Monday, April 27, 2009


This past Friday night, which also happened to be B&c's birthday, he and I went into DC to see Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n Roll at Studio Theatre. It was a very good production, and the play itself is both engaging and clever, but it runs very long, and for no very good reason. There's a lot of political argument embedded in the text, and, well, I think it's pretty much impossible to discuss Marxism these days and have the discussion be relevant. There's nothing wrong with period pieces, of course, but it's sort of like having scenes arguing over whether Louis XVI was in touch with the 18th century French public. History has pretty much decided the answer already. But it was mostly fun to watch, and parts of it were very funny, and I enjoy productions in the round in relatively intimate settings. It's also always good to see things in one of Studio's smaller spaces because the ushers' ineptitude in seating people in a timely manner doesn't matter as much when there are fewer people to seat.

Anyway, when we were on our way to the theatre, we stopped at a local cafe for some coffee, and I realized that I had discovered the center of the known gay universe. Seriously, take a look at the story of how this place came to be. It doesn't say that the owners met while out walking their tsitzus only because it doesn't have to. After visiting ACKC, you could be excused for finding Chelsea or the Castro oppressively hetero, by comparison.

The sterotypical ubergay existence is very much not my experience, but I'm amused, and even a little gratified, that places like a diva-themed chocolate shop/art gallery exist. Many of the gay men I know go to great pains to distance themselves from those, and other, gay stereotypes, but I figure we're probably all better off if there are places where those stereotypes can be embraced and celebrated. Besides, the young men working the counter were very cute.

I wasn't so impressed by the chocolates, if only because I'm pretty sure that they're mostly made elsewhere. Besides, the last time I was in Brooklyn, I bought some truffles at a chocolatier that had the most impressive and inventive selection I've seen, although, to be fair, M. Torres does not seem to have much of an appreciation for entertainingly cheesy artwork, divas, or attractive counterboys.

Of course, my own level of appreciation for so-called divas is highly questionable. For starters, I have an entirely different notion of what "diva" means, so I was somewhat nonplussed to find that the menu had concoctions named after Charo and Carmen Miranda, but you can't order a Wilhelmenia Wiggins-Fernandez. Or even a Maria Callas.

My level of ignorance was reinforced at Studio Theatre, when I was struggling to remember what I had last seen in the Milton Theatre. B&c finally remembered that we'd seen Lypsinka there. Just a few minutes earlier, I'd noticed that one of the program inserts mentioned that he would be performing at Studio Theatre again next season. It has been several years since we saw Lypsinka, and I'm afraid that the performance went right over both of our heads. Subsequently, however, someone who's much better versed than I in Hollywood divas and the movies they starred in assured me that the production had been brilliant. Good to know.

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