Spotlight on MilkMilkLemonade 

Christopher Borg 


Michael Cyril Creighton & Andy Phelan in MilkMilkLemonade

Opening at the end of the month at the Astoria Performing Arts Center is the quirky, runaway hit from 2009: MilkMilkLemonade.

An exciting move for the production which was produced last season by The Management along with Horse Trade Theatre Group to critical and audience acclaim. It's also good news for Off-Off-Broadway theatre fans as it features a talented team of notable indie theatre artists.

The show, by up-and-coming playwright Joshua Conkel, received 2010 IT Award nominations for: Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role - Michael Cyril Creighton; Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role - Nikole Beckwith; Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role - Jess Barbagallo; Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role - Jennifer Harder (who took home the award)


Jennifer Harder at the
2010 New York Innovative Theatre Awards

It also received Four Stars from Time Out New York and was voted Best Off-Off-Broadway Show 2009 by New York Press.

This production is being produced as part of the Astoria Performing Arts Center's 10th Anniversary season; APAC received the 2010 IT Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical and Outstanding Set Design (Michael P. Kramer) for Children of Eden as well as a nomination for Choreography (Christine O'Grady); under the direction of award-winning Indie Theatre artist, José Zayas.

The production features scenic design by Jason Simms, costumes by Sydney Maresca, choreography is by Nicole Beerman, sound by David Margolin Lawson and lighting by Bruce Steinberg who received the 2009 IT Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for Blue Before Morning.

Described by the New York Press as "an angry, bitter and very funny play about growing up gay in middle America," the play tells the story of Emory, an effeminate 11 year old farm boy (Andy Phelan) who lives with his chain-smoking, cancer-ridden grandmother (a gender-bending Michael Cyril Creighton) and his only friend, a doomed chicken named Linda (Jennifer Harder). Emory develops a relationship with the more-masculine pyromaniac boy down the road and leads the audience through a comic satire that explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, life and death. All in one act!

I caught up with one of the cast, Michael Cyril Creighton and asked him what he thought when he heard the show was being re-produced so soon: "I was thrilled to find out the whole original cast would be reunited. Doing the show was a very special experience. Conkel has written a very funny, bizarre, touching and brutal play about what it's like to grow up a gay in America. It seems like the right time to be doing it again."

Since the New York premier, productions of MilkMilkLemonade have been launched in L.A., Ft. Lauderdale, and Austin.

Performances of MilkMilkLemonade begin October 28th at the Astoria Performing Arts Center, at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church and run through November 13th.

For tickets and more information, please visit


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