Comic Memoir DAVID'S FRIEND Starring Nora Burns at La MaMa Looks Back to '80s NYC
A powerful new comic memoir about the electrifying joy and intoxicating madness of New York City in the 1980s will take the stage at The Club at La MaMa from January 27 through February 5, created by and starring veteran downtown performer Nora Burns.
DAVID'S FRIEND is an achingly funny coming-of-age story about love and loss at the center of the universe: New York City. It's a true-life epic about Nora and David, best friends who met as teenagers and moved to Manhattan, where they immersed themselves in the zeitgeist: a speed-of-light journey through sex, drugs, disco, love and heartbreak. DAVID'S FRIEND is the outrageous and riotous saga of an era when rents were cheap, sex was waiting around every corner, and friendship was the most important thing of all.
Check out a video preview of the show below!
DAVID'S FRIEND is written and performed by Nora Burns (the long-running comedy troupes Unitard and The Nellie Olesons). This comic odyssey is directed by Adrienne Truscott (Asking for It) with dramaturgy by Lucy Sexton (Spalding Gray, Stories Left to Tell, The Legend of Leigh Bowery) and featuring Billy Hough (Scream Along with Billy). DAVID'S FRIEND is a multi-media presentation with production design by Tal Yarden (The Crucible on Broadway), videos by Len Whitney, costumes by Connie Flemming and disco sound design by Carmine Covelli.
"My best friend David died of AIDS in 1993," says playwright Nora Burns. "I spent a long time mourning him and this unfinished friendship. I wrote DAVID'S FRIEND to celebrate one of the most important relationships of my life, as well as the time and place in which it happened: New York City in the eighties. This show is my loving tribute to David, to thank him for making me who I am today. I tried to make sure it's as fun, funny and full of life as he was."
Performances of DAVID'S FRIEND will take place at The Club at La MaMa, located at 74A East 4th Street, 3rd floor, NYC. The show schedule is Friday, January 27th, and Saturday, January 28th, at 10:00 PM; Friday, February 3rd, and Saturday, February 4th, at 10:00 PM; Sunday, January 29th, at 6:00 PM; Sunday, February 5th, at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $20/adults; $15/students-seniors. Order at lamama.org or call 212-325-3101.
DAVID'S FRIEND premiered at the Provincetown Afterglow festival and has toured to Manhattan's Dixon Place, as well as Los Angeles, Toronto and Seattle. The show garnered powerful accolades from members of the theatre and arts community during its workshop phase.
DAVID'S FRIEND co-stars actor-musician Billy Hough, who wrote seven musicals with Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans, and lyrics for the Lea DeLaria musical "Insatiable Hunger." He and Susan Goldberg (Space Pussy) have performed their cult cabaret act "Scream Along with Billy" at Joe's Pub in New York and the Grotta Bar in Provincetown. Hough, a member of the legendary punk band GarageDogs, has been resident pianist at Provincetown's Gifford House in for 12 seasons.
"Nora's show comes at a startlingly prescient time," said DAVID'S FRIEND director Adrienne Truscott. "Her many deep friendships formed in discos and shabby apartments in a more dangerous and more rich pre-AIDS, pre-gentrified NYC serve as an encyclopedic map to the culture of queer nightlife and community that so significantly shaped the art, trends and leaders we know of today. That she has the opportunity to mount it now - when so much progress seems imperiled - is an uncanny and timely gift."
Nora Burns is a founding member of the comedy groups Unitard (1999-present) and the Nellie Olesons (1993-present). She has performed at PS122, La MaMa, and Joe's Pub in New York City, and Highways, Cavern Club and The HBO Workspace in Los Angeles. Comedy festival gigs include Just for Laughs in Montreal and We're Funny That Way in Toronto, and the prestigious Aspen Comedy Festival (now HBO Comedy Festival). Her first solo show, "Honey, I'm Home," premiered at Dixon Place in NYC, and toured to Los Angeles, Provincetown and Hudson, NY. Since 2013, Burns has hosted "New York Stories" at the historic Stonewall Inn, where celebrated Manhattanites like Michael Musto and Anthony Haden-Guest share sordid personal tales of days gone by. Burns's film work includes "Broken Hearts," "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist," "Club," "Boys Life 3" and "Florent: Queen of the Meat Market." TV appearances include Logo's "Wisecrack" comedy show and "The Sandra Bernhard Experience." For more, visit NoraBurns.net.
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. Founded in 1961 by Ellen Stewart, La MaMa is recognized as the seedbed of new work by artists of all nations and cultures. To date, La MaMa has presented more than 150,000 artists from over 70 nations. Each season, La MaMa offers more than 80 productions and receive 34,000 visits from people of all ages and all backgrounds. La MaMa's East Village campus has grown to include four theatres, an art gallery, artist work and living space and an extensive Archive.