Jon Manganello has created an intriguing, interesting and informative one-man show for himself—The Gay Guide To Tinseltown. In it he combines his distaste for revisionist queer history, his years working at a Hollywood studio and his life as a gay boy. It’s a fun and at times harrowing trip through recent gay Hollywood history.
The centerpiece is the game show Who’s To Blame for the AIDS epidemic and the contestants include Hollywood matinee idol and first major U.S. celebrity to die of AIDS Rock Hudson, Hudson’s gay lover Marc Christian MacGinnis, Hudson’s gay publicist Dale Olson and Hudson’s former Hollywood friend President Ronald Reagan. There are segues into the Stonewall riots, straight actors receiving praise and awards for playing gay characters and much more. Manganello shows a versatile range as he plays the various characthers. His writing is focused and sharp as is the direction by Casey Hanley. Gay, straight or questioning, you should sign up for with this guide.
Actors Company, 916A Formosa Ave. in West Hollywood. July 8 & 29. http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/3846