A powerful new comic memoir about the electrifying joy and intoxicating madness of New York City in the 1980s will take the stage at The Club at La MaMa from January 27 through February 5, created by and starring veteran downtown performer Nora Burns.
DAVID’S FRIEND is an achingly funny coming-of-age story about love and loss at the center of the universe: New York City. It’s a true-life epic about Nora and David, best friends who met as teenagers and moved to Manhattan, where they immersed themselves in the zeitgeist: a speed-of-light journey through sex, drugs, disco, love and heartbreak. DAVID’S FRIEND is the outrageous and riotous saga of an era when rents were cheap, sex was waiting around every corner, and friendship was the most important thing of all.
DAVID’S FRIEND is written and performed by Nora Burns (the long-running comedy troupes Unitard and The Nellie Olesons). This comic odyssey is directed by Adrienne Truscott (Asking for It) with dramaturgy by Lucy Sexton (Spalding Gray, Stories Left to Tell, The Legend of Leigh Bowery) and featuring Billy Hough (Scream Along with Billy). DAVID’S FRIEND is a multi-media presentation with production design by Tal Yarden (The Crucible on Broadway), videos by Len Whitney, costumes by Connie Flemming and disco sound design by Carmine Covelli.
“My best friend David died of AIDS in 1993,” says playwright Nora Burns. “I spent a long time mourning him and this unfinished friendship. I wrote DAVID’S FRIEND to celebrate one of the most important relationships of my life, as well as the time and place in which it happened: New York City in the eighties. This show is my loving tribute to David, to thank him for making me who I am today. I tried to make sure it’s as fun, funny and full of life as he was.” Performances of DAVID’S FRIEND will take place at The Club at La MaMa, located at 74A East 4th Street, 3rd floor, NYC. The show schedule is Friday, January 27th, and Saturday, January 28th, at 10:00 PM; Friday, February 3rd, and Saturday, February 4th, at 10:00 PM; Sunday, January 29th, at 6:00 PM; Sunday, February 5th, at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $20/adults; $15/students-seniors. Order at lamama.org or call 212-325-3101.
DAVID’S FRIEND premiered at the Provincetown Afterglow festival and has toured to Manhattan’s Dixon Place, as well as Los Angeles, Toronto and Seattle. The show garnered powerful accolades from members of the theatre and arts community during its workshop phase.
Nora Burns is a founding member of the comedy groups Unitard (1999-present) and the Nellie Olesons (1993-present). She has performed at PS122, La MaMa, and Joe’s Pub in New York City, and Highways, Cavern Club and The HBO Workspace in Los Angeles. Comedy festival gigs include Just for Laughs in Montreal and We’re Funny That Way in Toronto, and the prestigious Aspen Comedy Festival (now HBO Comedy Festival). Her first solo show, “Honey, I’m Home,” premiered at Dixon Place in NYC, and toured to Los Angeles, Provincetown and Hudson, NY. Since 2013, Burns has hosted “New York Stories” at the historic Stonewall Inn, where celebrated Manhattanites like Michael Musto and Anthony Haden-Guest share sordid personal tales of days gone by. Burns’s film work includes “Broken Hearts,” “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” “Club,” “Boys Life 3” and “Florent: Queen of the Meat Market.” TV appearances include Logo’s “Wisecrack” comedy show and “The Sandra Bernhard Experience.” Photo credit: Rebecca Black. Website: NoraBurns.net
An exciting new edition of the fantastic NY STORIES is coming to the Stonewall on February 25th. Hope to see you there!
It’s that joyous time again when we head down memory lane to a long-ago land of hustlers, whores, freaks, fright wigs and Fiorucci, and this time we’re doing it Santa style! Who needs the Rockettes when you could be ringside at the Rawhide and Macy’s windows can’t compare to merry meth heads under the mistletoe, bodybuilders with bells on, suicide, Studio, Holly (Woodlawn) and Candy, Darling. Come to a night of festive fables with our lovely legends:
Hosted by Nora Burns
OLD, from “Honey I’m Home”, Cavern Club Theatre, Silverlake, Los Angeles 2014.
Nora expresses surprise, fury and hilarious resignation when she realizes she is turning into the kind of old lady she always smirked at…
MICHAEL MUSTO – PAPERMAG June 18, 2014
“I will only interrupt my own tired rants about how much wilder and more fun New York City used to be in order to hear other people indulge in the same sort of ritualized kvetching. I feel it’s imperative to support their grievances in order to keep the old-fogey genre alive. And they really outdid themselves last week at a presentation called New York Stories/’80s-’90s Edition. The invite itself was kvetchily irresistible: ‘Remember when New York City was a wonderland of fabulous freaks and misfit toys? When there were hookers instead of the Highline and you couldn’t swing a Fiorucci jumpsuit without hitting a hopped up hustler? It’s still our fabulous home, but behind all the TD banks and Bugaboo baby strollers are legendary tales. Everyone has a great New York Story. Come hear some of the best.’
The resulting event — part of a series of retro bitchathons — brought a packed house of survivors to Stonewall Inn, a place that could really tell some stories. It proved to be wonderfully bitter, varied, and rich, with lots of love for the pre-Chipotle days, though some speakers boldly suggested that the dangerous element back then made NYC less than consistently stellar. (There’s mud in your rose-tinted glasses!)
The host was wiry blonde comic Nora Burns, who remembered dancing at the legendary disco Studio 54, only to have musical oddity Tiny Tim pick her out of the crowd and decide that she should dance for him on his new tour. ‘That tour,’ she remembered, ‘involved us going to three discos in strip malls in Long Island, where Tiny Tim sang and I danced behind him. Behind the scenes, he brought cans of beans with him wherever he went.’ Still, the chance for a Lana-Turner-style opportunity, however small scale, seemed way more possible in old New York than today. ‘Beans!’ to those who disagree.” – Michael Musto
(Read the full, excellent review at PAPERMAG)
(Photo, Keith Haring Jacket from PAPERMAG archives)
For those who weren’t lucky enough to catch Nora’s one-woman “Honey, I’m Home” in New York and LA this spring, here is the first of several clips from that show you will get to enjoy. Nora declares to the Cavern Club Theatre that she is a proud fag hag!
Tuesday September 30th, 8pm, Stonewall
New York Stories 3 (Nightlife Edition)
Remember when New York City was a wonderland of fabulous freaks and misfit toys? Before Marc Jacobs and cupcake tours took over? When there were hookers instead of the Highline and you couldn’t swing a Fiorucci jumpsuit without hitting a hopped up hustler? Behind all the TDBanks and Bugaboo baby strollers are legendary tales of magical moments, sparkly nights and long gone friends who only exist in the memories of madcap misadventures. Come to a night of fascinating fables. Fun for all ages, stages and wages.
$10 donation + 2 drink minimum
Sally Randall Brunger
Chi Chi Valenti
(photo: Linda Simpson)
Nora Burns in the comedy trio Unitard, tears Disney and pop culture a new one.
Old Madonna Super Bowl
Old Madonna needs some help remembering how to vogue. Spoofed by Unitard Comedy Group. Nora Burns, Mike Albo and David Ilku.
The Real Housewives of Dusseldorf
Unitard Comedy Group parody the Bravo TV series franchise of “real” Housewives, set in Dusseldorf Germany. Nora Burns, Mike Albo, David Ilku.
Ann Coulter Spoof “Call Me!”
On DVD from WolfeVideo.com
Nora Burns, of the Gay comedy troupe The Nellie Olesons, spoofs right wing icon Ann Coulter with “the Ann Coulter Sex Line”–“If you’re evil and blind, then I’m sexy. Call me!” From the new DVD Outlaugh! from WolfeVideo.com
Merry Christmas Bitches!
12 Gays of Christmas – N&NIP
The Nellie Olsons (John Cantwell, Nora Burns & Eric Bernat) give you holiday cheer from the hit film