Matty Malloy is the Diva: Live From Hell

Matty Malloy. Photo by Darcy Trunzo.

As Halloween approaches, everything is getting dark and spooky, and Pittsburgh-based comedian and actor Matty Malloy is here for all of it. Malloy is producing a one-man show set in the dark depths of the netherworld with “Diva: Live From Hell,” a musical by Nora Brigid Monahan and Alexander Sage Oyen.

Malloy, who has performed standup locally at the Arcade Comedy Theater, Bottlerocket Social Hall, and the Pittsburgh Improv and has acted in “The Producers,” “A Chorus Line,” and “The Drowsy Chaperone,” was seeking the perfect one-man show.

He found the script for “Diva: Live From Hell” and brought it to Steve Hofstetter and the Steel City Arts Foundation (Steel City AF). The one-man show will take place at Steel City AF’s Sunken Bus Studios. Malloy, who identifies as gay, said, “Steel City is dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion and amplifying our voices.”

In “Diva: Live From Hell,” Desmond Channing (Malloy) is punished for his sins by reliving a twisted tale of teenage trauma in a cabaret in Hell called the Seventh Circle night after night. Channing recants the tale of when he met Evan Harris, a transfer student from NYC. However, Channing quickly realizes that the talented Harris is now his rival. When Harris takes the lead in the school play, a role usually delegated to Channing, all hell – literally and figuratively – breaks loose! “Diva: Live from Hell” chronicles Channing’s descent into madness and murder – with music!

Malloy performs as all the characters in the show, Desmond, Evan, Mr. Dallas, the drama teacher, and Allie Hewitt, Desmond’s bestie. There’s an additional challenge; he has to sing in character. Malloy said, “My favorite song is ‘Best Friend,’ where I have to sing as Allie. She has an unrequited crush on Channing. Also, she’s got a lisp. I have to sing with the lisp.”

Nathan Kuhns, Malloy’s boyfriend of ten years, will direct the show. Kuhns said, “Matty has a very clear vision for his performance, and working with him has been very collaborative. My job as a director is to make sure the distinct characters are coming across, and the story is making sense.”

Malloy and Kuhns are both big musical theater lovers and “Diva: Live From Hell” is filled with musical theater in-jokes, even namedropping the legendary diva, Patti LuPone.

“The show is witty and comical, but it’s also sort of dark and twisted,” Kuhn said. “There’s a nice range of styles of music in the show.” Music Director Lisa Harrier will lead a three-piece band.

Kuhns said, “Matty and Lisa have been working hard on the songs and we are staging it right now.”

Malloy said, “It’s the perfect show for Halloween, and it opens on Friday the 13th in October.”

Kuhns said, “I’m very honored to be part of the team bringing this show to Pittsburgh. Come out and support local talent.”

“DIVA: Live From Hell” runs from October 13 to 15 at Sunken Bus Studios, 3312 Babcock Boulevard, Ross Township, PA 15237. For tickets and additional information, visit TheMattyMalloy.com/diva

Michael Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and sit-down author. As a comedian, he has performed all around the country, most notably, the Ice House, the Comedy Store and the Improv in Los Angeles. As a writer, Michael Buzzelli has been published in a variety of websites, magazines and newspapers. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant,’ Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine. He is also a Moth Grand Slam storyteller and actor. His books, "Below Average Genius," a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column in the Observer-Reporter, and his romantic comedy,  “All I Want for Christmas," are on sale at Amazon.com. He is working on a LGBTQ romantic comedy called, “Why I Hate My Friends.” You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. (He / Him / His)