Prosecuting The "Wide Stance"

The revolving door of offbeat theater that is Empire Stage continues to revolve. Less than a week after closing its last show, Baby Girl, the prolific space has opened another production, this time courtesy of Island City Stage (formerly Rising Action Theatre). The Twentieth-Century Way, an award-winning dark comedy from Tom Jacobson, is based on a bizarre true story out of Long Beach, California, in 1914, wherein a pair of struggling actors conceived a sting operation that led to the arrest of more than 30 homosexuals for "social vagrancy" in men's bathrooms. Male nudity and graphic descriptions of sexual acts make this meditation on identity, ethics, morality, and intolerance a perfect fit for the envelope-pushing Empire Stage. When done right, The Twentieth-Century Way can be a profound piece of theater. Local director Michael Leeds, who has worked on Broadway, directs Clay Cartland and Mike Westrich, both gifted comic actors. The after preview performances on Thursday and Friday, the show officially opens Saturday at 8 p.m. and runs through September 9. Tickets cost $30. Call 954-678-1496, or visit Empire Stage is located at 1140 N. Flagler Drive in Fort Lauderdale.
Thu., Aug. 9, 8 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 10, 8 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Starts: Aug. 9. Continues through Sept. 9, 2012