by Valerie Milano and Dr. Laura Wilhelm, LauraWil Intercultural
Silver Lake, CA (The Hollywood Times) 9/26/16 – ANITA BRYANT’S PLAYBOY INTERVIEW opened for the press at the Cavern Club Celebrity Theater on Friday, September 16th, 2016 for only six performances continuing through October 11th. Back in Silverlake by popular demand after a Hollywood Fringe Festival run, ABPI chronicles singer Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” campaign to repeal gay rights in Dade County, Florida in 1977.
Bryant had a major impact on the gay rights movement less than ten years after the Stonewall Riots. Her anti-gay actions helped to propel Harvey Milk onto the San Francisco City Council.
In 1978 former beauty queen Anita Bryant sat for an 8-day interview with Ken Kelley of PLAYBOY Magazine. This no holds barred interview is recreated on stage in ANITA BRYANT’S PLAYBOY INTERVIEW along with additional material.
ABPI was written by John Copeland, who also acts the part of Anita Bryant. Copeland has said in conversation with BROADWAY WORLD that the play is a bit of a cautionary tale to remind the gay community that while they have made tremendous progress, it can all go away quickly. He has compared Bryant’s rhetoric to that of current conservative political figures such as Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.
Copeland wants audiences to remember that there was once a time when the LGBT community had a place at the table, and that all this was taken away by the efforts of one person: Anita Bryant. “And some ugliness never goes away.”
Performances of ABPI take place on Fridays at 9 p.m., Saturdays at 9 p.m., and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. All tickets are $20 pre-sale online and $25 cash at the door. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2591134
The Cavern Club Celebrity Theater is located at Casita del Campo Restaurant at 1920 Hyperion Avenue in Silverlake. Call (213) 308-1108 for reservations.