Jun 13, 2024
Jun 23, 2024

Can I Be Frank?

Written and performed by Morgan Bassichis, with original material by Frank Maya

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In a desperate attempt to prove they can think about someone other than themself, Morgan Bassichis revisits queer comedian, musician, and performance artist Frank Maya’s 1987 show, Frank Maya Talks, which also took place in the Club at LaMaMa. Maya was among the “first out gay comedians on network television” and on the precipice of mainstream success before his death from AIDS-related complications in 1995. This new “solo” performance humbly attempts to ensure Maya’s legacy is no longer overlooked while also resolving the bottomless queer search for laughter in times of crisis and for fame and father figures and intense attachment dynamics no matter how fleeting.

Video digitized by Neil Greenberg

Written and performed by Morgan Bassichis, with original material by Frank Maya

Morgan Bassichis is a comedian and writer who has been described as “fiercely hilarious” by the New Yorker. They are the author of The Odd Years and co-editor with Jay Saper and Rachel Valinsky of Questions to Ask Before Your Bat Mitzvah, both from Wendy’s Subway. Recent shows include A Crowded Field (Abrons Arts Center, 2023), Questions to Ask Beforehand (Bridget Donahue, 2022), and Don’t Rain on My Bat Mitzvah (Creative Time, 2021). Morgan’s exhibition, More Little Ditties, was co-presented by the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University and the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Sam Pinkleton most recently directed Cole Escola's Oh, Mary! at the Lucille Lortel Theater and choreographed Stephen Sondheim's final musical Here We Are at The Shed. Other highlights of his directing work include a big gay Wizard of Oz at ACT in San Francisco, Noah Diaz' YOU WILL GET SICK (Roundabout Theater Company - starring Linda Lavin), the Go-Go's musical Head Over Heels starring Alaska 5000 (Pasadena Playhouse, co-directed with Jenny Koons), the unexplainable club experience UNTITLED DANCESHOWPARTYTHING (Virgin Voyages, created with Ani Taj), and a revival of Liz Swados' Runaways (City Center Encores + Shakespeare In The Park). As a choreographer his work includes the Broadway productions of Macbeth; Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (Tony Nomination), Machinal, Heisenberg, Significant Other, and Amélie.  He has created original musical work with a diverse roster of collaborators including Courtney Love, Todd Almond, Swing Left, Cirque du Soleil, Nickelodeon, BAM, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Dutch National Opera. His work on film includes the upcoming apocalyptic musical feature The End, starring Tilda Swinton. www.sampinkleton.com

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