Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1973's 'The Faggot'

 
By 1973 standards it was controversial, even for being an Off-Broadway musical.  
It was called:  THE FAGGOT. 

The play ran at the Truck and Warehouse Theater on East 4th Street from June 18th to September 25th, 1973. Music and Lyrics are by Al Carmines who also directed the piece. Choreography was by David Vaughan. The show was described as "Vignettes of homosexual lives and attitudes in songs and sketches. It had previously been produced off-off Broadway at Judson Poets Theater.
 
It's reported that the play was praised by many critics of the era but condemned by some gay liberation proponents who objected to many things, including what they viewed as reinforcing negative stereotypes and labels attached to gay men.  The word "Faggot" continues to be a lightening rod with many people. The story envisions what future-world 1993 gay life will be like, a place where gay liberation has become a reality.  But this was still the summer of 1973 and who could know that the storm clouds were beginning to form in the distance as a new devastating plague called AIDS was preparing to arrive?  This was also the year when The Exorcist was a sensation in theatres, where the character of Father Merrin shouts "I cast you out! Unclean spirit!" only to have the demon respond "Shove it up your ass, you faggot!"

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