Even though I live in the greatest "theatre" city in the world, New York, I rarely go to any type of show, either on or off-Broadway. Not sure why that is, however my sentiments may be changing as I just saw a hilarious play about the life of a single gay man in a post-marriage equality world that will make me want to seek out more shows like this as it easily relates to my everyday life.
The show is called Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, and its currently enjoying its run at the historic SoHo Playhouse in, you guessed it, SoHo!
It's a one-man show starring Drew Droege, an award winning actor and comedian who is best known for his incredible impressions of actress Chloe Sevigny. The show is roughly about 90 minutes long, no breaks, so I gotta give Drew credit for being able to memorize that much dialogue when you yourself are the only one talking throughout.
The show, which is directed by Ugly Betty star Michael Urie, just opened last month and has been receiving rave reviews from outlets like The New York Times and now Instinct Magazine.
Bright Colors and Bold Patterns is about a wedding that is taking place one weekend in sunny Palm Springs. The guys walking down the aisle are named Brennan and Josh, who will be exchanging vows on a Saturday afternoon. The day before, however, one of their friends named Gerry (played by Drew) shows up and the whole show pretty much turns into an all-night, drink and drug fueled gab fast by him about not only the wedding that will take place the next day, but so much more that leaves you with a much different idea of who he is at the end of the play than at the beginning.
The show pretty much starts with Gerry mocking the hell out of the wedding invitations that they got, where it says "please refrain from wearing bright colors and bold patterns" directly on it. The three characters that he talks with during the hours leading up to the wedding are his best friend who he dated many moons ago, someone by the name of Neil who Gerry seems to viciously hate, and Mac, a 23 year old architect who is dating Gerry's best friend.
All three of these characters help in Gerry's eventual breakdown of sorts, as he finds himself of a certain age, single, and freaking out over getting into a fight with his "boyfriend" back at home that eventually turns out to be someone completely different.
During the hour and a half performance, you see Gerry literally going after every single other character in terms of not knowing much about gay history (Mac, the young one), how he wants to kidnap the mother of one of the brides who he deems to be "beige", his frenemy Neil who he eventually calls out for their mutual distaste for one another, and his best friend who he looks to still have major feelings for which comes out in a beautiful way towards the end of the show.
The character of Gerry is essentially a lot of us gay men who are single and living in a world where we can now get married. We show up to something like this, mock everything in sight, but at the end of the day the bitterness and shade that gets evoked is truly just a sign of insecurity and doubt about our own lives. We waited for marriage equality to happen for decades, then it does, and it leaves many of us wondering when it will happen for us.
For the character of Gerry, the thought process for him is that he may have had that with his best friend, but that's far and gone, and his "boyfriend" option that he talks about early in the show is merely just a sign of small hope for him as he continues to break down about his own life as the play progresses.
Honestly, it's an incredible show that I hope garners some sort of attention come Tony Awards season. If you are able to make it to New York City over the next couple of weeks, definitely go see Bright Colors and Bold Patterns. For more information, click here.