I don't know if I've ever experienced the kind of love-in that took place at the Tarragon Theatre last Monday (July 16).
Community took on new meaning at the Jon-a-thon, a benefit in support of the Purdy/Flacks family and in particular, their eight-month old baby who's been at serious risk since the day he was born. Moms Janis Purdy, well-know queer community activist, and Diane Flacks, stage and TV performer extraordinaire, have been on 24-hour caretaking vigil as Jonathan has been in out of hospital through an unbelievably demanding time.
The theatre was packed as a series of performers, including Sonja Smits, Richard Greenblatt, Women Fully Clothed and others put out for a superlatively supportive crowd.
I loved the vibe and, frankly, the quality of the performance wouldn't really have mattered all that much to me. But in this case some of the performers were sensational. Special mention has to go to Dawn Whitwell - who was also one of the event organizers - whose deadpan delivery is spot-on and who took some amazing risks while quoting some of the medical terms from the family website.
Elvira Kurt has also raised the level of her game. Some of that has to do with the fact she's a new mother, and trust me, new lesbian motherhood is a rich area. But she also moves in beautiful new ways and has re-animated her facial expressions to create a vivid impression on stage.
Yummy John Alcorn sang a transcendent version of Johnny Angel - I want him in my living room.
But what's up with host Bruce McCulloch? He persistently slagged NOW Magazine throughout the night - especially weird since stage editor Glenn Sumi was thanked in the program. I don't know what's in his craw, but he should get over it.
For more on the amazing Purdy/Flacks family, go to www.purdy-flacks.com.