Watch them burn, baby, burn! (Image by Eric McNatt)
On Thursday, I ventured to NYC's Dixon Place — where experimental theater has gone to live for over 30 years — to see the premiere of a new work by Nora Burns of Unitard and David's Friend.
The Village, a Disco Musical! has one of those disposable titles that makes you think of farce, but in fact, while as broadly funny as expected, this 60-minute show slowly reveals itself to have wit, fangs, a big heart and impressively fresh takes on nostalgia and death.
But again, the important part is: It's funny.
Aggressively narrated by a stage manager character (Glace Chase), who is always happy to shout out the subtext, set the scene or hit on one of the omnipresent go-go boys (Richard Schieffer, Valton Jackson), the show is centered around Trade (an effervescent and effortlessly sexy Antony Cherrie), a stacked hustler living the high life as a kept boy in the snazzy apartment of well-to-do queen Old George (Chuck Blasius) in the '70s.
Trade doesn't mind closing his eyes to have sex with a 10 who has aged into being a 5, especially since it grants him the freedom to fall in love with a new boy every week. He's like Company's Bobby, except at 25. And for sale.
Trade's latest crush is Steven — not Stephen, never Steve. Played with charm and impressive physicality by Ever Chavez (he puts his dancing background to good use, even in non-dancing scenes), Steven is a wide-eyed, preppie NYU student who thinks Trade might just be the one. Yes, even the name Trade didn't tip him off.
Sadly, Steven and Trade's affair is only hours old when it's challenged by a neighborhood Afro-dite rising from Avenue C, the comely Jason (Antwon LeMonte). Which will Trade choose? Why must he choose at all?