Roy Cruz: My Fixation on Meryl Streep Began 30 Years Ago -

by Oliver Oliveros,

STREEP TEASE, an evening of Meryl Streep monologues that parodies her movies as performed by an all-male cast, will transfer from Bang Improv Theatre in Los Angeles to a one-night-only performance at Joe's Pub at The Public Theatre in New York City on June 27.

"My fixation on Meryl Streep began when I first saw her in the movie Still of the Night at a film screening in Manila 30 years ago. She was classy and mysterious that as a gay teenager, I wanted to channel her -- the way she smoked, her attitude and her mannerisms," said Roy Cruz, a Filipino television writer-turned-stand-up comedian and creator and co-producer of the hit Los Angeles (LA) stage show Streep Tease.

The LA Weekly described Cruz's brainchild, which has been enjoying a cult following of loyal fans since its world premiere 18 months ago, as a "well-structured, tight show that's over almost before you want it to be." Streep's prodigious feat as a film actress obviously inspired the creation of the show. Included are monologues from films The Devil Wears Prada, Out of Africa, Silkwood, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Doubt and The Still of the Night, among others.

"Part of the charm of the show is asking the actors about their favourite Streep monologues and allowing these actors give their own interpretations. For example, we had The Bridges of Madison County and Angels In America in our first run. The actors who did these monologues could not commit to an encore performance due to previous commitments. However, I've always been open to new acts," Cruz said. New monologue additions that will make the cut at the Joe's Pub performance are from films Doubt and The French Lieutenant's Woman and a choreographed dance number from the musical Mamma Mia!

"I think Streep Tease is also a very Pinoy (Filipino) production. I remember growing up watching movies of local actresses Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. And my friends and I would exchange lines from their movies. Memorizing lines from a favourite movie star is a very Pinoy quirk," he added.

Cruz, who's now based in LA, was born and raised in the Philippines. He started his entertainment career by writing continuity scripts for a Philippine television network program, ABS-CBN's musical variety show ASAP, and stand-up comedy scripts for Filipino comedy actress, Tessie Tomas, years ago. "I was trained to write very economically, which I still apply every time I do stand-up comedy. Ms. Tomas had influenced me in so many ways. She was fearless in thinking of characters that she wanted to parody or to criticize. She was an excellent actress and she was a great storyteller. And she was always reminding me to 'do my research,'" he said.

The NY cast of Streep Tease will include Cruz, as well as David Dean Bottrell (Days of Our Lives, Boston Legal), Ron Morehouse (Boston Public, Starter Wife, LA Noire), Trent Walker (Gods and Generals), Bryan T. Donovan (Thintervention), Matthew Nouriel (Downtown Comedy Club) and Joel Scher (Act Now web series).

Fred Tallaksen is choreographer, Ezra Weis is director and Kenneth Hartung is co-producer.

Joe's Pub at The Public Theatre is located at 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003. For Streep Tease tickets and for more information, call tel. no. 212-967-7555, 212-967-7555 or visit Tickets: $25 each. Show starts 9:30 p.m.

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