Saturday, May 16, 2015

Lay Ms parodies Le Miserables set in the swinging 60s.


Lay Ms written by Paul C Tugwell and lyrics by Brian Rewis used the songs from Les Miserables and changed the lyrics to tell the story of BDSM, porn and gay rights in the 60s. It followed the story of a young girl who decided she needed the money that a strip club could offer. The club lead to her downfall but her child found a protector. Trying to compress the plot of the epic Les Miserables into 90 minutes resulted in a somewhat rushed production. Set changes came at a break neck pace after every song. Each time the theater went black, I had to stop sketching. Having only seen the movie version of Les Miserables, I had a hard time assimilating the characters French names. I would have kept better track with Dick, Jane and Harry. The premise of Lay Ms is genius and at times I did sympathize with the plight of gay and transgender characters who were not treated as equals.  Gay bashing is sadly still prevalent in America.  The songs resulted in several inspired performances but the off stage synthesizer didn't offer much in the way of back up.

One scene involved actress and director Tara Rewis as Eponine a lesbian who is forced by her scheming parents to star in a heterosexual porn film. A bartender, who was a long time friend offered to help out. The scene featured the only nudity in the show and her performance singing the song, flat on her back and her head leaning over the edge of the bed was admirable. She tolerated the heterosexual sex while trying to imagine her female lover. When she straddled him, she took her bra and placed it over his breasts and then cupped his breasts in her hands with eyes closed. It was an inspired and hilarious scene.

When the revolution culminated in the Stonewall Riots the crowd sang the battle cry in unison with flags waving and protest posters highlighting the continued inequality. Marriage equality now exists in 37 states. 13 states remain in the dark ages. 40% of gay youths commit suicide. Changing attitudes takes time so the battle rages on. I found myself humming the tune for the rest of the day although I didn't remember the lyrics. The show had some rough edges which is to be expected since this was a rehearsal. Some of the dialogue seemed forced as if to rush the plot along to get to the next song. The overall premise is fun and the music kept me thinking about the battle for equality long after the show was over.

Remaining Performances:
Saturday, May 16 - 12:30 PM — 2:00 PM
Monday, May 18 - 8:45 PM — 10:15 PM
Tuesday, May 19 - 7:00 PM — 8:30 PM
Friday, May 22 - 10:00 PM — 11:30 PM
Saturday, May 23 - 4:00 PM — 5:30 PM
Sunday, May 24 - 8:00 PM — 9:30 PM

Length: 90
Venue: Silver in the REP
Price: $9 (+service charge) and Fringe Button!
Rating: 18+ - Nudity|Language|Adult Content|Some Violence

Restrictions:
All Patrons Over Age 13 Must Have a Fringe Button
No Late Entry Show-All Shows Start on Time
No Re-entry Into Any Venue
No Refunds or Exchanges
100% Of All Ticket Sales Are Returned to Artists

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