Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Luna Stage and Out Montclair Present Gay History for Straight People!

Gay History for Straight People!

WHEN: 8:00pm on June 18
WHERE: Van Vleck House and Gardens, 21 Van Vleck St., Montclair

After 14 months of powerful virtual work, Luna Stage is thrilled to announce in-person, outdoor performances of BroadwayWorld Award-winner Will Nolan’s  Gay History for Straight People! The production is presented in association with Out Montclair to celebrate Pride month.

Seating is limited and social distancing will be observed at this adults-only performance featuring Nolan’s comedic alter ego Leola, “your new favorite Kelly Clarkson-worshipping, senior citizen, redneck lesbian.”

The show guides audiences through the complexities of the “LGBTQYMCA community as Leola calls it—everything from GAY to Z,” says Nolan. “Yes, you’re going to learn some gay history and you may need to unlearn some of the gay history Leola tries to teach, but more importantly, I hope audiences walk away feeling special.”

“Leola’s is a voice that encourages you to be yourself—flaws and all—and to be kind and to laugh,” Nolan adds. “Gay History for Straight People is about finding our strength to stand up and fight negativity with love...and the right shade of lipstick.”

“When we launched Out Montclair, we said it was going to be educational and fun and here those two things are coming together,” said Out Montclair Founder and President, Peter Yacobellis. “I’m so excited to help host the evening at the stunning Van Vleck House and Gardens and with our talented partners at Luna Stage. I think everyone is in for a treat and I can’t wait to enjoy the evening on a blanket under the stars.”

In addition to being named the 2020 Outstanding Cabaret Performer by BroadwayWorld, Leola has appeared across the country in fringe festivals, regional theaters, and at middle-aged birthday parties, winning the Long Island City Flying Solo Festival two years in a row. This year, Leola will emcee the first-ever Pride Parade in Leonia, New Jersey on June 5 and she will continue her residency at The Green Room 42 in New York City through 2021.

Gay History for Straight People was originally slated to open at Luna pre-pandemic in March of 2020 as the third production in Luna’s American Voices Series, which featured original solo shows in the regional theatre’s smaller space, Luna 2. The Series also featured Susan Hyon’s Soo Jin Pretty Nail (and more!) and Dipti Bramhandkar’s American Rookie.

Writer and performer Will Nolan lives in Northern New Jersey with his husband and son.

About Luna Stage

Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences. Firmly rooted in New Jersey's Valley Arts District—a crossroads of cultures—Luna brings our communities together for artistic events that spark conversations and create understanding and change.

The recipient of JerseyArts People’s Choice Award for Favorite Small Theatre in NJ for the past two years (2019 & 2020), Luna celebrates 10 years in its West Orange location this year. In addition to professional theatre productions on its MainStage and Luna 2, Luna offers classes for children and adults, opportunities for early-career and established theatre artists to develop new work, and has pivoted during the pandemic to offer a wide variety of free virtual programming.

About Out Montclair

Out Montclair is a nonprofit organization created to raise awareness and provide support and solidarity for the LGBTQIA+ community of Montclair. We offer educational and charitable activities and events to promote inclusivity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary and gender-fluid youth and adults. Additionally, we are a safe space where our community and our allies can come together and celebrate who we are.