by Chris Candler
Staff Writer     

If you like the spoken-word works of David Sedaris and Sandra Bernhard’s in-your-face style, then get ready for a ground-breaking performance by Kevin Thornton this weekend at Bongo After Hours Theatre. 

Thornton combines acting, singing and hysterically embarrassing anecdotes in his one-man-show “Sex, Dreams, and Self Control” to tell his story of meeting his conservative family, God and sexuality head on.

“I was inspired by others [Bernhard & Sedaris] but my performance is unique in that it draws from personal experiences and is performed as one cohesive performance rather than sets of stories and jokes,” Thornton said.

His performances are personal accounts of his struggle with religion, sexuality, and life itself.  He highlights his struggle to ‘come out’ as parallel to the universal struggles that all people face.

 “I want people to take away from this performance that at some point in everyone’s life they face something that is bigger than themselves,” Thornton said.

Thornton grew up in the mid-west town of Evansville, Ind., and has a diverse background in performance arts. Thornton is known for his band Waves on Waves, which won a Nashville Scene Award in 2004.

He has also played major roles in several different productions including Jesus Christ Superstar, Burn This, The Secret Garden and A Lie of the Mind.

Since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in theatre performance from Ball State University, Thornton has spent the last several years reinventing himself as an artist. 

Before writing “Sex, Dreams and Self Control,” Thornton spent some time traveling and performing and even did a stint on a cruise ship for a few months before returning and writing material for his latest show. Thornton said he wrote a lot of “Sex, Dreams, and Self Control” after taking a trip back to his hometown.

“I will always wonder what things would have been like if I had just accepted myself sooner” Thornton said. But for those who enjoy his shows, it’s better late than never.

Thornton meticulously weaves together his talent in theatre and music for a performance sure to captivate the GLBT community and its allies.

Thornton will be performing Jan. 22, 23 and 24 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Bongo After Hours Theatre is located at 2007 Belmont Boulevard, in Nashville, above Bongo Java. 

The show contains some explicit language and adult content. No guests under 18 permitted.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

When I was 14 years old, I surreptitiously made my way through the stacks in the local library until I came to the Psychology section. One after one, I took down the books whose titles I thought would provide an answer, went to the table of contents and, if there were any, I flipped to the pictures.

Keep reading Show less

James Mai

Many of us have made resolutions and pledged ourselves to transforming some aspect, or aspects, of our lives. For some, these resolutions will involve career, budget, home ownership, etc., but for a LOT of us, they will involve various health, exercise and fitness goals.

Often, these resolutions are vague, like “lose weight” or “exercise more”, and way too often they begin with a gym contract and end with Netflix and a bag of takeout. Getting specific can help in holding yourself accountable for these commitments, though. So we thought it might be interesting to talk with a local gay trainer, James Mai, about his fitness journey, his work as a trainer and how he keeps himself motivated, and get some of his suggestions for carrying through on this year’s fitness resolutions!

Keep reading Show less


Keep reading Show less