Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friends of Dorothy

Little EdieI 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."


  1. I love sports!!!! lol.
    NBA playoffs is going on right now, fyi. Lakers vs. Magic, 3-1.

  2. lol @ you. I like plays and never go. Too dang expensive!

    There's a "hockey thing" going on tonight too... Go Wings!

  3. Dusty Boot - That's exactly what I mean. It's just so silly to ascribe one activity or belief that has nothing to do with anything as a definition of someone or a group. It's like profiling which maybe true for trends but not individuals.

    RunningMom - Too expensive? Now you know that's not true unless your speaking of the big Broadway extravaganzas. You can easily see something good for under $20 maybe even $10 at your local and regional theaters. I saw a co-worker of mine for $10 about 2 years on stage. Okay, the play was crap but she was pretty and I didn't mind spending the money to support her.

  4. Where I live it's $20 to see a folding chair budget play... But I was more talking about the bigger productions like The Lion King or The Color Purple or Fiddler on a Tin Roof.... you are talking $50 - $100 a ticket. Craziness.

  5. I can't help, but laugh out loud in fact I am certain I have awaken everyone on the floor of the hotel not to mention that I have knocked my cocktail over in the interim, but I couldn't help but laugh when I read your blog entry, Man, I can remember the cliche about gay men and showtunes in fact my father mentioned it to me when I was a young man singing songs from: Hair and A Chorus Line he requested that my mother refrain from taking me to Broadway plays, he stated that "Homosexual Men and Old Women are the only people that appreciate show tunes."

    Not familiar with Grey Gardens which is actually strange, since I love show tunes and Broadway.

  6. I like musicals and I'm not gay! *looks around*

    bursts a gut laughing! Whew that was funny!

  7. RunningMom - Well that's what I mean by supporting the smaller shows. If the industry realized that more and more people were less willing to support the over $100 ticket prices and willing to see smaller shows with less sparkle but with just as much heart and interst, then maybe prices wouldn't be so high. I for one will not do a big show more than once a year unless the reviews are in and I know that I will get my money's worth in effects if not story. But for the $20 show, I would not have a problem seeing those and just hoping for the best. Maybe sometimes you can still catch a gem.

    Chet - I don't see how anyone could not feel for A Chorus Line expecially the song One Singular Sensation whether they were straight or gay, or even some of the some of the old Rogers and Hammerstein stuff. You would have to have ice in your in blood not to appreciate the King & I. Plus I always thought that being gay meant you slept with the same gender, not that people pretended that they were Ethel Merman. Well I may be wrong on that point.

    Yes Grey Gradens was really big a couple of years ago. You've got money, scandal, names and tragedy all set to music, a sort of "Dynasty" with bills and show tunes.

    fuzzy - Doesn't your heart soar whenever you hear "Fame!...I want live forever"? That's not being gay, trust me on this and don't worry about my fingers being crossed.

  8. ok fuzzy...you almost confused me....

    ok Im not too much into musicals as such..

    how are you hun??

  9. Loving your blog

  10. Oyin - Well according to Chet's father you have a few years before you start to like musicals, so I wouldn't worry about it if I were you.

    Curio - Thanks. I'm trying to work it so that it's not just for me.

  11. I feel you man. I hate being judged on what I like and being Black. When I first started in the music program at my college student, my professors knew that I was a gospel singer because they had seen me perform before and had seen me do talent shows on campus. They didn't think I could pull off an opera piece, but I did pull it off and plan to do Don Giovanni by Mozart in the future. Just because I'm Black doesn't mean that I can't be cultured.

  12. ♫Hershey's Kiss♫ - Good luck with the opera thing. I only know one black male opera singer personally and the rest are female. But I figure if Paul Robeson could pull it off 80 years ago or whenever he wasn't doing "Ole Man River" or running from the FBI, then there's no reason why other black male singers can't do it as well.


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