Gender Bender

The cozy set design by the Public's artistic director Vince Rhomberg and background music by Alan Saban create a pleasant, breezy mood. In fact, everyone in the audience on the night I attended seemed to enjoy the show, a considerable feat considering that several scenes involve men making love to men on stage. This may indicate that at least the theatergoing crowd is maturing. And make no mistake, if you're in a light, giddy mood and can ignore the flaws in the script, get set for a very entertaining evening.

I must take issue with the Public for one thing: politicking and speech-making at the beginning of the play and during intermission. Audience members were handed literature urging them to call government officials about discrimination in the military, and the opening speech by a Public staffer seemed like a prelude to a gay-rights demonstration. While theater can make societal and political statements, the piece must project the message. Having the management further force the issue removes my freedom of choice. When I want to attend a rally, I will. On this particular night, I chose to see a play.

Stage Notes
Turn your attention to a unique evening presented annually by Florida International University under the direction of Phillip M. Church and Jennifer King. On April 16, at 8:00 p.m., An Evening of Performing Arts & Disability, a show composed of music, drama, performance art, and poetry, will take stage at the University Theatre at the University Park Campus. Professor Church has long been involved with training physically challenged people for the stage, and with urging the entertainment industry to hire these actors for suitable roles whenever they can. For example, why use a perfectly mobile performer to play a man in a wheelchair when a wheelchair-bound man may possess the same amount of talent even more insight? This evening has proved inspiring and entertaining in the past; the admission is free and a reception follows the performance. For more information and reservations, call 348-3532.

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