Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

January 22, 2014 at 9:09am

Coming to Tacoma Stage: The story of a brother and his afterlife

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When David Serko was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, he could've become just one more overlooked statistic in a dismal, plague-paranoid era. AIDS patients often found themselves suffering and dying alone. David fared somewhat better, though, as his big brother, Peter, returned to his side after decades on the other side of the country. That wasn't enough to keep David healthy, unfortunately; but in the years following his death in November of 1992, Peter established contact with more than 100 people who knew and interacted with David as an adult. In so doing, a richer, fuller picture of the man emerged, as if he'd been summoned back to life. By sharing these experiences, Peter is now helping David - and the causes they shared, including the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) - remain vital in people's minds.

I spoke to Peter and found him upbeat and animated, a far cry from the dismal eulogist one might cynically expect. No, his story's a joyous rediscovery of a talented song-and-dance man, whose mortality couldn't keep him from changing the course of people's lives. "He was adored," Peter says. "I kinda knew that from my own feelings about him, but he was a very charismatic individual. ... He had a big impact on many, many people."

David's final words, "Listen to your heart," have inspired a celebratory tribute to brotherly love. "It's a media-rich production," Peter promises. By incorporating voices and memories from those closest to David, the show paints an audiovisual, multilayered portrait of a stricken hero, the vibrant New York scene he inhabited, and the epidemic that failed to defeat either one.

MY BROTHER KISSED MARK ZUCKERBERG, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1, 7 p.m. Feb. 8, Dukesbay Theater, 508 S. Sixth Ave. #10, Tacoma, $15, peterserko.brownpapertickets.com

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