Love, Sex, Fear and "Jeffrey" - NBC4 Washington

Love, Sex, Fear and "Jeffrey"

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    The Gunston Arts Center on S. Lang Street in Arlington is a great place to see a play, especially one as well-executed as "Jeffrey," which is being performed by the Dominion Stage until June 13.

    The Paul Rudnick play was popular in the 1990s and was turned into a 1995 film starring Steven Weber and Patrick Stewart, and the subject matter is as pertinent today as it was then. At times hilarious and touching, "Jeffrey" tells the story of a group of gay men and their struggles and joys at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York.

    With simple and effective set design, costumes and sound supporting them, the Dominion Stage cast shines in their rendition.  Keith J. Miller is superb as the title character who struggles with his feelings for the hunky Steve (the excellent Daniel McKay).  Miller successfully conveys the rollercoaster of emotions that Jeffrey experiences as his desire and love for Steve wars with his fears about the reality of AIDS, and his inability to find joy through the everyday struggles of life. McKay does a great job of expressing Steve’s frustrations and need to be loved and supported as an HIV+ man.

    A strength of the production is the terrific supporting cast, especially Gayle Nichols-Grimes, who is a joy to watch and steals every seen she is in with the sheer presence of the personalities she conveys, and Matthew Randall, who is note-perfect in the role of the sardonic Sterling. Ray Bracken is also fantastic as Darius.

    The quality of the performances are such that you can completely lose yourself in the story. "Jeffrey" is both entertaining and thought-provoking, and is well worth taking the time to see. Director Scott Olson and the entire cast and staff should be congratulated on a stellar production.

    Check dominionstage.org for show times.