D’Loco Kid Productions in partnership with Butters and Papi Productions has announced that D’FunQT: A Big D’Lo Show will be held on Thursday, August 5th, 2010. The piece will premiere at Dixon Place as a part of Dixon Place’s Hot! Festival, a pioneering festival of queer performance and culture – and the oldest, continually running festival of its kind in the world! D’FunQT: A Big D’Lo Show is a one night spectacular from the critically acclaimed artist D’Lo, a Los Angeles based, Tamil Sri Lankan-American comedian, writer, theater artist, director, and advocate.
Known mostly for solo theater that brings to life emotionally charged characters that cross generations and genders, D’Lo’s new show D’FunQT (pronounced “defunct”) is a “stripped-up” version of D’Lo’s solo theater work. This ‘stand-up storytelling’ performance is a humorous musing on being a queer boy/transgendered person who grew up in a strict immigrant family. D’FunQT serves as a showcase for D’Lo’s talent as a performer and writer as the artist shares stories of repeated coming out processes, explorations on topics relating to South Asia, transgender social justice, queer social culture, loneliness, and the resilience of the human spirit.
The Bay Times raves, “Rarely will you find an artist with such polymorphous skill at storytelling and performance, one who understands the gentle, quiet rhythms of masterfully drawing a moment out and bringing it back in.”
The Fresh Meat Festival is outrageously popular for good reason: it showcases stellar transgender and queer talent on a huge scale, and is the only event of its kind in the nation. Due to audience demand, Fresh Meat returns again this year to big, beautiful Theater Artaud. Don’t miss this “Best of San Francisco” award-winning performance!
Motivational speakers, cross-dressing freedom fighters, Craigslist hookups, Filipino gay love songs, a vogue-off, tranny glam rock and songs from the ancestors are just a few of the highlights of this year’s Fresh Meat Festival. And this year, our outrageously popular transgender and queer performance festival is bursting at the seams with world premieres.
This year’s Fresh Meat Festival shines the spotlight on new work, with performances by the Barbary Coast Cloggers, Annie Danger, Sean Dorsey Dance, solidad decosta, D’Lo, StormMiguel Florez, the GAPA Men’s Chorus, Allan Frias Productions, SoliRose and Shawna Virago! All artists perform every night.
The 2010 Fresh Meat Festival brings its biggest lineup ever to Z Space at Theater Artaud, June 17-20. From modern dance to hip hop, freestyle to folk, ceremonial music to roots rock, this year’s festival offers something for everyone with a top-notch roster of transgender and queer trailblazers. Theseshows sell out quickly: advance tickets are recommended!
There was a recent movie titled It’s Complicated, but I’m sure the complications facing its glossy characters are nothing compared to what the performer known as D’Lo faces everyday. In the exquisite solo show Ramble-Ations at Brava Theatre Center’s intimate second space, the Los Angeles performer takes us on a cultural and gender journey that has never been explored in quite this way.
By way of introduction, D’Lo comes from a Sri Lankan family, a little-understood heritage complicated by the fact that they are part of the Tamil minority defeated recently in a civil war. The family’s cultural background and Hindu faith aren’t exactly in sync with D’Lo’s “I’m gay” announcement, a coming-out that is complicated when, as relatives are getting used to having a lesbian in the family, she further declares that she’s transgendered and identifies as a man.
Directed by Adelina Anthony, Ramble-Ations is much more than a “I’m here, I’m queer, I’m transgendered” manifesto, as D’Lo bravely dives into personal conflictions, humorously (and convincingly) dons female drag to play several characters, and even gives us a slide-show documentation of a her/his childhood evolution from short-haired tomboy to a long-haired feminization under Southern Californian peer pressure to the bouncing, boyish, hip hop-styled persona that first greets us.
D’Lo projects an assurance tempered with deprecation, bemoaning a “Mickey Mouse voice” that belies desires for a masculine image, or describing Sri Lanka as a little nation of alcoholics created from a fart from India’s ass. He plays his own mother in full ethnic attire, who recalls D’Lo’s efforts to turn a childhood Barbie into a Ken doll, and wonders why her daughter can’t at least look like such long-haired lesbians as Rosie O’Donnell and Martina Navratilova.
D’Lo dons a wig and a dress to portray a Valley Girl cousin who speaks at a memorial service for a friend who died in the 2004 tsunami that wiped out 35,000 Sri Lankans, but did nothing to unite the ethnically torn country. A scene in which D’Lo plays a tottering grandfather with a Gandhi fixation, but who curses like a sailor, highlights just what a nimble physical comedian he can be.
The 60-minute show never strays far from a laugh, but the reality of a simmering racial, gender, and cultural diaspora is also ready to emerge at any moment. That D’Lo does not profess to have yet sorted out all the complications turns out to be a big strength of Ramble-Ations .
Ramble-Ations will run at Brava Theatre Center through April 3. Tickets are $15-$25. Call 647-2822 or go to www.brava.org.
“Your ticket allows you to be an honorary Sri Lankan, gay, vegetarian. Now you can laugh at the pain!” And thus begins one of the most remarkable one-man shows to hit the Bay Area in ages. Ramble-ations: A One D’Lo Show, on Brava’s second stage, is performed by gay, vegetarian, transgendered, hip-hop artist D’Lo, and what a sublime, transcontinental journey of identity, culture and family it is. Rarely will you find an artist with such polymorphous skill at storytelling and performance, one who understands the gentle, quiet rhythms of masterfully drawing a moment out and bringing it back in without being overly self-indulgent. And this must-see show ends way too soon.
D’Lo takes us from Sri Lanka to Sri Lancaster, California, with stops along the way to inhabit the skins of his mother (or, his “Amma”); his sister’s best friend (a totally bitchin’ privileged self-absorbed Sri Lankan Barbie, whose mission in life is to show Sri Lankan women they can be almost nearly as gorgeous as she… well, not really, but they can try!); a grandfather who has delusions of being Gandhi with a penchant for drink; and a transgendered janitor in NYC who loves to hang out in the club.
But it is how D’Lo makes the connections of these characters, and the transformations are truly stunning. He blurs gender and age with the swathing of a red fabric and the placing of a gorgeous, long wig, suddenly becoming his mother. “I should have known when you preferred the G.I. Joe doll and the Tonka Trucks,” she muses in hindsight. But at that time her daughter — a then-female D’Lo — wasn’t gay. “I have seen the gays on television, and that is not my daughter. I have seen Ellen DeGeneres. And Rosie O’Donnell. And Martina Na… Martina Navra… Martina Navrahapatsumi,” as the mother gently struggles with what lies ahead for her daughter. And one admonishment stands out, “We didn’t leave a war-torn country for you to come her and get killed,” which fully acknowledges that a centuries-old civil war in a third-world nation was less of a risk than living gay in the United States.
This deeply-personal, yet Universal, story has more twists and turns than a tsunami. But D’Lo’s humor, pathos, and d’lightful d’meanor keep the audience engaged at all times, whether actively telling the story in real-time, or in one of the many video and slide montages that allow the narrative to continually move in a gentle yet-energized directive. This 90-minute travelogue of the psyche and soul is a voyage that audiences will walk away from moved and enlightened.
There are two minor drawbacks. The piece could be tightened with a more steady dramaturgical hand (at least 10 minutes could be deleted without impacting the powerful and intricately-woven pieces). And the uncomfortable chairs and temperature of the theatre made this too apparent. But don’t let this stop you. Instead, bring a small cushion and dress in layers.
Ramble-Ations closes soon! Male, female, male-to-female, female-to-male, ages old/middle/young, those straight, gay, bi, or skin-tone any of the colors of Benetton… this story is for you. Don’t miss out on the power that lies within each of us —self-love — as challenged by the world and one’s self.
Ramble-Ations continues until April 3 at Brava Theatre Center, 2781 24th Street, San Francisco. Tickets call (415) 647-2822 or at brava.org.