Slipstream adds Michigan premiere to season
Slipstream Theatre Initiative is fresh off the heels of its first season and diving head first into its second, kicking off in December. But every once in a while a script comes along that is undeniably one that must be produced right here, right now. Slipstream announced the production of such a script, B.F.’s! by local author and playwright, Frank Anthony Polito, based on his novel Band Fags! Though their second season doesn’t officially start until December, Slipstream will be producing this Michigan premiere September 5-25, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate their time in Hazel Park before moving to their permanent space in Ferndale. That’s right, a new permanent space for the vagabond company! B.F.’s! will mark the company’s last show in Hazel Park and will act as a transition piece between spaces, seasons and genres.
B.F.’s! is an almost-totally-true story that takes place over the course of four years (1984-1988) in Hazel Park. It tells the honest story of two best friends, both struggling with finding their own identities in a world that shuns boys who play with dolls and dress a little differently. High school can be a devastating place, especially for young people in the closet in a time and location that frowns upon embracing your real self. Over the course of the four year journey of the play, the two best friends experience a lot of firsts, a tremendous amount of internal struggling, and an overwhelming sense of needing to find their own voices, and more importantly, to have those voices heard.
The two person cast, under the direction of Artistic Director Bailey Boudreau (who also does the costumes), consists of up-and-comers Maxim Vinogradov (Taming of the Shrew) and Jackson Abohasira (Taming of the Shrew). Though the play has been produced in San Francisco and New York, playwright Polito has been dying to have it produced here, where he grew up (and where it takes place). And just a warning: the names may have been changed to protect the innocent, but most of the situations are actual events. With a throwback “I Love the 80’s” set (complete with wood paneling and early Days of Our Lives pin ups), designed by Ryan Ernst and a soundtrack of memorable 80’s tunes designed by creator Polito, this play is sure to take the audience on a journey to a time when knowing ourselves seemed an impossible feat. It resonates to men and women of all generations as it is a story about coming of age and learning to deal with the consequences. Friendship is a sacred bond that is often challenging and not without its faults. Join Slipstream as they explore the value of these seemingly unbreakable bonds and venture into the intricate world of the teenage mind.