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The performance of a lifetime

By |2010-08-09T09:00:00-04:00August 9th, 2010|News|

by Jessica Carreras

The biggest show of this theater season didn’t win any Wilde Awards. It didn’t make any money, and didn’t get any rave reviews. Well, at least not from critics.
But leading up to the Sept. 4 “performance,” Michigan’s theater community was buzzing about the wedding of two of their ilk – comedy golden boys and Who Wants Cake? co-owners Joe Plambeck and Joe Bailey.
In true thespian style, the personal commitment turned into a full-on production, from Plambeck’s on-stage proposal at last winter’s WWC? production of “The SantaLand Diaries” to the themed double reception – ’80s prom and club night – held at the Ringwald and Go Comedy! Theaters. The wedding day even promised attendees surprise guests, costumes and, of course, performances by some of metro Detroit’s finest actors.
At the Sept. 1 Wilde Awards at Detroit’s Gem Theatre – just 72 hours before their big day – the smitten duo known as Joe 1 and Joe 2 chatted with Between The Lines about their wedding video blog, how they met (a play about porn?) and why they weren’t going to wait for Michigan to make their love legal.

What was the idea behind your wedding video blog?

Joe Plambeck: For a long while now, I’ve had these dreams of doing some sort of viral marketing for one of our shows, and I always find myself not following through with the idea. And with the wedding, it just kind of hit me. I hadn’t planned too far in advance, but maybe shortly before the month, I thought, It would be fun if I did blogging every day, for 30 days. I thought it’d be fun to do it and I thought it’d be fun to be able to look back on it.
And also to see if anyone would watch it. Oddly enough, there were people from my childhood who I see commenting on it, so it’s kind of fun.

Well it’s really funny. I was watching it and people kept asking me, “What are you laughing at?”

J.P.: (Laughs) And you were like, “Some crazy queens!”

It sounds like this is going to be more like a production than a wedding.

Joe Bailey: It really is, and people call it a show. They’re like, “What time is the show – I mean, the wedding?” There are certainly elements – set design, lighting design.

You should have sold tickets to it!

J.P.: (Laughs) I know! We were saying, “We’ll just do one more weekend and charge for that one.”

I had lots of questions for you guys, but after watching the vlogs, many of them were answered. But I’m still curious to hear about how you met.

J.B.: I lived in Los Angeles and I auditioned for a show out there called “Ten Naked Men,” which I got cast in and remained friendly with the producer and the playwright of that. So (the playwright) was trying to get me to go on the road and finally I agreed and went out to different cities and did these shows.
The first stop was Denver, and I met a fellow named Preston who was in the show. So when I retired from doing “Ten Naked Men,” Preston said he had a roommate from college who could be a suitable replacement for me. That was Joe. We still had not met yet at this point, but Joe got cast.
Then they were going to do “Making Porn” (another work by the same playwright) in San Diego, so I went out there to be in it and Joe came out to do the lights and that’s how we met.

J.P.: We continued to tour for another six months – we would just go into a city, cast it, Joe would direct it, we’d do the set ourselves and essentially live in a city for one to two months together.

How did you end up permanently here in Michigan?

J.B.: I’m from here originally and I was getting tired of living out of a suitcase. And Joe’s from Wyoming, so…

Close enough.

J.P.: (Laughs) Yeah, I wasn’t terribly fond of Wyoming.

J.B.: I wanted to settle back here and asked him if he wanted to come with me.

J.P.: I basically invited myself.

Well, it must’ve worked out, because now you’re getting married! In the video blogs, you guys have hinted at some possible wedding theatrics. What can you reveal?

J.P.: There may be some elements of dance, of song, of performance … (laughs).

That’s it? You’re keeping it pretty mysterious.

J.B.: We’re trying to keep it close to us. We want there to be surprises.

J.P.: But we have enlisted a couple handfuls of talented folks we know to participate in it – people that mean a lot to us – and we’ve asked them to handle certain aspects of the wedding.

Are you going to orchestrate any awkward Joe-Joe moments, like with the vows?

J.P.: It’s possible. Maybe we should start, you know, writing those (laughs).

J.B.: Yeah…

Uh-oh. So is everything pretty much ready to go, then?

J.P.: Yes. There are a few design elements that just need a last-minute touch-up, and then we have our rehearsal dinner. Overall, what every bride who’s already been there has expressed to me is not to sweat the small stuff. That is the important thing.

That’s good advice. But now that the wedding is only three days away, are you freaking out?

J.B.: I’m not.

J.P.: He’s not, but if you watch the vlogs, I certainly say that I am the bride in the relationship and I have to say I’m a little stressed. But more than anything, I guess I’m anxious.

So anxious, you said in your videos, that you couldn’t wait for same-sex marriage to be legal in Michigan.

J.P.: When it really came down to it, it’s not about the papers and the legality of it. It’s really more about being able to get married in a place that’s home, and Ferndale has certainly become a home to me and Joe over the past six years. To me, it’s just important about the actual act of coming together as one and celebrating that. And it just got to the point where I didn’t want to wait around anymore to see if and when it would happen here in Michigan.

Want to see more Joe and Joe? Check out http://www.whowantscaketheatre.com for information about upcoming shows at the Ringwald Theatre.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.