MJ The Musical is the imminent Broadway tribute to the early years of damaged musical superstar Michael Jackson.
I liken it to a musical celebrating the wonderful football career of O.J. Simpson. Well, many people are annoyed that this authorized jukebox show’s money machine is carrying on instead of choosing to “Beat It.” A small group called CICAP (Coalition for Institutional Child Abuse Prevention) has been trying to round up a petition against the show, saying, “Glorifying predatory pedophiles is never OK!”
A rep for the group wrote to me, “Although we love the idea of roles for BIPOC actors and elevating black stories, we must not tread on the backs or disrespect victims in this way.”
So true. In fact, I am hardly breaking out into one of Michael’s early hits, “Got To Be There.”
OTHER BROADWAY NUGGETS (SPOILERS!)
Another offbeat musical tribute to a dead icon, Diana The Musical, opened to some harsh reviews, best characterized by Peter Marks’ in the Washington Post.
“As with the car crash that took her life,” wrote Marks, “the most appropriate response to Diana the Musical is to look away.”
But some audience members have chosen to be more interactive about the whole thing. At a press preview, during a song sung by the Prince Charles character, an audience member reportedly yelled out from the balcony, “Fuck off, then”….
Other deceased biggies get the Broadway musical treatment in Flying Over Sunset, which imagines Cary Grant, writer/philosopher Aldous Huxley and author/politician Clare Booth Luce doing LSD together, just because. Insiders say the adventurous tuner includes something that’s been described as a penis rocket. It sounds like William Shatner will love this show—but to clarify, the bit happens when a tripping Cary Grant (the talented Tony Yazbeck) dons a hat that looks like a condom, as he declares himself an English rocket. I know several gays he could use for landing gear.
Stephen Karam’s award-winning play The Humans—about a family get-together in the wake of massive urban fears and anxieties—is now a movie, directed by Karam himself. The premiere was a veritable queerfest, with costar Beanie Feldstein holding hands with her girlfriend, Bonnie Chance Roberts, and Karam there with his boyfriend, Gitesh Gohel.
I asked Karam how he got to direct the film and he replied that he knew it had to be reimagined from the stage, so he composed a vividly thought-out plan detailing just how he would do it, while also keeping it all within a tight budget. In my opinion, the film should be on a double bill with Mass, another dark, well-acted, indoor non-soiree.
WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY
Clearly avoiding any unusually shaped rockets, Will Smith is currently scoring in King Richard, though the film’s box office fizzle proves that not kissing a guy isn’t always the road to success. Let me explain my bent here: Smith has admitted that he had the hots for costar Stockard Channing when they shot Six Degrees of Separation (1993), and that supposedly made sense because of the attraction between their characters.
But may I remind everyone that Smith played a gay hustler, an assignment he had concerns about from the start? I’ll never forget the actor revealing at the time that he refused to kiss another male in the movie, on the panicked advice of Denzel Washington. When that repellent tidbit came out, I contacted Smith’s publicist—a gay man—and told him I was withdrawing my request for an interview with Will.
Disrespecting the award-winning material—and gays—was gross, and I wanted 100 degrees of separation away from him.
COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE
And I’m up to date with my grievances, too, so I would just like to say: Harry Styles, come out already! When asked if you’re bi, you give evasive answers concluding with “Who cares?” Well, if no one cares, then just say it! No biggie, right? And anyway, we do care! Styles has said that it’s not like he’s sitting on an answer to the sexuality question, but we’re all sitting on something, aren’t we?
I’ll tell you who won’t come out any time soon. Any of the kids of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The wannabe dictator once famously said, “I’d rather my son die in an accident than be gay.” Well, I hear one of his sons is gay–and very alive. Deal with it, Jair.
On a lighter note, before the multi-level club the Q opened in Hell’s Kitchen, I quoted promoter Frankie Sharp talking about a second-floor area where the idea was to “meet sexy new friends.” Well, I hear that area has exploded to the point where the gays not only meet, they practically ride each other’s penis rockets.
Fine with me, as long as they sanitize their hands afterward! G’night.