Michael Urie & Ryan Spahn to Star in Gay Comedy
By Brandon Voss
Photography by Rob Howard for Out
About Face Theatre, a Chicago theater company focused on gender and sexual identity, will kick off its Pride Performance Series with a reading of The Last Sunday in June by out playwright Jonathan Tolins.
Ugly Betty alum Michael Urie and partner Ryan Spahn star as Tom and Michael, a couple whose Greenwich Village apartment overlooks the route of New York City's LGBT pride parade. Helmed by AFT artistic director Andrew Volkoff, the reading will take place June 2 at the Greenhouse Theater.
"Tom and Michael, his partner of seven years, intend to spend the day planning their impending move from the Big Apple to the Upstate town of Nyack, but their plans are rerouted as one friend after another drops by to view the parade from the window of their Christopher Street apartment," read press notes about the comedy, which made its world premiere in 2003 at Off-Broadway's Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. "An afternoon originally designated for things domestic instead turns into a series of conversations about relationships, self-acceptance and the very meaning of what it is to be gay, eventually calling into question Tom and Michael's relationship itself."
This isn't the first time the couple have acted together. They starred in the tense drama The Tape at the Martha's Vineyard Playhouse in 2011. They also wrote, directed, and starred in the indie film He's Way More Famous Than You, starring their gal pal Halley Feiffer (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Spahn).
AFT's Pride Performance Series also includes Bixby Elliot's Abraham Lincoln was a F*gg*t, Steven Strafford's Methtacular!, and "Lesbians & Literature," a panel discussion and performance hosted by AFT artistic associate Paul Oakley Stovall.
Urie currently stars in Buyer & Cellar, also by Tolins, through June 15 at Chicago's Broadway Playhouse. The hit solo comedy, which The Advocate named one of its top 10 LGBT-inclusive shows of 2013, imagines if the fabled private shopping mall in Barbra Streisand's Malibu basement had an employee. In it he plays a gay man and his boyfriend, who Urie told Out was a mix of Spahn and himself.
"I think lots of gay couples are sort of like Barry and Alex—one is louder, the other quieter, not always. So they are based on me and Ryan and friends. But my partner and I are both kinds of Alexes. Or maybe I would be Barry and he would be Alex. In fact, there have been times when I'm doing one of Barry's rants—when he's pitching Gypsy and he's being really, really silly—that reminds me of myself being silly with Ryan at home, and I come to the end of the speech, I realize I am going to say Ryan's name, not Alex's so I have to cut it short so I don't make that mistake."
For tickets and more information on The Last Sunday in June visit AboutFaceTheatre.com.