Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A play exploring the depths of a pedophile

Entertainment?: Then the cultural elites wonder why everyone looks down on them.

Around the holidays, the biggest challenge for many theater companies is convincing audiences to care about yet another staging of "A Christmas Carol." This season in Atlanta, however, Actor's Express wants to stir up buzz about a less familiar property -- namely, a pedophile musical. The Express has already started pushing "Love Jerry," a new tunertuner written and composed by Megan Gogerty that follows the tortured story of Jerry, who develops a sexual relationship with his nephew while trying to stay friends with the boy's father. A delicate, often heart-wrenching piece of theater, the show, which preems Jan. 22 at the Express, never descends to shock-value tactics as it explores volatile terrain, and its lilting country songs give the characters emotionally vulnerable texture. Should it manage to attract a crowd, "Love Jerry" could very well leave them cheering. But how do you convince anyone to come sing along with a child abuser? It's a double-edged question: Not only can untested musicals be notoriously hard to launch, especially when the writer is an unknown, but pedophilia (not to mention incest to boot) has proven anathema to ticket buyers.
Gee..maybe because its that whole adults wanting to have sex with kids that deters people from wanting to spend their money to see it.
"In "Love Jerry," there's no question what's going on, yet Gogerty refrains from demonizing the title character. She focuses instead on the entire family's attempt to comprehend what's happened. This moral grayness makes the play even trickier to market, yet it's also what convinced Express artistic director Jasson Minadakis to produce it. He says he "absolutely believes" in the show and is continually "shocked by how powerfully it expresses itself."
I would have thought being a pedophile would cover the whole demonizing part, I guess not, us hicks need to understand the feelings of such noble creatures. If the play was written in reality, it would be short since either the police gets there 5 mins after you found out or 15 mins after the family beats the hell out of "Uncle Jerry." The fact Variety speaks so highly of it shows once again the divide between normal people and the cultural elites. Its like the South Park episode a couple of seasons back.

Mrs. McCormick: [voice shaking, approaches] Are you alright, Stuart? Stuart: [sobbing] Don't touch me! I've had my nuts broken, body poisoned, have been made love to in the ass by three dozen 40-year-old men—I just wanna go home and take a, a hot bath! [the NAMBLA members are in cuffs] Lead Agent: [to NAMBLA Leader] We've been after you for a long time, buddy! Do you know your rights? NAMBLA Leader: Rights? Does anybody know their rights? You see, I've learned something today. [Stan and Kyle look at each other] Our forefathers came to this country because… they believed in an idea. An idea called "freedom." They wanted to live in a place where a group couldn't be prosecuted for their beliefs. Where a person can live the way he chooses to live. [Stan, Kyle, and Cartman look at each other] You see us as being perverted because we're different from you. People are afraid of us, because they don't understand. And sometimes it's easier to persecute than to understand. [Stan and Kyle look at each other, then at the NAMBLA leader] Kyle: Dude. You have sex with children. NAMBLA Leader: We are human. Most of us didn't even choose to be attracted to young boys. We were born that way. We can't help the way we are, and if you all can't understand that, well, then, I guess you'll just have to put us away. [shots of the agents, then the Brando look-alikes, then Stan and Kyle, who look at each other, then at the NAMBLA leader] Kyle: [slowly, for emphasis] Dude. You have sex with children. Stan: Yeah. You know, we believe in equality for everybody, and tolerance, and all that gay stuff, but dude, fuck you. Kyle: Seriously.

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