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theatre spotlight by tim parks with Luke Moday and JD Dumas It’s a Date


The plot of Date Night centers around Daytime Emmy Award- winning actress Carolyn Hennesey, who is meeting a blind date at a neighborhood wine bar. Also joining the evening’s shenanigans are four musical-based


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real-life couples, including gay duo Luke Monday and JD Dumas. Over the course of the play, each couple tell stories about how they met and feature vocal performances of their favorite songs.


THE RAGE MONTHLY SPOKE WITH MONDAY AND DUMAS ABOUT BRINGING THEIR 8½ YEAR RELATIONSHIP TO THE STAGE AND THE CHALLENGES OF PERFORMING IN FRONT OF A VIRTUAL AUDIENCE.


For Monday, the “tough part” of detailing their couplehood


through song proved to be a difficult task. “JD and I have worked on many, many shows together and so


we had a lot of songs and shows to pick from in terms of material,” he said. “Ultimately we went with songs that sort of illustrate the beginnings of our life together. For example, the song I chose is “I Got Life” from Hair, because that is the show that brought JD into my life. The other songs we chose also reflect those key moments in our relationship.” While Dumas expressed that the way in which they met presented


its own set of challenges, as they were initially in the friend zone, but are now “engaged with two beautiful dogs and a cute condo,” and he considers it “the best leap of faith I ever made.” “A story we plan to tell during our portion of Date Night, is how it


wasn’t love at first sight. We met doing a show, at which time Luke was in a relationship,” Dumas said. “There’s also a significant age difference –12 years – between us, so with both of those being factors in our meeting – we were definitely only friends.


28 ragemonthly.com | FEBRUARY 2021


an Diego Musical Theatre is adapting to the times we are living in by presenting Date Night, a virtual musical play that will be streamed live Thursday, March 11 through Sunday, March 14.


“Advances weren’t made until Luke’s prior relationship had ended


a few months prior, at which time Luke had expressed feelings for me. I was very apprehensive and wasn’t ready to jump into a relationship. I felt it best to hang out and kind of play it by ear.” And playing it by ear to a virtual audience is “definitely an odd experi-


ence” for Dumas. He explained how the process has unfolded for him. “We have had chances to perform via Zoom from our home. The first time we did, we had to rehearse when to pause as if we could hear people applaud or laugh,” he said. “It’s nice to see faces pop up on the screen, but we sure miss experiencing the energy and reaction of a live audience.” But this isn’t Monday’s first time at the rodeo, in terms of perform- ing live before a virtual audience during the pandemic. It marks his second time. “Back in April 2020, I teamed up with the folks at Oceanside


Theatre Company and Scripps Ranch Theatre Company to produce a live-streamed version of my cabaret, Callback Queen,” he said. “Although it did take some getting used to, it was ultimately such a joy to just get to perform again. “As actors we often have to put ourselves in imaginary circum-


stances, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch to imagine an audience was there, even though we were in our guest bedroom,” Monday added. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to perform again, and I think the audience watching at home will love this show.” Recently in the entertainment world, there have been a few cases


of straight actors tackling gay roles who have faced backlash. James Corden was lambasted for his take on playing it gay in the Netflix production of The Prom, and Brendan Fraser is courting controversy with the upcoming film The Whale, in which he plays a 600-pound gay man. We asked the out actors to give us their two cents worth on straight actors playing gay roles. “I’m fine with straight actors playing gay roles. Gay actors portray


straight people as well,” Dumas said. “I believe it really comes down to the portrayal and authenticity of how they play character or person.”


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