Skip to comments.Express route to controversy in Atlanta (Pedophile Musical)
Posted on 12/19/2005 6:44:50 PM PST by wagglebee
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.
At the movies, for example, heaps of critical praise couldn't produce box office for such abuse-oriented films as "The Woodsman," marketed as a redemption tale with a spooky secret, and "Happiness," presented as a boundary-pushing comedy. And though John Patrick ShanleyJohn Patrick Shanley's "Doubt" has had a stellar Broadway run, that play stays in more comfortable territory by never confirming whether its protagonist has molested someone or not.
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."
Minadakis also feels "Love Jerry" perfectly suits his theater, which has a reputation for quirky, Off Broadwayish fare, such as this season's "Bug" and "The Long Christmas Ride Home." In fact, he first heard about the script because staffers at Atlanta's Alliance Theater, where the play had been a finalist in January's graduate playwriting competition, kept saying his company should give it a home.
"I was called by just about every staff member at the Alliance and told about it," he says, and Kent Gash, the Alliance's associate a.d.a.d., eventually was hired to direct the production.
No doubt the local pedigree the Alliance confers will help boost sales, as will the advance excitement created in the theater community by the play's reading at the playwriting competition. Gogerty reports the impassioned post-reading discussion lasted 90 minutes -- as long as the play itself -- and only confirmed her belief that "if you can get people to see this thing, the word of mouth will spread like wildfire."
To get more mouths talking, Express marketing director Sherry Ward has held meetings with local abuse survivor groups. She knows, though, that some of her most important work will be in crafting the images and taglines attached to the show's publicity.
"We are kind of starting at zero with this one," she admits. "The challenge has been that when (you are) doing a musical about child abuse ... some people might think it's campy, but we also don't want to go too dark."
With that in mind, initial poster concepts featuring a man putting candy in a child's hand were jettisoned as being too frank. Now the promos are more suggestive, featuring an eerie shadow of a man in a clown nose staring into a room. (The clown refers to a somewhat supernatural character who tempts Jerry.)
But no matter what the posters' design, the show's themes may still leave many Atlantans nonplussed. The city is famously prone to legitlegit controversy. In 1993, a county commission rescinded all public arts funding rather than support a staging of Terence McNally's gay-friendly "Lips Together, Teeth Apart." And just last year, the police shut down a production of "Naked Boys Singing" -- which the Express hosted but didn't produce -- for indecency.
Add this to the general audience apathy for the unknown, and it could seem foolhardy for any Atlanta company to stray from surefire hits.
Minadakis says he and his local contemporaries remain committed to risk. He insists Atlanta's population "could be very turned on by challenging theater" as long as they keep getting the chance to see it.
"Are we making it more difficult for ourselves than we could?" he asks. "Yeah. But as a theater community that's just emerging onto the national scene, it would be wretched for us to back down."
Disgusting homosexual agenda ping.
I just read something even MORE disgusting. I'll look up the link and post it.
Next, "Pol Pot" the musical.
Check this out
The father encouraged it and had the son split his money with him.
Hey, give 'em time. Today gay sheepherders, tomorrow, the world!
I read that earlier, you're right, it is depraved beyond words.
Have we hit rock bottom yet?
"We are kind of starting at zero with this one"
And ending with zero, too, hopefully.
Well, if they have already seen "My Name is Rachel Corrie" and "The Vagina Monologues" they will be ready for this.
They are still digging.
They're digging the depths of human depravity.
Ask the liberaltarians who would say drugs have nothing to do with it...
Yeah, the Atlanta Art Fags are committed "educating the public about incest and pedophilia" the way pot smokers are concerned about grandma's glaucoma.
Puke. Who would write such shit, I might get pulled for calling it that, but Crap and Feces and other words are just not strong enough . The citizens of Atlanta should go there and tear down the theater.Literally rip the damned place down.
Homosexual Agenda Ping.
What is particularly horrible is the matter of fact way the idiot writer is discussing child molesting. He's not concenred that child molesting is a bad thing, shouldn't be encouraged. Oh no, he's wondering whether it'll "excite" theater goers, whether they'll be lucky enough to see such a riveting piece of (deleted).
So according to the elitist snobs and theater afficiandos, incest and child molestation are perfectly decent topics for entertainment. And, I might add, homosexual child molestation and incest.
The Atlanta theater scene and those who support it sound like a bunch of subhuman scum dressed up as educated humans.
Freepmail me and DirtyHarryY2K if you want on/off this pinglist.
Years ago I realized that child/adult sex was the next frontier, after homosexuality had gained acceptance. The future is here, fight it or deserve it.
How about gas can and match?
I keep hoping for a healing crisis. I guess it hasn't gotten bad enough yet.
Well, it's been bad enough for me for a long time. That's why I live waaaay off in the boondocks without a TV.