Reflecting on gay performances
“The Little Dog Laughed,” a Tony-nominated comedy by Douglas Carter Beane, featured the disarming triangle of a gay hustler (Johnny Galecki), an in-the-closet movie star (Tom Everett Scott) and a lesbian agent (Julie White).Paul (Jason Tam), the first major gay character in a hit tuner, made his grand return to Broadway this season in “A Chorus Line,” a redux of the 1975 production. Squealing in delight, tween audiences at “Legally Blonde” greeted the spectacle of two homosexuals dancing together much as their grandmothers before them embraced the gyrations of Elvis Presley. But the gay event of the 2006-07 Broadway season had to be the current revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s 1970 tuner “Company.” Deleted from the original lyrics is the three-letter F-word, and a scene has been added (first seen in the 1995 Donmar Warehouse production) that reveals a homosexual encounter for the show’s hero, Bobby (Raul Esparza), who has been the subject of rumors for more than three decades. Yes, Bobby is still single at age 35, but the clue to his sexual orientation actually lies in that oft-overlooked line from the original text: “You know what comes to my mind when I see him? The Seagram’s Building.” Straight auds always took that to mean that poor Bobby drank a lot. Au contraire. Long forgotten but known to gay wags of the period is that the Seagram’s plaza was, in 1970, the major cruising grounds on the East Side.
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