The Homosexuals

By Philip DawkinsThe Homosexuals by Philip Dawkins

Directed by Bonnie Matzgar

Produced by About Face Theatre

At The Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater

Comic and heartwarming friendship drama wonderfully entertaining

Playwright Philip Dawkins has crafted a contemporary look at a group of gay men whose friendship and interrelationships are told in a honest and heartfelt drama. The play uses structures from plays such as Love! Valor! Compassion! and Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde in that the play moves backward in time from 2010 to 2000 utilizing two characters intertwined in a series of love, sex and friendship encounters.

The Homosexuals by Philip Dawkins

The counter-chronological order depicts 21 year-old Evan (Patrick Andrews) as he leaves Iowa for a large Midwestern city (Chicago?) due to his family’s harassment for him being gay. Evan arrives with only the clothes on his back. He meets a kind man, Michael (Stephen Cone) who invites Evan to a house party where he meets a most friendly and accepting group of gay men and their fag-hag.

The Homosexuals by Philip Dawkins

We see Evan’s adventures with his new found friends beginning with his 2010 breakup with his present boyfriend, Peter (Scott Bradley) – a flamboyant Broadway musical fan and theatre director who specializes in seeing the world through the eyes of Broadway musicals.  As we go back in time, we see Evan as he engages with his close friends in a variety in seven dramatically varied entanglements or encounters with his adapted gay family. From close friendships to sexual encounters, Evan grows as a person through the advise and shared experiences with this close-knit group. The group’s resident fag-hag Tam (Elizabeth Ledo) offers in-your-face reality to Evan. Ledo produces much laughter.

This is a sweet, funny and realistic story of the maturity of a gay man who comes to both accept and understanding his gayness. Playwright Dawkins has a modern 21st Century drama that examines the fears, doubts and hopes facing the gay community. The characters are fully developed covering the variety defying stereotypes of gay men. We laugh, we sympathize, and  we cheer for Evan and his friends as they struggle to find love, companionship and fulfillment.  Filled with hope and resilience, the seven friends live life to the fullest. There is no nudity in this production.

The Homosexuals by Philip Dawkins

The writing and situations are clever, the acting first class and the fast-pace serves the show well. Patrick Andrews and Elizabeth Ledo anchor this truthful and empathetic drama. The Homosexuls is more than a ‘gay play’ – it is a friendship play seen through the lens of sex as many in the group are looking for love in the wrong places.  As theatre, The Homosexuals is a smart, realistic and appealing look at contemporary gay life.  Philip Dawkins is a talented insightful writer. The Homosexuls is another landmark work about cultural diversity.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2011

Jeff Recommended

For full show information, go to  The Homosexuals page at TheatreinChicago.

At The Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, Chicago, call 773-871-3000, www.aboutfacetheatre.com, tickets $28, Thursdays & Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 5 & 9 pm, Sundays at 5 pm, running time is 2 hours, 10 minutes with intermission, through July 24, 2011