The food was great and the wine flowed as the venerable New Conservatory Theatre held an elegant soiree to announce its 2015-2016 season.
NCT founder/artistic director Ed Decker took to the stage to address/entertain the crowd, leaving some to wonder why he wasn't pursuing a career in stand-up. "I need my medicine," he said gleefully, as he poured himself a drink. He held up his flask for all to see. "It's the best self-help guide," he said. "Girl, heal thyself!"
Decker could have taught Neil Patrick Harris a thing or two about hosting the Oscars!
Next season promises to be a thriller, a combination of comedy, music, and thought-provoking drama. Douglas Carter Beane's The Nance
, a recent hit on Broadway, is set to be performed from Oct. 2-Nov 1. The 1930s drama is a sobering look back at how lonely life could be for actors of that period, when playing
gay was acceptable but being
gay was not.
The season's theatrical themes will continue with Jonathan Tolins' Buyers and Cellars
, a comedy about an actor and his relationship with his employer, Barbra Streisand.
Barbra will be on hand again next season when On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
, the classic musical by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner, dances onto the NCT stage next May. Sexy William Giamonna stepped up to the mike and belted out the show's title tune, which Babs had popularized on movie screens way back in 1970.
The music continues next season as the wildly wacky Avenue Q
makes its return to the NCT stage next season. Q
's potty-mouthed puppets, and their human co-stars, wowed the crowed with hilarious renditions of "Dance 10 Looks Three" (the legendary "tits and ass" number from A Chorus Line
), "Tomorrow" from Annie
and "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago
There will be serious theater as well. In The Kid Thing
, two lesbian couples, close friends for years, deal with a pregnancy which changes the dynamics of their relationship.
For the Love of Comrades
tells the true life story of striking Welsh miners who find unexpected allies when they join forces with gay and lesbian activists from London — this same story was told in the recent, acclaimed film Pride
Mothers and Sons
, written by the Tony Award-winning playwright Terence McNally is about a mom visiting her late son's surviving partner — and the partner's new husband.
The audience was also treated to a brief preview of the season to follow when comic Jewelle Gomez showed her serious side. Gomez, NCT's playwright in residence, performed a dramatic reading from Leaving the Blues
, her work in progress about Alberta Hunter, a legendary blues singer who was forced to hide her lesbianism.
To see the full schedule for NCT's upcoming season, please visit: www.nctsf.org