People Like Us
“I am a transgendered woman. The lead character Bianca is based on my own transition experiences.”
The set is Peter Taylor and Rodney Coleman’s iconic “Dorothy’s Sister Bar” of Ponsonby. Where people of all gender persuasions had fun, talked, made friends and found love. Peter’s alter ego was VERA. Cindy of Samoa plays this part and is MC of the show.
James, aka “BIANCA”, a builder is a cross-dresser. Bianca is firmly in her “Black Lace Prison (Closet) she is “OUT” at Dots but not to family.
The scene is a party at Dots, featuring a big show number lead by VERA “The Black Lace Prison”. The theme is getting free of the closet. The main stage freezes. Spot on Bianca, a builder, cross dresser, getting ready for the ball at home, a side set. Her daughter arrives and catches her dressing; Elle is shocked, screams out and leaves.
The show on stage continues. Sheena a transgendered woman enters and sings a verse of the opening song, Followed by Bianca’s grand entry. They seem attracted.
Sheena has a dark secret she is an ex hooker and her ex lover/ pimp Roger arrives at the party. Roger has been in jail and now free wants Sheena and all they had back. She is tempted during a rock number but has met Bianca and is somewhat smitten. She now is a beautician her past all but forgotten.
Later at Bianca’s apartment they sing the theme song can love be for “TWO PEOPLE LIKE US.” Sheena leaves very unsure.
Elle enters her father’s (male name James) home he is not in. She looks thro the wardrobe. She pulls out an old fishing jacket saying, “Dad will you ever take me fishing again?” She is grieving for him.
Sheena and Bianca seesaw between in love and being scared of the situation. Roger sees he’s losing Sheena, tells Bianca of Sheena’s past. This is at the bar; Bianca aided by friends takes it well.
Bianca has a family meeting with Daughter Elle, son Richard his wife Susan and his ex wife Janine. She explains her cross-dressing is not new and that she plans to become engaged to Transgendered woman of color Sheena. Elle is on Bianca’s side but it’s a rocky road with the others. When Susan announces shes pregnant and asks, “what will you tell the grandchild”? The meeting breaks up with an ultimatum. Sheena or us!
Bianca is devastated calls Sheena breaking things off and sings “I must be alone” removing her wig as a gesture of complying with the family.
Act two opens with VERA leading song and dance number “Im a gurl.”
Sheena is devastated; her worst fears have been realized she sings a lament “I need to sleep” (By Sheena’s actor Ramon Te Wake). Bianca in male mode as James is also broken.
Twinkle our very camp and hilarious barman gets Richard and James together and they sing “ME Weird?” He’s trying to explain the hows and whys of being gay. This is funny.
Roger is getting angry he’s losing Sheena and beats her up. Vera deals with this in a serious but funny scene. The outcome is that Bianca vows undying love for Sheena, which she accepts with some relief.
There is a meet the family scene. Ex wife Janine has a strong role here saying how she feels. The children show grief for the father they deem they have lost, but are happy “Bianca” has a future with Sheena, who has worked hard to impress, they now like her. Bianca is now out and not restrained in her closet – “Black Lace Prison.”
The grand finale is the wedding, followed by a gospel type version of “Two People Like Us” lead by VERA who gets the audience on their feet clapping and singing. This before gets people in a happy frame of mind to leave the theatre.
The show is and emotional sine wave. We take the audience up with the beginnings of a love story. By Intermission they are at an emotional low, its all fallen apart. The coming out scene’s resonate with all. By the finale they are on a high again clapping and singing our songs. I was front of house as they left the theatre, all loved it, gay couples came crying to me saying “thanks for telling our story.”
The understory, my passion, shows different cultures becoming family. As is my family of European, Venezuelan, Maori and Pilipino.
First produced at The Pumphouse, Auckland, February 2016
That Bloody Intersection
A Vietnam veteran, a barmaid, a single mum and a Territorial Army corporal have combined forces to blow up the Hill Street intersection.
First produced by Warkworth Theatre Group, Old Masonic Hall, Warkworth, November 25-27