Nikki and Bobby, Mark Leonard's dark comedy about the love affair between a black transvestite from Times Square and a white sheriff from Mississippi, will have its West Coast premiere Sept. 1 at the Coast Playhouse in W. Hollywood. The run is through Oct. 8.
The play won the 1991 Austin Circle of Theatres Award for Best Original Script when it had its world premiere at the Chicago House in Austin, TX. Leonard (who also directs) said he was living in New York in 1985 when the play was conceived. "The character of Nikki is based on a black transvestite/prostitute I met at a New York nightclub who wanted to have a play written about his life, for he had a premonition that he was going to die young. The real-life person whom Nikki was modeled on had a major cocaine addiction and worked as a hustler in a porno theatre located on Broadway and 42nd Street in Times Square, where he turned tricks down in the basement of the establishment. He actually had love affairs with straight men, one of whom was a hunky state highway patrolman who eventually shot at him, but missed. As a result, Nikki lived to tell his story."
The cast includes Michael Matts as Nikki and J.D. Evermore as Bobby. Cameo roles are played by three alternating sets of actors. This is the second of a three-play slate being presented by D'Art Productions, a fledgling producing organization which presents original works for theatre. Pamela Massey is producer for D'Art Productions.
Coast Playhouse is located at 8325 Santa Monica Blvd. For tickets and information call (323) 655-8587 or visit www.dartproductions.com
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent