Projects Created by Ronnie Larsen
Projects Produced by Ronnie Larsen
DAVID DILLON (Author and Director) wrote and directed Party in the fall of 1992 in Chicago where it opened for a six week run and ran for over two years, becoming the longest-running gay-themed play in Chicago theatre history up to that time. Party was subsequently a hit Off Broadway at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre in New York in 1995 and opened at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles that same year. The show made its London debut at the Arts Theatre in the West End in 1998, adapted by David in what he lovingly refers to as his first “foreign language production” and has since been produced all across the U.S. as well as internationally. In addition to directing the original Chicago, New York and Los Angeles productions, David also played both Kevin and Ray at various times in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. After having been away from it for several years, he was delighted to play Ray again in the Chicago revival in the summer and fall of 2000 as well as in San Diego, Raleigh, New Orleans and St. Petersburg. Party spawned two sequels, both produced in Chicago in repertory with Party: Girl Party, a lesbian version co-authored with Virginia Smiley, and Third Party which David wrote combining characters from both earlier plays. A published version of Party can be found in "Asking and Telling: Gay Drama for the 21st Century," an anthology of contemporary gay plays edited by John M. Clum and published by Stage and Screen Books. In addition to his work with Party, David had an extensive career as a producer, director, actor/singer and entertainment publicist, mostly in his native Chicago and mostly working in musical theatre and gay theatre. Through his work in the theatre, in PR and on numerous benefits, David has had the opportunity to work with or on projects featuring such talents as Angela Lansbury, Jerry Herman, Aidan Quinn, John Mahoney, Gary Cole, Rosie O’Donnell, Carol Channing, Chita Rivera, Elaine Stritch, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, Robert Morse, Charles Busch, Barbara Cook, Peter Allen, Betty Buckley, Patti LuPone and Colleen Dewhurst among many, many others. Immediately before writing Party, David directed Flesh and Blood, a gay themed play featuring Kate Walsh (“Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice”) and James Denton (“Desperate Housewives”). When David directed Hello, Dolly! in Chicago, he was given special and very rare permission by composer Jerry Herman to include “Love, look in My Window,” a song especially written for Ethel Merman when she played the role on Broadway. In 1980, David co-founded Chicago’s City Lit Theater Company, a literary company that still exists today, having celebrated its 35th year of operation last year. During his years in Chicago he served as Producer/Managing Director for both Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace Theatre and Pegasus Players Theatre. At Drury Lane, he worked with Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Gary Sandy, Kaye Ballard, Rondi Reed, Frankie Avalon, Wayne Newton and many others. He also produced two productions of Nunsense, starring Dody Goodman and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s” Georgia Engel. David was the first person to bring Quentin Crisp to Chicago in 1983 to do his one man show, An Evening with Quentin Crisp. He is thrilled to see Party being done in Ft. Lauderdale. New productions are also set to open in Palm Springs and London this summer. A big THANK YOU to Ronnie Larsen for this production. David currently lives in the suburbs of Chicago.
Andy Herrmann (Production Designer)
The Ft. Lauderdale cast of Party at Empire Stage
"The funniest play to hit London in the 90s ... I can't recall the last time I heard an audience laugh so loudly and for so long...forget the millennium - this is the real Party of the decade." BBC Radio, Eastern Daily Press, London
"I haven't laughed this hard in years, and neither has most of the audience." Los Angeles Reader
" undeniably clever and entertaining...a lot of fun is had by one and all, including the audience." Hollywood Reporter
"... a crowd pleaser ... the laughs grow to explosive proportions." Los Angeles Times
"Party is a romp, a charmer. It manages to charm even when the homoerotic talk turns raucously explicit. It's the moral opposite of Boys in the Band." The Chicago Tribune, 1992
"Party has more laughs and comely flesh per square foot than the choicest beach blanket on Fire Island." New York Newsday
" ... more laughs than you can count." TheaterWeek Magazine
"Party is an exercise in group affirmation fitted to a 'Friends'-like structure. And the continual waves of laughter and applause that greet its on-stage antics are proof of its success." Bay Windows, Boston
"non-stop laughs from beginning to end ... a new vision of gays that is life-affirming and unapologetic. Besides being warm and witty, with a wonderful celebration of life quality to it, Party is absolutely hysterical." Chicago River North News
" ... the funniest and sexiest show you may ever see...A no-holds-barred gay romp, Party is sometimes romantic, extremely raunchy and fall-out-of-your-seat funny. It's the type of play Neil Simon would be writing if he were gay." Metro Arts Weekly, Washington, D.C.