When I moved to Seattle, I did not have a mission to take over the theater industry, or the theater world. It was never my intention to become the next Suzan Lori Parks or Tony Kushner and most definitely am I no Julie Taymor. All of this is not the basis of this newly created theater column: Dramatic Offensive Squirrel. You have probably read my deceased column, New Queer on the Block, and the reason for the burial of the said column is because I’m no longer that city-nightlife go getter queer on the Hill looking for the psychology of nightlife and the LGBTQ community. If you did not know this, but columnists write about their lives and what they are living, or experiencing in this world. The SGS crew refers to me as squirrel, and when I’m out and about toxicated I’m then referred as flying squirrel. There has been so many occasions where I do feel like the Seattle Theater Industry and the Queer Theater Industry does not quite grasp or understand my way of theater making, or theater thinking, or theater telling, or story telling. When I do make a piece of theater its not for the sanctity of box office sales or a piece of press recognition in the paper or on some theater blog. As a theater maker, I want to convey a message to the community, to society, and to present a story that is fresh, new, different and something ordinary and original. I’m the complete opposite from Broadway and Broadway is the opposite from me. “Dramatic Offensive Squirrel” is my dissertation of the theater industry as a whole as I take steps in understanding this surpressed industry that I live for and devote myself to like a nun devotes herself to her savior.
The Julie Taymor Accident. It was like that “Scottish Play” where many actors were injured, hospitalized. Julie Taymor’s artistic vision should be kept to film and not the stage. Sure she did a smash up job with the Broadway version of “The Lion King” but Taymor should have never tackled a comic book for the stage. That should be reserved for a more skillful, trained theater director. Basic story in a nutshell: Producers are suing Taymor and Taymor is counter-suing her Producer’s for copyright infringement. It’s a big huge mess that’s never going away. My dearest collegue of mine, L.Nicol Cabe, feels the same way about this whole ordeal involving Julie Taymor and the Spider-Man musical that is one of the biggest mistakes to happen on Broadway, but it’s a mistake that has soared box office sales to be one of the biggest successes in history. Ouch! The irony hurts my head when I sit down to think about it.
“Carrie” and “Legally Blonde” on Stage. “It wasn’t suppose to be a comedy” is a critic”s way of saying that your drama play messed up and the people who come see your show is laughing at all the wrong elements. It’s another right place,/wrong time sentimental statement and the producers of this show will hopefully cut their losses and run the other direction. Broadway is suppose to be this ultimate haven of theatrical works of extraordinary stories that theater artists are telling to the general society. What is so fresh and new to tell society with the show “Carrie” or “Legally Blonde”? If people in society are intrigued by these stories, they can go rent the movie, right? Pay attention New York Producers – stop remaking bad movies in hopes that Broadway can save them artistically and spiritually.
Shows to pay attention to this Spring 2012 in Seattle. The only shows that are worth coming out of the white picket fence and immerse or enhance your theatrical juice would be the revival of Balagan Theater’s “Spring Awakening” with Jerick Hoffer. I say, smart move Balagan Theater!!! Another great show coming up is another revival/extension from David Schmader and it’s his one-man show, “A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem” and will be performed at the Richard Hugo House from March 23rd to April 14th. (It originally ran in Jan/Feb and it’s coming back due to demand.) Since I’m a huge fan of Mr. Schmader’s work, I’ll be there re-opening night to clinch my Playbill in excitement.
In short, Broadway pisses me off in so many ways that I lose my train of thought. This is only the beginning in tearing apart the theater community and finding out what makes other theater artists tick. I’m dramatic and I love it, I’m offensive so I show it, and my people call me Squirrel and I relish it.
-Dramatic Offensive Squirrel