Writer: Chris Harder
Director: David Drake
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
After the success of the Nasty Drew and that Harder Boy series at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, Chris Harder brings his newest solo show to the venue. Written by the performer himself, #BigBrightStar is a clever, campy reflection on Harder’s career in the gay porn industry. Harder (his real name, convenient for the industry), with his occasional sidekick Movie Star Barbie, takes the audience on a journey through the world of adult entertainment.
Harder is anything but hard on the eyes, but as he mentions throughout the show, being attractive is hardly the only criteria for being a successful performer. Putting that philosophy into practice, Harder is effervescent and charming, carrying the ninety-minute performance with fantastic energy. Realistic character work is not necessary for a play like this, so Harder’s campy takes on the different characters from his life take on an exaggerated, caricature-like quality.
Beyond a comedic revisiting of Harder’s career, #BigBrightStar is also an affirming commentary on the sex industry. Sex work is work. Porn stars have parents that love and support them, even if they don’t fully understand or agree with their children’s career paths. Harder’s portrayal of his mother in North Dakota is charming and full of heart. Amid talk of anal sex and the many uses of Cetaphil lotion, Harder bares more than his stunning body. He gives himself to the audience fully, creating a sparkling, shining comet of joy. Harder is in fact, a #BigBrightStar.
Runs until 15 June 2017