Lea DeLaria and More to Honor Elaine Stritch in Justin Sayre's THE MEETING, 2/21
Each edition of The Meeting* honors a different gay icon; the February show pays tribute to Broadway legend Elaine Stritch. The gravely glory of this grand dame of the theatre has been a favorite of the gays since she made her New York debut in 1947. From Sail Away, Goldilocks and her seminal star turn singing "The Ladies Who Lunch" in Company to her acerbic role in "30 Rock," Stritch is a Broadway baby for all time. In addition to musical guests Lea DeLaria, Rob Maitner and Mark Nadler, the show will feature acclaimed playwright Mark Snyder discussing Ms. Stritch's film cannon.
As dedicated followers of the I.O.S. know, Mr. Sayre was unceremoniously fired as Chairman of the Board in 2012 due to his various misdeeds. Sayre has been doggedly determined to win back his Chairmanship, however, and he has requested that the Membership to join him at his campaign headquarters as the results come in on I.O.S. election night. Which districts will he win? Which will he lose? On February 21 we will know whether he will be reappointed as I.O.S. Chairman or who his successor will be.
The Meeting*, the monthly gathering of the I.O.S. (International Order of Sodomites), has become a downtown sensation with its signature blend of outrageous comedy, political and social activism, and cultural education. Justin Sayre - the show's creator, writer and host - serves as the Chairman of the Board. Each month, the I.O.S gathers to educate the membership on essential business of the day through musical performances, skits, trivia and regular features such as "Letters to the Chairman" and "New Rulings from the Board."
Justin Sayre is a child of Forty Fort, Pennsylvania who demonstrated a supernatural instinct for "camp" at an early age. With a voice straight out the MGM finishing school for girls, he moved to New York believing it was still 1947. He was terribly misinformed. As an actor, he has worked and studied with some of the finest professionals in the city. As a gay, Justin has excelled at scarf placement, devilish quips, and a healthy but firm love of the American musical. An evening of his short plays, Justin Sayre Is Alive and Well... Writing - called one of the "Top 10 Events on the New York Stage" by the New York Daily News - sold out two shows at Ars Nova in April. His new play The Click of The Lock, featuring Randy Harrison, Christian Coulson, Blake Daniel and more, will have its second reading at the Bank Street Theatre later this month.
The monthly events have featured popular guest stars such as Nellie McKay, Justin VivIan Bond, Marilyn Maye, Christian Campbell, Lea DeLaria, Frank DeCaro, Molly Pope, Lance Horne, Lady Rizo, Tituss Burgess, Natalie Joy Johnson, Kenny Mellman, Randy Rainbow, Maude Maggart, Jack Ferver, Murray Hill, Jeffery Self and Cole Escola, Bridget Everett, Steve Hayes, Poor Baby Bree and more. Previous shows have paid tribute to singers such as Dolly Parton and Diana Ross; films like "Valley of the Dolls" and "Beaches"; actresses such as Bea Arthur and Molly Ringwald; as well as playwrights and filmmakers like Tennessee Williams and John Waters.
In June 2012, The Meeting* presented their second annual all-star Night of A Thousand Judys concert at Playwrights Horizons, honoring the iconic entertainer Judy Garland. The sold-out evening was a benefit for The Ali Forney Center - the nation's largest organization dedicated to serving homeless LGBT youth - and starred Tonya Pinkins, Michael Musto, Nellie McKay, Karen Akers, Howard McGillin, Ashley Brown, Daniel Reichard and more. The 2011 edition at Joe's Pub featured performances by Jackie Hoffman, Daisy Egan, Paul Iacono, Gay Marshall, Jeff Hiller, Emily Bergl, Ryan O'Connor, among others.
Justin Sayre and The Meeting* were named one of the Top 10 nightclub shows of 2011 by Time Out New York, received the 2012 Bistro Award for "Comedy Artistry" and a 2011 MAC Award nomination for Best Male Comedy Performance.
The I.O.S is the centuries-old secret organization of homosexuals and their friends - modeled after The Mattachine Society and other groups - that sets the mythic gay agenda. "At the heart of the show is community," Justin comments, "something that even with all our advancements, we still find hard to create or to maintain. But the thing that has been amazing to me is the reach of the show. So often, straight men and women, fathers and girlfriends, tell me they have had the best time. Comedy can really show people that we are all funny, fallible human beings stumbling around trying to do the right thing. There are differences of course, but by accepting them and celebrating them we show a pride in our common humanity that is infectious. The Meeting* is a gift: not something that I give, but something that I get. A chance to share my thoughts and ideas but also a great opportunity to celebrate gay culture. That's pretty good, huh?"
Last summer Justin headlined his own show as part of Daniel Nardicio's Icon Series at the Ice Palace on Fire Island, in a season that also featured Liza Minnelli, Alan Cumming, Sandra Bernhard and Margaret Cho. Yale University presented a special edition of The Meeting* in 2011 as part of their Pride Month. The new website, www.InternationalOrderofSodomites.com, was recently launched with podcasts, videos, blogs and more.
The Meeting* hosted by Justin Sayre is presented at The Duplex (61 Christopher Street at 7th Ave, New York, NY 10014) on Thursday, February 21 at 9:30 PM. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door. There is two-drink minimum per person. You must be 21+ years of age to attend. For tickets, visit www.BrownPaperTickets.com. The Meeting* hosted by Justin Sayre is produced by Adam J. Rosen and Dan Fortune.