Making Friends Review – Being Gay in a Straight (Italian Catholic) World

Tom DeTrinis in MAKING FRIENDS - Photo courtesy of IAMA Theatre Company

In this atypical holiday season, IAMA Theatre Company releases its newest digital production, MAKING FRIENDS. The first in IAMA Theatre Company’s 2020-21 season of new solo work, MAKING FRIENDS was written by and stars solo performer Tom DeTrinis. The show was filmed at the Pico Playhouse on December 2, 2020, and released on December 17; it will continue streaming through January 11, 2021.

Tom DeTrinis – Photo courtesy of IAMA Theatre Company

Actor/comic/writer/director/producer Tom DeTrinis describes himself as quick-witted, weird, funny, and very angry – but also as a man who just wants to be your friend. One of six kids growing up on Long Island, New York, Tom was forced to vie for attention from his huge, Italian family. How did you stand out? Through “faggotry” and bushy bright red hair. Tom was always “different,” a person who had a massive love/hate relationship with his family and could only be happy for everyone else and never himself. To quote a teacher, he was a “worry wart” who learned how to feed his horniness in the shadows.

Tom DeTrinis – Photo courtesy of IAMA Theatre Company

But was Tom a party animal? No way, since he hated small talk, drinking other people’s bottled water, and eating mediocre sandwiches. Yet he excelled in the party scene by remaining a true hail-fellow-well-met whose frenetic humor and social gaffes made everyone love him. Did I mention that he hates cheese – the staple of most party buffets?

Tom DeTrinis – Photo courtesy of IAMA Theatre Company

Director Drew Droege does an excellent job of drawing Tom’s multifaceted personalities to the fore while inviting the audience to share in Tom’s anger – the anger he just couldn’t air in public. But the fun really ramps up in Tom’s hilarious litany of grievances as he questions just how fair life is. To quote IAMA co-artistic directors Stefanie Black and Katie Lowes, “There is no better voice to lead the charge this season than Tom’s…get ready, L.A. and beyond!”

Tom DeTrinis – Photo courtesy of IAMA Theatre Company

Above all, Tom DeTrinis shines as a comic with a poignant and reflective side who is willing to share the worst and the best about himself. Kudos to choreographer Kathryn Burns (love the pink chiffon), lighting designer Donny Jackson, and stage manager Estey DeMerchant. The entire crew did an excellent job of streaming this intimate production.

Tom DeTrinis – Photo courtesy of IAMA Theatre Company

MAKING FRIENDS runs from December 27, 2020, to January 11, 2021. Each week, there will be a post-performance talkback with different working actors, writers, and directors. Tickets start at $15 and will be sold in weekly blocks and include access to a variety of supporting live events. For more information on ticketing, streaming, and satellite events, go online.

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