Embattled straights are probably thinking, "My stars, I can't throw a rock at a TV or a movie screen these days without hitting a homosexual! What more do they want?" Actually, we just added one more request to the gay agenda: a little romance. Many of the gay-friendliest heterosexuals are more comfortable with the thought of two men going at it like rabid squirrels in a knapsack than the same men holding hands, kissing, and falling in love. Yech!
Dallas playwright Steve Lovett, who has mostly done work for Pocket Sandwich Theatre, wants to remedy this with his new play Unrequited Love's a Bore. Lovett has previously written seven scripts, most of them spoofs of various movie genres like sci-fi and Brazilian '50s melodramas. Film inspired Unrequited Love's a Bore too, but in a more indirect way: The playwright wanted to write a romantic screwball comedy for two men a la the Myrna Loy-William Powell model he adores. A staged reading last year proved that this story of the developing relationship between a butch tennis player (Nye Cooper) and a daydreamy romance novelist (Jim Hines) is indeed fit to burst with witty dialogue.
"With most of the movies and plays written about gays and lesbians, being gay is the point of conflict," Lovett notes. "All those angst issues are very real and important, but we don't live with them every hour of the day. We also do the laundry, write letters, and fall in love. The gays who've read this script say, 'You've written a play for us, not about us!' The straights say, 'You've written a romantic comedy. But it could be about anyone.'"
Director and designer Bruce Coleman has applied his own fetish for Rosalind Russell comedies to the set, which he says, "Is elegant, but not Park Avenue elegant. And since [the romance writer] spends a lot of his time daydreaming, his fantasies had to be able to come crawling out of the wall."
As far as the pressure of activism, Coleman concedes, "We could take our hits with this show, because we're not being good little gay performers. We're not touching all the hot points you're supposed to address, like politics and AIDS. Sorry, but that's fascism. I want to see a play about looking for love, about being human."
Unrequited Love's a Bore opens April 16, with performances at 8:15 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays through June 5. Tickets are $12-$15. Tickets for an opening-night reception are $10. Opening-night proceeds will go to Legacy Founders Cottage, a nonprofit facility assisting people with AIDS. Call (214) 821-6005.