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Drama Queers! Paperback – June 1, 2009
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"Drama Queers!" is the 1980s version of "High School Musical" -- only with characters who are a bit more overtly gay. --Philadelphia Gay News
Written with biting humor and girlish enthusiasm, Polito's "Drama Queers!" gives readers a thoroughly detailed and equally enjoyable account of growing up gay in Detroit's own "Hazeltucky" circa the '80s. --Metro Times
"Frank Anthony Polito has an amazing facility for capturing the flavor of young queer youth." --Out in Jersey
About the Author
Frank holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon and a BFA in Theatre from Wayne State. He grew up in the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park. Readers can visit him on the web at frankanthonypolito.com
More About the Author
His plays ANOTHER DAY ON WILLOW ST and BAND FAGS! (based on his novel) have been produced in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dayton, Omaha, Annapolis, and New York City, where he resided for 18 years. His other writing has been featured in Instinct magazine and online at The Advocate.com and AfterElton.com. He is also a regular contributor to the popular New York City lifestyle blog Kenneth in the 212.
Frank grew up in the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park and currently resides in Pleasant Ridge with his partner, Craig Bentley. Readers can visit him on the web at www.frankanthonypolito.com
Top Customer Reviews
The main reason Jack and Brad, best friends since seventh grade, are estranged is because Brad is able to admit he's gay while Jack is not; however, after diving into the acting world, Brad hears from various sources that one cannot be openly gay and a successful actor, so, in a sense, he heads back into the closet. While he still hangs out at gay bars, his new decision to put his future career over his personal life causes lots of heartache and turmoil.
Brad, successful actor in high school, decides to audition for the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. His trip to the Big Apple is one of the funniest chapters in the book as we get to see the small, mid-western gay boy traipse across the big city for the first time. Throughout the book, Brad's mix of innocence and maturity makes for a very interesting, charming character.
While this book could be called a lot of things - a light, hilarious romp through the 1980s, or a coming of age tale for one gay boy in the suburbs of Michigan, I found the story to have a lot of heart that had me rooting for Brad throughout the story. If you were alive in the 80s, you'll especially appreciate the countless references to pop culture of the time. So yes, you should immediately pick up this book and join Brad as he navigates through his last year of high school and finds that being true to himself is harder than he ever expected.
At first I was leery that it was not a sequel but ran concurrently with the first story. I was afraid that it would just be a rehash. While the major events were the same, Brad and Jack were not hanging out together throughout most of this book, so the details were much different and very enjoyable. In the first book, Brad Dayton was written as a very confident, open young gay man. He almost seemed too open for his age and that time. In this novel it was obvious that he was just as unsure about being openly gay and full of the doubts and fears we all had back then - and still have when coming out.
In all, I liked the first book slightly better, but this one is very well written and very entertaining. I wanted to shake some sense into these kids at certain times and I wanted to hug them and protect them at others. All in all this is definitely worth a read.
We originally met Brad and Jack in Polito's "Band Fags!" ... although that novel centered on Jack's senior year, while Brad disappeared from its pages after they broke up. This second novel is not so much a sequel as it is an overlapping supplement to that first story, filling us in on what Bradley was doing during those last nine months of senior year. For both boys, it was a time of discovery and disappointment, making friends and losing others, experiences crushes that sometimes turned into relationships, and holding one's breath to see if their dreams for the rest of their lives prove to be attainable. While reading "Band Fags!" first would add to the enjoyment of this novel, it is not a must, as the author skillfully provides the background necessary to enjoy this story on its own.
Although a book about teens, it can be enjoyed equally by anyone who can relate to a feeling of feeling isolated in a crowded high school. It will especially resonate with those who came of age in the late 1980's, since each chapter is based on a phrase from a popular song from that era. "Drama Queers!" is a charming and witty light read, recommended to all. I give it five "pearl-clutching drama queen" stars out of five!
Sure, there were times I wish there were less flashbacks. There were times I wish I knew what was going on, when I turned to a new chapter. And that Brad would open his eyes and realized how lucky he was. For somehow who was so daring in the first book, Brad was less so in here to carry the story of a confident gay teenager. He got more kisses than some guys well into their 30's. And yet, Brad became so hopeless, that I could not help to wonder if that was just a trick to drag the book longer. Somehow, I felt like shouting at the book.. 'Enough already..'. But then who am I to question Polito, since that I enjoyed his first book more than many gay books out there.
And then, story before the ending. I was caught surprise. I read every line carefully, aware that my emotion had changed from excited-with-a-little-boredom-too to oh-my-goodness. I felt I could almost shed tears. And you know what.. I really love the ending. I have to applaud the ending. This is how fairy-tales and happy-endings should be like.
Definitely a must-read, in my opinion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So even after devouring my autographed copy of "Drama Queers!" I can easily say that I'm hungry for more. Frank, did we grow up together as Best Friends or something? Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by Dario Dallalasta
Let me start out by saying that I LOVED "Band Fags".
That being said, I was disappointed with "Drama Queers". Read more