Over at Seattle Gay Scene, theater critic—and regular Slog commenter—Michael Strangeways is seven kinds of pissed off about Misha Berson's review of Balagan's Spring Awakening, and particularly her hit on Jerick Hoffer, also known as the ridiculously talented and beloved drag character Jinkx Monsoon.
As he quotes from Berson's review:
Bu a dissident note here is Hoffer’s overly flamboyant portrayal of Moritz, a luckless boy plagued by the shame and guilt of his erotic attraction to a female piano teacher. That longing isn’t evident in Hoffer’s diva showiness, which seems more suited to the drag rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Itch” than the world of “Spring Awakening.”
That's real rage—when one journalists quotes another and leaves in the typos. Then Strangeways lets fly:
I’m not that overly sensitive to cries of media homophobia and god knows I’m not a fan of being overly politically correct, but this shitty review/trashing of Jerick Hoffer really pisses the hell out of me... basically, Misha Berson is saying: “Jerick Hoffer is too gay and faggy to play this part and he should stick to drag.”
Strangeways goes on to demand Berson apologize to Hoffer, gay actors, the whole LGBTQ community, and journalism itself. You can read his screed, her response, and his response to her response over here.
I didn't see this production (saw the touring version), but there's a fair amount of flamboyance in all the boys, no matter what their sexual orientation. None of those frustrated, confused, lustful 19th-century German boys are exactly paragons of butch reserve:
Which makes total sense, since the original was written by Frank Wedekind—whose ideas about sexuality and gender would still curl certain Republicans' hair. (And, as we all know, there's no such thing as a "flamboyant" straight guy.)
One more review of this Spring Awakening, by our own Anna Minard, comes out in tomorrow's paper.
What horribly controversial things will she say? Did she think the performers weren't flamboyant enough?
There's only one way to find out.