Play Gay

A casual ménage à trois at stage right, a frisky Frenchman at stage left, couples -- hopeful or just horny -- coupling and uncoupling everywhere else. Not a naughty night on South Beach but what promises to be an entertaining evening of theater in the suburbs, namely The Nature of the Beach, David Sexton's new play opening in Miami Shores. Directed by show-biz veteran Richard Jay-Alexander, NOTB follows the trials, temptations, and tribulations of gay singles and pairs as they bustle through a South Beach "season."

Author, artist, and co-owner of South Beach Ironworks gym, Sexton admits to calmly conjuring ideas for his latest work while others sweat: "As people come and go, you hear about these strange goings-on at the beach."

NOTB began incubating after Sexton met Jay-Alexander at a South Beach Gay Men's Chorus production. Jay-Alexander, executive producer of Broadway musicals and celebrity-studded extravaganzas, mentioned he was looking for something grittier to direct. Sexton offered his nascent play. "There's an opinion that if you want to do a first-class show in Miami, you have to import talent from other markets like New York and L.A.," Sexton says. "But we gathered a cool, funky, eclectic cast."

Eclectic indeed. Among the actors: Sexton himself, gay author-about-town David Leddick, and Billy Bean, a Major League Baseball player from 1987 to 1995 and the first one to come out in twenty years. "This play will be a tremendous learning experience for those not involved in the gay community, and for those who are, they'll get some of the funniest moments they've seen in a long time," notes Bean. Hot models, histrionic actors, and urbane artists are among the teaching devices Bean refers to. And for that indelible South Beach stamp, a concession stand could offer muscle tanks, glitter, and bottled water!

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Shawn Bean