News: Award-winning LGBTQ+ play "Electricity" to Have 3 Livestreamed Performances in July


Mel England and Terry Ray. Photo by Mike Pingel
Magical Iguana Productions and Kampfire Films will present the award-winning LGBTQ+ play Electricity, which chronicles the journey of two gay men from Stonewall to today. The critically acclaimed production and longest running play in Palm Springs stars playwright and actor Terry Ray and Off-Broadway veteran Mel England, is directed by Steve Rosenbaum, and is produced for the stage by Michael Darner, Katie Rosin, and Tony award-winning Sue Vaccaro. Electricity will stream three performances only from the studio at Oscar’s Downtown Palm Springs (to an empty house).

Performances are Thursday, July 16, 23, and 30 at 9:00 p.m. EST (6:00 p.m. PST). Tickets are $12 and can be purchased here. Part of the proceeds will go to benefit a nationally renowned LGBTQ+ organization. Immediately following the performance, Ray and England will host a live Q&A with the viewing audience, answering questions from the chat and talking about the LGBTQ+ charity’s work.

With Electricity’s Fall Off-Broadway debut thwarted by the current pandemic, the livestream option seemed like a great alternative,  and due to socially distancing requirements, Ray and England are going to self-isolate together for two weeks to ensure that they can safely perform the intimate scenes which are integral to the story.

Electricity explores the relationship between two gay men who meet in high school, the summer of Stonewall, and continue to meet up in a motel room at their high-school reunion every decade since - as they emerge from living in the shadows of the closet to the daylight of equality. Sex, drugs, and booze make up the life of Brad Burke, while ex-seminary student Gary Henderson is so closeted that he hides his sexuality behind an invented wife. When they re-unite in their motel room at their 10-year reunion, it is a monumental clash of worlds that sparks an electricity between them that lures them back to that same motel room every decade to today.

The tremendous changes in the lives of LGBTQ+ people, from living “in the closet,” the explosion of the sexual revolution and Gay Liberation, the fight to survive the plague of AIDS, battles with addiction and recovery, to the struggle for equality, are all seen in the course of Gary and Brad’s relationship over the decades. Electricity offers a glimmer of hope in how things have changed for gay men over the past fifty years and have potential to continue to improve.

Electrictiy has been performed in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Columbus, and continuously for the past three years in Palm Springs. Lavender Magazine awarded the Minneapolis production with Best Touring Production (alongside Hamilton), and Best Actor in a Tour, and the Columbus production was named one of the Top 10 performances of the year by Columbus Alive Magazine.

Ray, a veteran of over 100 plays with stars such as Elaine Stritch, Dixie Carter, and Patricia Heaton, as well as over 60 television shows and films including his cult hit Gayday, originally wrote the play because he wanted to capture the journey of a generation of gay men who went from living in the closet to demanding equality, "to chronicle the journey that so many gay men and women can readily relate to, the journey from a place where silence sometimes equaled death, to one where equality might just be a reality."

England, who has toured across the US and internationally, appeared onscreen in over 32 film and television shows, including the title role in Ron and Laura Take Back America, and plays the party-addicted Brad, adds, "This play is one of the most exciting I've ever worked on. To have our Off-Broadway run postponed was devastating, so being able to share it with the world this way is a reward I never suspected. England feels "It’s such an honor to share the stage with Terry Ray, the play is so incredibly personal and intimate, and now even more so since we’re self-quarantining!"

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