Sitcom opens to full house at Play

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Sitcom, a live comedy series that takes you back stage of a drag show, opened to a full house this past Thursday at Play Dance Bar, with more than 350 people viewing the opening night performances.

Some 250 people packed the performance area at Play at the 8 p.m. show, and the 10:30 p.m. show had more than 100 people in attendance.

“We were not only happy with the turnout, but quite shocked,” said Kaine Riggan, show creator and director. “The first show raised more than $1,000 for Nashville CARES.”

Riggan is also the artistic director for the Senior Center for the Arts in Donelson and at one time served as the Performing Arts Director for the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Opening night goers were treated to an outstanding performance by local actors and two well known female impersonators – Mark Middleton (Bianca Page) and Steve Raimo (Veronika Electronika). Middleton plays Max, an Opryland-performer-turned-female-impersonator and Raimo plays Sugar, a sex-crazed Texan. They were joined onstage by Vance Nichols, who plays Nicholas, a male twink who’s more than a bit dim witted; Jon Lasister (Bobby), the stage manager of the drag show; Steven Greiner (Madeline McCray)who plays the role of Tony, drag diva Miss Tiki Torchsong; and Danny Proctor (Ray) who’s a chicken hawk club owner.

The show for March basically introduces the characters to the audience. A new storyline will be unveiled each month.

PLAY co-owners Keith Blaydes, David Taylor, Todd Roman and Joey Brown were on hand to welcome the crowd, with Taylor saying that the show will not only be a must-see for the club’s current clientele, but will draw first time patrons as well.

"The plan is to draw an early crowd for cocktails and laughter at 8 who might want to get home early for work the next day," Taylor said. "Then we hope to entertain the night-owls with the 10:30 show that follows."

"Thursday nights have never seemed to be a "going out night" for the club scene, but has always been a great night for ‘theatre’. It was nice to see so many business people come out early and still be able to get home by 9:30,” Riggan said. “This is an event that gay people can feel comfortable bringing their straight friends to. I am honored that the guys at PLAY have asked me to be involved with such an important project for Nashville. Other Tennessee cities, like Memphis, for instance, have thriving gay/lesbian theatre companies and I hope that this show will prove that Nashville has the audience for it as well."

Sitcom, a live comedy series, will be performed every Thursday at 8 and 10:30 p.m. at Play Dance Club, Church Street, Nashville.