Kurt Loder Movie Reviews

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is Neil Patrick Harris' One-Man Show

The onstage band kicks, and the songs are fierce.

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Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Neil Patrick Harris hurls himself into the title role in the new Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which opened last night at the Belasco Theatre on West 44th Street. As the "internationally ignored song stylist" Hedwig—also an intersexual train wreck—he flounces across the stage in wild spangly drag-wear, high-kicking his gold platform boots, wisecracking through a face full of glittery makeup, and, it must be said, wearing a big feathery Farrah Fawcett-style wig very well. He also ventures out into the audience to mount the arms of one patron's seat and pump his pelvis into the man's face. Fans of How I Met Your Mother or, going way back, Doogie Howser, M.D. will surely be startled. But then that, presumably, is why they'll be paying as much as $200 per ticket to be on hand. Harris may not be the whole show, but he's most of it.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch was a small but electrifying sensation when it opened Off-Broadway in 1998, in a tiny theatre hard by the Hudson River. The show was a cry of love for the glam-rock musical icons of the 1970s—David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, peroxide-period Lou Reed, all those guys. The dozen-or-so songs, by Stephen Trask, were real rock & roll, as opposed to the wretched Broadway version of same (think Hair). Taken together, they sounded like the best Ziggy Stardust album Bowie never made.

But where Bowie and most of his fellow glammers maintained at least a fig leaf of ambiguity about their sexual orientation, Hedwig was riotously gay, its protagonist the unconquerable victim of a botched sex-change operation that left him with a genital nubbin he dubbed "the angry inch." The songs were workshopped at a punky downtown drag club called Squeezebox, where Trask led the house band. Eventually a story emerged, scripted by actor and Squeezebox regular John Cameron Mitchell, who drew from his own youth as an army brat in West Germany to fill out Hedwig's world. Mitchell starred in that original stage show, and reprised the role in the 2001 movie version, which he also directed. (The movie withered at the box office, but has had a robust afterlife on video and cable.)

Mitchell did some script revisions for the new show; apart from that, though, Hedwig's heart remains pretty much in the same place. The onstage band—two guitars, bass, drums and keyboards—still kicks, and the songs remain fierce, especially "Tear Me Down" (a terrific opener), "Exquisite Corpse" and the overwhelming "Angry Inch." And after floating down onto the stage in a sort of debauched Pierrot outfit, Harris gets right to work, rousing the audience ("I do love a warm hand on my entrance"), cuing rimshots with a kick of his heel, and reenacting the faux-fellatio move made famous in the early '70s by Bowie and his guitarist, Mick Ronson.

As we're by now aware, Harris can really sing, too, and he knows how to deliver a good lewd line. Unfortunately, he's not John Cameron Mitchell—which I guess won't matter to theatergoers  with no idea who John Cameron Mitchell is. Mitchell, a onetime habitué of the gay club scene, is a master of queeny repartee; Harris gives it his all, but he doesn't seem to have a natural, low-rent drag-queen sensibility to get in touch with. And as strong as his singing is, he doesn't appear to have the fervid emotional connection with this style of music that Mitchell does. Harris is a total pro, which is something different.

There are some wonderful moments in this Hedwig, especially the one in which Harris delicately interacts with swirling animated figures projected onto a mesh scrim. But the structure of the show is problematic, especially in a thousand-seat Broadway theatre. As always, the great songs—which we miss the moment they end—are interspersed with long monologues recounting Hedwig's sad history: How as the son of an East German prostitute he was courted by a black GI named Luther, who married him (after the botched operation), took him back to the States, and promptly dumped him. How Hedwig yearns to find a perfect mate—his "other half." How he began writing songs with a kid named Tommy, and how Tommy stole those tunes and used them to become a huge rock star called Tommy Gnosis. Now Hedwig follows Tommy around the country as he plays big arena concerts, while Hedwig and his band—which includes an ex-drag-queen backup singer named Yitzhak (Lena Hall)—make do with dreary gigs at places like the Sizzler ("near the salad bar").  

These narrative interludes suck some of the energy out of the proceedings (although I don't recall them being a problem in the more intimate original production). And it doesn't help that the conclusion of the story has been "adjusted" in a way that's bafflingly unclear. This is a serious flaw, but it's somewhat obscured by ending the show with a spectacular rendition of the power ballad "Midnight Radio," which Hall drives home with formidable rock-diva oomph. It's a really big finish, and it has the effect of erasing all quibbles and sending everyone home happy—air-guitaring the songs and savoring Harris' nervy performance even as the slow stuff begins to dim in memory.

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  1. I saw the original ‘Hedwig’ at least 15 years ago Off-off Broadway – where the best stuff is.

    The music was outstanding.

  2. Seems that Neil Patrick Harris is all over the intertubes these days. Episode 114 – Penn Made Neil Patrick Harris Gay

  3. This is what happens when you allow gay marriage. Instead of movies we get broadway musical reviews.

    1. In fairness to Kurt, has anything worth seeing in theaters debuted in the past few weeks?

      1. Using that standard he would have quit reviewing movies sometime around 1999.

        1. Today’s big-budget blockbusters will someday be fodder for the future’s Best of the Worst.

      2. The Raid 2. Worth seeing multiple times.

        1. Netflix’d.

      3. In fairness to Kurt, has anything worth seeing in theaters debuted in the past few weeks?

        Bad Words with Jason Bateman was a pleasant little surprise. Kind of in the same vein as Bad Santa, though not quite up to that standard.

  4. “He also ventures out into the audience to mount the arms of one patron’s seat and pump his pelvis into the man’s face.”

    Does that guy have to pay extra, or does he get his money back?

    I think I’d rather rent Starship Troopers on Netflix and just periodically punch myself in the stomach instead.

    1. You mean Spacecraft Soldiers, right? As far as I can tell, Starship Troopers was never made into a movie.

        1. I believe his point was that the movie has absolutely nothing to do with the source material.

          1. Except for unisex showers.

            PROGRESS!

            1. I don’t think coed showering featured in the book. In fact, the female ship captain quartered separately from the men, IIRC.

          2. Badly crafted point, as the OP mentioned nothing of any book.

            1. I think I’d rather rent Starship Troopers on Netflix and just periodically punch myself in the stomach instead.

              You mean Spacecraft Soldiers, right? As far as I can tell, Starship Troopers was never made into a movie.

              If you’ve read the book and seen the movie the point is obvious, but it’s kind of an inside joke.

            2. You may see this type of joke referring to mythical Indiana Jones or Star Wars prequels – all allegedly made sometime back. I believe there is also a rumor of a cinematic version of Dune – which I find laughable.

          3. That’s not true, the names of some of the characters, ships, and planets were the same

            1. Plagarizm!!!!1!l

        2. Starship Troopers has only been around for 17 years.

          No, that is Spaceship Soldiers. It was a decent flick. Had it been named Starship Troopers, it would have had to be compared against the book, and judged one of the worst movies ever. ever. Like judging a Ferrari for its suitableness as a train, calling that movie Starship Troopers would foist failure on it by mere definition of namespace.

          Were that movie called Starship Troopers, we would have to overlook the ironic mastery of nubile bouncy breasts of angsty-patriotism being turned to bloody bits of human shrapnel wrapped up in a reboot of your classic sci-fi horror. To call it Starship Troopers would force us to acknowledge that it was the absolute antithesis of the book- a corrupted leftist troll’s attempt to advance stereotypical fantasies of creepy fascism at the expense of a great author.

          So I repeat, that movie was Spaceship Soldiers. One day in the future, Starship Troopers will be made.

    2. When I saw it several years ago, Hedwig got right up in the face of this old retired guy (I live in South Florida so there were a bunch of those in the audience) and gave him the old “car wash treatment.” I wasn’t sure at the time if that was part of the show or just a brilliant improv. Now I know. Thanks, Kurt. I think.

    3. Can’t you just rent it and play the shower scene on an endless loop?

    4. Meh. Frankenfurter did it first.

      1. Who cares who did what first. If I like something I like it. Just because Blixa Bargeld was the first to make noise with metallic objects while sporting razor-cut hair doesn’t cancel out the musicians after him who did the same thing, in fact it was the ones after him that turned it into coherent music.

  5. You ask me, it’s stuff like this that prevents that Neil Patrick Harris guy from finding a nice girl to settle down with.

    1. But he doesn’t want a girl.

      1. Thank you, that was the joke.

  6. Whatever.

  7. I wish someone would tell these assholes that it is not 1975 anymore. There is nothing cutting edge or subversive or really interesting about drag queens and trannies. We have all seen Rocky Horror. So how about people start writing decent shows and entertainment instead of taking the easy way out by trying to be “shocking” and “cutting edge” instead of creative and interesting.

    1. This is the replacement generation for the nostalgic old hippies.

      1. If anything punk nostalgia is even more pathetic than hippie nostalgia. It has been 40 years since punk started in NYC. Punk is older today than Bennie Goodman music was when punk started.

        Forty years later and people are still wearing Chuck Taylors, piercing their noses and getting mohawks thinking they are being subversive and different. Give it a fucking rest already.

        1. I love my Chucks. Screw you pal!

    2. So how about people start writing decent shows and entertainment instead of taking the easy way out by trying to be “shocking” and “cutting edge”

      Because writing decent, entertaining shows requires actual talent.

    3. It’s not about being cutting edge or shocking. People still shake their hips but it’s certainly not for the edginess.

  8. “The five marks of the Roman decaying culture:

    Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth;

    Obsession with sex and perversions of sex;

    Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original;

    Widening disparity between very rich and very poor;

    Increased demand to live off the state.”

    -Edward Gibbon, author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

    1. Rome stopped making great art just like we have. It is amazing how quickly it happened to us. Just fifty years ago Broadway was doing things like West Side Story and Paint Your Wagon. I am not much of a Broadway fan, but I would never call that stuff crap or not admit it is serious art. Here we are in just a half a century and art is now some aging transvestite humping the arm chairs in the audience.

      Even music that was at the time considered pop fluff fifty and sixty years ago sounds amazingly complex and artful compared to what is made now. The easy answer to that is “well you are just old”. No, it is not that. Art is worse now and seems to get more worse every year. Kids still dress like punks and listen to the Rolling Stones and such because unlike previous generations they have lost the ability to make anything as good or better for themselves.

      1. Everyone thinks that they’re right and their parent’s generation was wrong about alleged declines in culture. IIRC, there was a greek philosopher who wrote what you’ve written 3000 years ago. I can imagine members of some prehistoric generation whining about how that new wheel thingie is making those kids today soft and decadent.

        Let’s face it – everything that is now old and hallowed was considered the death-knell of civilization when it was new. The West has survived swing music, vaudeville, dinner theater and the ice capades. It’ll manage.

        1. Sure it was Susan. That doesn’t mean that somethings are not actually a deathnell.

          Yes people thought that those things were horrible at the time. Time has proven that to be a bit of an overreaction. At the same time, it was not an entire over reaction. There is no question the West as a hole produces less great art today than it did a hundred or two hundred years ago. It just doesn’t. I love jazz as much as the next person. While Louis Armstrong is better than the crap we call music now, it is pretty hard to say he is the equal of the masters of the 19th Century. He is not, just like Picasso is not the equal of Vermeer or Rembrandt.

          Our art has gotten a lost worse in the last 100 years. The only debate is at what point along that trend line could you no longer stand it anymore. For me it is probably sometime in the 1980s. For others it is 1945.

          1. That doesn’t mean that somethings are not actually a deathnell.

            Ha. And this is why my parents believe we are living in the end times, even though every other generation has believed they were living in the end times and have all been wrong so far.

            I suppose one generation will have to be right and 4 horses will trample the earth and Jesus will return in blaze of glory to take up his followers into heaven…or not.

            1. John trots out this same trope on every single thread that mentions any kind of art or performance. It’s almost like he can’t come up with anything original.

              1. Of course if I said anything different, you would be on here calling me a hypocrite and linking to the previous posts as proof of my flip flopping.

                If you don’t like my opinion, convince me otherwise. If you have no ability to even try and do that, go fuck yourself and spare us your whining about how someone always “trots out” some opinion you don’t like. Tough shit.

                1. I’ll say that there is some very good art that exists. Art that is original and thoughtful and not intended to serve merely as a conduit to prove one’s social rebellion or allegience to the club of good ideas. But that art is the relatively unknown stuff.

                  The problem with contemporary art is that the art that gets the greatest love and admiration from the art community is the stuff that reinforces the art community’s own notion of their smug superiority and cutting edginess. They fail to recognize that stuff that was once vulgar become widely accepted as art because it offended the art community. Now the art community simply embraces the vulgar as a sort of feedback loop. The most revolutionary art one can make now is something that pisses off the art community in its assertive conservatism (not in a political way, but in an aesthetic way).

                  1. Now the art community simply embraces the vulgar as a sort of feedback loop. The most revolutionary art one can make now is something that pisses off the art community in its assertive conservatism (not in a political way, but in an aesthetic way).

                    A friend of mine has been been working in art galleries around the world for about 10 years and she says something similar. I wouldn’t do justice to her thoughts on it though.

                    She does argue that LA is coming into its own as a cultural focal point after being derided as a wasteland for “high” art for decades.

                    1. Artists sure are classist, provincial bitches. Everything that comes from outside a few areas in NYC is considered “outsider art”.

                    2. I’d seriously love to have a discussion with her. For someone involved in the stuffy world of finance, I do have a great affinity for art in all its form (painting, literature/poetry, cinema, and music) and consider myself better versed in art history than the common man. I have my own scathing critiques of the contemporary art world (including of some of the artists in L.A. that I know personally, though I dare not speak about them with said artists because I value their friendships more than I take issue with their artistic endeavors).

                      But in times like this I wish I had even the smallest iota of artistic ability (seriously, I can’t draw stick figures properly) so I could rage against the machine that is the art world echo chamber in my own contrarian way.

                    3. I’ll see what I can do. She’s been impossible to hang out with the past six months or so. A friend of ours was in town from NY last night and she didn’t even respond to the invite to come out to dinner.

                  2. That is a good point Sudden. Maybe there is great art being done. If it is, it is not the art the establishment is celebrating.

      2. “I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
        1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
        2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
        3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

        If you’re not going listend to me, how about Douglas Adams?

        1. Technology is not art Susan. Saying the current art sucks or that it is great says nothing about technology.

          1. I think the principle remains the same though.

            “Is it Art?” is kind of tough to really discuss, isn’t it? I think, though, that media saturation plays a big role in people getting jaded about artistic merit. Anyone who’s a diligent consumer of pop culture rapidly hits the point where there are no new ideas. I mentioned this about Firefly – by the time it came out I’d already seen every idea presented by the series dozens of times over because I’d seen so much sci-fi before. To someone who didn’t have the viewing history I have, Firefly may well have seemed like Great Art but to me it was a tame Cowboy Bebop knock-off without the weird Japanese shit.

            1. “Is it Art?” is kind of tough to really discuss, isn’t it?

              Tough but not impossible. Whatever it is, it is in no way analogous to technology. Technology can be objectively measured. The technology today objectively works better and is more advanced that that of the past. You can debate about whether that is good or bad for us but you can’t debate about whether it is more advanced. it just is.

              Art in contrast doesn’t advance in a linear fashion. Just because some work of art is newer doesn’t say anything about whether it is “better” or “more advanced” than what came before it. Sometimes art gets more primitive and worse. It certainly did in late antiquity. Technology doesn’t do that.

              1. True, but the point I’m going for with this is that culture can be an intimate part of our individual identities that it becomes harder and harder to distinguish personal preferences for absolute judgements. Like technology, the cultural things which we start are right and proper. The things we encounter when we begin forging our identities are all written just for us and anything that comes once we’ve found our way a little is just a little threatening to us.

            2. I firmly believe there is a formula that can predict to the letter every part of dialogue and plot in a Joss Whedon series.

      3. No you are really just getting old.

        There is more good art today than there ever was you are just looking in the wrong places for it cause you generally won’t find it in corporate dominated places like Broadway Musicals and top 40 radio.

        Also the Stones are probably the most overrated band in Rock history. They had some good music to be sure but their bad stuff outweighed the good by a significant margin. Sure they look good if you compare them to Bruno Mars or Justin Beiber but compare them to actual good bands today and the only thing they have is longevity and nostalgia. In a lot of ways really they are the Nickleback of the Brittish Invasion.

        1. No. I am not getting old, at least not mentally. The point is not whether you have a tin ear and think Nickleback is somehow analogous to the Rolling Stones or somehow think Prog Rock was good. The point is that regardless of what you think, none of it is the equal of what was being produced in the 19th Century. It is just not. I love pop music and rock music as much or more than anyone. I can’t however kid myself into thinking it is Mozart anymore than I can talk myself into thinking Jackson Pollack is an equal of Rafael.

          Sometimes civilizations go on a slide. I am quite sure the Romans in the 4th Century thought the vulgar shit they were producing was better than Virgil. And there were probably people like you who called those who said otherwise “old”. Now of course we know they were wrong. Old or not, it really wasn’t as good as Virgil. The same thing is happening here only at a much accelerated pace.

          Worse, even the new forms of art like movies seem to have a compressed lifespan. A thousand years from now I wouldn’t be surprised if people still watch 20th Century Hollywood movies and hold the really great ones in pretty high regard. Even if they do, I am pretty certain they won’t be holding anything made in the last ten years in high regard.

          1. So every composer in the 1850’s was Mozart?

            You do realize that Mozart was not a musician but a composer right? So comparing him to pop music is a mistake.

            The proper comparison would be John Williams and Andrew Lloyd Webber and I feel safe saying that their works will be as well remembered as Mozart’s.

            On the other hand there were the multitude of wandering minstrels playing in taverns and pubs that none of us have ever heard of because there was no recording technology and they made music for the largely illiterate common man that you can legitimately compare to pop music today. Some were good, some were crap but our musicians will be better remembered because their music can live on past them.

            1. No. Every composer in 1850 was Mozart. That is not the point. The point is no composer now is.

              1. Like I said, I think John Williams and Andrew Lloyd Webber hold up quite well when compared to Mozart

                1. *Like I said, I think John Williams and Andrew Lloyd Webber hold up quite well when compared to Mozart*

                  You’re joking, right? No one in 50 years is going to remember who either of these guys are/were.

          2. Bach’s work isn’t “the equal” of Mozart’s either. Nor is Thelonius Monks’, the Beatles’, Kanye West’s or…I’m sorry, what was your point again?

            1. I and a lot of other people think Bach is probably better than Mozart.

      4. The easy answer to that is “well you are just old”

        It’s called “being a cynical asshole.” I’ve got a pretty bad case of Cynicalassholitis myself.

    2. Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original;

      How delightfully subjective. I vote Dadaism in the 1910s. Or maybe that Dali fellow, melted clocks, why I never!

      1. At some point Jesse the art goes away and you are just left with the vulgarity. That is the temptation of vulgarity. It makes things easy so you keep adding more of it.

        Consider movies. When they first lifted the censorship in the late 1960s there was quickly a golden age. Directors had all of the skill and subtlety of the old way where you had to hint at things but couldn’t show it but were no longer boxed in by censorship. So we get all of these great movies that dealt with formerly taboo subjects and could show things in a much more graphic and realistic way. That was fabulous for about ten years. Then gradually the movie makers stopped worrying about subtly and the hard parts and kept using more and more vulgarity. What started as movies like the Godfather and Bullet and the Conversation and all the rest of it became Showgirls and Michael Bay where graphic violence and vulgarity replaced the subtlety and art.

        1. Behind the Green Door (1972)
          Deepthroat (1972)
          Debbie Does Dallas (1978)

          That really was quick, no?

          1. John’s been working on this rant for years, Jesse. Just let him go.

            1. And to think Brandon, you have been reading it for years and you still are not bright enough to give a response.

          2. There has always been vulgar things. Jesse just like there has always been bad art. The existence of bad art then and now says nothing about the existence of good art or the prevalence of it today versus then.

            You are engaging in a very common form of sophistry on this subject. Yes, there is always crap. Most of the plays done in Elizabethan London were garbage. That fact doesn’t say anything about the relative value of Shakespeare though. In the same way, the fact that Behind the Green Door was also made then doesn’t mean shit when talking about the good movies that were.

            1. Wouldn’t your method of argument by example of good movies in the 60s and 70s and bad movies in the present just be the flip side of the same sophistry?

              I think the argument can be made that now that Hollywood has a blockbuster formula down, many of the higher quality, more interesting movies are lower budget and end up flying under the radar, but they are still there.

            2. And I will put The Shawshank Redemption right up next to anything Shakespeare wrote in terms of quality art.

              1. I’ll agree with heaping praise on Shawshank, but it is worth noting the central thesis is not disproven by a single exception.

                I think a greater percentage of the stuff made today is trash vs the past. But I think the bigger issue isn’t the percentage of trash vs treasure, I think its what is critically acclaimed that is the bellweather for a society’s cultural direction.

                1. I agree there is more trash made today but that is because there is SO MUCH MORE art being made.

                  Magic the Gathering alone produces more new art every single year than all artists combined produced in the 19th century and earlier. Now throw in the millions of works uploaded to deviantart every year the thousands of steampunk artists the corporate artists the contemporary artists and so on.

                  Most of it is basically junk some of it is decent and some of it rivals that of any past master you can name

                2. Partly due to the fact that these days stuff is easier to make and there is much more space to fill. Back in the days of the three networks stuff had to be good to get on the air and had to stay good to remain. And filming was a demanding and time consuming process.

                  These days anyone can make a movie with Windows Moviemaker and an iPhone camera or produce a record with off the shelf software and put it on Youtube. And, given the need to fill time on thousands of channels, any Youtuber could easily become the big thing for the next few weeks. There isn’t less good just a helluva lot more bad.

                  1. When the printing press started, we saw almost exactly the same complaints being made by self styled intellectual elites. Wanna know why? Because for every bible and science book, there were a dozen trashy porn novels.

                    The masses will always indulge. As you will too, by the way. There is not a person on this thread who doesn’t have some “Guilty little pleasure”- some mass-consumed trash of a song, or movie or whatever that they indulge in.

              2. I love Shawshank too. But it is a 20 year old movie.

                1. And yet, if it’s such a good movie how come, in 20 years, no one can explain how he put the poster back when he left?

      2. While Dali and the rest of the Dada school could be considered by some as “freakish”, it was nonetheless revolutionary (albeit Bosch had kinda done the surrealism thing four centruies prior, courtesy of lysergic acid contaminated bread).

        MOCA right now has a Mike Kelley exhibit. A considerable portion of his art on exhibit at the Grand Ave MOCA gallery are penis drawings and women masturbating with dildos. Seriously, it looks like my notebook margins back in freshman year of high school. While I’m certainly not saying that nudity or sexuality ipso facto make something unartistic, I cannot see anything beyond juvenile vulgarity in that exhibition (and I say that as someone who genuinely likes a great deal of contemporary art).

        1. At the time the Dadaists were active they were expressly trying to shock their audience and overturn accepted artistic norms.

          What you’re describing with Mike Kelley sounds like someone who isn’t a very good artist, who is trying to accomplish the same thing without bringing a lot of skill to bear.

          And yes, Bosch totally beat Dali to it. Did you see the thing where someone transcribed the musical notes printed on one of his figure’s ass?

          1. But Mike Kelley has massive collections at all three MOCA galleries right now. Now, much like Kurt Cobain he may be being deified due to his suicide some years ago. And frankly he’s actually fairly skilled at the drawing themselves (which one always wonders if someone like a Rothko had any technical skill given the nature of his style).

            I’m certainly not calling for a return to rigid realism. The abstract has a purpose and a place. My only greivance with the art world at present is it seems like an echo chamber. Yes, the Dadaists were actively trying to overturn accepted norms, they were trying to proverbially shout something new and different into the cacaphony of the art world.

            Now it seems the artists that gain the greatest recognition merely try to shout it louder.

          2. As an aside, thank you for the Bosch butt music from hell link. That made my fucking week.

            1. The fact that it’s labeled “Butt Song” on her computer really makes it work.

            2. I almost didn’t follow the link, but now I’m glad I did! Definitely the smiliest thing I’ve seen today!

    3. Rome fell because lead poisoning and fiscal irresponsibility. Las Vegas is full of “perversion” and “freakishness” and they’re still one of the most fiscally responsible cities in the country.

      I’m assuming this Gibbon person believed in an invisible man sitting on a cloud floating over Israel.

      Maybe you would be better off in Uganda or Iran.

      1. Perhaps a bit of a reading comp fail. These were marks of the declining Roman culture, no causal variable is asserted.

        And in all seriousness, Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is perhaps the most widely praised historical scholarship in human history, and for good reason. Sure, as a British man circa the 19th century, he was likely a man of religious background. That alone does not detract from his analysis of Roman history. I’d advise you to give that particular work a read (albeit its length is daunting ((double paranthetical to insert a “that’s what she said))).

        1. But, he was all religiousy and shit. Therefore nothing he says about anything can possibly matter. /Derp

        2. He obviously viewed everything through a religious lens because rational secular people don’t blame malevolence on harmless entertainment or non-reproductive sex.

      2. Ever occur to you that the bad and vulgar art was a manifestation of the same cultural sickness that gave rise to that fiscal irresponsibility?

        I assume you are crude materialist moron who can’t understand the connection between culture and politics.

        1. What is good and bad art is purely subjective.

          Again Las Vegas is full of “freakishness” and “perversion” and it’s one of the most fiscally responsible cities in the country.

          Almost every politician and corrupt government-playing Keynesian corporatist in America masquerades as someone living a conservative lifestyle from a Norman Rockwell painting, so yeah there is a connection between culture and politics.

    4. I’m seriously so glad I sparked this massive discussion of art.

  9. Great. I already get “Wig in a Box” stuck in my head at least three times a week. After reading this it will surely be four or five times.

  10. Based on the description, I’m not sure I see how there can be any “subtext” here. So how are guys going to be able to get blowjobs after taking their wives/ girlfriends to see this? Or maybe the subtext is aimed at gay audience members. NTTAWWT, gay guys gotta get their rocks off too, afterall.

  11. This is why I love Broadway. Whiny queers shoving their junk in your face. The LEAPING is to die for!

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