Thursday, March 10, 2011

Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party: Pork Project, Bad Idea or Misuse of Power?


Aaron Loeb  Makes the List!
Arizona's Goldwater Institute, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), and Arizona State Senator Steve Pierce yesterday released the 2011 Arizona Piglet Book, featuring "$1.4 billion in fraudulent, wasteful, and often downright silly mismanagement of taxpayer dollars."  Near the top of the list? An upcoming production of Aaron Loeb's Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party at Tempe's Stray Cat Theatre!  Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround in 2007, Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party premiered to audience and critical acclaim in December 2008 in an SF Playhouse production directed by Chris Smith, winning a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for "original script."  It was named "Outstanding Play" and "Best of Fringe" at the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival in a co-production with BlueRare Productions, SF Playhouse and PlayGround, and had its off-Broadway debut last summer.

Aaron Loeb's Abraham Lincoln's
Big Gay Dance Party!,
at SF Playhouse (December 2008),
directed by Chris Smith and featuring
Brian Degan Scott, Velina Brown, Joe Kady,
Lorraine Olsen, Sarah Mitchell, Mark Anderson Phillips,
and Michael Phillis. Photo: Zabrina Tipton.
Quoting from the report:
"When government gets involved in art funding, tax dollars can go to support endeavors that many would consider to be odd, questionable, racy, and inappropriate. One such organization is the Tempe-based Stray Cat Theatre, which received a $2,351 grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts this year—a portion of which came from the wallets of state taxpayers.

The playhouse’s hallmarks are their risqué productions, often replete with nudity, cursing, blasphemy, and gore, including “Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party,” which features a teacher in Honest Abe’s hometown who encourages students to debate the sexuality of the “Great Emancipator.” That’s fine for the several thousand folks who pay to see a Stray Cat show each year. For the millions of Arizona taxpayers who are offended by the organization’s programs, however, being forced to support something that violates their sensibilities or morals is an insult."

Odd? Sure. Questionable? Well, of course.  Racy? We hope so. Inappropriate? It's theatre, right?? We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Aaron and Stray Cat Theatre for this (dubious) honor!  By the way, the show runs in Tempe May 20-June 11, 2011.  Get your tickets now!  We hear they're going fast!!!

For the full details and a copy of the 2011 Arizona Piglet Book (a true keepsake!), visit the Goldwater Institute's website.

1 comment:

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