Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party: Satirical Farce at the SF Playhouse
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The last date listed for Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party was Saturday January 17, 2009 / 8:00pm.
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This clever series of comic vignettes by the legendary composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney… More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Ray Q.
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What an impressive new and original work: the play was really a surprise. The writing was very intelligent and densely packed with nice intricacies that challenged the audience to pay attention and follow along, without getting mired in its own self-importance. The "gimmick" of having the audience determine the order of the three acts ended up being a clever mechanism for reinforcing the concept of the same story told from different perspectives. And the writing is very generous: the lead characters share ample stage time with supporting performers who get rewarded with brilliant comedic opportunities and audience-favorite lines. My only contention with this (preview) performance was being told by the box office that the running time was 2 hours and 15 minutes, then arriving to see signs that it was 2.5 hours, and then having the show actually run 2 hours 45 minutes. So the early curtain and two intermissions were as important as an accurate announcement would have been!
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I really enjoyed this event. This was a preview so it was not flawless but it was so much more than what I expected. It had humor, wit, and it made you really think. Some of the serious moments were pretty intense. Audience participation of...continued
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This was an extremely creative production - a script broken into 3 intersecting parts the audience chooses the order of; great set production; and very clever play on current events with REAL humor not just gags. The timing is perfect after the...continued
The SF Playhouse (Bill English, Artistic Director; Susi Damilano, Producing Director) is pleased to present the World Premiere of Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party by Aaron Loeb (First Person Shooter) commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround, James A. Kleinmann, Artistic Director. Chris Smith, former Artistic Director of the Magic Theatre will direct.
What if President Lincoln was gay? Would you have to rethink everything?
As we re-imagine our national identity in the 21st century, Aaron Loeb deconstructs our greatest icon in this hilarious farce.
Told in three acts—the audience decides the order—with a nod to Inherit the Wind, a “Trial of the Century” determines the fate of a rural third grade teacher who outs Abe as gay in the annual Christmas Pageant.
Abe and the rest of the cast dance in styles from Ballroom to Salsa, and yet, the title belies the seriousness of the play’s ambition to address our deep national divide as we fight over what it really means to be an American.
The cast features Velina Brown*, Sarah Mitchell, J.D. Nelson*, Lorraine Olsen, Mark Phillips*, Michael Phillis, and Brian Degan Scott.*Courtesy of Actor’s Equity.
Aaron Loeb (Playwright): Loeb’s play,_ First Person Shooter_, had its world premiere right here at The SF Playhouse in 2007, in co-production with PlayGround. The play won the Bay Area Theater Critic Circle Award for Best New Play and was on the Top 10 lists of both the Chronicle and Oakland Tribune. First Person Shooter has gone on to receive full productions in Sacramento (Capital Stage) and San Jose (City Lights). The play has also had and staged readings in Los Angeles (the Zephyr) and Ft. Worth, Texas (Amphibian Productions). Since 2002, Aaron has been a regular writer for the Bay Area theater company, PlayGround, which originally commissioned First Person Shooter and Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party. His 10-minute plays have appeared in six Best of PlayGround festivals, the Lake George Theater Festival, and the San Francisco Fringe Festival. His work has also appeared in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival as part of the Bay Area Shorts (BASH). His other work has been produced at LaMaMa E.T.C. and the Playground theater in New York City as well as college venues around the country as part of the Performers’ Workshop Ensemble. His play, Brown, was produced in 2005 at Berkeley’s La Val’s Subterranean Theater by Crowded Fire as part of their Matchbox Workshop Series. Aaron studied playwriting at New York University where he received BFAs in Dramatic Writing and Dramatic Literature. He is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild of America, Inc.
Chris Smith (Director) is proud to be making his directorial debut with SF Playhouse. He has directed several dozen world premiere productions in San Francisco, New York City and regionally, including works by Edna O’Brien, Charles Grodin, David Ives, Joyce Carol Oates, Romulus Linney, John Belluso, Gen Leroy, Joe Pintauro, Lloyd Suh, and four plays by Pulitzer Prize-winner Frank D. Gilroy (most notably Drama Desk Best Play Nominated Contact with the Enemy), and has won two Dean Goodman Awards for Best Direction. He currently has a commission from TheatreWorks to co-write, with partner Raquel Bitton, a new play with music, is a guest faculty member of San Jose State University, and is executive producing a new media project with ACT’s Conservatory and Flying Moose Productions. Chris is the former Artistic Director of Magic Theatre (SF) and Youngblood (NYC).
About the Ticket Supplier: San Francisco Playhouse
The aim of San Francisco Playhouse is to provide a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers and theater lovers converge to create works that celebrate the human spirit. Founded by Bill English and Susi Damilano in 2003, San Francisco Playhouse is Union Square’s intimate, professional theatre. Using professional actors and world-class design, San Francisco Playhouse — which won the Bay Guardian‘s 2006 Best Off Broadway Theatre Award and about which the San Francisco Chronicle raved "San Francisco’s newest theatre isn’t just another tiny stage carved out of a storefront…it’s an enticing introduction to a new company" — has become an intimate theatre alternative to the traditional Union Square theatre fare, garnering 20 Bay Area Theatre Critic nominations in its first year.