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Rise and Shine

Dancer's gay-themed work a response to dad's Viagra talk.

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Joe Booth's Family Outing: A Dance Play, which makes its premiere tonight as part of Cleveland Public Theatre's Big [Box] series, started out as a fairly banal conversation between Booth and his father. "Then he tells me he's had recent success with Viagra," recalls Booth. "So I told him if he ever wanted to know about me and gay sex, I'd be happy to talk about it. He responded with absolute silence."

Family Outing , says Booth, was written as sort of a belated disclosure. Even though he came out more than two decades ago, Booth says, there was never a real sit-down session with his dad. "I never made a grand, official announcement," he says.

The piece — which incorporates dance, narrative, and video — isn't totally autobiographical, however. Booth says that friends and acquaintances were models for many of the characters. "It's really about stereotypes," he says. "And it's about struggles gay men had in the pre-AIDS [era], when it was a private boys club."
Feb. 3-4, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 5, 3 p.m.

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