Performances of Steamboat Springs Mountain Theater's "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 and 16.

Photo by Tyler Arroyo

Performances of Steamboat Springs Mountain Theater's "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 and 16.

Santa's little scandal

Risque 'Reindeer Monologues' sure to shock audiences

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Performances of Steamboat Springs Mountain Theater's "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 and 16.

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Performances of Steamboat Springs Mountain Theater's "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 and 16.

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Mike Brumbaugh as Donner, from left, Cheryl Brown as Vixen and Todd Danielson as Comet rehearse for Steamboat Springs Mountain Theater's production of "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues." The performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 and 16.

Tony Counts has been camping in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area and hanging out with elk to research his part in the production of "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues," which opens Thursday at Steamboat Springs Mountain Theater.

"What I have learned is you have to encompass the roles you play as an actor," Counts said. "But the mating has been a little difficult. I'm a hot property out in the field."

The premise of the play is that Vixen is suing Santa Claus for sexual harassment, and as a result, each of Santa's eight reindeer give their take on what actually happened.

"It's definitely an R-rated show. No children are allowed because they really won't believe in Santa when the show is done," said Kelly Anzalone, director, producer, lighting and set designer - not to mention owner of Steamboat Springs Mountain Theater. "If they do still believe in him, they'll think he's a perverted old man."

The play was written by Jeff Goode and is being performed in at least 40 theaters across the country this holiday season, Anzalone said.

"It's really harsh, but I know how to go to the line and step right over it," he said.

"Comet was a really bad-boy reindeer. He's on drugs and been to rehab. And he almost got shot because he stole liquor and got boozed out of his mind."

Prancer now goes by the name "Hollywood." It's a role Counts thinks was made for him.

"I think they've been waiting for a brother to be in the cast," said Counts, who is black.

His favorite part of the production is working with Michael David, who begged for the part of the gay reindeer, Cupid.

"To request to be the gay reindeer - that shows talent and ambition above the rest of us," Counts said. "It makes me want to follow him around the hay - from a safe distance."

David's character has known about the sexual harassment incident but doesn't take a stance on the issue.

"Cupid is not publicly endorsing the harassment suit but is not disputing the fact that it does exist," David said. "In fact, Cupid is the only one that Santa hasn't tried to molest."

Audience members should be cautioned that the play features foul language and risque topics.

"You have to go with an open mind and realize that it is all make believe," Anzalone said. "If you read it and thought it was serious, you would just cry."

Comments

id04sp 7 years, 10 months ago

Kielbasa and Davinci,

I think I'm old enough to have heard just about every dirty joke there is.

I tuned into "the Vagina Monologues" on some cable channel and was really disappointed to see that it was not, at least, some kind of puppet show. (Tell me truly; is there a better joke than that in the Reindeer Monologues play?)

I've also lived long enough to have had contact with a fair number of gay people of both sexes and to form some opinions which go beyond adherence to stereotypes. Let's just say it comes to a point where the topics of conversation and preferences for entertainment run to common themes, and are about as predictable as the plots of Blake Edwards movies.

I'm not some stodgy old Bible beater. This stuff is just not that funny in general, and if it was, it wouldn't be playing in such a small venue. Nobody will EVER enjoy seeing it performed as much as the playwright, or appreciate it as much as the actors. I'm pretty sure this whole production falls into the same "bin" as any other self-licking ice cream cone.

Maybe you should have been with me in Key West about 25 years ago and seen the action on the streets during broad daylight. Outrageous behavior and language went on among the homosexual population without regard to who was around, including kids. This Reindeer Monologues thing sure smacks of the same kind of carrying on, except it's scripted and repeated.

Oh! Where are the positive reviews from theater patrons? Have any of them posted comments. Doesn't look like it. I think that probably tells the story.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 10 months ago

id04sp- Congrats! With one paragraph, you've just typed yourself as possibly a woman/gay man/homophobe stereotype that Mike was trying to diminish: You don't want to see a blood sample taken on stage (squeamish), Kathleen Turner nude (I would love seeing her nude anytime, including from what I've seen in recent pics and not just from "Body Heat"), or an openly gay man playing a molested reindeer.

Would you prefer it if it was an openly hetero man playing a molested reindeer since you specifically said you didn't want to see an openly gay man play the part? Just wondering.

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id04sp 7 years, 10 months ago

Sausage boy,

When I say I don't want to see it, I mean, literally, that I would not take the trouble to go view it. That doesn't mean that it should be banned, just that I don't feel any curiosity whatsoever about it.

To address your question, here's a comprehensive answer.

I would not go to the theater to see an openly gay man play any part.

I would not go to the theater to see anyone play a reindeer.

I would not go to the theater to see anyone play any entity that had been molested by Santa Claus.

My last trip to the theater was for an off-Broadway production of "A Chorus Line" in Baltimore, Maryland more than fifteen years ago. I found it tedious and trite. Some of the dancing was entertaining as were a couple of the songs, but by the time they were half way down that line I was all the way ready to go home and watch the 11 o'clock news.

I simply would not go to the theater unless they can come up with something new and interesting that has a hope of providing a glimmer of entertainment.

Oh, I did sit through a horrid production of some sort in the Strings tent back around 1994. Some weird dance thing. Interestingly enough, one of the principal players was subsequently tried for a sex crime in Steamboat and is now listed as a registered sex offender in Ohio.

I guess the big question is, why would the Pilot cover this thing in the first place? Does it put the best face on our community? I don't think so. Do we want to attract the attention of a bunch of w e i r d o s ? Apparently so. Is the Rainbow Family family not interested in us anymore?

A small town newspaper publicizes a Christmas play where Santa Claus is accused of molesting the reindeer. Isn't that just plain weird enough all by itself? I might expect it in Buckhead (Atlanta, GA) or San Francisco, but here?

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Michael Brumbaugh 7 years, 10 months ago

Just a few clarifying remarks (mainly for "id):

1) I never made the statements (or implied them) that you used to make your argument against me. If you read my comments and the article more carefully, you'll find out that Cupid is the gay reindeer, who as far as I know, IS being played by a hetero guy. I'm Donner, Rudolph's dad in the play, so that character is quite hetero. Neither of us claim to have been molested by Santa. I'm saying this mainly because your argument was built on a falsehood, and I wouldn't want people to confuse Michael David, playing the gay reindeer, with me, who does not.

You say you'd never see anything with an openly gay person playing characters in a show? Did you enjoy the "X-men"? "Doogie Houser"? "The DaVinci Code"? "Lord of the Rings"? Hate to tell ya, bud, but those had major actors who are openly gay.

2) Again, if you would have read my comments more carefully, the stereotype I refer to is the one where hetero (notice I don't say "all") guys may fear that homo guys are sexual predators and want to have sex with them. You know, the old "don't drop your soap in the shower" crap? It's immature thinking, and has no place in emotionally developed humans.

3) If I'm going to comment about the insensitivity expressed if someone said, "You know, Jews have caused all the wars in the world", you better believe one of the first things I might say if I'm a Jew is that I'm a Jew. Or, I might say, "I think that kind of comment is disrespectful", and I would state what I didn't like about it, and how it affects me. Even if I wasn't a Jew. Make sense?

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh yeah- for DaVinci: The Nutcracker has already been an annual show for many years in the past. It's been done to death. Great show, but it's exactly the type of thing ID doesn't sound like he would want to see: a revival that contains no new material. Same with the other shows you mentioned.

The point of doing theater is to take risks and not do the same thing every year. If you just keep doing the same 4 seasonal shows every year, over and over again, eventually people get tired of it...except for "Married...with Children" repeats. Never gets old!

If those are the shows we should be producing year after year, let's just rename the city "Stepford Springs," where everything is bland, and risk is a dirtier word that risque.

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Michael Brumbaugh 7 years, 10 months ago

I want to be a bit careful what I say here, for my intention is not to point fingers. Perhaps more to try and educate.

I don't know Tony Counts well yet, and I do believe he's a good man and his intentions were to be humorous in his comments about the gay reindeer character in "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues".

I'm also performing in this show as Donner, and I'm openly gay, a seeming anomaly in this town.

Tony is certainly entitled to his thoughts and humor, especially if doing standup comedy, but I take more exception to the Pilot's decision to publish what he said. It is a fairly common "fear" (and misconception), especially among male heterosexuals, to think that gay men are out to get them, and that they need to keep a "safe distance" from them.

This would be akin to my saying "I admire that guy (who's anglo) for playing a dark-skinned man (cue scary music)...as long as I keep my wallet secure". Would you have published that kind of comment if made during an interview?

Again, not trying to criticize Tony. He may have just been satirizing the fear that hetero guys have about homo guys. What if Tony had said, "I play this dude who's with a gay guy in the gym showers...but I definitely hold tight to my soap!" Would that have been printed? Same meaning, I believe...

As one of those gay guys, I just really get tired of the stereotypes sometimes. Especially from people who aren't like us. And, it doesn't do much to help bring better understanding between people of different orientations and beliefs.

Michael David, at least from the preliminary rehearsals I've seen, plays the gay reindeer with hilarity and wit, with hardly a stereotype or a limp wrist to be seen. The humor really comes from the script and the events he describes. I respect and thank him for that.

And, if there's any "moral" to be understood from this play, it's the idea that you really can't judge people properly, just from what you've heard about them from people who don't know them well (i.e. Santa being a righteous dude). You've got to get up close and personal!

So, I'm asking the Pilot to be a bit more aware of, and responsible for, what they are conveying to the public. Interviews are almost always edited. Please leave out the stereotypes.

Thank you, Mike Brumbaugh

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JazzSlave 7 years, 10 months ago

id writes:

"I would not go to the theater to see an openly gay man play any part."

Wow. Did you see any of the Lord Of The Rings flicks? I can't imagine anyone but Ian McKellen in the role of Gandalf. If you avoided those films because of his open homosexuality, you missed a good time. If, on the other hand, you saw the films while unaware of McKellen's orientation, I imagine you are now fleeing to the bathroom to wretch.

I have to go with Ron White regarding homophobes: "The next time you have a thought - let it go."

Oh, and about Blake Edwards: The Pink Panther rules!

'Kato! You little yellow swine!!

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 10 months ago

id- No reviews locally because the show is this coming weekend. We theater types don't condone Crystal Ball reviews.

Back to the show at the Strings Tent, the person you speak of wasn't gay, though. He was married to a woman. Doesn't excuse what he did (didn't know about the Ohio part of it) but it had nothing to do with homosexuality. In Steamboat, he was accused of improperly touching a woman that he had on his massage table; not a man nor boy.

By the way, the show was "Oh, Steamboat!" and I was in that show. As a whole, I didn't care for it overall, but many of the individual pieces were wonderful. Unfortunately, the right person wasn't in charge of the directing of all cast members...the sexual predator's wife was.

Jazz- Surprised you didn't use Ron White's story about his homophobe buddy and porn movies! LOL!

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id04sp 7 years, 10 months ago

Kielbasa,

Yes, I remember "Oh Steamboat" vividly and later came to know both of the people you referred to in your post through business connections. My wife and I even saw them socially a few times. She went to their place of business and was also inappropriately touched, which pretty much terminated the social relationships. Neither of us was surprised by his arrest and conviction.

Maybe the whole issue here is that all sex offenders are weirdoes, but not all weirdoes are sex offenders. My experience with those people didn't do anything at all to make me more open to associating with weirdoes, however. Quite the opposite, in fact.

To the rest of you,

As a matter of fact, I did not see X-Men, Lord of the Rings or the DaVinci Code. I never watched a complete episode of Doogie Houser (or Married With Children, either). None of those productions stirred even a shadow of curiosity in me. I do think it's interesting, though, that you mention stories about people with super-human powers, supernatural beings, and childhood fantasies (playing doctor, gimmie a break). It's also interesting that you mention a story in which the Divine nature of Christ is attacked. So . . . you want to believe in fictional people with supernatural abilities and childhood fantasies, and you want to discredit a supernatural being who many people believe to be their living Savior risen from the dead. Will you PLEASE make up your minds? Is it just that you want to believe in the supernatural as long as it's not supposed to be real, or is it that the supernatural stuff is not attractive when the ideas of human morality and responsibility come into the picture?

In any case, I did not avoid seeing those shows because they had openly gay actors in them. It's just funny to me that those same shows held no appeal for me, so I didn't bother to see them. Is it possible that gay actors get prominent roles in lame movies because there's a gay Hollywood "mafia?" Is it that the same sense of taste reflected in those movies and in gay culture just doesn't float this heterosexual's boat?

So, here's my question back to the "Reindeer Monologues" company: What would compel a person to appear in a play with such an obviously twisted theme? Is the need to be an exhibitionist so strong that you'll do anything to be on stage, or (as I suspect) is it that you enjoy being involved in a project that pivots around a variety of exotic sexual themes (formerly known as "perversions")?

Take a risk, Kielbasa? Volunteer for service in Iraq; that's a risk. Appearing in some weirdo stage show is just a mistake . . . or should we say, "A Tragedy."

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Gladys 7 years, 10 months ago

Listen buddy, if you want to be gay, then so be it, but stop trying to convince the rest of the world that is "okay". Heterosexuals don't parade the streets demanding special rights because of THEIR sexual preference, why should gays? Keep your sex life to yourself - that is what most moral citizens do.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 10 months ago

id- Fair enough, though I find it funny that you wouldn't go see this show since it is new, and at least interesting to me. Plus, if you haven't seen it, how do you know it's not interesting?

As for the Pilot covering the show, what kind of "weirdos" attention would this attract? Plus, how do we know Santa wouldn't molest his reindeer? Have you met the man personally? The real one, that is; not the mall Santas.

I understand that it seems you just aren't a theater-going type of person, but to allude that this type of show is odd to be playing here instead of Atlanta or San Francisco is just an odd statement in itself. Sounds like it came from the same idea-bin as the "no dancing" rule in that small town from in "Footloose." whew! didn't even need 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

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Michael Brumbaugh 7 years, 10 months ago

Funny, I never said anything about people "hating" each other. I was talking about stereotypes and myths regarding people who are different than we are. I would never approach another person in an intimate way unless I knew they would want that. That's just plain disrespectful. But, I've met many hetero guys who seem to fear that from homo guys (as in this example in the article).

I can understand the "ick" factor that we all have when we face something we don't like, that scares us, or "repulses" us. I would maintain, though, that the root of that is fear and ignorance. To me, maggots in a cat's ear are a simple biological process, and I would be a bit fascinated by it. If a person then chose to eat those maggots in front of me, though, I would probably have the puke reaction. But, in some countries, that might be a delicacy of sorts. Different strokes. All in what we're accustomed to, or have chosen to value.

"Openly gay" means simply to not HIDE who I am and who I love. No more than a hetero person should have to hide who he / she is and loves. It may only appear that we who are open "flaunt" our openness because our love for one another has been castigated and abused quite keenly in our society. I've had to bear with hetero relationships being "thrown" at me my whole life.

It wasn't until I was in my mid-30s that I fully accepted who I was in this area. Yes, I had had successful relationships with women, but it wasn't who I really was. I'm just not willing to have to hide my affections anymore.

One of my favorite Bible passages is that "perfect love has no fear". You might say that's my life's motto. I strongly encourage others (as an educator) to try and face their fears and try to understand people who are different from them. It's one of the best ways, I believe, that we develop as human beings.

And, my comments to the paper about what they publish still stand. It does seem from your comments that you really didn't get my point there.

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cheesehead 7 years, 10 months ago

Mike, I get your point about the perceived "homo boogy man". I think the intent of the comment was more of a seinfeld moment, you know, "I'm not gay...not that there's anything wrong with it." good luck with the show.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 10 months ago

Mike -

You are taking yourself ENTIRELY too seriously. As a relentlessly hetero male, I harbor no "fear" of gay men. Their lifestyle is not my glass of whiskey, but neither are green peppers - and I've been able, with nary a twinge of terror, to watch other people eat the vile green bell.

You write:

"It is a fairly common "fear" (and misconception), especially among male heterosexuals, to think that gay men are out to get them, and that they need to keep a "safe distance" from them."

I have yet to encounter that "common fear" (excepting the more obvious rednecks, of course), and your willingness to ascribe it to people you've never met says more about your stereotypes than it does about anyone else's.

Maybe it is my hetero worldview combined with my uninterest in whatever homosexual political agenda there may be, but I recognized nothing that I could identify as 'anti-homo' from the article and the quotes it excerpted.

Rather, I took note of the title of the play, and the childishly obvious corollary it is intended to bring to mind; the admonitions that patrons will encounter risque topics & foul language; the portrayal of a child's joyous fantasy as perversion, with bestiality as icing on the cake; and my eyes began to glaze over.

Terrific. Provocation for the sake of being provocative. Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. Britney & Madonna playing tonsil hockey. Pamela & Tommy Lee. Britney's crotch all over the internet. The Reindeer Monologues.

Pop culture dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

If you are going to be upset about the manner in which the article was written, spotlight instead how it described the play's overall content. I find the content, as described in the article, to be sufficiently sophomoric that you couldn't pay me to attend.

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id04sp 7 years, 10 months ago

I just love it when our "discussion of issues" gets so quickly censored by the Pilot.

Look at the number of comments shown in parentheses, and then count them. The missing ones are the ones that have been censored.

Why censored? Not for vulgarity. Vulgarity was already allowed when the Pilot decided to mention the character of the show. "Risque," wasn't it? "Sure to shock audiences," wasn't it?

Didn't the original poster on this thread basically start it out by saying, "I'm an openly gay man appearing in a Christmas play as a reindeer who was molested by Santa Claus." Then he began complaining about being "stereotyped." Pu-leeze! Doesn't this dude have the sense to know that he's marketing himself as the full-blown stereotype every time he opens his mouth? What are we supposed to think? The only real surprise would be if his character was being played by a straight man who needs to make some extra money to buy toys for his kids. I could UNDERSTAND that guy complaining if he felt stereotyped.

I guess it must be okay in the eyes of the Pilot editors to have a play where people talk about Santa Claus molesting the reindeer, but heaven forbid if a person expresses the opinion that the very thought of certain sexual practices makes them physically ill. I guess the Pilot is trying to spare the feelings of those people who don't want to believe that behaviors which, apparently, lie at the very core of their being can be found not only socially distasteful, but physically sickening.

There are a few things I don't want to see on a stage. Somebody taking a blood sample is one of them. Kathleen Turner nude is another one (as she proved in the stage production of "The Graduate" in her role as Mrs. Robinson). An openly gay man portraying a reindeer who was molested by Santa Claus is just one more. I'd rather see Charlie Manson playing Jesus in "Godspell."

I'm not suggesting that the play be shut down. I'm not suggesting that it be censored. I'm not suggesting that any of the cast should be fired, or that any of the cast are guilty of any immoral or unlawful conduct. I think that freedom of speech covers all of these issues nicely.

What I AM suggesting is that people who complain about being stereotyped just might want to wait some reasonable period of time -- like 20 minutes or so -- to get to know somebody new before they wave their sexuality around like a red flag. Let me get to know you as a person before I have to hear about your sexuality. After all, do you really want me to introduce myself with something like, "Hi. I'm Fred Smith. I was late because I was having sex with some chick in the parking lot."

I expect this post to be deleted too, and for my username to be banned, and I'll be back 15 minutes later with yet another name because that's how the Pilot plays these days.

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Michael Brumbaugh 7 years, 10 months ago

Cheesehead -- again, the intent of the actual comment can't really be ascertained until I have actual conversations with Tony himself. It was the paper's decision to publish it that caught me by surprise. Thanks for the well-wishes.

JazzSlave -- Yes, those dang, dark-skinned folks took themselves too "seriously" when they spoke out against people making cracks about them for their skin color. Or, if they wanted to date people who were lighter skinned than they. Silly Negroes, just stay in your place.

It's interesting when a person from the dominant culture (in this case, male heterosexual) condescends to tell those in the minority, "There, there...don't get too excited. We don't hate you. We would just prefer you don't bother us too much with your 'agenda'". First of all. There is NO agenda here. It's about basic human rights. Did you notice that gays CANNOT marry in CO, thanks to a new constitutional amendment? Can you think of the last time an amendment actually kept certain rights from a specific group of people? Poor little gay guy, just relax, and take another puff, ok?

My friend, I don't know the social circles that you've been in, but they are certainly not indicative of those in "power" in this country regarding same-sex relationships. All you need do is walk down most any high school hallway, and you will hear "gay" or "faggot" repeated many times over. It's still the one perjurative term that is unofficially sanctioned by many of our social / business structures. To not know that, is to have one's head in the hetero sand.

I'm curious to know how many "open" homos you know in this town. Based upon conservative percentages, there should be at least 400 of our types running around here. That's just the men. Funny, though, I've not encountered too many that are "open" about it. Why do you think that is? Why have I had numerous "straight" men (with wives and girlfriends) proposition me here (all very low-down of course)?

I have lived over 50 years, resided in MANY varied locales in this country, and had numerous and different type jobs. Yes, among a majority of the heterosexual males I've encountered, there are myths, misunderstandings and fear related to gay men in particular. You will note I never said ALL hetero men in my previous comments. I was speaking of those in particular who have the fear I mentioned above.

And, regarding the play. Overall, I would agree with you regarding the way the play was presented. Too bad, though, that you wouldn't give it a chance by, say, reading reviews of it online, rather than just on what our paper said. Without giving too much away, the play uses humor to pry open the audience's emotions, then concludes on some rather serious, thoughtful notes.

That said, the one comment I forgot to mention to the fella above was, if it's too icky, then please, by all means turn your head, don't attend, or turn the channel. Guess that would apply to you, too.

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Michael Brumbaugh 7 years, 10 months ago

A few thoughts (and then I'm done):

1) I didn't realize this was an "anonymous" forum. Never had posted here before. I thought that a "Comments" section was one where people shared openly. That, to me, meant as real human beings - not cyber cyphers. No superiority there, it just seemed like common courtesy. If people are making judgments about others, I believe the least they can do is identify themselves.

2) In all my comments I threw no mud, nor called folks names, nor had an "attitude". My original post was trying to convey heartfelt thoughts about my experience and about stereotypes. If I failed to communicate that, then I apologize for not being clear. I don't presume to judge people's motives, unless they attack me personally, which certainly happened here, without my having attacked anyone.

3) In almost every negative response here, words were placed in my mouth that I never said, nor intended. I said nothing about "gay being the new black". I was using a specific reference to relate people's acceptance of "different" types of relationships. Every group that is discriminated against has their own specific issues and needs. So, please, in civil discourse, can we try not to build straw men that we can easily knock down?

4) Oppression and discrimination in any form, whether it's due to another's race, ethnicity, religion, orientation, etc. is to be condemned. I don't compare my experience to another's by saying anything as asinine as "my experience is worse than yours".

5) My comments about the "straight" men who have sought out a guy like me on the "down-low" were not intended as a comment on my sex life (I never said I did anything with them). The point was that, if there was no "oppression" of men who want to be with other men in our culture, there would be a lot fewer guys (who really might be gay or bi) who would "sneak around" like this. The tragedy is that too many guys I've known felt compelled to go the marriage route due to pressure from families, religion and / or society, when they really should have been who they were to begin with.

6) So, no davinci...apparently you didn't "get it". The purpose was not to let people "know I'm gay". The purpose is to share a perspective that might cause someone to possibly rethink his or her prejudices. The emotional reactions of folks here demonstrates to me more than ever the need to keep speaking out when I see insensitivity and injustice. No matter who it involves. So, I thank you all for that. Speaking out against stereotypes and intolerance, "Sep", doesn't make a person a "victim". It's just the right thing to do.

Peace, Mike

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Michael Brumbaugh 7 years, 10 months ago

Gladys,

Ummm...maybe because the heteros already have certain rights that we don't? According to your logic, darker-skinned Americans should have never persevered in their right to openly marry lighter-skinned folks (and vice versa). Remember, it was still a crime for inter-racial marriages in this country up until around 1969.

Funny how the majority of posts here dwell on the SEXUAL part of being gay. Our attractions to one another are based on all the same attributes that heteros have: love, affection, respect, etc., in addition to the physical. It's not about our "sex lives", it's about our connections to other human beings like us. I have no desire to share my sex life with others, and you have no right to insinuate I do. You don't know me...

This is the kind of ignorance that needs to be challenged for ALL citizens of our country to "pursue happiness". We should be very careful when determining what is "moral" and what isn't.

I also find it interesting that I have been the only person willing so far to state my full name here.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 10 months ago

Gay is the new black.

What a crock one which my black friends (without exception, so far) have always found to be offensive.

I don't deny that homosexuals have legitimate grievances. But to suggest that you are as subject to the rampant, institutionalized, and violent discrimination of the Jim Crow South is nothing short of asinine. I also suspect that you don't have to worry about being stripped of your home and being relocated to an internment camp (like my maternal grandfather).

You write:

"I'm curious to know how many "open" homos you know in this town."

Three. Two women, one man.

You ask:

"Why have I had numerous "straight" men (with wives and girlfriends) proposition me here:"

I don't have a clue. Furthermore, I don't care. But thanks for the unsolicited insight into your romantic adventures.

You pontificate:

"Or, if they wanted to date people who were lighter skinned than they."

My dad could tell you stories. He is now 72, and has had virtually no contact with his family his (now late) mother and 3 siblings, ever since he married someone who was neither white nor Catholic (famous family story: when I was born, Dad thought it appropriate that his mother know she had a grandson. Her response: does he look like us? Mom was pissed). But since he and my mom were never gay, I'm sure their conception of what it's like to be ostracized couldn't POSSIBLY measure up to your oh-so deep and profound understanding of the issue.

Back to the quote by Tony what's-his-name: that you are able to get so worked up over something so obviously tongue-in-cheek suggests that you are actively seeking reasons to be offended. "I am victim! Hear me whine!"

Finally, you write:

"I also find it interesting that I have been the only person willing so far to state my full name here."

Good for you. You may want to try and wrap your mind around the concept of an anonymous forum. But if including your name makes you feel superior to the great unwashed who post anonymously in this anonymous forum, more power to you.

However, if it makes you feel any better, feel free to address me as many of my friends do: Sep. It's an acronym, and it stands for Slant Eyed Polack.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 10 months ago

This will be my final salvo as well, since this is getting a little silly.

You're right - you never said "gay is the new black." However, the instant you were challenged here, you replied with your gay=black analogy. YOU chose the corollary, and when it was highlighted, you claimed that you never really said it. Whatever.

Merry Christmas, Mike, and best of luck to you.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 10 months ago

Having recently worked with Mike as my director in "Arsenic and Old Lace" last month, all I can say to everyone is: Go see the show! It's going to be hilarious! I wish I had more time in the winters anymore so I could be in this show.

Mike- As for Tony's comments, don't worry about them, same as the rest of the comments about your orientation. You are open about it, but espousing that on an anonymous forum is probably what scares those on this site.

This forum usually doesn't enlighten anyone, overall. Every once in a while you get someone who will actually discuss things, but it's usually about bashing said person's opinion. Been there on both sides, and loved it.

Break a leg with the show! I don't think Jenn & I will make it, though. I have night shifts thru the weekend.

Have Fun!! Matt Stoddard

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Michael Brumbaugh 7 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Matt, for your thoughtful remarks and your clarification of how things work here. I certainly hadn't intended to get "preachy", but when the first commentor (whose response is now gone) got "personal" and was slinging sarcasm left and right, I wanted to try and explain my thoughts further. Then the bashing and sarcasm kept coming. Interesting. I've certainly learned a few lessons about trying to discuss issues with folks who choose to remain anonymous, and have little to say except barely disguised put downs.

And, in the midst of all this, the show really got lost. And Matt's right, it is quite hilarious and well-written, with meaningful human touches along the way! Hope to see many of you that may have followed this tortured "discussion" there! THANKS!

Peace on earth everyone!

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JazzSlave 7 years, 10 months ago

Everyone should do Mardi Gras. Once.

I did it in '00. Had a reasonably good time, but the lurid debauchery was sufficiently repugnant that I have no desire to do it again. The vast majority of the culprits, BY FAR, were hetero couples and single chicks flashing for beads.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 10 months ago

id writes:

"So . . . you want to believe in fictional people with supernatural abilities and childhood fantasies, and you want to discredit a supernatural being who many people believe to be their living Savior risen from the dead. "

Um, who here has stated a belief in "fictional people"?

You do suggest you'd attend a theatrical performance if:

"... they can come up with something new and interesting that has a hope of providing a glimmer of entertainment."

I assume that 'something new and interesting' will have to be non-fiction, since by your lights, watching anything is evidence of belief in same (ever read a novel, id? Watched anything besides news on tv? Are these concepts difficult for you?).

And who here has tried to discredit God? Reading comprehension just isn't your strong suit, is it, id?

Have a good time at your next G.E.D. reunion.

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id04sp 7 years, 10 months ago

Belief in? How about "affinity for." Would that do it for you?

I saw "War of the Worlds" and thought it was very well done in terms of technical achievement and special effects. I found it entertaining. That don't mean I believed them frog thangs was coming down here on a bolt of light to kill us. I still think Tom Cruise is wacky. I think H. G. Wells would enjoy the film if he was around to see it. So would Orson Wells.

I wouldn't go see a remake of "The Bird Cage." I'm sorry I saw the first one, and only went because Robin Williams was in it. You live and learn, I guess.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 10 months ago

ID- For going to Iraq, yes, that's a huge risk. I've already been in the Army. I didn't go to war, but I knew the risk of going to war was there and I was willing. Performing on stage is an emotional, intellectual, and even physical risk in it's own right, and I personally have been dealing with that for longer than most military lifers have been serving.

Performers take a risk on every show they do: people not liking it, mishaps on stage, etc.; all this for people paying money to come see it. We don't consider ourselves weirdos, per se, but we know we have oddities that other people may not understand. That also can work in reverse. The majority of people are scared to death of getting up in the limelight in front of hundreds of people. A seasoned performer might find that weird. I've been in over 60 different shows in the last 25 or so years and I still get nervous each time before the curtain rises.

We know that some people might not like the show we're performing or consider infantile/blasphemous/stupid/etc. What we also know is that there are others that appreciate what we do. I know people on this site, from local government, from service industries or anywhere in town that actually do like the shows we do, and many of those same people do get up and perform on stage. Many of them people I'd imagine you'd call friends.

As for having an affinity for the unreal, isn't that from where the imagination stems? Almost 100 years ago, a couple of weirdos had an affinity for flight. Time changes people's imaginations. 50 years ago, Soupy Sales made people laugh with a simple pie to the face. We've moved on since then. Sometimes, we revisit the old things that worked because it's been long enough for them to seem new again.

All in all, art is subjective, but that doesn't make it wrong or weird. It makes it unique. Without pushing the envelope, we'd be stuck doing the same show over and over again. How entertaining or interesting is that? Not much after a while. As performers, we try to do different shows for different people so everyone can find something they enjoy. I'm sorry if "Oh, Steamboat!" may have had an effect on ruining your wanting to see others locals shows, but for every "Oh, Steamboat!", you have a few Godspells, Arsenic and Old Laces, Diaries of Anne Frank, Nunsenses, Forever Plaids and Nutcrackers.

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JazzSlave 7 years, 10 months ago

Off the top of my head and in no particular order, here are some favorite movies of mine. Maybe id can analyze the list and diagnose whatever disorder(s) I may have, given the derision he has directed towards some of the other titles mentioned in this thread, and the assumptions he appears willing to make about people based upon their theatrical "affinities":

Pulp Fiction, Round Midnight, 2001 (A Space Odyssey), Fargo, the Spielberg WW2 epics, Mash, the 1st two Godfathers, The Lion In Winter, Best In Show, Jackie Brown, Amadeus, Lonesome Dove (made for tv, I know, but a kick-ass western), True Grit, Beckett, Aliens, Dancing With Wolves, To Kill A Mockingbird, Gross Pointe Blank, The Straight Story:

That's all I can think of at the moment.

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id04sp 7 years, 10 months ago

Davinci and Jazz,

I have seen and enjoyed most of the shows you mentioned. I still think it's a very odd coincidence that the ones which did not appeal to me at all were the ones people posted as having openly gay actors in the casts. I honestly did not know anything except that the basic concepts fell flat with me and the movie trailers didn't make me want to see them.

Part of the reality of movies comes from accurate depictions of physical phenomena. For example, a realistic portrayal of ballistic motion (things in free fall) is essential to my suspension of disbelief. Also, unrealistic outcomes of physical actions destroy the entertainment value (as in the falls and, in particular, the rough handling which Naomi Watts received in "King Kong") when you see people emerge unscathed from events which should have killed them, or at least left them on the ground with major injuries.

I went to see "King Kong" because I like Jack Black -- "School of Rock" was AWESOME. Those kids in that movie were really playing the instruments, and that made it something truly special. I play all those instruments too, and to have a bunch of kids put on that kind of performance was a joy to behold. (I'll say this; if the kids were NOT playing the music, somebody did one heck of a dubbing job to match all their key strokes, drum beats and riffs).

Over-teched remakes are getting old. There are some new stories around, but many movie makers have to bank on proven ideas to get their stuff funded. Also, whereas the movie makers responsible for a lot of creative shows in the 40s, 50s and 60s brought their life experiences from the Great Depression and the World Wars into the mix, today's crop has way too many kids who grew up watching other people's work, went to film school, and now only know how to remake what someone else created in the first place.

So, considering all we've discussed here, including Kielbasa's local theater experience, why in the world would anybody put on a Christmas play about Santa Claus molesting his reindeer? I find it hard to believe that anyone over the age of 25 would be shocked by anything to do with such a plot. We all hear, see and know far too much about perversion these days to look there for mainline entertainment.

If there was some money to be made on a flop, I'd think that the plot behind "Springtime for Hitler" in "The Producers" was being replayed in Reindeer Monologues.

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jaunty 7 years, 10 months ago

My goodness, what a lot of anger and rage. You humorless bigots can stay home and flip through TV channels. Or keep posting your ridiculous rants.

I look forward to seeing the play and getting a good laugh. And welcome to our community, Mike!

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id04sp 7 years, 10 months ago

Humorless bigot: 1. A straight person with a sense of taste and civility; 2. A person capable of expressing their sexuality in private; 3. Somebody who knows the ways of the world but doesn't need to see them played out on a stage.

Our community: 1. Openly gay; 2. Those who tear at the foundations of our civilization; 3. Politically correct.

Political correctness: 1. A doctrine based on the belief that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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