First order of business, I have to say to my lesbian sisters: Girls … you have really upped your game! Walking around the Equality Utah Allies Dinner last week, I could not believe how smoking hot you all looked! The hair, the shoes, the mini’s, I tell you, muffins, lesbians young and old were seriously working the glamor and it was truly an impressive sight to behold.
OK, now that I am done with the pleasantries, I need to vent.
Last Monday, little ol’ me and the posse went to see a friend perform in the musical Hairspray at she Sandy Amphitheater. I had never been there before and I have to say it was a beautiful setting and a gorgeous facility. (It’s amazing what you can afford as a city when you have an affluent property tax base and you don’t have to shell out for silly little things like homeless shelters like socialist Salt Lake City has to … snark!) While lying on blankets on the upper lawn I have to say it was really pleasant watching the sun go down over the Oqquirrh Mountains and seeing the lights of the Salt Lake Valley twinkling. I thought I saw the Jordan Temple lit up in the distance, but with my eye sight, cherubs, it might have been an inflatable milkshake on top of an Arctic Circle. My eyes had been horribly strained by a number of terrifying visual assaults during the performance. Namely the choreography, which looked like passing patterns from the BYU Cougars playbook, (seriously, March of the Penguins had better hand movements), it’s logic-defying costuming (set in the late 1950s and 60s and yet I didn’t see a crinoline in the entire production; and when do you put your leads in matte black dresses for the big reveal of “Welcome to the 60s”!?!), and the worst sin of all, darlings … flat hair!! You heard me. How, in the name of all things holy, can you stage a production called Hairspray with flat hair? I know you don’t allow gay people in Sandy, but couldn’t you at least bus one in that can back comb a wig?
Oh, and don’t get me started about the director’s “vision” of Edna Turnblad. Whoever plays Edna is walking in the heel prints of giants. When your predecessors are larger than life like Divine, Harvey Fierstein, and even John Travolta (I admit I was skeptical about him too, but you have to agree he really worked that fat suit!), you don’t send out some Jenny Craig version of Edna with her skinny chicken legs showing. If you’re too cheap to rent a fat suit for her then at least drop the friggin’ hemline to the floor! Jesus H. Costuming Christ!
Now, from my breathless bitching you would think I hated the show, but actually, pumpkins that’s not true. It was a fun and inexpensive night out and I was singing “You’re Timeless to Me” for days, so it’s all good. Community theater is what it is and you know that and accept all of its flaws when you buy the ticket. OK, so it’s not a big budget Equity production with professional costuming, choreography, sound design, lighting and direction, but then again the tickets didn’t cost the same amount as a mortgage payment.
My theory is despite the annoying and totally preventable directing problems, these individual actors, dancers and technicians are getting some real stage experience and they will take away valuable lessons from the production. I sincerely wish them well as their resumes develop and hope they never lose interest in live theater. Yes, I’m talking to you semi-white Felicia who played “minority youth number three.”
You can see Ruby Ridge and the Matrons of Mayhem in all of their polyester glory at Third Friday Bingo (every third Friday of the month at 7 p.m.) at First Baptist Church (777 S. 1300 East).