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A Small Town Confronts Transgenderism In The 1940s

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‘Second Samuel’ opens June 16 at Pasadena Little Theatre.

By Donalevan Maines

Imagine a sleepy town’s surprise when a fidgety funeral director and harried hairdresser examine the corpse of beloved Miss Gertrude and discover (SPOILER ALERT) that she was transgender.

That’s how Act I ends in Second Samuel, a gentle comedy that opens June 16 and runs through July 2 at Pasadena Little Theatre (PLT).

Act II unfolds with the funeral director arriving at the bar for a drink and the hairdresser spreading the news at her salon.

“The secret is out,” says director Vanessa Pearson. “Act II is about how each character handles it. Some of them jump on it like a dog on a bone.”

Of course, the local doctor “has known all along,” says Revis Bell, a longtime gay actor and director who plays Doc. “He is the holder of everybody’s secrets, and he’s always figured that Miss Gertrude’s secret was nobody’s business.”

The 11-character play, set in Georgia in the late 1940s, was written by Pamela Parker, who lives outside Atlanta. The play has been produced for more than 25 years to adoring audiences throughout the country, including last season at College of the Mainland Community Theater in Texas City.

“It’s a really sweet story,” says Bell, who lives in the Heights and works as the administrator of a private college.

PLT’s presentation of Second Samuel launches its 63rd season as Houston’s oldest community theater in continuous operation.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $15 for adults (in advance), $18 at the door and $12 for students and seniors. There is one Thursday show on June 29, in which ticket prices are two for $20.

To purchase tickets, make reservations or obtain further information, call 713-941-1758 or visit www.pasadenalittletheatre.org.

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Don Maines

Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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