Altared States

Remember this: Even though the New York Times is finally running same-sex commitment notices in its "Sunday Styles" section among hetero wedding announcements, it doesn't mean gay weddings are legally kosher -- at least not outside the state of Vermont. Nevertheless despite the unlawful status, tying the queer knot is all the rage in the gay world. Thus the sudden influx of boy-boy couples and girl-girl pairs jumping the broom, pledging eternal love and goodness, signing prenup agreements, and moving to prefab homes in blissful suburbia. Happily ever after and all that hooey.

If you haven't caught on to the recent trend, you may want to check out a simulation of gay nuptials via Creative Arts Enterprises' improvisational comedy Jon and Juan's Wedding, currently playing at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Eighteen actors embody the invented wedding party in this loosely scripted show. But instead of staging a carbon copy of the successful Tony and Tina's Wedding (a faux Italian ceremony that ran for years in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago), the producers tweaked the concept to more accurately reflect our little tropical hotbed of passion, Miami.

United in matrimony here: a nice Jewish boy, Jon Silverman (Kevin Rivera), and a hot Cubanito, Juan Rodriguez (Euriamis Losada). In typical Miami fashion, sparks promise to fly with a supporting cast of lesbian ex-girlfriends, Swedish femme fatales, Yiddish-speaking party queens, and bisexual Latino men (all South Florida staples).

And while story lines are vaguely drawn out for the actors, this presentation invites the audience to join the action. So if you want to be Juan's long-lost lover from Hialeah for a few hours or Jon's Jappy summer-camp girlfriend, you are more than welcome. Will you be wearing a lampshade while dancing the hora, or will you be stuffing your face with massitas de puerco while wiggling in a conga line? At Jon and Juan's Wedding, you can do just about anything you please, say the producers. Best of all, you can pick up etiquette tips for real gay and lesbian commitment ceremonies. Living in Miami, you're bound to be invited to one sooner or later.

Okay, just for the record, the Juan mentioned in this article is NOT based on me. I am happily single and commitment ceremonies -- both gay and straight -- fill me with a great sense of dread and absurdity. But since we live in a city full of JUAN RODRIGUEZES, my name naturally shows up in wedding announcements here and there. This particular one isn't mine -- yet.

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Juan Carlos Rodriguez