My Big Gay Musical Weekend

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

This weekend was the first since selling our home. It seems a little bit of the pressure and uncertainty we’ve been living with for the past 6–8 months is finally settled.

Now the buyers have signed a contract “subject to finance” and they have until December 30th to sort that out, but they seemed keen so we should be good, this time. We actually sold the house before a couple of weeks ago, but the buyers pulled out the next day after signing the contract without saying why. It was quite frustrating, so we’re a little gun-shy at the moment.

We’ve given up looking for a house to move to at this stage. We’re going to do it the way we do everything in life and just jump. First stop, David’s folks house, thankfully they have the room. We’ll set up there and plan to move on pretty soon after.

But back to my weekend.

We went to a BBQ at Natalie’s, I made potato salad. David made a delicious strawberry cake using strawberries from the local strawberry farm.

David’s delicious Strawberry Layer Cake
Potato Salad, via a Cook’s Country recipe “Smashed Potato Salad

I was worried about my potato salad, thinking all the while about the SNL skit with T’Challa on “Black Jeopardy” talking about “Karen’s bland-ass potato salad”. To be fair mine did have a kick thanks to a pinch of cayenne pepper, so it wasn’t bland.

It was a lovely BBQ, we caught up with Nat, Adrian, and the family and friends. There was a LOT of food and all of it was amazing. Adrian gave his new smoker a workout with beautiful brisket. And of course along with David’s strawberry cake there were about another 5 different options for dessert. We were very full when all was said and done. We left a little after lunch and left the family to their gift giving. The main reason for the BBQ, after all, was so Nat could see her brother from Shepparton who don’t make the trek down on Christmas Day.

Well aside from all the eating I also watched a few movies, and other than Love Simon, the theme seemed to be musicals with a gay bent.

I started with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hedwig contains some of my favourite music numbers and I had never actually watched the movie. I really want to see it performed on stage in person, but issues with casting for the Australian run seem to have put a stop to it just now. I’m sure they’ll sort it all out.

The main issue with casting seems to be that trans folks would like to see a trans actor play the titular role of Hedwig. They feel it’s needed for representation. Just as gay people wanted gay actors cast to play and tell the gay stories trans people are seeking the same, it also means that trans actors, who are typically overlooked, would have a placement.

But… and hear me out… the role in this case, “Hedwig” never actually identifies as trans. Hansel, Hedwig’s boy name, undergoes a botched gender-reassignment surgery reluctantly and only at the behest of his lover, an American GI and his mother, as a way to escape East Germany. There’s nothing to suggest before this point that he wanted to undergo the surgery nor that he identifies as a female. Rather, Hedwig is a drag queen, something that is further alluded to by the character of Yitzhak, another drag queen (played by a female actor) who Hedwig controls and doesn’t allow to be feminine, keep the drag all to herself.

So yes, Hedwig has undergone surgery, albeit botched… but she ends the show as Hansel, having rid herself of her drag and passes her wig onto Yitzhak, as a gesture that she, Yitzhak, should now shine as a drag performer.

And of course, it’s not lost on me that the movie I watched before Hedwig was Love Simon based on the book Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by a woman Becky Albertalli. Love Simon’s title character, Simon, is played by Nick Robinson… who isn’t gay, and as a gay person, I certainly was still able to connect with the story, I don’t lament that a gay actor wasn’t cast because what matters is the story is told and that the person playing the character can convey the meaning of the story as intended. And Simon had me crying.

In the case of Hedwig and the Angry Inch John Cameron Mitchel, it’s original writer and star, isn’t trans, and as I mentioned the other drag character in the movie is always played by a woman in both the movie and the stage play.

Anyway, I’m not one to tell people when they should or should not be offended, I really just loved the story and the movie and I welcome any future interpretation of it.

The other movie I checked out was Rent a favourite and another musical I haven’t seen on stage. Tear inducing… maybe it’s just because I was tired today, but when Angel dies and then Mimi nearly dies it made me tear up a bit.

I remember I saw Team America: World Police before I even knew what Rent was and they parodied it as “Lease” and had some not very nice songs. Team America came out about a year before the Rent movie.

Rounded out the weekend by travelling to Malmsbury Bakery for some pies and sausage rolls. They are the best examples of both I think I have ever had and we wanted to get another taste in before we leave Victoria for new horizons.

And finally, just one more musical for the weekend of musicals… the cult favourite The Rocky Horror Picture Show, does it get better than this? Tim Curry is a divine Frank-n-furter. I couldn’t imagine the role being immortalised by anyone else.

The the ensemble cast is amazing. I really don’t get how it was a flop when it was released. But I was only 1 year old when it was released way back in 1975.

So yes, quite a big weekend of musicals, and I loved it!

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