March 24, 2011
Seen: Canned Ham Star Gus Mattox in NYC
PHOTO BY VINCENT LAMBERT
Actually, his name is Tom Judson now, but most of our readers know him as porn superstar Gus Mattox. That doesn’t mean he’s not also a multitalented singer, actor, writer, pianist—and dancer, despite what he claims in his hit one-man show, which is currently playing at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie Street) in New York City. Canned Ham has been on the road for a bit (it played in Provincetown last summer), and now it’s finally in tip-top shape (like Tom himself). The play, written by the star and directed by Kevin Malony, tells the story of how Judson went from playing on Broadway and in road companies of Cabaret and 42nd Street to become the star of porn films such as this and this. In between, he falls in love, loses his partner to AIDS and finds the courage to build a new life. It’s all very uplifting and inspirational for the gays, but it’s also funny (tales of fellow porn stars Pierre Fitch and Francois Sagat had the audience roaring), warm (Chi Chi LaRue, who discovered Judson many years ago on a cold night in Minneapolis, is fondly recognized) and touching (the finality of scattering the ashes of his dead lover). And how can you deny the many talents of a gorgeous guy who parades around in a jockstrap (at age 50!) and plays 12 different musical instruments throughout the 80-minute show? Hey, whatever Judson lacks in dancing skills, he makes up with sheer charm. Canned Ham (named after the rebuilt camper in which Judson tours the country) closes out its run tonight through Saturday. Don’t miss it! For more information, visit DixonPlace.org.