I had to see Gay Nerds (Misnomer Theatre) at the Toronto Fringe Festival this year because I am a gay nerd. (Well, if we want to get into identity politics here, I’d say I’m more of a queer geek.) Now that I have seen it, I highly recommend it to any other gay nerds, queer geeks, and people in general who like dirty jokes that refer to fantasy, sci-fi, and theatre itself. Like, if you know a lot about Tennessee Williams plays as well as Tolkien, Star Wars, and video games, and you’re irreverent enough to enjoy anal sex jokes about them, then this play’s for you.
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words though, and you could probably tell all I just said from the cover of the program: two penis-shaped light sabers, crossed, one of them exuding a splatter identified with a cartoon “SPLAT”, and the image captioned with “size matters not.”
Ralphie is the shy, quiet, classic kind of nerd, who wants to ignore the fact that his living room has become a stage with an audience intently watching his every move (yes, this is meta). Sam is a born diva with questionable fashion sense who wants to single-handedly amuse the audience with renditions of everything from Liza to Leia (the Princess, of course). Lana has an MFA in theatre, and probably a minor in women’s studies; she hasn’t forgotten anything she learned in university and she won’t let you forget that.
A part of the plot hinges on a Pride party, so if the words “Pride party” bring up hazy, crazy memories for you then you should maybe see this show. If you’ve also read Hunger Games, then yes, go see this show.
There are a couple of false endings that didn’t work for me, but they were obviously purposefully scripted. I liked the first ending and the final ending and felt they needed to tighten up everything in between. This was the opening show though, so that could happen naturally.
These characters do not exist solely on a stage: this is also a web series, and the first episode is already online. I just found this out from the press kit so I haven’t watched it yet, but I will.
In closing: apologies to the audience member in front of me who I probably deafened with my snort at the Buffy-political joke. I’m a bit (read: a lot) of a Whedon fangirl and it really was that funny.
- Gay Nerds plays at The Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street
- Shows are: July 04 10:30 PM, July 06 05:15 PM, July 08 03:00 PM, July 10 04:45 PM, July 12 04:00 PM, July 13 07:30 PM, July 14 04:00 PM
- All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only).
- Advance tickets ($11 including service charge) are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, or in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street.
- Value packs are available for anyone planning to see at least 5 shows.