Island City Stage Premieres STARMAKER
Chaucer wrote "O God Who made nature, Will Jove transform me into a star?" Henry Willson would easily have responded. "No, but I will!"
"Starmaker", the new play by Michael Leeds having its world premiere at Island City Stage imaginatively explores the supernova career of Rock Hudson, an incredibly handsome, but closeted, sailor who craved stardom. Henry Willson was a homely, openly gay, larger than life agent who groomed him and created a star. Hollywood dubbed them "beauty and the beast" but with Rock's looks and Henry's ruthless ambition, they reached the pinnacle of success. Then Henry fell in love with his creation and a life of lies led to final credits neither would have written.
Directing his own work, Leeds, who serves as Island City Stage's Associate Artistic Director, was inspired by the relationship between these two larger-than-life personalities."I was fascinated by this man, an unattractive homosexual, who achieves the power to set the standard for male beauty all over the world, " said Leeds. "I also wanted to explore the sacrifices made in service of stardom, so I created the idea to tell their story by surrounding them with some of Henry's other creations: Tab Hunter, Rory Calhoun, Troy Donahue and Lana Turner. The story is funny, tragic - and true!"
Leading the cast are Carbonell Award winner Clay Cartland as Rock Hudson and visiting artist David Edwards as Henry Willson. They are joined by Jeanine Gangloff Levy, Sahid Pabon, Sean Davis and Samuel Maya. The design team includes Aredean Landhuis on sets and lighting, W. Emil White on costumes and David Hart on sound.
"Starmaker" begins previews Aug. 8th and 9th with a press and Carbonell opening on Aug. 10th. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 5:00 p.m. through September 8th at the home of Island City Stage, The Wilton Theatre Factory, 2304 N Dixie Hwy, Wilton Manors. For tickets and information go to islandcitystage.org or call 954-928-9800.