Friday, November 13, 2009

Get LOADED off-Broadway!

I caught the new Off-Broadway play, LOADED. The tag line? "What happens when Fuck Buddies start talking?" There are only two actors--the fuck buddies in question---one older, one a generation younger. (of course they're both straight -ahem!) The older one is played by soap star Kevin Spirtas, who we nearly cast in Violet Tendencies. He was so sexy that our casting director got all hot and bothered and kept fanning herself throughout his audition and callback.

So when the opportunity came to see him perform in this—and with his young co-star Scott Kerns (both fully frontal to boot) who could say no? Off Broadway is always hit or miss and you can usually tell right away what fix you’ve got yourself into. I knew from the first few lines that this was a winner. It’s got the catty humor and rapacious wit “My virus is older than you!” and the complex psychology to back it all up.

They got the nudity out of the way right off the bat so we could get right into what the playwright had to say. And it's loaded! --uncensored, un-PC, and remarkably artificial-free.

Loaded, at the Lion Theatre

The play's not perfect---the set looked like a dorm room, which was confusing because it was supposed to belong a 47 year old gay guy. With…pennants on his wall? The ups and downs, the happy/upset seemed sometimes to flow too easily into each other, but the writer (Elliot Ramon Potts) is so gifted—it’s his first play—and its issues are so exactly what it’s like to live as a gay man today, so sickly relevant, that I couldn’t help wishing for that fabulous day when it will be dated; old fashioned and irrelevant as Fred Astaire.

I found myself identifying much more with the older character. The jaded one, the one with the biting humor, who railed against trying to legislate acceptance: “We didn’t fight to fit in!” I kept wondering why he put up with that idealist kid. That bleeding heart liberal who wanted to know what kind of role model he was talking to: “What are you teaching me? Get old, get bitter, get even?”

And then I felt a little bit guilty for that. I’m in the middle age-wise and I see both sides of the arguments. It felt exactly like I was watching the fights I have inside my own head. The audience was totally there emotionally, witnessing all that truth up on the stage - and the pain beneath that truth. Are we perpetuating the pain we inherit onto the next generation? What are we turning into?

The message is clear: the most destructive threat we face comes from within our own ranks. We are our own worst enemies.
For that message, and for the reminder that we do have the power to forgive ourselves and to choose better --- LOADED should be required viewing for every last gay in the land.


Bob Frank said...

Hi Jesse,
I agree that we have to be more supportive and accepting of each other. We are as, if not more, diverse than the str8 male community {if there is such a thing) and we should be celebrating that and be less critical of guys who don't fit what we may see as "the gay mold".

CJC said...

Have you seen Green Plaid Shirt? Kevin was EXCELLENT in it! :)

The Blackout Blog said...

I’m in the middle age-wise

The first time, I read, "I'm middle aged." I was like, "I need her doctor's number!" But obviously I need a Red Bull more.