"After breaking all Theatre on the Square records in 2006 to become the theater’s most successful show in its 18-year history, Southern Baptist Sissies returns to the TOTS stage June 8-30, featuring the original cast.
NUVO theater critic Lisa Gauthier’s review published Jan. 11, 2006, said of the show: “A harshly realistic look at life for gay people inside the Southern Baptist Church. The combination of a great script (by Del Shores, Sordid Lives), a fantastic cast and Ron Spencer’s tight direction make this one of the best shows ever put up by TOTS.
“It follows four boys who grow up in Texas as members of a Southern Baptist Church. All four are gay, and all four react to the fact differently. Benny (Thomas Turner) becomes a drag queen; Andrew (Dannon Crews) tentatively explores his sexuality; Mark (Robert Webster) questions the church’s legitimacy; and T.J. (William Skaggs) renounces his homosexuality. The subplot sees two barflies, Leroy (Spencer) and Odette (Juli Inskeep), hanging out in a gay dance bar — their purpose, once revealed, mirrors the main plot’s punch: the damage of a religion that preaches intolerance and self-hatred. The repercussions of this kind of religion are seen throughout the boys’ trek from pre-adolescence to adulthood: the pain, the doubt, the self-loathing, the confusion. Even Benny, who embraces who he is, has split seconds of fear: Will the Rapture come and he be left behind?
“The script weaves together the characters’ stories and inserts Bible passages that support, contradict and call into question the fundamentalists’ teachings against homosexuality.”
Del Shores will be on-hand after the premiere on June 8 to answer any questions from the audience. A “VIP” wristband can be purchased for $30 more ($5 goes to Indy Pride, Inc.) that will allow audience members to meet Shores and follow the cast and crew to a VIP reception, with light hors d’oeuvres, held at Talbott Street Nightclub.
Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25; students and seniors are $15. Call Theatre on the Square, 627 Massachusetts Ave., at 317-685-TOTS or go to http://tots.org/.