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Talent Seems to Always be in "Bloom" in Portland

Andrew Bray and Matthew Kern in "Let A Hundred Flowers Bloom."
Andrew Bray and Matthew Kern in "Let A Hundred Flowers Bloom."

Apparently, I can’t be everything I want to be.

Last year, I fell in love with Portland and said I am going to visit more often. Of course, for me a visit to any place usually involves theatre. So it’s a pity that I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about a show – all the way to California – that I won’t be able to attend. Big shame that it’s from Defunkt Theatre, who brought me one of the most satisfying theatrical experiences I’ve ever had last year with their production of “Boys in the Band.”

This time around, Defunkt is putting on “Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom” by David Zellnik.

Like “Boys,” the story seems to be a period piece in our gay history – seems to be a common thread in anything Defunkt.

The story takes place in 1996 when AIDS medications are getting a bit more advanced, which leaves a group of men who expected to be the illnesses next casualties, holding on to hope for a future. Before you think it sounds all sad and depressing a la the film “Longtime Companion,” the story is told from the point of view of Puppy, who is a pornographic writer with a Marxist slant. It’s been described that this show is as hilarious and sexually frank as it is moving.

The show, making its West Coast Premiere, has been so successful at the Backdoor Theatre in Portland that it was just extended to run until the end of the month.

See it for me and let me know. Get tickets and information at

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