Sunday, October 30, 2005

My New Hat and Theater Offensive

L. and I had a lazy afternoon defined by our search for a real, sinful hamburger with all the fixings. We ended up at Harvard Square and settled into our 3 o’clock plates of beef for him and tuna salad for me. I had actually gone to the gym that Saturday morning and I wasn’t about to invalidate my sweat with French fries (although I did steal a few of his, of course). It was snowing huge, wet flakes outside. I still haven’t gotten my winter coat ready for the season and was a bit chilled in my leather jacket. Then, the hat.

I swear I have been waiting thirty years for this hat to happen to me. What a revelation to have a warm head. We had ducked into the Cambridge Artists Cooperative, mostly to get out of the snow, and found our way into the back where hats galore adorned the walls. I walked out of there with a “Wild Tibetan” in green and black made by Susan Bradford. The hat came with instructions. I love it. I wish I had a picture of it. More important than the impressive rim, however, is that it keeps my entire body warm. This is amazing. My whole life I have been missing this hat.

The hamburger and the hat tired us out and we headed home for a late afternoon nap. The physical pleasure of a Saturday afternoon nap makes the entire week go down a bit easier. It was good that we napped because we decided at the last minute to go to the theater. It was another first for me. Readers beware: the production was by The Theater Offensive, whose mission statement reads:

To form and present the diverse realities of queer lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation and political orthodoxy to help build an honest, progressive community.

The play we saw, “Varla Jean Merman’s Girl With a Pearl Necklace: An Act of Love” was part of the 14th Annual Queer Theater Festival called “Out on the Edge 2005.” With my Wild Tibetan perched on my head, it was no problem to brave the snow and walk to the theater. We headed toward the theater early enough to grab a bite to eat nearby before the 10:30 show. Luckily we had been to the same arts complex before and know a place, Garden of Eden on Tremont Street, that has tasty sandwiches and desserts.

We headed into the theater a few minutes before the show to find a lively crowd and an open bar (though I think the drinks were nonalcoholic). That evening's show was the last of a four-day run for the actor, Jeffery Roberson, and there was a spirit of celebration in the air.

This was our first time to see a show performed by a man in drag. It was hilarious—pure outrageous, campy fun. We were definitely in the straight minority, but we were not “outed” in any way or made to feel uncomfortable. Varla Jean Merman regaled us with her stories about looking for love in all the wrong places, impressed us with her medleys (especially the Puccini/Beyonce number) and delighted audience members with jokes and her amazing ability to sing and eat cheese at the same time. Hilarious.

After the show, thanks to our nap, we were wide awake as we strolled home. It was a beautiful night, and we marveled about the show we had seen---we certainly are not in the Midwest anymore.

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