Rick @ ‘Contradict This! A Birthday Funeral for Heroes’ - even Queen B ain’t #flawless
What’s it about?
Queer performance troupe The Bearded Ladies deconstructs the legacy of controversial heroes.
I saw a man’s bare, hairy ass.
If that doesn’t get your attention, then idk man, because that really happened.
Going into the show I knew it was LGBTQ-friendly and performed by people who identify as queer. I knew it was a musical about meeting heroes and that sort of OMG-this-is-my-hero feeling withering away when you realize that heroes are just as flawed as other humans.
Aside from that, I didn’t know what else was going to happen.
Happy to say I was pleasantly surprised with how great this experience turned out to be.
The singing, oh man! All of the characters performed solos detailing the story of how they each fell in love with Walt Whitman’s poems and literary works.
LONG story short, they each realized that, while Walt Whitman seemed to be gay (I didn’t know that either, I barely read any of his writing in school) and was a literary icon in the queer community, he was ALSO as racist as they come.
Upon this realization, a sort of domino effect took place where each character realized ALL their heroes had flaws, including but not limited to:
and Beyoncé (YES, even Queen B ain’t #flawless).
And so the question became:
“Can you separate an artist’s character from his/her/their work?”
I don’t know about you, but I definitely feel like you can. I don’t think it’s hard to either.
1) Kanye seems to be making wild judgment calls lately, but his music is still bangin’ (open for debate obviously).
2) LeBron James is arrogant AF on the court but he’s still a great basketball player.
3) James Franco once flirted with an underage fan (which he apologized for—still a lil' creepy) but he’s still an amazing actor.
4) Hitler was A TERRIBLE person. Had he used his determination and ambition for good, he would have been an effective leader. Alas, he did not and so he will forever SUCK.
I’m more logical than emotional, but I had a difficult time understanding why the characters had so much trouble separating the art from the artist. They spent half the play pretty much tackling that question just to realize that there’s no icon out there without a character flaw. There’s pretty much no human in the world who hasn’t done something questionable or said the wrong thing. Duh.
Even though that question seemed obvious to me, the entire play was entertaining and funny. There were some corny moments, but I enjoyed the way it played out.
My one complaint: They hyped up cake WAY too much. If you’re going to talk about cake for an hour in celebration of Walt Whitman’s birthday, then you better give the audience some cake!!! I didn’t expect cake to be part of the show until they mentioned we would all be having cake. When there actually was no cake at the end I was puzzled. So misleading!!
Otherwise, you should go and watch this show. It’s a great one for all performed by the LGBTQ community. The performances are great and there’s even audience interaction. And if you want to know the context for seeing a man’s ass, then you have to go because it’s pretty unexpected.
TO SEE MORE BY THE BEARDED LADIES: https://www.beardedladiescabaret.com/
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.