A Kiss from Alexander (Synopsis):
Nick Mathews is rehearsing his latest Off-Off-Broadway musical, ALEXANDER WAS GREAT!, in which the legendary Greek warrior, Alexander the Great, is depicted as a man-hungry, campy, gay party animal. While residing in his afterlife as a demigod, Alexander is incensed to hear of this blasphemous production and is sent back to earth as a mortal to protect his golden legacy by administering the “kiss of death.” Crashing a rehearsal in progress, the fame-hungry, over-the-top actor portraying Alexander is out-performed by the great Macedonian who is immediately cast in the show, playing himself. Complications result as the displaced actor seeks revenge, and the normally aloof director can’t understand his inexplicable attraction to the mysterious stranger. What happens when a guy meets the demigod of his dreams? This joyful, romantic, fun-loving, gay-positive, love-affirming “hoot of a musical comedy” is filled with plot twists, deception, backstage backstabbing, Greek Chorus Boys, and a sweet, surprising final scene.
A Kiss From Alexander premiered at the Bailiwick Theatre in Chicago. Initially booked for a three-week run, the show was extended to twelve weeks. It received rave reviews and four Jefferson Citation Nominations, including “Best New Musical.” Since 1968, the Joseph Jefferson Awards have recognized excellence in Chicago Theatre for both Equity and Non-Equity productions.
Photo credits: Greek Chorus Boys, Alex’s Pledge, Choose Me!, Victory, Alex and Nick (Craig Ramsay and Jeremiah James) by Carlos Gustavo Monroy; Alexander the Great (Craig Ramsay) by Joe Oppedisano, GayFest NY
Following this production, A Kiss From Alexander was selected by GAYFEST NYC – founded and created to feature new works by LGBTQ authors – for a limited Equity Showcase run Off-Broadway, where it played to packed houses. From an “impartial panel from over 175 plays submitted from around the world,” according to press notes, A Kiss From Alexander was selected as the only musical in the premiere event. The production featured Craig Ramsay as Alexander the Great (Bravo’s Newlyweds: The First Year, Rocky Horror Picture Show, An Englishman in New York) and Jeremiah James as Nick (Funny Girl, West End-Carousel, Concert: The Royal Variety Performance (for HRH Queen Elizabeth II).
A staged reading of A Kiss From Alexander was produced by Dennis Grimaldi Productions in New York.
The reading featured Craig Ramsay reprising his role as Alexander, Brian Childers, Matt Loehr, and Mark Price, directed/choreographed by Denis Jones (Legally Blond, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Broadway Bares).
* De Ghelder and Simmons have made more revisions to the musical while retaining all its joy, warmth, style, and, most importantly, its gay-positive focus.