This is the last weekend you can catch Kirk Read in his latest one-man show, This Is the Thing, concerning the Apocalypse, the Brady Bunch, the South, sex work, and magic mushrooms â€“ to rattle off a few topics. Writer/performer Read presents this marvelous midnight movie-style evening of stories and performances at Shotwell Studios, 3252A 19th Street at Shotwell. Read said he learned to perform in a touring Virginia evangelical youth group - with some in his hometown expecting him to become a preacher. Instead, Read became an escort and an avowed fan of magic mushrooms. Read is a different sort of preacher. His stories weave in and out of multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Alphonsus Mooneyâ€™s live music soundscape, creating an atmosphere of magical trance. Readâ€™s humor and acute observation, together with Mooneyâ€™s trippy, layered music, will take you to church. The good kind. Liz Singerâ€™s gorgeous videos will make your butt cheeks twitch. Doug Hansen has made a beautiful and surprising sculpture out of stuffed animal skins. Lights are by Joe Landini, whose venue, the Garage, was the place where the show originated.
During the development process of this show, Read said he was obsessed with memories of a 400-pound sex work client, the Brady Bunch, learning to use a serger machine to make the costumes, and touring through rural Alabama with strippers.
Read is the author of How I Learned to Snap, a comedic memoir about growing up in Virginia, which was named an Honor Book by the American Library Association. An upcoming book is springing forth soon, similarly entitled This is the Thing. Read is a co-host of the open mics, Smack Dab and Kâ€™vetsh. He has toured nationally as a performer a number of times - most recently to 35 cities with the Sex Workers Art Show. He worked as an HIV counselor at St. James Infirmary, a free clinic for sex workers. Read is the director of Army of Lovers, a project of Queer Cultural Center that Read founded in order to instigate new performance work by queer men.
This Is the Thing runs August 14-16, 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Saturdays there are two shows at 8 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $12-20 sliding scale. Thursdays are pay what you can. Tickets are online at brownpapertickets.com/event/38121. Hurry and see The Thing itself!!