I Love You (We're F*#cked)
A wild mix of stand-up comedy, storytelling and original music by Kevin J Thornton. It's a tale of lost love spun into a hilariously absurd odyssey of a gay man looking back over the greatest loves (and sex) of his life. Thornton first explored this style of performance in his 2009 hit show "Sex, Dreams & Self Control" whose national tour was called "Hilarious" by Unzipped Magazine and caught the attention of NPR's All Things Considered. After spending a year in the Los Angeles stand-up comedy scene Thornton's new piece became a little grittier and less scripted.
In a way, Kevin J Thornton is a throwback to the golden age of entertainers on the vaudeville circuit-- he sings, he tells jokes, he truly entertains his audiences in clubs and on the underground Fringe Festival circuit. However, Thornton's show is anything but old fashioned. His stories and songs comment on sexuality, religion and American life in a new century.
His one-person odyssey's are a fusion of stand-up comedy, Sedaris-like storytelling and original music akin to Ryan Adams and John Hiatt. His lastest work includes original music from his 2011 release "January Dream." Says Thornton, "I was going through an intense break up in Los Angeles. I moved out of our West Hollywood apartment and came to Indiana to hibernate for the winter and clear my head. Instead, I ended up drinking a lot and writing folk/country songs. I decided to take all this heartbreak and music and smash it together with my stand up." This unique hybrid of styles is displayed in his live show.
Thornton spent the early 2000s building a reputation as a professional musician in Nashville, TN. His first effort entitled Had A Sword won the Nashville Scene Music Award for Best Experimental Rock. During that time he worked as an actor, ironically, to pay the bills. He appeared in several professional theatre productions, playing John in John and Jen at the historic Tibbit's Opera House in Coldwater, MI. and in a sketch comedy group aboard a luxury ship in South America.
During that time he began writing a series of short stories that described his hilariously heartbreaking coming out story. These vignettes eventually became his one- man debut "Sex, Dreams & Self-Control" which he took on the road in 2009. The show received unanimous praise, including a nod from the Los Angeles Times and NPR's "All Things Considered".
In a daring move, that same year Kevin bared all for the men's nudie magazine Unzipped.
Since 2009 he has released six albums, including the soundtrack to "Sex, Dreams & Self Control" as well as an illustrated book version of the show. His new wave rock project Waves on Waves has appeared numerous times on the MTV Network LOGO's PopLab, and the network uses one of the videos as its High Def Tivo commercial.
Past Quotes from 2009's Sex, Dreams & Self Control
Los Angeles Times "Best Bet"
"Darkly Funny" -Nashville Scene
"Intimate Brilliance... A Must See..." -Showbiz Chicago
"Funny and poignant... beautifully executed" -Frontiers Los Angeles
"Infused with great imagery and heart... Really good" -LA Splash
"Thornton is engaging and funny and cute as Hell..." -Newcity Chicago
"A sexual and romantic odyssey" -EDGE Los Angeles
"Groundbreaking" -Out and About
"Striking a remarkably different chord... Wide reaching appeal" -Shepherd's Express Milwaukee
Reviews I Love You (We're F*#ked)
by Joseph Samuel Wright on 2.28.11
Theatre is Easy www.easy.com
BOTTOM LINE: I Love You [We're F*#ked] is a concert with a narrative and a message featuring the songs and stories of the charismatic Kevin J Thornton.
This week only, down in the bleak basement of the Under St. Marks theatre, you can catch the original songs and real-life stories of Nashvillian Cassanova Kevin J. Thornton as his tour takes him through our fair city and its annual winter theatre festival.
I Love You [We're F*#ked] falls somewhere between a concert and a cabaret, with songs tied together by anecdotes and a personal viewpoint on living. It's the kind of show where you mostly just want the performer to ask you out. And somewhere between the kooky lyrics and the smooth baritone, a catharsis happens. You've been having such a great time listening and laughing, it takes a moment to realize the topics at hand: life and love and how we cope. And you feel better.
Thornton is not only charming and sexy, he is an unaffected, vibrant performer. His power is to invite the audience into the show, making a solo piece into a duet with everyone watching. He uses sarcasm and irony in both the heartfelt and the pithier parts of his story and boldly crosses taboo boundaries, touching on all facets of his experience.
With rhythm, music, and repetition of his central idea of perseverance, I Love You [We're F*#ked] entertains the mind and clarifies the spirit. It's a great show for anyone who loves good songwriting or whose heart has been broken. Or if you just want to watch a dynamic dreamboat for an hour.
I Love You, (We're F*#ked) nytheatre.com review
Martin Denton o February 26, 2011
Kevin J. Thornton is in his late 30s, gay, boyishly handsome; says he's on the crest of a midlife crisis. For his solo show I Love You (We're F*#ked) he 's wearing a cowboy hat, boots, white shirt and black tie, and casual pants; but every once in a while, we can glimpse part of a fairly elaborate tattoo on his chest, and that, I think, is what defines him. Thornton's a little bit country, but he's also a little bit naughty. And his show is both of those things and more-a very personal, quirky journey through his experiences and his mind, his comic sensibility and his music. He's an enormously likeable performer, and a talented one, and I hope this show-and others that he may do in the future-proves successful.
Press materials tells us that Nashville has been his home base for a while, professionally. In the show, he talks about growing up in the Bible Belt (on the buckle, he says) and how it felt, during the Bush years, to be so aware of his other-ness as a gay man in such conservative territory. He also tells us about his time working in a teen Christian rock band; an early crush on a boy named Cory; his recent breakup with his boyfriend (he had moved to West Hollywood by this time); and his sojourn to the Midwest to regroup after that breakup.
The shape of the show is loose as can be. He sings some of his songs, which are all quite lovely; some of them return, leitmotif-like, to accent different anecdotes and stories as the show proceeds. Sometimes he puts his guitar on the ground and engages directly with us in the audience. And, at least at the performance I attended, he seemed to rearrange his material to suit the tenor of the crowd (that Saturday afternoon time slot didn't seem to attract as many of his target audience as would be desirable, his target audience essentially being people about his age and sharing some of his pop culture iconography and sensibilities-people who'd get a joke built around one of Prince's song lyrics, for example). He's an easy fellow to root for and to listen to.
What makes him different from any other performer I can remember seeing is an essential tension in his personality, or at least in his persona-that wild tattoo underneath the tame clothes. He half-apologizes that some of his stories are really dirty, and then he plows ahead and tells them anyway. It never feels like shock tactics, but rather simple, honest expression.
I Love You (We're F*#ked) doesn't feel like a title that ultimately does this solo piece justice (it is the name of one of the songs that runs through the show). And I would be interested to see what would happen if Thornton tried to actually create a play with music for himself rather than work within the formless half-standup/half-singer frame that he's using here. I think he's got a playwright's voice as well as a poet's and a musician's. He's certainly a performer I'll want to keep an eye on.
So, check out this modest but considerably charming entry in this year's FRIGID New York Festival. Thornton's a welcome addition and I hope he builds the audience he deserves.
Kevin J. Thornton nimbly takes the stage at 4 in the afternoon for another performance of his one-man show, I Love You (We're F*#ked). "It's early in the day, isn't it?" he asks. "I feel like I've just gotten up." And looking at him, with a slight rawness around the eyes and a gracefully rumpled quality to his stage ensemble, you could quite believe it. But there's nothing of the grouch, morning or otherwise, about Kevin. His speaking voice is low, calm, almost velvety; the sort of voice that could induce a tranquil confidence even as it asks you to ensure that your seat belt is fastened, your table tops are stowed, and your seats are in an upright position, as the captain will shortly be attempting a crash landing. Standby.
Kevin J. Thornton, ladies and gentlemen, is that rarest of the rare amongst stand-up comedian songsters. Kevin J. Thornton is seriously relaxed. That poise, that apparent ease of manner, will divest you of all your mundane frets and anxieties (not the least of which might be "is this going to be funny?"). You are in the metaphorical hands of a gifted masseur who knows very well how to de-stress those kinked little places, revisit old sites of tension, and tickle you in an intimate, respectful way.
This show has a nostalgic quality about it, mixed with a tale of heartbreak and disillusionment, as Kevin revisits his favorite era, the 80s (Ricky Schroeder and Silver Spoons; Prince and the Revolution; Duran Duran), reminisces, and recounts the details of the break-up of his last big relationship. The humor is knit into his delivery; there is no arduous stoking towards a punch line. With a guitar and a harmonica, his own penned songs punctuate the fluid, free associative, story telling. He is spontaneous and reactive, elastically able to step outside the act and throw you another peculiarity, then return to "the script" without adjusting the cruise control. Recalling my role as a reviewer, I felt myself straining to sense the proverbial pea of discontent in my theater seat, and remembering briefly some lines from another great 80s cultural instigator, Alan Parker's "Fame", and the mantra of the ballet tutor, I wanted to shout "the sweat, Kevin, where's the sweat?"
When there is sweat, or something with a ragged edge in the act, it comes in the form of Kevin's singing voice, which can extend to some pretty growly bass notes as he rings the emotion from his unquestionably resonant songs. The delivery is full-hearted and affecting, the spontaneous applause immediate and appreciative. "Thank you," Kevin enjoins, "that is entirely the correct response." It is the smooth-voiced airline steward speaking once more, and Thornton-service has been resumed.
Really, it's almost impossible to taste any medicine with this artful spoonful of sugar.
Has Kev just got everyone too easily in the palm of his hand? "New York, it's a tough crowd," he shrugs, when a tale involving microphone fellatio simulation and stage stool anal penetration (convincing), while he lectures on the correct ethical standards regarding exploitation of youthful (for the record let's say they're nineteen) wide-eyed admirers, fails to elicit anything more than a heightened purring sound from his audience. "That one was pretty controversial in Tucson." There's a bit of a glide in everything he does. A comfortably out gay man, Kevin's brand of humor is fresh and unassuming, not clubby and bitter. He's got the hard knocks, the alcohol issues, the tattoos. But as familiar and all as these might be, he's got a gentler, breezier take on things and, OMG! a little bit of heart about it all. Kevin could sell his grandmother that tale about ass-f*#king, he's that clever, and that nice. He's just precious.
Recommended. Geoffrey Paddy Johnson The Happiest Medium
Kevin was Hilarious! Had me giggling in my seat! Great On-Stage and Off-Stage Personality! - Jerry Ehlen Mobile Alabama Pride
I wanted to share my professional experiences concerning Kevin Thornton's performances. I am co-owner and Artistic Director for The ComedySportz Theatre in Indianapolis, We have had the privilege of hosting two of Kevin Thornton's shows. The first show was "Sex, Dreams & Self Control" during the 2009 IndyFringe Theatre Festival. The second show was "An Evening with Kevin Thornton" a one-night event in our theatre in 2010.
In both cases, not only was Kevin a complete professional in his handling of arrangements, he also provided wonderful, entertaining, and insightful performances. He possesses and conveys a wonderful sense of humor, but he pairs that with great storytelling through word and song. He has been simply delightful to work with, and I would gladly welcome him back for future performances.
Edward A. Trout
Vice President, Way Cool Productions
Artistic Director & Director of Operations, ComedySportz Indianapolis
As a gay male, every piece of his story struck some kind of chord or memory of mine. I was able to laugh at Kevin's coming out story and my coming out story at the same time, which made the piece stay with me. Our audience here in Cincinnati loved the show both times, and we strive to bring performers like Kevin to Cincinnati.
Exit Stage Left
156 Eddy Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|