“David Dean Bottrell Makes Love” at Bay Street Theater

Left: David Dean Bottrell; Right: LGBT Director of Development, Brian Rosen, CEO of Queens-LI LGBT Network Robert Vitelli, and LGBT Director of Programs, Ernesto Hernandez.

by Debbie Tuma

Storyteller and comedian David Dean Bottrell performed his unique one-man show at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on Saturday, February 11, in time for Valentine’s Day. The theme was the ups and downs of his long love history, seeking to find his soulmate. Told with his wit and humor, juxtaposed with his heartbreak and frustration, Bottrell was able to hold the audience’s attention with numerous love stories and breakups. This universal standard theme is easy to relate to for people of all ages and races, gay or straight, and Bottrell told it from his gay perspective. Born in Kentucky, he also shared love stories about his mother and other family members who influenced him growing up.

It is not easy remembering all these stories and baring his soul for 75 minutes with no intermission, but Bottrell had a knack for and almost a need to share these stories, as if in therapy. He told of his affairs and relationships with an older man, a teacher crush, a first young love of a girl, and various live- in partners throughout his life, with courage and commitment. The audience seemed to take it all in, laugh and cry, as they remembered their own past ups and downs, and gave a standing ovation at the end.
David Dean Bottrell’s work was nominated for Best Spoken Word Show of 2022 by Broadway World. As a writer and performer, he has played lots of guest star and recurring roles on TV shows as Modern Family, Law & Order, Blacklist, Criminal Minds, Mad Men, Bones, Ugly Betty, Days of Our Lives and Boston Legal. He co-wrote the screenplay for Fox Searchlight’s hit comedy “Kingdom Come,” and is the author of a new book, “Working Actor: Breaking in, Making a Living, and Making a Life in the Fabulous Trenches of Show Business.” Theater credits include shows at Second Stage, Long Wharf, Dixon Place, Philadelphia Theatre Company and Theatre of Louisville.

Prior to his one-man show at Bay Street, the LGBT Network held a cocktail reception in the theater lobby, where many guests attended. Robert Vitelli, CEO of the LGBT Network of Queens and Long Island, said this organization is in its 30th year of service. Also attending the party and show were Brian Rosen, LGBT Director of Development; Ernesto Hernandez, LGBT Director of Programs; and photographer Luke Mersten.

The LGBT Summer Kickoff Party will be held on May 27 this year at the Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club. For information, visit www.lgbtnetwork.org.