23 NW 5th Street
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33301
Performing at Andrews Living Arts Studio (Feb 3 - Feb 19)
Runtime: 2 Hours
ANDREWS LIVING ARTS continues its “edgy” season with the presentation of a Double Bill with two 1-act plays; the first, Robert Chesley’s controversial and ground-breaking play JERKER or THE HELPING HAND and Paul Rudnick’s satirical comedy MR. CHARLES, CURRENTLY OF PALM BEACH. These two short plays depict differing views of Gay culture, ranging from poking fun at Gay stereotypes to a frank exploration of love and sex.
JERKER or THE HELPING HAND, is Chesley’s most performed play (although not in South Florida); notorious after a radio broadcast of excerpts on the Los Angeles Public Radio Station which caused the FCC to attempt broadcast censorship. Set in 1980’s San Francisco when gay sex was both uninhibited and frightening, two men engage in frank and raw phone sex that excites them, while building a strong unseen bond between them. JERKER is unflinching in its language and sensuality, yet compelling in depicting the search for love. It is graphic and not intended for shy or easily offended audiences.
The curtain-raiser MR. CHARLES, CURRENTLY OF PALM BEACH is one of four short plays that Rudnick included in a full work entitled, The New Century produced in 2008 at Lincoln Center. Rudnick is highly regarded for his plays and screenplays, including JEFFREY, I HATE HAMLET and IN AND OUT. In MR.CHARLES……the leading player is an old-style gay sophisticate, who has been “exiled” from NYC for his lack of political correctness. He is “semi-retired” in Palm Beach, and now hosts a late night cable show called “Too Gay”. Accompanied by his exhibitionistic “boy toy” Shane, Mr. Charles hilariously expounds on “Gay Culture” while attempting to “change the World!”
ANDREWS LIVING ARTS is pleased to welcome back Jerry Jensen as Director of this production, who is well known in the South Florida theatre community as an actor, director, stage manager, and radio co-host of 5 Minutes to Curtain on www.w4cy.com. Jerry directed last fall’s most popular ALA hit, Love! Valour! Compassion! His many director credits range from My Fair Lady and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to 2 Boys in a Bed on a Cold Winter’s Night and It’s Only a Play! The Production Stage Manager is Clara McCarthy, who has just directed ALA’s Deathtrap. Producer/Set Designer is Robert D.Nation
Director Jerry Jenson, has assembled a very talented cast of South Florida actors for these two plays. Will Smith and Brian Bloomer are the two gay men in JERKER. Smith has been seen in several ALA shows, most recently, LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! & CUCKOO’S NEST. Bloomer, who also plays Shane in MR. CHARLES, had leading roles in Ohio, and recently moved to Florida debuting on stage in PARTY and worked backstage as stage manager for an ALA production of THE JACKIE MASON MUSICAL. Jerry Marino is making his ALA debut as the flamboyant/extravagant Mr. Charles, and Leslie Erin, recently seen as Columbia in ALA’s ROCKY HORROR, supports Mr. Charles as receptionist, Joann.
CAUTION: Both plays contain Male Nudity. JERKER has strong language and gay sexual content.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert D. Nation, Andrews Living Arts Studio is education based and is dedicated to nurturing and shaping the next generation of artists by offering a Studio Classroom for teaching, Gallery Space for exhibits by Fine Artists and a fully equipped stage for theatrical presentations. Our goal includes: making the fine and performing arts accessible to everyone, including the underprivileged and those with special needs through: New Play Development, Acting Classes and Audition Preparation, Performance Showcases, Plays, Musicals, and Internships for upcoming artists. Students gain life skills and a respect for each other through training in the arts and our audiences are enriched through the cultural art of presentations.