Scripts and Shows
 
Ronnie Larsen is an actor-director-playwright-producer whose work has been seen in most major cities in America. He wrote his first play in 1994 and his first musical in 2018. Twenty-four of his shows have been produced, five Off-Broadway in New York City. His plays have been seen in Canada, Australia, Italy and he's had five different productions in London.  He has also made a documentary that had theatrical runs at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, Cinema Village in New York City and the Laemmle 5 in Los Angeles as well as showings at numerous film festivals in America, England and the Berlin Film Festival. He currently divides his time between Florida, Los Angeles, New York and Mexico. He is always in search of new and interesting adventures and opportunities. He and his husband, Melqui, have been married for ten years and have a dog named Benakee. 
 
 
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Projects Created by Ronnie Larsen

      M = Men

      W = Women

      TG = Transgender

 Projects Produced by Ronnie Larsen

Sun-Sentinel Review - Happy Ending

Sun-Sentinel Review

by

Rod Hagwood

To define the new play “Happy Ending” too precisely is to give away all its sly little secrets.

So we really shouldn’t pin down whether the one-act getting a world premiere at Fort Lauderdale’s Empire Stage is a thriller, comedy, drama or sex romp (or all of those – wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

What we can tell you without deflating the gay-themed work is that it has plenty of eye-popping nudity and oh-my-goodness sexual situations. But that will come as little surprise to those familiar with playwright Ronnie Larsen’s previous works (“Making Porn,” “All-Male Peep Show,” “My Boyfriend the Stripper”).

The story is simple, almost stripped bare. It's 2016 and Andy (Matthew Pappadia) has finally managed to scrimp and save enough to open his very own professional massage therapy studio. In walks Mr. Miller (Josh Berresford), a wound-tight and twitchy client there for his first-ever massage.

For much of “Happy Ending,” the two rub each other the right way and the wrong way as Mr. Miller repeatedly steps over the line with probing questions and mixed signals. When he chillingly asserts, “I chose wisely” while gauging the situation, we’re not sure if he means Andy’s professionalism or something sinister. The psychological zigging and zagging between the two allows Larsen to weave in varied themes such as politics (tramping on Trump with some broadsided jabs), sexual orientation, economic class, social media and even discourses on Steely Dan and Adele.

As agendas seem to slip-slide in and out of the narrative, you can hardly be blamed for thinking, “Where is this going?” Just relax. “Happy Ending” does get there. It all comes spilling out in a nice little turn after about an hour, with no intermission.

There are still some production glitches to be worked out. Even though the play feels slight, there are still pacing peccadilloes. And while Berresford and Pappadia both do a fine job of staying in the moment and – just as importantly – not telegraphing twists, they are helpless to contend with little character issues. For example, there is a passing nod to Andy being an OCD neat freak, which is summarily dropped as soon as the punch line sorta-kinda lands. And a comic bit involving lip syncing is hysterically funny, even if it is incongruously campy for one of the characters.

Having said that, handsomely produced and brightly lit, the show looks great. And even with the picayune character hitches, Larsen’s script is scrubbed clean of tidy aphorisms and fall-back cliches that have peppered his previous works. His man-on-man milieu has a less strident ring to it here. With “Happy Ending” we can see that his predilection for gay sex is beginning to give way to something gay sexy.

 

 

Goldstar - Audience Reviews

"I had no idea what to expect, but wow, both actors did a wonderful job. It was a very interesting "turn of the massage table" of events that were unexpected that made it very interesting. I applaud the theater for staging this show, and the actors for performing it. I would definitely recommend it." Henry Pabian, 5 Stars

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"This play was not what I expected. It was funny, poignant and very well acted. The 2 stars were terrific and believable. Got see it!" Don and Bob, 5 Stars

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"Hilarious." John, 5 Stars

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"Well done production - the 2 actors had good chemistry. We all walked out with happy endings in mind." Ronni, 4 Stars

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"Ron is an incredibly gifted man who can create a story that has comedy drama and serious tone to it keep up the good work" Allan E. Dupuis, 5 Stars

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"Implausible script with an excellent cast. Acting was pitch perfect. Kudos to the two fine actors. A wonderful surprise." Charles, 5 Stars

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"Being a massage therapist myself i can relate to the play, it was very well written and the actors were great." Carlos, 5 Stars

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"If you're a gay guy, this is just not to be missed. Nuf said" Bob Karelitz, 5 Stars

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"Best Ronnie Larsen play. Actors were great." Mike 3131, 5 Stars

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"Fantastic unique storyline involving only two cute 30ish guys: one, a massage therapist and the other a nerdy guy who supposedly seeks his first male on male massage. Nervousness and sexual discussions provide each with uncomfortable emotions that end in an interesting twist." William T Wisinski, 5 Stars

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"Wow, Happy Endings was incredible, it played to a packed house last night and the entire audience found it very entertaining! Bravo!  I think that you gained many new followers and supporters of your work!" Brian

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"I went to see Happy Ending yesterday and wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I enjoyed it.  The writing, the acting and even the scenery were all spot on.  Thanks for a wonderful and thought provoking evening." Michael

 

 

 

Ft. Lauderdale - Happy Ending

"To define the new play “Happy Ending” too precisely is to give away all its sly little secrets...a thriller, comedy, drama or sex romp (or all of those)." Rod Hagwood, Sun Sentinel

* Starring Mikhail Duggan and Richie Stone.

Click here for Happy Ending tickets.

DATES:

 Now thru Nov. 2nd

Saturday: 7:00pm

Tix: $35-$50

PHONE:
954-826-8790

ADDRESS:

Wilton Theater Factory - The Foundry

2306 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors, Florida, 33305 

E-MAIL:
RonnieLarsenPresents@gmail.com

 

Current Ft. Lauderdale Cast

Mikhail Duggan

 

Richie Stone

London Review - Gay Times

This fresh and fruity comedy from the pen of Ronnie Larsen is a bite-sized summer treat.

A straight man visits a masseur to relieve the tension in his shoulders. The masseur happens to be gay. Both men are cautious as they sound each other out, ask personal questions, and embark upon a voyage of discovery that will change both their lives…

Alexander Hulme is superb as Mr Miller, revealing hidden depths to the all-American Trump-voting heterosexual hunk, and absolutely shines as his character adapts to the twists and turns of a very surprising tale. Owen Landon is completely adorable as Andy – the slightly neurotic massage therapist who is constantly concerned with keeping things professional and not crossing the line of temptation. These are a pair of performances that compliment each other beautifully, and the comic timing of both actors is impeccable.

The narrative does have a serious issue at its core – the sometimes unhealthy relationships between gay men and straight men – but is too busy being hilarious to dwell upon it for long, and when it does, it’s from unexpected angles. This is a theme of the piece – unexpected angles. Prepare to have the rug well and truly pulled from beneath you. Energetic direction by Andrew Beckett ensures that the laughs come thick and fast. (But do the boys…?!)

 

Despite being performed in the smaller studio space at the new multi-stage venue, this delicious delight has been put together with all the attention to detail that we’ve come to expect from Above the Stag. Set, also by Andrew Beckett, is impressively camp, and is given a complimentary helping hand by stylish lighting and sound from Andy Hill.

Running at only an hour with no interval, Happy Ending is a delightful diversion to a world of oil and secrets. An unexpected pleasure!

About the play

This marks for the first time Ronnie Larsen has written a play set in Ft. Lauderdale and the first time he has premiered a new play in Ft. Lauderdale. Taking place firmly at the end of 2016, Happy Ending introduces you to a simple, perfectly professional massage therapist who goes about his day job never knowing who his next client might be. When a new customer walks in the door -- full of conflicting signals, hidden agendas and forbidden topics -- all of the job's usual decorum goes out the window. Watch as rules get broken, skin gets bared, the truth gets twisted and things get steamy in playwright Ronnie Larsen's sexy two-character play Happy Ending, hitting Andrews Arts Living Studio in Ft. Lauderdale before moving onto 7 Stages in Atlanta. 

Happy Ending - Excerpt

MR. MILLER:  This is a real massage, right?

ANDY:  Absolutely. 

MR. MILLER:  Nothing funky, right?

ANDY:  What do you mean?

MR. MILLER:  Nothing crazy, right?  

ANDY:  Nothing crazy.

MR. MILLER:  Just a real, straight up massage, right?

ANDY:  Have you had bad experiences in the past?

MR. MILLER:  No, I’ve never done this before. First time.  Swear to God. 

ANDY:  You’ve never had a massage before. 

MR. MILLER:  Well, not from a guy.  My wife use to give me massages but I didn’t pay her.  I went to one of those Oriental places and after 5 minutes this gal in a kimono had her hand on my junk and I was like, “No way, Sayonara, I’m outta here.”  Not what I was looking for, you understand.  

ANDY:  I understand. 

MR. MILLER:  I just want to be totally clear. 

ANDY:  Mr. Miller, you are making yourself absolutely clear. 

MR. MILLER:  I just want to make sure we’re both on the same page. 

 

London Cast - Happy Ending

Alexander Hulme and Owen Landon in the London production of Happy Ending at Above the Stag. 

Original Cast - Ft. Lauderdale - Empire Stage

Josh Berresford (left) as Mr. Miller and Matthew Pappadia (right) as Andrew Lockhart

Matthew Pappadia (left) as Andrew Lockhart and Josh Berresford (right) as Mr. Miller.