Update Schmupdate

Yes, yes, I am indeed alive.  Barely.  Just got back from a 12-day whirlwind tour of the Pacific Northwest chock full of performances and meetings and nanotechnology conferences and sea water and dear friends from my past.  More on all of that to come.  Soon.  I promise. In the interim, I give you my general Titanic schedule until Thanksgiving:

Sundays through Thursdays, 9 am to 12 noon.

But if you're hellbent on seeing me, rather than one of our other incredible performers (Melanie and I are up to about 150 hours of research these days), be sure to contact me first - we Titanactors are highly adept at schedule-juggling, and tend to swap hours with astounding regularity.  Regardless of who is present for your experience, it will be, as our dear Junior Marconi Operator Harold McBride says, "another day, another doomed ship."

Hugh Loves Obama

I hopped on an early flight Saturday morning to perform in Columbus, Ohio, and upon arrival was led to my venue by Barack Obama and a couple of police motorcades. Truth! Turns out he was heading from the airport to Ohio State University at the same time I was heading from the airport to a venue just a neighborhood away. There were police cars and motorcycles, three tour buses, more police cars and motorcycles, and a Mustang carrying my gracious hosts and me. I didn’t find out until the next day that it was him, but I had a gut feeling that I was being led by hope, and it felt good.

That hope was a fitting tribute to the show I was there to perform - Mrs. Man of God is a very funny, very poignant show about the joys, fears, and complexities of being the “Minister’s Wife,” when the Minister is gay and the Minister’s Wife is a man, and when your faith requires you to be closeted. The literal backdrop of our show is but a small representation of The Shower of Stoles project – stoles of clergy who have been stripped of their credentials for loving whom they love. Over a thousand of these stoles exist – representations of clergy who have been denied their life’s passion, their calling, because of their identity. I'm not a religious person, but I strive daily to honor and defend social justice, so I find this particular show's message moving and, sadly, relevant.

It was a joy to rejoin the Nashville cast for this show – (what stellar, stellar talent! – Dennis Curley, Beth Gilleland, Dane Stauffer, and Scott Ford), and a joy to see some familiar faces from our performance in Nashville – Columbus clergy that had joined together with the help of the Human Rights Campaign and several other organizations to bring Mrs. Man of God to town in advance of a vote; a vote in the Methodist church on whether or not to recognize GLBT clergy.

The only hitch in the entire weekend, aside, perhaps, from the insane stress of keeping two different shows in my head leading up to the flight, was that I glanced at our program a few minutes before going onstage only to discover that I was billed as “Hugh Horton.” I vaguely recollect screaming, “HUGH Horton?!,” and laughing hysterically before covering my mouth to hold it in. I’ve gotten some pretty incredible name misspellings and mispronunciations over the years, but this one is my favorite thus far.

All in all, the audience was enormous and fantastic, and there was an incredible sense of community in the room. Everyone had different, compelling, beautiful, and heartwrenching stories, and I was honored to be part of a show that invited these stories to be told. And on a completely shallow note – my voice was back up to snuff and I sang my heart out.

Nothing a Quaalude Can’t Handle

I’m so busy right now I’d probably lose my head if it weren’t screwed on; in fact, I’m almost certain I’ve stumbled upon some unattended nuts and bolts, which makes me rather uneasy. The first performance of the Ministry of Cultural Warfare’s offering to the Twin Cities Chekhov Festival went swimmingly – we’ve got just two shows left, this Friday and the following Thursday. Fellow cast-member, Anthony Paul, and I took a little fieldtrip to the MPR studios yesterday to provide some ridiculously-accented shenanigans for their story.

This Saturday morning I’ll be flying to Columbus, OH, to perform Mrs. Man of God (the same show I did in Nashville this summer). That means attempting to keep Chekhov in my head while re-learning Mrs. Man of God and all the accompanying music. I predict nightmares involving embodiments of heavy Minnesotan and Russian accents dancing a furious tango, artfully stepping over my bruised corpse.

And I was cast in Frank Theater’s next show, Brecht’s Mr. Puntila and his Man Matti, which is supposed to start rehearsing this week, but I’m in the process of being replaced due to the schedule conflicts generously provided by the above-listed shows. I was thrilled to finally work with Wendy Knox, but it looks like it wasn’t in the starcards this time around. Alas.

And I’m house-sitting con perro, which means I don’t get to do any of this from the comfort of my own home. Nor with a good night’s sleep provided by my own bed. My own bed, where the bizarre noises can always be blamed on a neighbor with adjoining walls, rather than the inherent creepiness of settling single-family-homes.

Time to put on my game-face and SPARKLE! With JAZZ-HANDS! TA-DAAAA! File under “Faking it until One is Making It.”

Hello? Is it Me You're Looking For?

Boy – I don’t write for two months, and then I blindside you with a Lionel Richie lyric ending in a preposition – how’s that for a graceful comeback? You know you love it. I can see it in your eyes, I can see it in your smile...alright, alright, enough of that; it’s kind of abusive, non?

So, um, hi! Fancy meeting you here! I have much to report and much to opine, but I will stick to the reporting and do some opining in the near future just to avoid burning up into tiny bits upon my re-entry into the blogosphere.

The quick and dirty: I can be seen on screen and on stage over the next few weeks as part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival and the Manna Fest, respectively (and in Nashville, swing by if you’re in the ‘hood) – these be the details:


The Ministry of Cultural Warfare presents The Tyranny of God’s Love Intermedia Arts


Our show, "The Tyranny of God's Love," is best described as a multimedia road trip from individuality to the universal... In other words, it's lots of jokes about God and faith and meaning and one's deepest, darkest soul... In other words, just another day at the theater.

This time around, the cast is Reid Knuttila, Kevin McLaughlin, Nathan Surprenant and Natalie Rae Wass on stage, Leigha Horton on video and—for (almost) the first time ever—MoCW's artistic director Matthew Foster is in the show (actually, just his voice... and only because he's the only Minister who speaks French). Matthew's also directing the live bits and Fringe's not-too-former Executive Director Leah Cooper joins us as video/audio director. Woot!

Thursday 8/2 at 10:00 PM Sunday 8/5 at 7:00 PM Monday 8/6 at 10:00 PM Friday 8/10 at 4:00 PM Sunday 8/12 at 5:30 PM


And after we return from Nashville...


Mrs. Man of God Augsburg College - Hoversten Chapel


What’s it like to be a man married to a man who is married to the church? Through humor and song, this is a life story of giving and living in the Valley of the Shadows. Cast: Dennis Curley as Donald; Scott Ford, ensemble; Beth Gilleland, ensemble; Leigha Horton, ensemble; Dane Stauffer, ensemble; written by Beth Gilleland and Donald Bazzini; directed by Blayn Lemke

Tuesday 8/7 at 7:00 Thursday 8/9 at 7:00 Friday 8/10 at 7:00 Saturday 8/11 at 7:00 Sunday 8/12 at 4:00


Come see! They’re both totally worth your $12. Promise.