My dreams of working with a family-friendly professional theater company took a serious hit today when one of the two people I was hoping would be involved suggested that Cabaret could be produced as a family-friendly show. Ex-fucking-scuse me?! If memory serves, Cabaret is the play with the androgenous Nazi pimp who sings about having sex with two women at once. And then there’s the writer guy whose prostitute lover aborts his child. So after my head was finished exploding, my would-be collaborator chided me that eliminating such shows from the “family-friendly” mix might set us sliding down the slippery slope toward “theater for 12-year-olds.” It felt like that scene in the Donald Sutherland remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers when somebody Sutherland still trusts opens her mouth and makes that horrible sound the pod people make whenever they spot a human being. Sutherland is alone … and doomed. Which is how I felt today.
I suspect that many in the “family entertainment” business, when they go to sleep at night, dream of being pole dancers. And they’re always trying to nudge their products in that direction … making Santa a little sexier, as it were … for the sake of art … or whatever. How desolate! I want to grab these people and shake them. I want to shout at them, “Say what you mean and be what you are and stop going along to get along!!”
I drove up to Camp Greenville this morning to read for a few hours. There’s a little open-air chapel there, built during the WPA era, I think, called Pretty Place. On clear days, it overlooks the foothills. Today, though, it overlooked dense fog … which is pretty in its own right.