On the Fringe

This year's Fringe Festival in New York delivered the goods, from dying divas to unsexy, naked men.

BY Mike Diamond

August 22 2008 12:00 AM ET

Above:David LeBarron in The Chronicles of Steve: The
Bossy Bottom

The New York
International Fringe Festival descended onto the Big Apple
with an impressive lineup of compelling productions from
up-and-comers and established theater talents alike.
Since 1996 the two-week festival has thrown the
spotlight on alternative theater from around the globe. As
North America's largest multi-art festival (run mostly by
volunteers), Fringe NYC also serves as an incubator
for future hits -- previous years have included
Urinetown and Debbie Does Dallas -- garnering
critical acclaim and packed audiences. With more than
200 shows strewn about lower Manhattan, this
year’s fest featured many LGBT productions, ranging
from the sexy to the silly to the sublime.

Among the
highlights were David LeBarron’s provocative The
Chronicles of Steve: The Bossy Bottom.
The
hourlong one-man show is a frenetic, funny, and raw
exploration of loneliness, sex addiction, and
contemporary gay life.

LeBarron, a
performer with strong stage presence and comic timing,
delves into sex clubs, Internet hookups, and cruising
at Starbucks. His portrayal of a queen tweaking on
crystal meth was unnervingly dead-on; he nailed the
disjointed jumpiness and cock-hungry desperation of every
tina queen you've ever had the misfortune to
encounter. But it’s more than just tricks and
giggles -- throughout the show, there are intermittent
flashback sequences of a young boy struggling to rationalize
the cruel behavior of his violent daddy.

Was this abuse
and molestation the seed for the later quest for rough sex
and debasing encounters? The journey is nonlinear -- as one
character says to a disappointing date, "It’s
not you, it’s me. I deserve someone better."

Tags: Theater

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