I hate clichés and stereotypes and maybe labels, unless of course I’m using them and then I can find a good excuse for bringing them up. At least that’s what I tell myself.
One of the clichés that I have always hated is that if you are a man and you like musicals you were automatically labeled as gay. It is as if under Webster’s or the OED if you are that way inclined, the definition of homosexual is male lover of the musical theatre. How absurd. That would be like saying only women and straight men are interested in sports. By the way is there some sort of basketball thing going on now?
So I’m at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philly tonight to see the Grey Gardens the Tony award winning musical and I notice something. Well I noticed two things actually:
1 I’m the only black person there not working and
2 about 70 percent of the audience consist of all male couples.
It was like I was in an episode of Frazier.
Now what’s up with that? It’s not like the theatre had sent out a notice that they were going to do a rousing rendition of some Judy Garland song, Over the Rainbow or something and audience participation was expected.
In case you are unaware of the story, Big and Little Edie Beale were the aunt and cousin Jacquelin Bouvier Kennedy Onassis who lived in a rundown mansion in the Hamptons that was condemned by the Board of Health as being unfit for human habitation. I remember reading part of the story in the NY Times Sunday Magazine in the late 70’s or 80’s before I knew that Jackie O and Jackie Kennedy were one and the same person. Recently I’ve also seen part of the documentary Grey Gardens as well as the HBO movie, but I don't remember anywhere any indication or receive any clarion call that this was the must see theatre for gays around the region.
Although now that I’m thinking about it, it is June which is Gay Pride month and it is the 40th anniversary of the Miss Garland’s death as well the Stonewall Riots. I can be so slow on the uptake at times, but as Little Edie in the play sings, "da da da da dum."