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THEATER REVIEW: “Poster Boys” seems quaint these days

Marketing to the gay community is big business these days, which makes the theme of “Poster Boys” seem almost quaint and outdated.

But it was only a decade ago that the Catholic Church pulled out of a school partnership with a Canadian bank over the bank’s ad campaign aimed at attracting gay depositors.

This inspired Vancouver playwright Michele Riml, a former advertising executive herself, to consider the connection between advertising, love and equality in “Poster Boys.”

Moxie and Diversionary Theatres join forces to present the play’s U.S. premiere through July 31 at Diversionary, with Moxie’s Delicia Turner Sonnenberg in the director’s chair.

Julie Anderson Sachs (last seen in Moxie’s “Eleemosynary”) makes a welcome return to the stage as 40ish advertising creative director Caroline, a workaholic tasked with the creation of a gay-themed ad campaign for credit union ClearWater.

Caroline seems almost as concerned about her own aging (get ready for the Botox jokes) as about the job, which presumably explains her sexual escapades with hot young staffer Brad (Justin Lang), who may or may not be trying to sleep his way to the top.

The search for gay models for the ad lead to Jack (John Anderson), who left Caroline at the altar lo, these many years ago. Jack’s partner Carson (Charles Maze), a devout Catholic, still hasn’t come out to mom.

And Caroline either really has a fear of flying or a strange commitment phobia in recurring scenes with a ghost, or maybe her superego, played in drag and with a hilariously ghastly wig by Maze.

It’s an odd collection of elements that often seem more dropped in than organic to the plot.

Still, Riml’s facility for clever dialogue, Sonnenberg’s lickety-split direction and a terrific production team (set designer Matt Scott, projection designer Luke Olson, lighting designer Michelle Caron, sound designer Tom Jones and costumer Jeannie Galioto) make this a visual delight.

And where else will you hear a character name “Gunsmoke” his favorite gay TV show?

The details

“Poster Boys” plays through July 31 at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd.

Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2 and 7 pm; July 18 at 7:30 pm.

For tickets call (619) 220-0097 or visit HERE.

To read more reviews by SDGLN Theater Critic Jean Lowerison, click HERE.