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Stories of Searching for Love

Tue, 01/31/2023 - 14:50
David Dean Bottrell performing his one-man show, "David Dean Bottrell Makes Love."
Melissa Griegel

Whether you're down for love this month or down on love this month, David Dean Bottrell can relate. His one-man show, "David Dean Bottrell Makes Love," is, as he described it in an email, "75+ minutes of unfortunately true love stories from my life."

He will perform the show, which he also wrote, on Feb. 11 at Bay Street Theater for Valentine's Day weekend. Guy Stroman will direct.

Expect anecdotes funny and moving, colorful and staid, all inspired by the quest to find love, or at least understand it. The show has been performed in New York City and Los Angeles. Mr. Bottrell said this is the first time he's taking it outside of those cities to come to Sag Harbor.

The show is framed by his efforts to massage his online dating profile into the perfect vehicle for likes, messages, and "right swipes." 

"The content has a few spicy moments in it," he said, "but mostly it's about being a human being trying to find, understand, and hold onto love. There is a little adult language in it, but not much."

From an engagement of convenience at the age of 5 (he wanted to play on her swing set) to navigating the pre and post-pandemic world of gay dating on both coasts, "David Dean Bottrell Makes Love" continues to evolve, with new stories being cycled in and out. "Not all of the stories are about romantic love," Mr. Bottrell said. "Some stories are about my parents."

In addition to sold-out runs and positive reviews, the show was made into an audiobook by Penguin Random House in 2020 and nominated for best spoken-word show by Broadway World last year.

"Although I'm a nerdy middle-aged gay guy, my show is not about being gay. It's about being human," he said. "We are living in strange, stressful, lonely times. . . . And this show is ultimately a life-affirming look at how, with a little courage, we can still connect." 

His audiences have been diverse, "gay, straight, young, old, you name it," and may be treated to some "fun, goofy door prizes" during the curtain call.  

Mr. Bottrell also keeps busy with television work, including a memorable role as Lincoln Meyer, a "creepy, murderous peeping Tom" who kidnapped Candice Bergen in the David E. Kelley show "Boston Legal." He said he still has a small but loyal following from that casting. And he might be familiar from appearances and recurring parts on "Mad Men," "Modern Family," "Criminal Minds," and many others. 

He is also the author of "Working Actor," published by Random House in 2019, another compilation of personal stories and pragmatic lessons to "enlighten, encourage, and forewarn both the novice and more advanced performer," The Los Angeles Times said in a review. 

Tickets range from $29 to $49 and can be purchased on the Bay Street website.

Pregaming the Show
Ahead of the 8 p.m. showtime for "David Dean Bottrell Makes Love," Bay Street Theater and the LGBT Network will co-sponsor a cocktail hour beginning at 7. Hosted by Tina Pignatelli and open to all ticketholders, the mixer is for those attached or single.

There will be a special Valentine's Day cocktail for purchase, raffle prizes, snacks, sweets, and desserts. Sag Harbor Florist will make the lobby festive, and the Behind the Fence Gallery will provide photo ops.

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