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STEVE's Mario Cantone on Working With Husband Jerry Dixon and Feeling Sorry For Heteros

Real life husband and husband Mario Cantone and Jerry Dixon play lovers on stage in Mark Gerrard's STEVE, directed by Cynthia Nixon and opening in a production by The New Group Wdnesday night.

"It's really great. I'm having a great time," says Cantone in an interview for Out. "And one of the best parts of it is working with him. And in February, we're doing Lincoln Center's American Songbook together. We're like Steve and Eydie for the next six months."

Although this is their first time acting together, Dixon has written comedy songs for Cantone's Broadway solo show, LAUGH WHORE, and other concert appearances.

'He never takes the song of someone I'm impersonating and rewrites the lyrics. He writes a whole new song."

Offstage, Cantone credits being two men as an important key to their happy relationship.

"I think men understand each other more" he explains. I really do. I always say to the heterosexuals, 'You poor, poor opposite creatures.' Men are men, gay or straight. There's a lot of bromances between gay and straight men because they do understand each other."

STEVE deals with contemporary gay men who are getting married and having children and finding that their issues are becoming pretty much the same as those of straight couples.

"As great as it all is, it also takes away what was unique about you. When I was young, before you could get married, I don't think I would have. I would have said, 'We're not going to have kids. Why do it?' But years later, you're still together, and as soon as Governor Cuomo announced it for the state, we were like, 'Let's do it.' It's been 25 years and I have a walker waiting for me in my closet. There was no question."

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The New Group proudly presents the world premiere of Steve, a new play by Mark Gerrard. Directed by Cynthia Nixon, this production features Ashlie Atkinson, Mario Cantone, Jerry Dixon, Francisco Pryor Garat, Malcolm Gets and Matt McGrath. A limited Off-Broadway engagement plays through December 27 at The Pershing Square Signature Center (The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, 480 West 42nd Street), with Official Opening Night set for Wednesday, November 18. Previews began November 3.

As Steven, a failed Broadway chorus boy turned stay at home dad, celebrates yet another birthday, he finds himself filled with fear and uncertainty. Is Stephen, his partner of 16 years, cheating on him? Why is one of his best friends dying of cancer? And what, exactly, has he done with his life? A portrait of a group of longtime, theater loving friends as they navigate the many facets of midlife and mortality, Mark Gerrard's Steve is a biting and bittersweet comedy about relationships and the unavoidable consequences of aging and the passage of time.

Photo Credit: Peter James Zielinski

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