After opening night of Sherry Glaser's one-person hit Family Secrets in New York, in 1993, her father bought out the entire theater for the next night. ''For his friends, business associates...'' says Glaser. ''It was his opening night.'' Her father's pride was a long time coming, a point referenced in her deeply personal, engaging show, making its Washington nod at Theater J (1529 16th St. NW; 800-494-TIXS, www.theaterj.org).
''When I wrote the piece about my father,'' says the 46-year-old Glaser, ''I was a bit estranged from him, because I couldn't understand why he couldn't accept me as a lesbian. Once I stepped into his shoes, literally, I got a whole different point of view. He wasn't angry, he was scared. I had enormous compassion for him.'' Her father passed away ten years ago, but as Glaser points out, he lives on in the show.
During the run, which closes April 15, Glaser has been joined in D.C. by her partner of two years, Sheba Love, a six-foot-tall, white-haired, pale-skinned farmer who sports several tattoos and a beard. ''She doesn't pluck 'em like the rest of us,'' laughs Glaser. The pair, who live in Northern California, have spent their spare time in Washington dabbling in political activism.
''Sheba made us a soapbox. We stood on it with a 'Make Love, Not War' sign and made out at the Capitol,'' says Glaser. ''We like to make out -- and why not bring down civilization at the same time?''
She's a little flummoxed by the current presidential political process. ''Why is it that who has the most money wins? Where did we come up with this plan?''
Glaser has a better idea: ''Each candidate should spend the money raised on the people. Buy books, food, medicine, rent. That would be a great way of showing us that you're worthy of being a leader. Spend it on us. Show us that kind of leadership.''