Ten Questions. Ten Answers. And One Big Decision: Rock, Paper, Or Scissors?
Dance Club DJ by Night – Shakesqueer actor by Day
Production Company: Overtime Theater & The Woodlawn Theatre
- Wed 2/19 @ 5:30PM
- Sat 22 @ 6:50PM
- Sun 23 @ 2:05PM
- Mon 24 @ 10:15PM
- Tues 25 @ 7:05PM
Answers by Gregg Barrios
1. Your tag line is out there on postcards and press releases so we know the PR version of what this play is about. But when you talk to your family and friends, how do you explain the show to them?
GB: The PR version is actually quite accurate and uncensored. It’s the provincial media that tend to “soften” the descriptive word of “queer” with the word “gay.”
2. Here’s a scenario: After the show some audience members go have a drink. What’s the part of the show you hope they’re discussing?
GB: First, the play has many layers starting with the history of Herb Alpert’s A&M Record label. Also how DJ culture evolved from the early days in NYC – Larry Levan, Jellybean Benitez, Junior Vasquez, etc. There is also a brief history of gay theater- including a gay send-up of Hamlet. If they even ask about one of those things, I think we’re got them hook, line, and sinker.
3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?
GB: Definitely the main character Amado Guerrero Paz who morphs his name into Warren Peace when he becomes a DJ.
4. In rehearsals, read-thrus, or prior incarnations, what’s the one thing someone said about the show so far that made you (or the team) the most proud?
GB: It’s the way people connect with the music. Everyone in the audience will recognize one of the songs the DJ plays and the memory of the song(s) makes them realize how they reacted emotionally to the same music that the DJ plays and calls the “fucking soundtrack of my life!”
5. Let’s fantasize for a moment. Let’s take the “off-off” off. Imagine this show is on Broadway. Would that change the production itself?
GB: Of course, it would change. The piece premiered at nearly two hours including intermission. It also had multi-media, dancers, and music videos. It was a DJ musical if you will. For FRIGID, we are doing a stripped down version – “I-DJ Unplugged.” And that is very cool too.
6. Taking that one step further – after paying everyone what they’re worth of course, what is the most lavish, luxurious, pointless thing you would spend money on if there was no constraints?
GB: I’d love to see “I-DJ” premiere at Studio 54 when it was a dance club.
I’d bring in some of the A&M artists to guest each night. Peter Frampton, Chris Montez, Sting, Herb Alpert, Janet Jackson, etc.
Fantasy aside, I’d invest the first million dollars in getting more production and show opportunities for the theater scene in San Antonio Texas, where our resident company, Overtime Theater, is theater for the people.
7. Is there a scene, a moment, a gesture … anything at all in the show that you anticipate may get a completely different reaction depending on the audience that night?
GB: That would be up to the audience. But I hope they come away each night with the knowledge that AIDS deeply affected our theater and arts community then and even now. And despite the fact that this is a tragicomedy, I hope that resonate each night with the audience.
8. What’s your favorite line from the show?
GB: There are so many. And each time I see it, I’ll find a new one that resonates with the audience. Here are two: “Warren, your saving grace is that you realize that only ze musique is important, and the rest is merde.” And of course Warren’s as Ham-A-Lot, “To be, or not to be, a dame or a Great Dane.”
9. Is the world of this play sustainable outside a theatre? In other words … do you think people live the way the characters do? Would you want a world where they do?
GB: Absolutely! Go to any dance club, rave, gay bar, experimental art happening. You’ll find it in spades! And it’s not going away anytime soon.
10. You scan the audience and you see a face that stops you dead in your tracks – who is it? And why are you shocked?
GB: KAREN CARPENTER, ROLLERENA and LARRY KRAMER. I’d be shocked because without their influence, I never would have been able to write “I-DJ”.
Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH
In the THM virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH which FRIGID Show do you take on? And what do you throw?
CHALLENGES: I’d take on our fellow Texan currently living in NYC in flagrante delicto, J. Stephen Brantley’s Chicken-Fried Ciccone.
THROWS: And I’d throw Scissors.
And you nab a WIN for your round with your TWANGY friend CHICKEN FRIED CICCONE who threw paper! Nicely done, I-DJ!
Thanks I-DJ for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2014 Q&A. And for playing our game! You’re officially ROCK in any and all challenges. You may win, you may lose – who knows! This is how it works in the crazy world of the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH!
For the rest of you don’t forget to check out I-DJ !
Horse Trade Theater Group will present the 8th Annual FRIGID New York Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) February 19-March 9. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at www.FRIGIDnewyork.info or by calling 212-868-4444.