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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

State of the Art......or getting it in the Arsht.

The phone rings and this bubbly person starts talking. She had a nice voice, and was all excited for me because I went and saw the musical "Hair" last month.  "And since you saw Hair you must really be excited to see upcoming Broadway performances of Shrek, The Lion King and the Addams Family!" Excited, really? Shrek, The Lion King?  "I'm sure you'll want to buy season passes in the Arsht for just $168!" 

You know as a gay man, I should feel a moral obligation to go to the "theater".  I am fully aware that Julie Taymor's adaptation of the Disney musical is "art". But really, really, are we all 9 years old here?  That this  is the state of the $400 million dollar performing arts center?  Family friendly fare?  Come on, I loved Shrek....on cable, but do I want to pay $50 to go see it again on stage?  No, I'm a 43 year old gay man, I want to see beauty, originality, sexiness and something that may or may not address some of the relevance that is happening here in Miami, or America....not in the the land of Far Far Away. 

On a larger note, can't we as Americans, who perfected musical theater, do better than recycling animated movies?  Come on, now as automation slowly replaces people shouldn't we investing more in the arts and creating "content"?  Should I save my pennies see Shrek movies, see Shrek the play and go green again and see Shrek on Ice?  Thank you Disney, how many "platforms" does one franchise have? So lame. 

Miami is not a theater capital.....it is tenuously a cultural one.  Yet it does have a healthy population of novela actors, writers, musicians, show biz types. Maybe they'd like to work in theater?  Yet our performing arts center(and those across America) bases its entire multi-million dollar season on rehashed "Broadway Across America" pablum.  Maybe if they took a few pennies from that budget to support something homegrown it might make theater that is relevant to a gay 43 year old man who might want to see something that isn't intended for nine-year-olds. 

On a side note: There is a new gay-stripper bar just one block away.  The Arsht or arses?  Truthfully for $50 I get a lot more value at the stripper bar.