REVIEW: "Making Friends"—IAMA Theatre Company

"An Angry Show About Healing"


IAMA Theatre Company presents “Making Friends,” a virtual “gaytastic” premiere comedy by Tom DeTrinis.


Filmed live at L.A.’s Pico Playhouse, “Making Friends” is streaming Dec. 17 through Jan. 11, 2021, and is directed by Drew Droege.


This brand new hoot-fest is written and performed by self-confessed rage-aholic Tom DeTrinis, a quick-witted, angry actor/writer/director/producer who just wants to be your friend. Growing up, he was an overly-sensitive child whose large, Long Island, NY family—five siblings, 15 aunts and uncles, and over 30 first cousins— would have preferred he keep his emotions on a leash. “Everyone thought they knew how to raise me better than my mom and dad,” he says. “I think it was all the mixed messages I was getting that triggered my anger while I was still very young.”


And boy, did he get angry. This non-stop, hilarious litany of grievances unmasks DeTrinis’ singular views on everything from cheese to New York City (“its clutches grab you from the moment you enter until it squeezes the very last ounce of joy out of you right before you shrivel and die slash leave out of JFK/Newark or GOD FORBID LAGUARDIA?!?!”).


"But seriously," he says, "I think it's important to talk about anger. Especially coming off of this presidency. We are all so angry, and we need to start recovering. For me, this show is about healing."


And every angry gay man knows you need at least ONE dance number in a show—this one comes from Kathryn Burns, choreographer for "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."


DeTrinis is no stranger to the stage, either on or off. From producing, directing and performing in theater to working in television, film and on the web, he has enjoyed being stupid and making others laugh at his own expense. Favorite theater credits include “Found” (IAMA), “Die, Mommie, Die!” (CTG/Celebration), “The SantaLand Diaries” (Virginia Stage Company 2018, 2019) and “30 Minute Musicals” (All 16+ of them). You’ve seen him on TV in “90210,” “Switched at Birth,” “Greek and Community;” on the big screen in “Squirrel” (New Hampshire Film Festival Best Narrative Feature), “12 Hour Shift,” “Wedding Dance” and “Adjust-a-Dream;” and on the Web in Edgar Allen Poe's “Murder Mystery Party” and “Fig and Ford.”


"Making Friends" is the first in IAMA Theatre Company’s 2020-21 season of new solo work, a season that looks toward the future by elevating voices that promote change in our world. IAMA hopes to illuminate that path by supporting diverse voices that break down the walls of isolation and encourage connection and community. According to IAMA co-artistic directors Stefanie Black and Katie Lowes, “There is no better voice to lead the charge this season than Tom’s. Get ready, L.A. and beyond!” The creative team for "Making Friends" includes choreography by Kathryn Burns, lighting design by Donny Jackson and stage management by Estey DeMerchant. Donna Simone Johnson and Melissa Stephens co-produce for IAMA Theatre Company.


With an opening date of December 17, 2020 and running online until January 11, 2021, tickets to “Making Friends” start at $15. There will be ‘talk-backs’ with Tom, Drew and very special guests, changing weekly, that come with the ticket purchase.

For more information on ticketing, streaming and satellite events, go to www.iamatheatre.com.


Chris Daniels

Arts & Entertainment Reviewer

The Show Report