In its sixth Pride season dedicated to gay plays, San Francisco's New Conservatory Theatre will not only play host to "Who's the Boss"'s Danny Pintauro's star turn in The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name), but also bring the Bay Area Terrence McNally's controversial Bible story, Corpus Christi and Paul Rudnick's comic Bible story, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.
A world premiere is also set for the company with Prince Gomolvilas' Debunking Love, a new comedy from the author of Big Hunk o' Burnin' Love, Seat Belts and Big Fat Buddhas and The Theory of Everything. A young Asian-American novelist falls into romantic entanglements (and develops one bad case of writer's block) while searching for love in all the wrong races. Love runs Nov. 8-Jan. 6, 2001.
Jeff Baron's Off-Broadway hit, Visiting Mr. Green, kicks off Pride Season Aug. 10-Sept. 10. Dean Goodman will play Mr. Green, the retired dry cleaner who is almost killed by 29-year-old gay executive Ross Gardnier and becomes a community service punishment and then friend to the younger man. Goodman, celebrating his 63rd year as an actor, most recently garnering a 1996 Bay Area Critics Circle Award for I Never Sang for My Father.
Pintauro and Gary runs simultaneously, Sept. 6-30. James Still's play examines a young gay hustler, out of luck and on the make, who believes, despite everything, that it will all work out alright. In New York City, he finds himself addicted to phone sex, attending memorial services of people he never knew and meeting porn stars, deaf queens and a dog named Rodney.
Pintauro is best known for his childhood role as Jonathan Bower on "Who's The Boss," but has since acted on "As The World Turns" and "Timestalkers" and in Hot 'n' Throbbing and Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde. With a Christmas season run, the New Conservatory Theatre will examine the life of Christ in McNally's Corpus Christi, Oct. 11-Jan. 6, 2001. A retelling of Jesus Christ's story set in 20th Century Texas and in homosexual terms, Christi caused much protesting during its run Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Company and even resulted in a fatwa in its London run.
Grant's Snakebit will play from Jan. 24-March 24. This play, the debut from the Angels in America actor, is a modern comedy of manners set between three people whose relationships are tested by a sick child. Jenifer, married to actor Jonathan, comes to Los Angeles to stay with gay social worker, Michael, who had a secret affair with her before she gave birth to her now ill daughter. Convinced that it might be AIDS her child is sick with, Jenifer must decide if she will confront Michael and if she will tell her husband.
Canada's Brad Fraser (Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love) brings his Martin Yesterday south for a run Feb. 14 April 7. In this serious work, thirtysomething Matt finds himself looking for stability instead of the mindless flings with younger men he has been having. When he meets Martin Yesterday, he thinks his prayers have been answered, but Martin has a dark and desperate past.
Carol Churchill's satire, Cloud 9, will mock modern sexual mores April 25-June 23. A work of cross-gender-and-color-casting and bizzare theatrics, Cloud 9 includes the characters Clive, his wife Betty (played by a man), their daughter Victoria (a rag doll), Harry, the bi-sexual explorer, Clive's son Edward (played by a girl) and Joshua, the black servant (played by a white person).
Finishing off Pride Season will be Rudnick's comedy, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, running May 9-July 14. A stage manager cues the beginning of creation and Adam and Steve and Jane and Mabel appear, four homosexuals charged with starting the human race. Fabulous Story is a romp through an Old Testament viewed with an amused gay perspective. Rudnick is the author of Jeffrey, I Hate Hamlet, "Addams Family," "Sister Act" and "In & Out."
Subscriptions to Pride Season run from $225-$85 with single tickets for $25-$14. The New Conservatory Theatre is located at 25 Van Ness Avenue near Market. For tickets and information, call the New Conservatory Box Office at (415) 861-8972.
-- By Christine Ehren