Paul Rudnick’s Big Gay Comedy, ‘The New Century’
A Jewish matron, a flamboyant aging homosexual and a Midwestern craftswoman, and is filled with snappy one-liners and a moment of gratuitous nudity. Diversionary Theatre stages the West Coast premiere of Paul Rudnick’s big gay comedy, The New Century, opening Dec. 5 – including performances over the Christmas and New Year weekends.
- In “Pride and Joy,” Helene, a Long Island matron, is the self-proclaimed “most loving mother of all time” to her three gay children, whom she brags about at the Massapequa chapter of Parents of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, The Transgendered, The Questioning, The Curious, The Creatively Concerned and Others.
- “Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach” features a flamboyant, over-the-hill cable-TV host dishing about gay life, with help from his young “ward,” Shane. Mr. Charles is described by playwright Rudnick as “an aging homosexual hounded out of New York City by younger gay men, who find his theatrical style a threatening throwback to an earlier, tougher time.”
- Barbara Ellen is a Midwestern craftswoman and competitive cake-decorator in “Crafty,” addressing a local business group about the joys of crafts. Chipper chatter about toaster cozies and scrapbooking leads to baring her soul and torture over the loss of her son Hank, who died of AIDS in a New York Hospital.
- The title short unites Mr. Charles, Helene and Barbara Ellen in a Manhattan maternity ward, a good place to consider the future and bond over their burdens.
During the run, Diversionary will make their annual Give Change to Make Change fundraising pitch to the audience, who are encouraged to bring coins and bills to throw into the hat that will be passed around.
Rudnick is the playwright of Valhalla, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Jeffrey, for which he won an Obie, Outer Critics Circle and the John Gassner Playwrighting Award. Rudnick also did the screenplays for Addams Family Values, Jeffrey and In & Out.
Diversionary Theatre was started in 1986. The mission of the theatre is to produce plays with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes that portray characters in their complexity and diversity both historically and contemporarily.
The New Century
Presented by Diversionary Theatre
Dec. 5-Jan. 2 (previews starting Dec. 3)
Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. (In Hillcrest)
Box Office: (619) 220-0097