New York City theatre director and producer Ben Rimalower makes his debut as a playwright and performer with Patti Issues, an emotionally charged and comedic insight into Rimalower's early life, relationship with his parents, and obsession with Broadway star Patti LuPone. The one man cabaret, directed by Aaron Mark, explores the challenges faced by LGBT families as well as the timeless relationship between gay men and their divas.
Front row and center at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre
Opening night of the show and my best friend Jason and I found our way to our seats in the front of the venue, where we shared our table with Marty Cummings. The room was completely packed with familiar faces beaming at one another at this sold out opening. Ben finally walked out and smiled at us his audience, and I was giddy with anticipation and wished that he started the show by throwing up his hands in that iconic Evita V - it was saved for later.
He eloquently recounted fond memories of yesteryear and guided us through the first time he ever heard Patti LuPone sing, his first LuPone concert, and how he would listen to the Evita soundtrack over and over on his headphones at home. He surveyed the room with his eyes as he transitioned between the good, the bad, and everything in between, delivering each anecdote with such raw and uninhibited sincerity.
His performance was honest and expressive. Ben pulled on your heartstrings and reminded you of our shared and universal experiences with loneliness, uncertainty, and fear. He inspired a silence in the room when retelling a poignant memory and caused us to throw our heads back in laughter with far more comical stories. This is definitely a show you won't want to miss!
Patti Issues premiered this past Thursday the 30th of August at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre (61 Christopher Street, on Seventh Avenue) and will be running every Thursday at 9:30PM until the 4th of October. Tickets are $20 plus a two-drink minimum per person so grab your tickets, a drink, and enjoy the show!
Table reservations can be made by calling 212-255-5438 or going online (http://www.theduplex.com/special/brimalower.shtml).