Canned Ham

While performing at the Ahmanson Theater in 42nd Street, performer Tom Judson shot his first scene in a porn-film, under the direction of ubiquitous entrepreneur Chi Chi LaRue, and, at age 42, he became porn star Gus Mattox. But that was only one chapter in his long, varied career. He performed on Broadway in Cabaret, playing multiple musical instruments. He has written music for TV (Sesame Street), Off-Broadway (Vampire Lesbians of Sodom), and film (Metropolitan), and acted Off-Broadway as well. His is a colorful story, and Judson tells it here in his solo performance with infectious charm and self-deprecating wit. He's done time as a professional escort, which left him feeling more like a psychotherapist than a sex object, and he was nominated (and lost) so many times for a GayVN award (the Oscars of porn), that he was compared to Susan Lucci, till he finally won as Performer of the Year. Along the way he plays some Chopin on the piano, and tells us about his longtime lover Bruce, who died of AIDS. Under the tactful direction of Kevin Maloney, this is a sweet and funny show. The Cavern Club Theater at Casita del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m., Sun., 7 p.m., through May 16. Produced by TWEED Theater Works, Kearns Artist Services, and Chi Chi LaRue Productions. brownpapertickets.com/event/100513
Fridays, Saturdays, 9 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: April 30. Continues through May 16, 2010


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