Bravo! Brava! by Jet Mykles, Kimberly Gardner, J.P. Bowie

MLR Press

Contemporary, M/M

ISBN: 978-1-60820-000-9 (print) 

ISBN: 978-1-60820-001-6 (ebook)

Reviewed by Jo

   

 

“About Something” by Jet Mykles

Shawn Finnemore is a theater student who finally has a great leading role, Benedict in “Much ado about Nothing”.  Only there is a change in plans when he is asked to switch roles and do the female lead, Beatrice.  Shawn isn’t happy about this at first but is convinced to do it.  Roscoe Schroeder, a director turned college professor is the man who decided early in rehearsals to switch the people playing the leading roles.  It didn’t hurt that Shawn is very cute with curly dark hair.  Everyone knows that Roscoe is gay, but Shawn is surprised when he starts feeling things, especially passion, towards Roscoe.  The play is a hit, but can Roscoe and Shawn find a way to be together when pathways seem to be leading another way?

“About Something” begins with an unusual casting, which leads to Shawn discovering several things about himself.  I really enjoyed watching as Shawn ventured into a new world.  I understood why Roscoe made the decisions he did, but I was worried that maybe a happy ending was beyond Shawn and Roscoe.  I should never have doubted Ms. Mykles, Roscoe and Shawn’s ending made me smile.  A wonderful beginning to a dramatic anthology.

 

“Sometime Life’s a Drag” by J.P. Bowie

Patrick Farland is auditioning as a singer in the new show at Kenny LaFontaine’s nightclub.  At this point in his career, getting a spot in this show would be a great boost.  Patrick makes the show, but finds that Kenny isn’t very nice behind his drag queen persona.  Ian Bannister is a detective who gets Kenny’s case when he is threatened.  Ian has no intention of taking Kenny up on his advances, but he is more than ready to get personal with Patrick.   Vindictiveness and danger take Ian and Patrick through an up and down courtship.   When an arrest is finally made, will Ian and Patrick be able to keep it together and most importantly will all the parties involved get what is coming to them?

Not all drag queens are created equal and in “Sometime Life’s a Drag” it is obvious.  Patrick and Ian have an instant attraction much to the dismay of the nightclub owner.  As much as I enjoyed watching Ian and Patrick coming together and dealing with life, I loved to hate one of the characters just as much.  I was so wrong on the whodunit part, which added to the ending of the story,  that again, I would not have guessed.  Another dramatic story to capture your attention.

 

“Woman’s Weeds” by Kimberly Gardner

David Sullivan is teaching, but his real love is being the director of his own community theater company, Fresh Voices.  He started the group with the help of his sister.  David is preparing to cast the next play and if that isn’t enough, he just met a sexy guy unexpectedly, who is trying out for a part.  Kieran Reilly might work at Macy’s but he wants to act and he really wants the female part of this play.  Reilly knows he can do it and now has to convince David and the rest of the company.  It doesn’t help matters that Reilly and David want to be a couple, but Reilly has a secret and it might affect how David sees him.  When the curtain goes up, will all the players live happily ever after?

“Woman’s Weeds” brings two very different people together with the love of theater.  Reilly loves to act and has a very unusual lifestyle that has caused him problems before.  David is kind of conservative in his teaching but can express himself through the theater group.  I had to love it when Reilly decided to take actions into his own hands and talk to anyone that might have influenced David’s decisions.  I would have never thought that David and Reilly could make it together and I’m certain that is why they work so well together.  A fantastic ending to a great anthology.

Bravo! Brava! is a wonderful collection of stories all centering on the dramatic world of entertainment.  Not only did the stories take you from the beginning to the established but also from the world of the well known to the community groups.  Anyone who loves the male/male world should put Bravo! Brava! on their must have list.  All I can say is bravo to the writers and hope that somewhere down the road there will be an encore.

     

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