Back Alley Theater and Footloose present the West Coast premiere of
Forbidden Fruit

  • Written and directed by Jeff Bedillion
  • Music by Benjamin Gribble, Choreography by Renato Robles, Sound Design by Darren Locke, Lighting Design by Sarah Mosby
  • Cast: Philippe Gosselin, Igor Kleytman, Lijesh Krishnan, Julia Taylor Lienke, Bobby Lopez, Renato Robles and Jessica Cherie Schroeder


  • Fridays, Saturdays, Mondays, October 4-28, 2013 at 8 pm
  • Press preview Thursday, October 3 at 8 pm
  • The Garage, 715 Bryant Street, San Francisco, 94103
  • NOTE: Intended for mature audiences - contains nudity
  • Advance tickets $20 at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/451582 or 800-838-3006
  • $25 at the door
  • Info/Res: 415-289-2000; backalleysf.org; 715bryant.org;

    Back Alley Theater and Footloose are co-presenting the West Coast premiere of Forbidden Fruit at The Garage in San Francisco four weekends: Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays, October 4 through 28, 2013. Contact Mary Alice Fry for complimentary tickets for the press preview on Thursday October 3 or another performance of your choice.

    Forbidden Fruit is intended for mature audiences due to subject matter and nude scenes. This is a tale of two gay men who find each other in spite of the culture of love, sex and religion surrounding them. Comic and tragic expressions of the two heroes' past play out between narrative scenes and fantasies. The ensemble of talented actors support the action that slithers back and forth in time through stylized choreography and mask work with rhythm provided by drumming, poetry, songs and dance.

    The lighter, humorous history of Brian (Bobby Lopez) begins a year and a half into his obligatory relationship with his college sweetheart, Lisa (Julia Taylor Lienke). After Brian comes out to Lisa and they break up, a battle ensues between the two for the affections of the sexually desirable and emotionally aloof best friend, Michael (Philippe Gosselin).

    On the darker side, Christian (Igor Kleytman) returns home from his sexually orienting first year of college and is forced to face his conservative, pious and smothering Mommie (Renato Robles). To conciliate his homosexuality and Christian faith, he pours over the Bible only to have the Shadow (Lijesh Krishnan) of his desires abduct him. Evil women (Jessica Cherie Schroeder and Renato Robles) lure him into sin and to the brink of suicide. Christian and Brian escape to San Francisco, but find no solace in the gay culture. They meet at a bus stop as they are heading out of the City in search of a new destination. They find each other and true love.



    Background:

    Jeff Bedillion first presented Forbidden Fruit in New York City in 2004. It was the headliner of the Fresh Fruit International Lesbian and Gay Theatre Festival. Bedillion moved the play from Off-Off to Off Broadway for extended runs through 2005; first to The Kraine Theater and finally to Wings Theatre.

    Back Alley Theater was established in 2010 in San Francisco by Jeff Bedillion and Katharine Otis to find theatrical expression of current socio-political themes. Past projects include Bedillion's original plays, The Understudies and Country Club Catastrophe, in addition to Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy. When Bedillion's comedy, OPEN, enjoyed a successful run at The Garage last September, Mary Alice Fry of Footloose booked it for an encore at Shotwell Studios. The two companies are collaborating on future productions.

    What the press has to say about Jeff Bedillion's work:

    "Forbidden Fruit stitches together a variety of dramatic techniques to create a highly stylized postmodern theatrical cavalcade of contemporary gay experience. The play weaves Christian motifs throughout the work, looking at the relationship between religion and sexuality. Ultimately, the wild antics of Forbidden Fruit position theater as its own type of religious ritual that utilizes dance, song, and movement as a way to make sense and meaning of contemporary gay life." Talkingbroadway.com 2005

    OPEN: "A title like this can mean so many things - at least everywhere else. In San Francisco, it pretty much says polyamorous relationship. Whether that translates into the height of maturity, an escape from bourgeois convention, or the folly of bored hedonists is no doubt case specific. But anything this popular is already suspect to some, including apparently the creators of this sharp, sexy, consistently amusing new comedy, written and directed by San Francisco-based Jeff Bedillion (Country Club Catastrophe) and co-presented by Back Alley Theater and Footloose."

    "...A promiscuous love letter to San Francisco, OPEN comes filled with self-referential humor and winking asides, but the charm is in the raunchy "I Love Lucy, Among Others" sit-com spirit of the piece and the charming cast, headed up by Otis's powerhouse comedic performance - ribald, sultry, and vulnerable practically at once (even in the midst of one of the more credible and hilarious drunk scenes you'll see on any stage this year)." Robert Avila, SF Bay Guardian 12-11-12