In a pair of benefit performances this holiday season, Obie Award winner David Drake will return to the stage of Baltimore's Spotlighters Theatre for the first time in over 20 years with his acclaimed new theatrical creation Tawny Heatherton in A Very Tawny Christmas! Tonight, December 28th & 29th at 8pm, Drake's loveably eccentric showbiz survivor and "one hit wonder" from the disco zeitgeist of the 1980s will bring her blonde-swept brand of sunny, funny cheer to the Spotlighters' stage with seasonal songs, sparkly dresses and wild stories about her globe-trotting adventures. With musical direction by Danny Noel, Tawny will also welcome several surprise guests to perform with her throughout the evening. A Very Tawny Christmas! runs 75 minutes, and is performed without an intermission.
Proceeds will benefit the non-profit Spotlighters Theatre, which has been producing continuous community-based productions on its stage at 817 St. Paul Street in downtown Baltimore since its founding by Audrey Herman in 1962.
A lite reception will be provided following each performance. Tickets are $25 and available at www.spotlighters.org, or by calling 410-752-1225. Reservations are strongly suggested.
David Drake is a native of Edgewood, Maryland. Starting as a child actor, David appeared on virtually every community theater stage in the Baltimore region throughout the 1980s before heading to New York and -- several years later, in 1992 -- winning an Obie Award for his one-man play The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, one of the longest-running solo shows in NY theater history. Globally, Larry Kramer has received over 100 productions, including translations in French, Greek, Portuguese, and Spanish. Last summer, the 20th anniversary of David's play received a celebrated revival in Chicago. While an artist-in-residence NY's Dance Theater Workshop in 2002, David premiered his autobiographical solo show Son of Drakula, which earned rave reviews and toured the world. His latest theatrical creation, a forgotten starlet named Tawny Heatherton, made her NY debut last February in My Tawny Valentine at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, directed by Robert La Fosse, and recently wowed the crowds in Provincetown with a summer-long-run of Tawny, Tell Me True.
Other NY stage credits: Vampire Lesbians of Sodom (succeeding Charles Busch for 856 performances), originating the role of "Miss Deep South" in the hit musical Pageant, co-starring with Jim J. Bullock in End of the World Party at the 47th St. Theater, and starring opposite B.D. Wong in A Language of Their Own at The Public. TV: LAW & ORDER, THE BEAT, NY UNDERCOVER, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, and most recently THE GOOD WIFE. Feature films: Jonathan Demme's Academy Award-winning Philadelphia, as well as It's Pat, Naked in New York, David Searching, Bear City, Longtime Companion, and in his own adaptation of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me. As a stage director, David has developed and directed numerous solo-shows, including new works by Kathy Najimy, Sherie Rene Scott, and the award-winning The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac. Twice a Directing Fellow at the Sundance Theater Lab, David has directed at The Public's "Under the Radar" Festival, Joe's Pub, Rattlestick, Theater for the New City, and NYC International Fringe Festival. More recently David was a director of the world premiere of Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge, which made the "10 Best Lists" in The New Yorker, The NY Post, The Advocate, Paper Magazine, and won a 2010 Village Voice Obie Award.
Photo Credit: Steven Weiner