Diversionary Theatre to Produce West Coast Premiere of THE NEW CENTURY, 12/3-1/2

Diversionary Theatre will produce the West Coast premiere of Paul Rudnick's big gay comedy, The New Century, as the third show of their 2009-2010 season. The New Century features the outrageous and poignant stories of a Jewish matron, a flamboyant aging homosexual and a Midwestern craftswoman, and is filled with snappy one-liners and a moment of gratuitous nudity. Diversionary's production will be directed by Igor Goldin, and feature Phil Johnson, Dana Hooley, Jacque Wilke, Noah Longton and Stacey Hardke. Goldin directed last summer's smash hit Yank! The show will run December 3-January 2, including performances over both the Christmas and New Year weekends.

"The one-liners fly like rockets in The New Century, the rollicking bill of short plays…Building on time-honored traditions within gay and Jewish humor, Mr. Rudnick turns stereotypes into bullet-deflecting armor and jokes into an inexhaustible supply of ammunition…." – NY Times. Rudnick is the playwright of Valhalla, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Jeffrey, for which he won an Obie, Outer Critics Circle and the John Gassner Playwrighting Award. Rudnick also did the screenplays for "Addams Family Values," "Jeffrey" and "In & Out."

The New Century is made up of four one-act plays. In "Pride and Joy," Helene, a Long Island matron, is the self-proclaimed "mosT Loving mother of all time" to her three gay children, whom she brags about at the Massapequa chapter of Parents of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, The Transgendered, The Questioning, The Curious, The Creatively Concerned and Others.

"Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach" features a flamboyant, over-the-hill cable-TV host dishing about gay life, with help from his young "ward," Shane. Mr. Charles is described by playwright Rudnick as "an aging homosexual hounded out of New York City by younger gay men, who find his theatrical style a threatening throwback to an earlier, tougher time."

Barbara Ellen is a Midwestern craftswoman and competitive cake-decorator in "Crafty," addressing a local business group about the joys of crafts. Chipper chatter about toaster cozies and scrapbooking leads to baring her soul and torture over the loss of her son Hank, who died of AIDS in a New York Hospital.

The title short unites Mr. Charles, Helene and Barbara Ellen in a Manhattan maternity ward, a good place to consider the future and bond over their burdens.

During the run, Diversionary will make their annual Give Change to Make Change fundraising pitch to the audience, who are encouraged to bring coins and bills to throw into the hat that will be passed around.

Director Igor Goldin returns to Diversionary after directing last summer's production of Yank! He will direct the upcoming Off-Broadway production of Yank!, scheduled for a February 2010 opening at The York Theatre Company. He directed all the other productions of Yank! (The Gallery Players, NY - GLAAD Award nomination, 2008 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical; New York Musical Theatre Festival – Outstanding New Summer Musical of 2005 by Talkin' Broadway.) Other recent credits include: A Little Night Music (Capital Playhouse, Olympia, WA) and Love, Incorporated (Midtown InterNational Theatre Festival, NYC - 2008 Award for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical). Goldin is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Diversionary Theatre was started in 1986. The mission of the theatre is to produce plays with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes that portray characters in their complexity and diversity both historically and contemporarily.

The New Century previews on December 3 and 4, and opens on Saturday, December 5 and runs through Saturday, January 2. Performance times are: Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday & Saturday at 8:00pm, Sunday at 2:00 & 7:00pm, various Monday's at 7:30pm and a Saturday, 4:00pm performance on Christmas and New Year's weekends. Single and group tickets are now on sale. Four-show season subscriptions are still available for Diversionary's 2009-2010 season. For information, call the Diversionary box office at 619.220.0097 or log on to www.diversionary.org.

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