With I F*CKED YOU IN MY SPACESHIP on stage now, BUA presents an entertaining LGBTQ+ drama/comedy

THE BASICS:  I F*CKED YOU IN MY SPACESHIP, a play by Louis Emmitt-Stern, produced by Buffalo United Artists (BUA) starring Paige Batt, Andrew Brown, Jeremy Catania, Jason Francey, Sadie Roberts, and Aaron Saldana. 5/3 – 5/25 Fri 7:30 Sat 5:00 at Compass Performing Arts Center 545 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo. Tickets at or

RUNTIME: 75 minutes without intermission

THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Two couples each invite a stranger into their homes.  The gay couple invites Al, a sex worker to help with their role-play fantasies, particularly ones involving extra-terrestrials.  The lesbian couple wants to have a baby and they invite Robert to be the needed sperm donor.  Little by little, the power imbalances among the couples start to shift.

THE PLAYERS, THE PLAY, AND THE PRODUCTION:  Concerning aliens, as in extraterrestrials, there are two kinds of science fiction setups: We Go There (boldly, I’m sure) and They Come Here, with a sub-genre of “They’re Already Here, But We Don’t Know It… Yet.”  So when this play opens, and we see a large green space creature humping a man, we’re not sure if we’re supposed to suspend disbelief and ignore the cheesy costume and believe that this is really an alien?  Maybe this is a low budget production and that green outfit was the best that they could afford?

No, within a moment, the green outfit comes off and we meet Dan (Jason Francey), who is being told by his boyfriend Leo (Andrew J. Brown) that he’s not doing “it” right.  Of course, there’s a lot of feigned sensitivity in this dressing down, as in “I don’t want to be critical, but…” and pretty soon, you realize that Leo is the alpha.  And not a nice alpha at that.  So, to make the E.T. fantasy better, Leo suggests, and Dan goes along with the idea that they go online and find a third man to bring into the mix.

Photos by Tony Grande

Enter Al (Jeremy Catania), who is the very soul of accommodation, gentle, kind, and everything that Leo is not.  He’s much more a sex therapist than anything else.  Pretty soon, Dan is taking the lead role in calling Al to come over more and more frequently, and often when Leo is not at home.  

Then, on the other side of the bare stage, we meet Anna (Sandra Roberts), the high-energy, take-charge alpha of a lesbian couple with the quieter Emily (Paige Batt). They want to raise a child; Anna has decided that she’s the one to get pregnant, and so they, too, go online and arrange to meet Robert, a somewhat down-on-his-luck fellow who agrees to be a sperm donor because he needs the money.

Robert also needs a place to stay, and reluctantly, Anna agrees that he can move in (temporarily she insists).  But, pretty soon, after Anna has gone to bed, Emily and the soft-spoken Robert are spending more and more time watching television together and getting to know each other.  

I won’t give away the rest of the plot, but I will say that the titular spaceship, created by BUA co-director Mike Doben and coordinated by Steve Harter and Kieran Deyell, was quite spectacular.  Kudos to Dialect Coach Catherine Burkhart for helping the actors into reasonable and consistent British accents.  As I’ve said many times before, I’m not a fan of accents.  Just tell me where we are supposed to be, London, whatever, and get on with the show with Buffalo accents, I don’t mind.  But, if you’re going to do accents, Catherine Burkhart might the the one to call.

BUA, Buffalo United Artists, was founded in 1992 by Javier Bustillos and is, per their Facebook profile (although not their website for some reason), “Buffalo’s only LGBTQ+ theater group.”  When Rick Lattimer and Mike Doben, two straight guys, were handed the job of co-Artistic Directors a few years back, I was wondering how things might change.  As they find their own way I think that this play was a fine choice.  It’s not, say THE BOYS IN THE BAND, but then a lot has changed over the past 30 years, legally and socially, and this play reflects some of those changes.

So, it’s fun and despite the title you could take your mother to it.  Yes, there is one naked butt briefly on stage, but nothing mom hasn’t seen before. 

*HERD OF BUFFALO (Notes on the Rating System)

ONE BUFFALO: This means trouble. A dreadful play, a highly flawed production, or both. Unless there is some really compelling reason for you to attend (i.e. you are the parent of someone who is in it), give this show a wide berth.

TWO BUFFALOS: Passable, but no great shakes. Either the production is pretty far off base, or the play itself is problematic. Unless you are the sort of person who’s happy just going to the theater, you might look around for something else.

THREE BUFFALOS: I still have my issues, but this is a pretty darn good night at the theater. If you don’t go in with huge expectations, you will probably be pleased.

FOUR BUFFALOS: Both the production and the play are of high caliber. If the genre/content are up your alley, I would make a real effort to attend.

FIVE BUFFALOS: Truly superb–a rare rating. Comedies that leave you weak with laughter, dramas that really touch the heart. Provided that this is the kind of show you like, you’d be a fool to miss it!

The post With I F*CKED YOU IN MY SPACESHIP on stage now, BUA presents an entertaining LGBTQ+ drama/comedy appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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