Friday, June 10, 2011

BAIT n' SWISH: Bad Dates to Outrageous Comedy

When David began working on BAIT, he had no clue the one-act comedy would win multiple awards, enjoy several successful runs and launch a fulfilling long-term collaboration for himself, Tom Gualtieri, and director Laura Josepher. It just seemed like a good idea: you go on so many bad dates, you might as well mine the material and write a show. But writing the 2-actor, 28-character comedy about gay speed dating got David and Tom all the way to Estonia and back, and has now spawned a full evening of outrageous characters with the addition of SWISH.

BAIT is about two friends - Justin and Charlie - who attend a “Quick Fix” speed dating event, only to find out their feelings for each other are not what they thought. The show premiered at the 2006 Columbus National Gay & Lesbian Theater Festival where it won six awards, including: Best Featured Actor (Tom), Best Direction (Laura), Best Script, Best Comedy, Audience Favorite and Best of the Festival. If you haven't seen our hilarious video promo, here's the link:

 
BAIT also played sold-out houses at the Philadelphia Gay & Lesbian Theater Festival and the Left Out Festival at Stage Left Studio in New York (where it extended three times) in Spring, 2008. Since then, we have had the pleasure of performing the show on Atlantis Events cruises, which have taken us around the world.

BAIT has received stellar reviews, including this one from nytheatre.com:

“Tom Gualtieri and David Sisco play roughly 14 characters apiece and do so with smarts, energy, and originality. They jump from character to character, manipulating their bodies, their voices, their faces, and their personalities without ever veering into the realm of clich√©. Their character work ranges from the profanely obvious to the sweetly subtle and the duo works wonderfully together, nimble enough to allow the other's characters to take necessary focus and generous enough to let go of the spotlight to let the other performer shine.”

David recently completed BAIT's companion piece, SWISH, which brings another twenty-odd quirky characters to the stage.  In this show, Charlie moves to Boise, Idaho ostensibly to focus on his writing (he’s a novelist), but gets sucked into helping create a gay bar (I bet you can guess its name) with the help of a nosey neighbor, Delores Kinney. 

SWISH is also a multi-character play, but this time Tom will be playing all the other characters while David reprises his role as Charlie. Is Tom up for the challenge? Of course. “I told David if he didn’t give me ALL the parts in this show that our collaboration would be over. He’s so generous and he obliged,” Tom quips. “There’s a scene where I have to play about ten drag queens in the course of a minute. Careful what you wish for! Hey, at least I’m not hosting the Oscars!” 

SWISH was presented as a staged reading at this year’s Left Out Festival. BAIT n' SWISH will be performed together for the first time at Stage Left this fall starting Thursday, October 13. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming dates and a new video promo!

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