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That's life Playwright uses experience to tackle casual sex issues

An author of a play called "Confessions" and another with the self-explanatory title, "The Casual Sex Diary" can safely be pegged as a playwright who revels in the art of bringing the intimate details of personal life to the stage.

Buffalo-based Matthew Crehan Higgins is that playwright. His "Confessions," after a well-received production by Buffalo United Artists, went on to take Best Original Play and Best in Festival at the 2004 Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival.

Crehan Higgins said in a recent telephone interview that the more fictionalized "Confessions" was "based on a combination of my experiences and that of friends."

"The Casual Sex Diary," on the other hand, "was derived completely and totally from things that happened to me."

First performed in St. Louis as part of the National Gay Comedy Jam, the one-person show starring Crehan Higgins will get its Buffalo premiere tonight. Longtime BUA associate Dava Jones directs.

The play follows a young man as he seeks love and finds mostly sex, moving from one man to the other and candidly telling the story -- often humorous -- of each encounter.

The playwright/actor is not at all reticent about detailing such intimate experiences on stage. "I have no qualms," he said. In talking about the genesis of the "Diary," he said the frustration and anger he felt about how certain organizations and agencies blatantly lie about the efficacy of condoms led him to consider his own contrary observations and experiences as the basis for the play.

"As I thought about those lies and about my own experiences," he explained, "it seemed right to tell these stories, to tell just how I avoided disaster myself. . . . I've been in a lot of questionable situations, and I don't shy away from discussing them."

PREVIEW

WHAT: "The Casual Sex Diary"

WHEN: Opens at 8 tonight and continues through April 8

WHERE: Buffalo United Artists, Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main St.

TICKETS: $15 to $20

INFO: 886-9239

e-mail:rhuntington@buffnews.com

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