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Bright Colors and Bold Patterns: Drew Droege on His Solo Play

Drew Droege

We’re kind of suckers for anything Drew Droege. The outrageous, stinging wit of a million indie films and web series (and he’s “Chloe”) brings his new show, Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, back to New York for a three-week limited holiday engagement at the Barrow Street Theatre. The solo play, written and performed by Droege and directed by Michael Urie (Buyer and Cellar, Ugly Betty), sees Gerry arrive in Palm Springs for the nuptials of his pals Josh and Brennan. Gerry has arrived, furious that the invitation reads “please refrain from wearing bright colors or bold patterns.” And because it’s a Droege joint, the night devolves into druggy, drunken chaos. Here the performer dishes on the show.

Out: What was your elevator pitch for this show?

Drew Droege: Imagine The Big Chill meets The Boys in the Band meets Bridesmaids. Played by one guy on a lot of coke.

There’s a tension between button-down respectability and queer fabulousness. Is marriage a betrayal of queer culture?

Not at all. I am thrilled that we can get married now, and there is power and beauty and legitimacy in the institution. I’m more concerned with our culture’s race towards uniformity—our innate fear of being different and lack of interest in our complicated, painful, and gorgeous history. We have collective language and references and humor that cannot be lost just because we are now invited to the table. I think we can and should have it all—and it’s up to all of us to keep queerness alive and screaming, without fear or shame.

Michael Urie is a funny guy and you are a funny guy. How much of working with funny people involves making each other laugh? Or stopping each other from cracking jokes that so you can get down to work?

Michael and I are both workhorses and talk a million miles a minute and we really make each other laugh, but it’s also very organic and serious at times. He is a dream collaborator, because he’s always manifesting new ideas and figuring out how to make them work. And I’ve been friends with him and his partner Ryan for many years and we’ve worked on lots of projects together, so it feels equally comfortable and full-on and perfect when we’re all together.

I notice lots of your work involves booze and yelling. More a comment than a question.

Haha! Nothing better than liquor served loud! I’m fascinated by people at their edge, at their truest, most vulnerable, ugliest selves. We try so hard to hide those parts of us. And in gay entertainment, we never want to see ourselves as the big scary mess. I want to be and explore that.

If you were hired as a wedding coordinator, what would that wedding look like?

Have you seen Caligula?

For tickets to Bright Colors and Bold Patterns at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow St, New York) from December 15 – 30, go to BarrowStreetTheatre.com. More info at: BrightColorsAndBoldPatterns.com

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