fine-tuning, with rehearsals beginning in March 2017. Post-workshop, the team is searching for a new actor to play the title role.
Dorian’s Closet is scheduled to run April 26–May 14 on the campus of Howard Community College.