Happy 25th Birthday to the GAYEST theatre we know!

The Annoyance Theater turns 25 years old this year and they are celebrating this weekend with one hell of a well-deserved party.

GayCo is proud to have frequently appeared on the Annoyance stage; we  have always been welcomed with open arms into their twisted world.  With a long standing commitment to producing shows with strong LGTB themes, the Annoyance has always been an institution that has embraced the community.  Since moving into their newer space at 4830 N. Broadway in 2005, LGTB-themed show produced there include “Bear Force One,” “A Woman’s Path,” “Glitter in the Gutter,” “Fisting,” “No Fats:No Femmes,” “Don’t Act like a Girl,” and, most recently, “Steamwerkz: The Musical.”

For the past six years, the Annoyance has also been the unofficial home of GayCo; all three of GayCo’s original Christmas revues and an extended run of “The Audacity of Nope” have all been produced at the Annoyance.

GayCo ensemble member Brett Mannes, who in September replaces the departing Ben Kramer in “Steamwerkz: The Musical”  says it is truly an honor to appear on the Annoyance stage. “When I was put in my first improv team in Washington, DC, I was handed a book. The director who gave it to me said, ‘This is our bible.’ That book was Improvise by [Annoyance Theatre founder] Mick Napier. Having gone from those days to getting to perform at The Annoyance is a wet dream come true.”

Napier has always been a great creative ally to GayCo, always very generous with his time, offering notes, critiques, and compliments of GayCo sketch revues.  Annoyance executive director Jen Estlin holds a dear place in our hearts, having directed “Do You Fear What I Fear,”  our first all-original Christmas revue at the Annoyance. 

GayCo Alumnus Jim Bennett says The Annoyance have been both allies and mentors to the group. “ Mick is always there with wise counsel, he’s directed showcases for us and Jen has directed a remount and our new Christmas revue.   If I’ve personally learned anything from them, it’s to throw away the first page of all of my scenes.  Thank God the Annoyance exists.  Mick is a fucking living saint.”

While current company members may strongly disagree with Napier’s apparent canonization by Bennett (Napier being, after all, neither Catholic, nor for that matter a  miracle worker unless one counts his performance as Annie Sullivan in the all-male production of “The Miracle Worker”), John Loos fondly says, “The Annoyance is the first theater to welcome me and make me feel at home. I also had my first date with my boyfriend performing Skinprov, so I can say I found love improvising on stage while mostly naked and lightly attending to an audience suggestion.”

“One of my favorite stories that Mick has ever told me is about one year that The Annoyance did a float in the Pride Parade,” recalls GayCo ensemble member Clay Goodpasture.  “He describes the float as being  like every other float in the parade. It had scantily clad boys dancing to club music and then as the float passed, the back of this extremely ‘gay’ float had in big cursive letters “Homosexuality is Wrong.” Mick says the looks on people faces were confused and priceless.  This epitomizes why the annoyance is a place that I love!”

GayCo congratulates The Annoyance on 25 venerable years and toasts to 25 more!  We could say don’t do anything we wouldn’t do, but we know how you all love a challenge.

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