Sunday, February 10, 2013

Let Me Be Your Star, or Where Have All The Gay Boys Gone?

This last week went by entirely too fast and I can't say I managed to get much accomplished. My lag in productivity can be attributed to the flu or cold or whatever bug that decided to waltz in and prop its dirty feet up in my lungs and sinuses, refusing to leave until I'd spent the better part of the week immobilized with it. Well, not entirely, of course. I went to work, resisting the urge to call in sick, and to my cat-sitting gig. Once, I even braved the piles of slush to trek to the grocery store - and regretted it later when I came sloshing in with soaked shoes and soggy socks, shivering to my core. BUT! The rest of the time I was hanging out with blankets to my chin and a cat, a computer and a mug of warm tea all vying for a spot on my immovable lap. And what was I doing? Reading about gay vampires for one of my book clubs? Sometimes, yes. Studying for the GRE? A little, yes. Getting addicted to a show that revolves around flashy musical numbers and jealousy-infused drama? Oh, yes...hell yes.

Julia and Tom (Debra Messing & Christian Borle)
While recovering, I watched the entire first season of Smash and by golly, I loved it! I think my favorite characters aren't even the actresses, but the creative team. There's the snarky British "playa" played by Jack Davenport, who I always loved on Coupling. He's kind of a jerk who is hard to hate. Then there is Debra Messing playing Julia, another glorious friend-of-the-gays character who can be likened to her role as the neurotic Grace on Will & Grace except more emotional. And there's her partner-in-crime-and-musicals, Tom, who I love, love, love! He's funny, flamboyant, perceptive enough to catch on when Julia is considering cheating on her husband, insightful enough to offer advice that doesn't sound too preachy and commitment-phobic enough to find something wrong with every guy he dates, which means there are endless opportunities for new and interesting romantic entanglements for his character - most recently, a macho dancer obsessed with sports. Their relationship had to end, though, because dancer boy ran off to tour with The Book of Mormon. Did I mention, they name-drop musicals and composers on this show? It's a gay man's dream and everyone knows about my inner gay man. To top the team off, there is the show's producer, Eileen, played by Angelica Huston, who plays her divalicious character so perfectly that it's like she was born to play bitchy divorcees and throw drinks in men's faces! Which she does, like, three times in one episode.

Angelica Huston & Jack Davenport as Eileen and Derek
It's campy, yes, and by no means brilliant, but it's fun and unique, with original songs and my inner gay man is occasionally also an inner chorus girl. Therefore, I am thoroughly enchanted and as often happens when I read or watch anything about the theatre, I wish I could be a part of it. Just something behind-the-scenes would be lovely. I feel sometimes like I missed the bus for getting involved in that stuff, but I just want to hang out backstage and watch people slathering on pancake make-up and saying catty things to each other. My fantasy life is so exciting and more importantly, it's populated by very glamorous, effeminate men sniping at each other and wagging their fingers, saying things like, "Oh NO you didn't!"  I think this may be the most appealing part of theatre - my idea of theatre and the theatrical. Or, more to the point, my idea that, were I involved in theatre, my life would be flooded with friends like Tom, the flamboyant gay Oscar to Julia's Hammerstein. Dear Tom, will you be my Hammerstein, instead?

I seriously need more gay men in my life. Until that happens, however, I am loving this show and I'm pretty excited to be caught up now that it's in its second season.

As for my cold, it's not as bad anymore. I don't have the chills and my throat & lungs don't hurt, but this cough is about to drive me batshit.

Signing off.

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