Leo Gallagher is standing on the patio of Gramps Bar in Wynwood and explaining his new pro-gay play to a group of disheveled, confused hipsters. The prop comic, who grew up in South Tampa and became famous for smashing watermelons onstage, has more recently made headlines for being racist and homophobic onstage.
But the subject matter of his latest script hardly seems like it could come from the man who quipped in 2010 that the French "ruin our language with their faggy words" and reinterpreted the meaning of the phrase "We are nothing but dust" as "What is butt dust? Is that what you get if your homosexual isn't properly lubricated?"
Which is why New Times had to jump into the conversation to find out why, exactly, Gallagher is going around Wynwood showing everyone the new play he's finishing. It turns out he's in town to do a show at Magic City Casino, and because his new play, The Next Step, is about gay ballroom dancers, he headed to Miami's arts district for inspiration. Duh.
Watermelon-Smashing Comedian Gallagher Peddles Gay Play in Miami
Here's what happened:
New Times: So, what's your new play about?
Gallagher: It's about two guys in love, and they both are dance teachers, and one of them is from the Midwest, and he's always dressed in drag because the men who wanna learn tango don't feel right dancing with a guy, and so they never knew it was a man dressed as a woman. So he goes to the East Village and he meets another dancer, and they become a couple, and they wanna audition for a movie. But the one who's a girl most of the time doesn't want to be a girl the whole time. So this brings up my idea for switchable clothing. I wanna sell the clothes after the show!
Wait. Back up. Why are you doing this? Are we in an alternate dimension?
Why, if the homosexuals are everywhere, do they have to dance heterosexually? Why? Big, tall guys are sleeping with each other, so why don't they dance with each other? Why don't we get to see them dance? I think they'd probably be good together. And girls too. We could open up choreography to a whole new area instead of what they do now, which is have the guy present the girl like a pretty flower. I'm done. I'm done. I'm done. So The Next Step is same-sex dancing.
You're conservative onstage now, so does this clash with your new persona or contradict your personal beliefs?
It's hard to tell. I'm an artist. I observe human behavior. I pretend like I'm a guy from another planet and I come here to visit, and then I tell you what I see of your behavior, whether it's logical or consistent. If I became involved in human life, then I wouldn't be good as an artist because I wouldn't be on the mountain of objectivity.
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Where did you come up with the idea for the show?
I just say it's illogical for gays to dance with straight people. Hello — why am I coming up with the idea? I'm saying the whole area of choreography should be open to all humans. When two spirits combine, it's win-win/net-net/start with either foot/there's no incorrect/the whole world moves forward/The Next Step.
Please, for the love of God, Gallagher, tell us you will star in this play.
Nah. The characters aren't me.