Dan’s AiDS

Greetings, At Handers! (Handymen?  Five-Fingered Friends?)

My name is Michael Hartney.  You may remember me as Jennifer from Family Ties, or as Claire Howard in 1995’s A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Jealous Jokester.  But you’d be wrong, as Tina Yothers played both of those roles.

Last fall, I saw my best friend Dan Horrigan perform his one-man show, My AIDS at The Center.  I was already familiar with the show, having been at the informal reading of the first draft the year before, not to mention my character’s glorious arc in the piece.  I knew it was funny and smart and touching and all that other stuff a good one-man show should be.  But the performance was still full of surprises.

1) It turns out Mr. Horrigan is quite the actress!  For someone who claims not to be a performer, Dan performed the hell out of this thing.  Sure, Dan’s witty and charming and hilarious in social situations, but to translate that quality onto the stage is no small feat.  And to complement those moments so deftly with disarming gravitas?  Bravo.

2)  It occurred to me that I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  When one thinks of theatre that deals with HIV/AIDS, one’s mind inevitably drifts toward Angels in America and Love! Valor! Compassion! and other works that deal with death as a necessity.  My AIDS, however, is a truly modern take on what it is to live with HIV.  I don’t think anyone’s tackled this subject with such irreverence, humor, and optimism.  My AIDS is truly a unique and singular work.  Y’know, like Avatar.  But instead of blue people and floating mountains there’s copper pots and blood tests.

3) This one’s probably the most important.  Before seeing the show, I questioned its broad appeal.  Of course I’ll connect with the show; it’s about a gay dude in his 20’s in New York!  But as my eyes scanned the house and spotted people of every race, sexual orientation, and age group, I realized they all had one thing in common: they were all riveted by Dan’s story.

Ultimately, that’s what prompted me (along with the rest of At Hand’s board of directors) to insist that My AIDS be produced by At Hand.  This is a show for everyone.  You don’t need to be poz or gay or white or male to connect with this show.  You just need to be a person.  But seriously, being a person is essential.  Urban Stages has a very strict no-pets policy.

My AIDS (though it may now be called My AiDS in an effort to lure in the lucrative ransom note-writer demographic) runs February 13th-March 1st at Urban Stages.  It’s one of a kind.  But don’t take it from me, Tina Yoth – um, Michael Hartney.  See it.  Just see it.

Buy your ticket at SmartTix by clicking here.

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