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Theater Review: "My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg"

A joyous rediscovery of a talented song-and-dance man at the The Dukesbay Theatre

A scene from Peter Serko's production of "My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg" at Dukesbay Theatre. Courtesy photo

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Peter Serko's production of "My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg" at Dukesbay Theatre reminds us that AIDS is still with us. It also reminds us that boundless familial love is still possible.

During the most devastating days of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s local photographer Peter Serko found out his brother David was gay, not yet infected (he hoped) but living in the AIDS epicenter - New York City. Soon thereafter he found out that David had the disease. He flew to New York to be with him and was by his side along with their parents and David's closest friends when David died at the age of 32.

Peter loved his brother, a talented singer, dancer and actor with a successful career that was cut short. Although they were close at the end, there had been a 20-year span when they were apart and knew nothing of one another's lives. Many years after David's death, Peter decided he must learn as much as he could about those years when they were apart. Therefore he started the David Serko Project, searching out David's friends, interviewing and filming them, and finding photographs to document David's life. This dramatic production at Dukesbay Theatre is a small part of that project.

Peter tells his and his brother's story with the aid of projected videos and still photos. It is a moving story that is heartbreaking and funny. With little to no prior experience as a writer or actor, he wrote and performs this two-hour, one-man show with impressive skill - with tremendous help from director Brian Desmond, lighting by Beth Steele and scenic and technical design by Henry Loughman.

There were moments opening night when he seemed slightly nervous and self-conscious, but overall his performance was laudable. He is quiet-spoken but well-articulated, and his sincerity and quiet passion is undeniable. The show is heartbreaking yet inspiring. There is also a lot of humor despite it being such a serious subject.

There is only one more production, and seating is limited so I recommend getting tickets early.

"MY BROTHER KISSED MARK ZUCKERBERG," 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, The Dukesbay Theatre, 508 Sixth Ave. #10, Tacoma (3rd Floor Merlino Art Center), $15 online only at peterserko.brownpapertickets.com

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