Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Work, work, work, work, work

I had 2 weeks worth of laundry to do, today, so while it washed and dried (at the laundromat; I don't like the system in my apartment building) I worked on Chapter 3 of LD...and broke it in half to make Chapter 4, as well.  It was way too long and chatty.  I then came home, put my things away and made my bed...and got back to work on LD...and got through Chapter 5...which I also broke in half to make Chapter 6.

Actually, these aren't really chapters; more like breaks in the story at points that make you  want to keep reading.  I hope.  We'll see how it flows once I have the whole thing restructured.

Then I watched "La Cage Aux Folles" (the 1978 French version) to remind myself of how farce should be played, as I ironed.  Which also gave my laptop a chance to recharge.  "La Cage..." hasn't aged well, mainly because of the attitudes it had about gay men.  Yes, Renato and Albin are the most sympathetic characters and the son is a jerk, but it's all very one-note and the kid's given a pass on his betrayal of the men who raised him.  It's understandable for the time, I guess, and the acting by Michel Serraut and Ugo Tognazzi did a lot to mitigate the stereotyping...and it is DAMN funny in places.  It's a good template for a farce.

I was living in New York City when the movie came out and loved it, mainly because I nearly died laughing in a couple of spots and it was one of the few positive portrayals of gay men onscreen.  I didn't appreciate the deft set up of the farce until much later.  I also knew a number of gay men in the city who were very, VERY butch (overly so) and others who were just like any other guy in looks and manner, even though they preferred male to female genitalia in their lovers.  Coming from Texas and knowing nothing but fey guys in San Antonio, it was a real awakening...and while I could accept Albin as a queen since he did drag, I was never completely comfortable with the girlishness of Renato because most of the time the guys involved with the drag queens in SA were pretty butch.

I've yet to see the musical and would like to, but I did get dragged to that hideous 1996 remake with Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman and damn near walked out, it was so insulting.  Especially considering the people behind it.

I think the next time I'm in NYC, I'm going to see the play.  See how it works in the hands of a fine gay writer like Harvey Fierstein.  I have a feeling it'll be a fun time.

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