Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gay of A Certain Age - Got Bent

I finally got a chance to see a stage production of BENT.  I read the play back in high school looking for a monologue or a duet acting scene.  I remembered parts of it that stuck with me, particularly in the second act.  I saw the movie based on the play years ago, but I don't remember much of it.  I was very excited when I heard that there would be a production going up at the Mark Taper Forum. BENT is the story of the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany. As the play started, I was a little thrown by the first actor's line delivery, but when the other actors seemed to match it, I supposed it was an intentional style chosen by the director, Moises Kaufman. Once I got passed the acting style and the hunky naked man, I got things from this live presentation that I didn't quite get reading it.   First, I didn't get how the main character is such a self preservationist.  He does some horrible stuff to stay alive.  When reading it, he didn't seem so cold and selfish.  Horrible things happen to those he loves, or doesn't love, (in the end we know it is love) so I guess he was just protecting himself.  Hiding his love, or not daring to receive love because there can only be a bad outcome.  Did I get that when I read it? Did that stick with me more than I know?
As a Gay of A Certain Age, I got a chance to revisit a work in a different form, through someone else's vision (Moises Kaufman) and learned something about things that had an influence on me as I grew.  I think I do protect myself at times, depriving myself of a potential relationship, or sharing some of my good stuff with a deserving partner or friend.  I see that some people might see me as a self preservationist, who will withhold to survive.  Now that I've seen it myself, maybe I can change course enough not to get myself to the point that I SPOILER ALERT fling myself into an electric fence in a concentration camp.  No, hopefully I'll learn to, at least, turn down the wattage of the electric fence around my heart.

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