Everybody’s got a right to their dreams…

Because I’m a gay man, and because I live in New York, and mostly because another gay man is off getting bonked in Berlin, I spent last night attending Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. Envy me, out of town Broadway Queens!
I have to say I shudder for the prospects of this show, given the state of the country. The production is in Studio 54 which was last home to the revival of Cabaret. The two shows share a lot, including a review like structure, a menacing Master of Ceremonies, and limbo like setting that plays off of the weight of external political events. I worry because while Cabaret allows its audience the luxury of tut-tutting about the evil of Nazi Germany, something at a geographic and temporal remove from themselves, Assassins is aggressively about those aspects of the American view of world and self that lead to mania and violence. And that stuff is not at a remove at all. So the audience leaves the theater implicated. Will tourists line up for months to pay 100 dollars a pop for this experience? I’d be surprised.
The production itself is handsome and in many ways designed to try to ameliorate the tensions I described above. How does Mario Cantone do? Fine – I didn’t quite realize it was him until very late in the game. Neil Patrick Harris? not so good in my opinion: a little too blank in his innocence and a little too innocent in his blankness. The rest of the cast performed nimbly. Great set.
Afterwards, on the street, thornyc offered us Beard Papa’s (see danbearnyc‘s journal) cream puffs, which are very, very good. Then he shanghai’ed me to the Eagle, where I got to see bootjac tighten up Thor’s flattop, and I got to feed badfaggot another cream puff and then climbed into the chair to get my not-butch-enough Merrils shined. His being fed technique was a little shaky, but his shine was very, very good. I left my jacket at the bar, and arrived home in time to see one of my fave Cowboy Bebop episodes.


  1. Studio 54 is actually the second home to the recently closed Roundabout revival of Cabaret. Alan Cummings opened the revival in a theater on West 43rd St which was then temporarily closed because of a construction crane accident involving the Conde Nast building.

    I really love early Isherwood, and when I first visited Berlin I made a pilgrimage to Nollendorfer Strasse 17, his address in the city. Queens College has an enormous stack of Isherwoodiana, including the Lehman edited literary journals in which all of his stories were first published. The later Isherwood is not worth reading, I’m afraid.

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