THEATRE REVIEW: When Joey Married Bobby

Humor, politics, family, and good ol’ Christian morals are at the forefront of GLAAD Award-winning playwright William Wyatt’s (John William Gibson and Anthony Wyatt Morris) controversial new production, When Joey Married Bobby. The play confronts the still taboo subject of gay marriage in an ultra conservative Southern household.

So the play opens as Joey (played by former Detroit Tiger pitcher Matthew Pender) returns home to marry the man of his dreams, and the impending nuptials is throwing a rock in the emotions of his socialite mother, Sarah (magnificently portrayed by stunt woman and actress, Tina McKissick), who’s up for the respectable “Christian of the Year” award. As expected, she’s tense about her son’s marriage, and does as much as possible to protect her name, image and reputation from all the incoming family and friends.

Wyatt creates a great mix of character dialogue and comedic talent with co-stars such as the founder of the New York City drag festival and two-time S.A.G. Award nominee Lady Bunny, who plays the scene-stealing Baptist minister’s wife, Charity Divine; the Harlem native-Queens based actress and attorney Jennifer Banner Sobers who plays the sharp-tongued Caribbean housekeeper, Viola; and the noteworthy comedic debut of William Yoder who portrays the best man, Danny.

Filled with intelligent talk, pop culture and current event references abound (think: Swine Flu, Pat Robertson, Avatar, Spanx and Jersey Shore), When Joey Married Bobby is a witty and insightful take on gay marriage, tolerance and understanding in the year 2010.

When Joey Married Bobby runs open-ended at Theatre 80 St. Marks (between 1st and 2nd Ave). For ticket details: call 212.388.0388, or visit www.WhenJoeyMarriedBobby.com or www.theatre80.org.

ND McCray

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