Central Florida Community Arts
By Donald Rupe
Directed by Donald Rupe
Musical Direction by Jason Bailey
Starring Blake Aburn, Eric Perafan, and Sara Lee Dobbs
Sometimes the folks know you’re gay before you do, and they was enough for Daniel’s (Aburn) dad to abandon his family. As Daniel came of age, his now single mom Becca (Dobbs) climbed a desperate corporate ladder to provide for him, only to abandon him when he came out. Now he calls her daily, but she never answers. Daniel has his ups and downs, today he breaks up with Michael (Peter Heid). But in the insular Orlando gay scene it’s hard to avoid meeting an ex, and everyone eventually ends up at Pulse, a cleaner and hipper place that the other iconic hotel over on the Orange Blossom Trail. When Daniel’s new boyfriend ends up working for Becca, it takes a while for everyone to sort out relation and obligations. Then the bullets start to fly, and while he and his friends play drinking games, the tragedy touches them all. It even flushes out his mom, who, in the most Jewish mother like scene ever, she berates here son for not calling her after the shooting, even as she ignored a decade of voice mails. Then things shift quickly, and the show transforms into a Pulse Tribute event. Touching, but a bit jarring as well.
I don’t have a song list, but the music was excellent with most songs in an upbeat key and perfromed by a six piece ensemble. Aburn’s Daniel had a goofy appeal that made you cheer for him, and Ms. Dobbs took on a relatively dark role as the estranged mother who unknowingly hires Daniel’s best friend. A dozen or so other local actors built Daniel’s social circle, and they all seemed drama free, considering the circumstances. It’s strong piece with both excellent musical propulsion for Daniel’s messed up life, and an overall upbeat tone. My only complaint is Daniels mom a little more time to reconcile with her son before the Pulse Tribute segment. But this is certainly a nit easily adjusted if needed. It’s gay life, complete with all the drama and all the fun, and they certainly ARE a hard drinking crowd.