Ray Allen Durand's LET THE LITTLE BOY DANCE Opens Tonight at Stage Left's Left Out Festival

Ray Allen Durand's LET THE LITTLE BOY DANCE Opens Tonight at Stage Left's Left Out Festival

Let the Little Boy Dance, an affirmative "work-in-progress with music" about a gay child's identification with show business and how that sensibility can inform a life, will be read and performed by Ray Allen Durand as part of the Sixth Annual LEFT OUT FESTIVAL of LGBT plays now through April 30 (2013) at Stage Left Studio, 214 West 30th Street in New York City.

Let the Little Boy Dance will be performed today, April 22 and Monday, April 29, both at 7:30 p.m.

Written by Durand and Michael Shepley, and directed by Shepley, the performance features the 70-year-old Durand in the musical story of his life - an unpredictable journey beginning in Hammond, Louisiana, where he yearned to dance and perform, to the streets of New York City where he came to fulfill his calling.

In addition to a wide variety of popular songs, the show also features the debut of the title tune, "Let the Little Boy Dance," with music and lyrics by Shepley. Music director is David Brunetti.

Let the Little Boy Dance begins at Durand's 50th high school reunion in Hammond, where he is giving a speech. Married at last to his partner of more than 30 years, he is reunited with former friends and tormentors who don't know the full story of his life, either with them or after them.

Durand moved to New York in the 1960s, and worked at Equity Library Theatre, modeled for True Romance and other magazines, toured with Cyd Charisse and Raul Julia in "Ilya Darling," and appeared as Roy the accountant in a production of "The Odd Couple." Eventually diverted from a life in the theatre, he worked for United Cerebral Palsy and then the New York City public school system, where his theatre training and point-of-view led to respect and devotion by his often-troubled students.

"We hope the play is an affirmation of a child's inner knowing of his/her creative gifts," said its writers. "May everyone come to 'dance' in life, wherever your talents may lie."

Stage Left Studio is located at 214 West 30th Street (bet. Seventh and Eighth Avenues) on the 6th floor. Information and ticket purchase can be found online at www.stageleftstudio.net . The Left Out Festival, now in its sixth year, is produced by Cheryl King and Joe Hutcheson and is a benefit for Bailey House, which provides safe, affordable housing for men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS in New York City. Tickets are $22, with a discount available for seniors and students. The theatre, one block south of Penn Station, is convenient to all major transportation, including the A, C, E, 1, 2, 3, B, D, F, N, R, Q lines to 34th Street.

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