BWW Review: Sweet Gay RomCom with THE HAT at Gay City

The Hat
Adam Minton and Gabriel Sedgemore in
The Hat at Gay City
Photo credit: Michael Brunk

Romantic comedies for the straight community abound. But as they say in the current production from Gay City Arts and The Bitter Single Guy Productions, "The Hat", gay stories aren't told much unless they involve AIDS or civil rights. This is what makes "The Hat" so refreshing. It's a simple, cute romantic comedy about a newly single guy in his thirties suddenly trying to date in this modern world of hookup apps and he just happens to be gay. And while the story wandered a bit the dialog is crisp and fresh and the characters could not be more likable and relatable.

We center on Kevin (Adam Minton) who, due to an innocent flirtation in a grocery store from the hunky Markus (Gabriel Sedgemore), now finds himself broken up from his boyfriend Travis (Buddy Todd). And so after the requisite wallowing in self pity and lamenting that he'll never find love again, his friends, Peter and Andrew (Jeff Church and Eric Olson) who are in a semi-stable relationship and Gordon (Charles Waxberg) who goes through a series of short lived relationships, convince him that a dating app like Grindr might be the way to go. What follows is a series of first dates (all played by Todd) each more nightmarishly funny than the last.

It may be a formula that's been done before. The awkward and quirky romantic lead goes after the confident and gorgeous object of their affection while their friends, the stable couple and the serial monogamist, cheer them on. I mean with the gay bent to it, it's practically the series "Queer as Folk". And while the usual tropes are there and with a side drama with the couple that seemed to go on a bit too long for a story about Kevin, it's still a fun show and well done. Formulas are there for a reason, they work. And so if you can do it well like author Greg Brisendine does here then why not?

And as fun and likable as the characters are on paper, they'd be nothing without this wonderful cast who inhabit them beautifully. Minton shows off some brilliant comedic chops in the role with some spot on perfect timing and manages to keep his awkward quirkiness endearing and almost cool without going into the realm of annoying (I'm looking at you Zooey Deschanel). Sedgemore makes for the perfect counterpart for Minton with his cool unassuming confidence but still manages to show off some vulnerability keeping him from being one-note or a pretty prop. Church and Olson make for a lovely layered and honest couple with tons of heart. Waxberg turns in a nicely complex performance with tons of swagger but more than a little self doubt making the Samantha of the group (if I may liken it to "Sex and the City") more than just a stereotype. As I mentioned Todd provides some absolutely hilarious and show stopping scenes as Kevin's series of horrible dates. And the whole thing is capably directed by Roy Antonio Arauz who keeps the humor and pace going while keeping it real.

If it sounds like I keep likening it to TV shows well I am. Probably because I kept wishing that characters like this could be seen on TV. Normal people with everyday relationship issues who just happen to be gay. There have been more and more of these characters lately but not enough and not in the mainstream. And while a small play in Seattle is hardly mainstream it's still a step in the right direction. So, with my three letter rating system I give "The Hat" a hopeful YAY. It's just nice to see real, normal gay men portrayed without reducing them to an illness or a cause.

"The Hat" from Gay City Arts and The Bitter Single Guy Productions performs at the Calamus Auditorium at Gay City through April 9th. For tickets or information visit them online at www.bittersingleguy.com/the-hat.



Related Articles

View More Seattle
Stories   Shows



From This Author Jay Irwin

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram