You might know him as the title character speaking from inside “Jim’s Closet,” the long running column in Just Out, where, as senior editor of the Pacific Northwest’s largest queer paper, Jim Radosta ruminated on the intersection of pop and gay culture.
But there are more stories inside Jim’s closet than Radosta’s past interviewees Yoko Ono, Lily Tomlin, Bea Arthur, and Gus Van Sant could have ever guessed, as his one-man show “Triskaidekaphilia (Just My Luck)” proves in a fully-staged, updated production following its sold out staged readings at last year’s festival.
Not many people would take a global economic downturn as their cue to start a career in performance art, but Radosta saw print media’s fate written on the wall. He started carving out his “poor-man’s cabaret” niche following a departure from Just Out in 2009, ending his nine-year tenure.
Radosta reassessed to radical result. In addition to volunteer facilitating Face2Face: An Ongoing Series of Community Dialogues at Q Center, he decided to give voice to his voice – his speaking voice, that is. He jumped into live storytelling by throwing his one-man hat into the Fertile Ground ring with a staged reading of ‘Triskaidekaphilia,’ which enjoyed sold out performances.
Since then, Radosta has been refining his tell-all chops through the widely popular storytelling franchise Mortified – yes, the one in which you read from your most embarassing young adult diaries for the bemusement of a large crowd. Radosta has brought his David Sedaris-meets-Jon-Stewart readings to the popular openmikealike series in Portland, Hollywood and San Francisco.
‘Triskaidekaphilia’ traces an ‘80s boyhood spent in small-town, homophobic Salem, Ore., where Radosta’s irrepressible determination “to turn life’s lemons into lemon drops” ran counter to Fortune’s plans for the lad. (The show’s title derives from “triskaidekaphobia,” the superstitious fear of the number 13.)
Using a strange brew of true-life stories mixed with twisted renditions of classic karaoke hits, Radosta remixes Romeo’s lament, “O, I am fortune’s fool!” with a new genre: memoir-aoke.
“Triskaidekaphilia (Just My Luck)” runs three nights only at Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97211. Showdates are Thursdays, January 13, 20 and 27, 2011. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $13 at the door, $10 in advance from BoxOfficeTickets.com, or free with a Festival Pass for Fertile Ground 2011: A City-Wide Festival of New Work.