The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings


SEARCH CurtainUp






NEWS (Etcetera)


DC (Washington)
Los Angeles




Free Updates
Type too small?
NYC Weather

EDITOR'S NOTE:This show is the centerpiece of this summer's 10th Annual "Hot!" Festival of Queer Culture at Dixon Place. Because of the short run of most of the events included in the festival, advance reviews are not possible. However, there is much more to see. A link in the box at the end of this review will provide complete information on the entire series of events scheduled.

A CurtainUp Review
Go-Go Reál

by Les Gutman

This is the price you sometimes
have to pay for being so beautiful

---A man/woman named Charlie

Go-Go Reál
B. Olson and J. Wooster
(Photo: Bobby Miller)
As Matron Mama Morton says in Chicago, "Ah Velma, things ain't the way they used to be". Time was, you could assume a couple of club kids putting on a show about club kids would be a campy mess: some unoriginal material and a lot of not very funny laughing at themselves. But nowadays we instead get Go-Go Reál, a clever, inventive work that falls roughly along the line that separates theater and cabaret.

Today is Charlie's birthday, and the show opens with this character wrapped in about 50 feet of red sequined fabric. Charlie is a "messy lady" who's known for, among other things, dancing the funky chicken. (Early on, the show will include a hysterical visit to the Chicken-a-go-go.) Along the way, our club kids will take us on a journey in the life of a couple of gay boy denizens of the downtown club scene.

In a series of scenes lasting about an hour, Brandon Olson, who looks like a club kid, and Jonathan Wooster, who doesn't particularly but makes up for it with sheer talent, not so much tell a story as limn a lifestyle. There are familiar disco tunes registering, but the show's most notable use of music derives from other genres. As an example, when we've had our "fill of fowl," we hear "Falling in Love Again".

At one point, Brandon, sitting in bright light, listens as a voice (Jonathan) tells him he needs to walk a certain way so people won't think he's gay. (He tries, to great effect, in heels.) Later, as Jonathan sings a hip-hop tune, Brandon counterpoints with "My Heart Belongs to Daddy". Perhaps the show's best piece consists of an inventive series of riffs playing on the words "positive" and "negative" as the dicey dating ritual of determining a potential sex partner's HIV status ponders the sorts of existential riddles R. D. Lang might have contemplated and then the mathematical significance of multiplying positive and negative numbers. Each tangent is interrupted by a rendition of the Mercer/Arlen song, "Accentuate the Positive". Other segments deal with phone sex, foot fetishes and something best described as a sex ballet.

Go-Go Reál, a product of Dixon Place's Mondo Cane! commissioning project, will no doubt resonate most strongly for gay audiences, but it's a brilliantly funny bit of alchemy that belies its description. (Consumer note: scantily-clad (or naked) performers, various and sundry explicitness and the like are very much in abundance.) These are no ordinary club kids. "They sure ain't, Mama, they sure ain't."

Go-Go Reál
Created and performed by Brandon Olson and Jonathan Wooster
Lighting Design: Diane Fairchild
Music Editing: Michael Westbrook
Running Time: 1 hour including no intermission
A production of Dixon Place
Dixon Place Website:
Dixon Place at Vineyard 26, 309 East 26th Street (1/2 Avs.)
Telephone (212) 532-1546
Opening July 13, 2001, closing July 28, 2001 (extended to 8/11)
Fri - Sat @8; $8-15
Reviewed by Les Gutman based on 7/14/01 performance

The Broadway Theatre Archive


©Copyright 2001, Elyse Sommer, CurtainUp.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from