As a boy growing up in a state whose motto is “If you can catch it, you can fuck it,” young David Dean Bottrell probably never dreamed that he would one day become a successful actor, comedian and screenwriter, pen a monthly column for MetroSource Magazine and write for the Huffington Post, win seventeen awards for his short film Available Men, be one of the stars of the L.A. stage smash Streep Tease, or direct the current Colony Theatre hit Travels With My Aunt. And even if he had dreamed this impossible dream, he probably never would have imagined that just talking about his life on a nearly bare stage would turn into one of Summer 2011’s hottest tickets.

Now, for those like this reviewer who missed David Dean Bottrell Makes Love: A One-Man Show the first time around, the multitalented Mr. Bottrell is back with as hilarious a solo show as you’re likely to see this season, and one which packs a considerable emotional wallop as well.

Over the course of seventy or so lickety-split minutes, Bottrell lets us be flies on the walls of his Adventures In Gay Dating, opening with a tale which could easily be titled “All He Wanted Was A Blowjob,” since that is what David was after on the night in question. “What’s the worst that could happen?” wondered our hero, who was soon to find out just how bad a bad date can be.

We accompany Bottrell as he composes the first of many Match.com ads, reminisces about a passionate opposite-sex coupling which yielded unexpected results, and experiences Gay Speed Dating, aka “musical chairs for desperate people.”

On a more serious note, Bottrell takes us back to his Kentucky childhood, to growing up the son of “a child of the Great Depression who believed in hard work and personal sacrifice, while I took more after my mother’s side of the family who believed in doing what you could get away with and worrying about it later.” These stories of a father and son who could not have been more worlds apart give David Dean Bottrell Makes Love: A One-Man Show considerably more depth and punch than its title might suggest, and provide the evening’s most powerful moments—and more than a tear or two.

Still, to paraphrase Alan and Marilyn Bergman, it’s the laughter we will remember, whenever we remember David Dean Bottrell Makes Love: A One-Man Show, from his first crush at age six on neighbor girl Mimi (“It seemed like a good match; Mimi was good at coloring and knew how to share”) to a series of email exchanges with potential dates-from-hell (“Until I received your email, I didn’t actually realize you could access a dating site from a state penitentiary”) to the tale of a date whose denouement guarantees audience guffaws and gasps in equal amounts.

Blending the comedic and the dramatic, Bottrell recalls a torrid affair which turned into a ten-year relationship with a jealous, egomaniacal, alcoholic actor who would go out for a carton of milk and not come back for days. (To his credit, said actor did usually come back with two-day-old, spoiled milk.)

Not only is David Dean Bottrell a very funny man with more than enough life experience to write a laugh-a-minute one-man show; he happens also to be blessed with razor-sharp comic timing, undeniable charisma, and a likeability factor that has you in his corner from the get-go and keeps you wanting more.

No solo performance can succeed without a topnotch director, a bill which Jim Fall fills to perfection, keeping David Dean Bottrell Makes Love: A One-Man Show visually interesting and insuring that our star and hero maintains a one-on-one connection with everyone in his audience from start to finish.

Kudos go out to the production’s uncredited but highly effective lighting and sound designs. Some carefully situated tables and chairs on the concurrently running Monkey Adored set are all the scenic design this one-man show needs. David Dean Bottrell Makes Love: A One-Man Show is produced by Andrew Carlberg. Amanda Mauer is stage manager.

Following its sold-out performances last spring and summer, David Dean Bottrell Makes Love: A One-Man Show seems likely to attract even more fans in its eight-performance return engagement this month and next. Be prepared to laugh till it hurts, and this being a solo performance, do bring along a Kleenex or two just in case.

Rogue Machine, 5041 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles.

–Steven Stanley
November 16, 2011


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