Blue Umbrella Productions Presents DREAMBOYS, Now thru 8/10

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Blue Umbrella Productions Presents DREAMBOYS, Now thru 8/10

In January 2000, three men took to the stage at the Bryant-Lake Bowl in an unassuming and intimate revue called "Unexpected Songs" featuring music made famous by the women of Broadway. Five incarnations, fourteen years, two additional cast members, and one name change later, an updated iteration of that modest little show, now called "DreamBoys," makes its Fringe debut in a sexy and fun production that is also surprisingly moving and relevant.

When "Unexpected Songs" debuted, mainstream representations of gay families were limited. Popular shows of the era like "Will & Grace" and "Ellen" helped normalize gay characters, but well-rounded depictions of gay relationships and families were in short supply. "The New Normal," "Glee," "Modern Family," and "The Fosters" were still years away. Still, despite the lack of mainstream GLBT entertainment, or perhaps because of it, "Unexpected Songs" was a hit-so much so, in fact, that the powers-that-be at Bryant-Lake Bowl immediately requested "Unexpected Songs 2.0." That second, expanded production was equally well-received: the Star Tribune raved, "The audience is the real winner in this engaging cabaret..."Unexpected Songs" clearly left the audience wanting more."

By the time the show moved across the river to St. Paul's Lowry Lab in 2009, it had been rechristened the somewhat less elegiac-sounding "DreamBoys," and played to sold out crowds yet again. Local writer and radio personality John Townsend was a particular fan, naming DreamBoys "Best Musical Revue of 2009" in Lavender Magazine's year-end roundup.

In the intervening years, as hot-button topics like gay marriage sit squarely at the forefront of the socio-political landscape, the same-sex relationships played mostly for laughs in previous productions have taken on new layers of poignancy and relevance. Make no mistake, the current production of "DreamBoys" still offers plenty of lighthearted, irreverent fun-but amidst the laughs, there are moments of surprising emotional resonance and urgency.

Blue Umbrella founding member Suzy Winter ("Those Were the Days," "Flops!") returns to the director's chair for this newly updated production, co-founder Windy Bowlsby ("BOOGIEography") takes on choreography duties, and Blue Umbrella newcomer Matthew Bear supplies musical direction.

The cast includes Zakary Thomas Morton, Bart Shane Ruf, Kevin Werner Hohlstein, Paul Whittemore, and David B. Young.

Saturday, August 2, 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 3, 10 p.m.
Monday, August 4, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, August 8, 10 p.m.
Saturday, August 9, 5:30 p.m.

Illusion Theater
528 Hennepin Avenue, 8th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55403

For tickets visit fringefestival.org. http://www.fringefestival.org/2014/show/?id=2728

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