Keep the conversation going…
Fathers pass down more than just facial features. They pass down the type of person they are. Safe centers on a 19 year old kid, Sean (played by Ryan McAtee) with the same features as his father, Marlot (played by John McKenna) and carries with him an ego-centric attitude about the world and the naive belief that he is completely independent from his father. Much like his father. The tapestry of the show weaves together a story of struggle for sexual independence and identity. Sean meets Rob (played by Todd Hull) online and, in spite of their 23 year age difference and his HIV positive status, desperately tries to sleep with him to contract his disease.
The black box setting lends itself to a minimalist style which steers the focus on the acting, which is marvelous. Todd Hull (Copious Love darling from Total Family Massage) puts on an outstanding performance as the very human voice of reason as an HIV positive man who concerns himself with the safety of others, but also struggles to satisfy his own romantic connections and sexual needs. Ryan McAtee carries the through-line of the show with a burden much older than he is. He bridges the gap of generations through sincere hormonal distress, carnal cravings and naivety that comes with being a young man emerging into the adult world. JenRenee Paulson who plays the mother, Ronnie, is divisively marginalized by the domineering male storyline; however, she manages to the overwhelming voice of reason as plots and subplots blossom. John McKenna as the father show a stern, but overall caring nature. He beautifully illustrates just how alike we all can be even when paternal roles demand that we be so much more.
Seth Tankus has written a truly beautiful and heart-wrenching story about a coming-of-age youth trying to establish himself in the gay community. This story ties two different generations of gay culture together and insists that they are one in the same, much like the fatherly traits passed on biologically. Be sure and catch this show before it ends. It plays March 19th – 21st at Gay City in the Calamus Auditorium on Pike St. & Belmont Ave. Show starts at 8pm!
By Geoff Finney