Gemini Stars/Scorpio Stars

By Andrew Andrews

Ombro de Oro serenades the cast of Gian Marco Lo Forte’s an Marco Lo Forte’s Gemini Stars / Scorpio Stars (Niko Tsocanos, Fleur Voorn, Jess Barbagallo, Michaela Reggio and Daniel Diaz) at LaMama’s "The Basement" Theater in the East Village. Original photo by Theo Cote.

The thing about experimental theater is this: as with any experiment, you never know how it’s going to turn out. You could have a disaster on your hands... or a discovery! LaMama Experimental Theatre Club is internationally famous for its experiments—it’s in the name, after all—and truth be told, we’ve been through at least one of their experiments that, subject to opinion, fell into the disaster category. Reading the synopsis for Pioneer Go East Collective’s Gemini Stars/Scorpio Stars, it was hard to guess how this experiment would turn out—or for that matter: what, exactly, this little experiment was going to be. Described as a “music-theatre work inspired by LGBTQ vloggers coming out and self-identifying to the world on YouTube, juxtaposed with stories of exclusion and violence IRL,” we feared some sort of poorly-executed modern dance interpretation of the subject that would be difficult to sit through and hard to recommend to any audience.

It turns out, those fears were unfounded.

Although the above-mentioned description of this show is technically accurate, here’s an alternative statement that might make this production sound a little less uncertain: Gemini Stars/Scorpio Stars is a variety show about being queer—and if you read our reviews on a regular basis, you know how much we love a good variety show! There’s live music from guest singer-songwriter Ombro de Oro. A constant interweaving of storytelling, comedy and dance (well-choreographed and expertly-performed, BTW) from Daniel Diaz, Jess Barbagallo, Michaela Reggio, Niko Tsocanos, Fleur Voorn, and Ryan Leach. Prerecorded video segments in the form of “vlog” entries by Julia Dobner-Pereira, G.J. Dowding, Shane O’Neill, and Chloe Piazza. Just enough social commentary to get playwright Gian Marco Lo Forte’s message across without being preachy. And it’s all delivered on a holiday-themed set (by Philip Trevino) delightfully reminiscent of a 1960’s or 70’s prime-time network seasonal variety show, with house-party hors d’oeuvres shared among the audience.

Wrap it up, and call this experiment a success!

As the official description goes on to say, Gemin Stars/Scorpio Stars is “a humorous look on a bitter topic,” and unless you have absolutely no sense of humor, it will definitely make you laugh. It might even expand your idea of what it means to be queer. So check it out during its short run at LaMama, then come back here and let us know what you discovered. Whether you enjoy this little get-together or it isn’t your cup of holiday cheer, your reviews help others decide whether they should attend, and your ratings help us help you find upcoming performances you’ll love!


Andrew Andrews attended Gemini Stars/Scorpio Stars at La MaMa in Manhattan on Thursday, December 7, 2017 @ 7:00pm to write this review.