« Gay poet Regie Cabico skirts the edge | Main | Hollywood cop Mikey V of ‘Design Star’ – fired for not telling about gay porn past – wants police job back »

Review: ‘Making Porn’ at Fort Lauderdale’s Empire Stage theater well-acted and directed

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Playwright Ronnie Larsen on his 1995 comedy-drama Making Porn:

The first preview was sold-out.
The reviews were horrible.
More sold-out shows.
Everytime a bad review came out our ticket advance grew.

Hopefully this good review won’t kill ticket sales at the new 48-seat Empire Stage theater in Fort Lauderdale, where a current production of Making Porn runs Thursdays to Sundays through Feb. 14.

Making Porn first played South Florida in 1998 at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road. 1980s gay porn icon Ryan Idol starred as Jack Hawk, a straight out-of-work actor who quietly takes a job in a gay porn film and reluctantly becomes a star.

Casting Idol in the star role caused a minor sensation on South Beach and the month-long run at the 400-seat Colony regularly sold out. (Making Porn contains much male frontal nudity and several simulated sex scenes.)

As gay-porn fans know, however, their Idol never was the world’s greatest actor.

The current Empire Stage production is well acted, and well directed.

Making Porn 003New York-based actor David R. Gordon stars as Jack, a part he first played during Making Porn’s national tour in the late ‘90s. Gordon – a legitimate actor, the show’s producer and also new owner of Empire Stage theater – knows the material well and appears quite comfortable with the adult situations that arise onstage.

Julia Clearwood, a mainstay at Fort Lauderdale’s old Sol Theatre Project (where Empire Stage is now located), plays Jack’s wife, Linda, who at first becomes sick to her stomach upon learning her husband makes a living having video sex with other men.

Gordon and Clearwood work well together and are quite believable in their scenes together.

Actors Keith Dougherty and Michael Lopez (also the production’s director) are Making Porn veterans. Both appeared in the show’s 1998 South Beach production with Ryan Idol. They play their parts as boyfriends/porn filmmakers with energy and conviction; neither walks through his role.

The two cast surprises are Ryan McFadden, who plays a 20-year-old porn hopeful, and Angel Perez, who co-stars as longtime porn star Ray Tanner.

McFadden starts off a bit goofy but soon shows an endearing comic flair.

Perez has the hardest job of all, not having his acting talents obscured by performing the most explicit scenes in the play. Let’s just say it’s a close shave, but Perez manages to pull it off. His Ray Tanner (a role often played by real-life porn stars) is human and – just one more double entendre, please – fleshed out.

Making Porn is not for everyone. Some will find it too explicit, others not explicit enough. But for the sold-out audience on Saturday night, Ronnie Larsen’s play was just right.

Making Porn 001

Making Porn 002

Photos by
STEVE ROTHAUS
Miami Herald Staff

Cast photo:
Top row:  Ryan McFadden, Keith Dougherty, Michael Lopez and Angel Perez. Bottom row: David R. Gordon and Julia Clearwood.

IF YOU GO

What: `Making Porn' by Ronnie Larsen

Where: Empire Stage theater, 1140 N. Flagler Dr., Fort Lauderdale

When: 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays, through Feb. 14

Cost: $30 general admission

For more information: Contact 954-678-1496 or www.empirestage.com 

Warning: Play contains nudity.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e20128770e5097970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Review: ‘Making Porn’ at Fort Lauderdale’s Empire Stage theater well-acted and directed:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

sounds dreadful!

This play can be awful, depending on cast and direction. And as I said, it's not for everyone.

How long is the show running for?

Through Feb. 7.

Actually the show has been extended until the 14th of February.. for all those that still haven't seen the show.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment