Thursday, May 29, 2014

Top 10 LGBT Broadway Shows

June is LGBT Pride month, which commemorates the 1969 Stonewall uprising regarded by most historians as the beginning of the modern day gay rights movement.  To salute LGBT Pride month, I am offering my Top 10 all-time LGBT-oriented Broadway plays and musicals. 
The criteria chosen for these shows include: 1) a successful run on Broadway (or off-Broadway); 2) significant LGBT characters; 3) an LGBT theme or storyline; and 4) groundbreaking for its time.  I have selected 5 musicals and 5 plays to comprise the list.

There are so many worthy choices that the others that do not make the Top 10 are included in the Honorable Mentions section. 

10. Kinky Boots with music and lyrics by Cindi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein received 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical among 13 nominations in 2013.  Based on the 2005 film Kinky Boots, which was inspired by a true story, the musical tells of a struggling British shoe factory’s owner, Charlie, who forms an unlikely partnership with a drag queen named Lola, to save the business. Charlie develops a plan to produce custom footwear for drag queens and kings, rather than the men’s dress shoes that his firm is known for, and in the process, he and Lola discover that they are not that different.

9. The 2003 Tony Award winner for Best Play Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg touches on social issues that are in the headlines today.  Largely set in the locker room of a professional baseball team, the all-male cast deals with such issues as homophobia, racism, class, and masculinity in sports.  With a current push for gay athletes in professional sports to come out, this timeless play resonates like no other.

8.  A new revival on Broadway, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a rock musical about a fictional rock and roll band, The Angry Inch fronted by an East German transgender singer, Hedwig. The text is by John Cameron Mitchell, and the music and lyrics are by Stephen Trask. The character of Hedwig was originally inspired by a German divorced U.S. Army wife who was a Mitchell family babysitter and moonlighted as a prostitute at her trailer park home.  It opened off-Broadway in 1998 and played for over 850 performances.

7. The 1979 play Bent written by Martin Sherman is a powerful drama that describes the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany and how they must wear the pink triangle as a means of identification.  Bent takes place during and after the Night of the Long Knives—an event that occurred from June 30 to July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders.  The play helped raise awareness regarding the Nazi persecution of gays during that period.

6. The Boys in the Band by Mart Crowley made the list for being a groundbreaking gay-themed play that opened in 1968 and played off-Broadway for over 1,000 performances.  The varied gay characters’ backgrounds are revealed as they became increasingly inebriated during an Upper East Side Manhattan birthday party.  Some believed that after seeing the play whereby the gay characters brought their feelings out of the closet, it set a tone that gays should no longer settle for considering themselves as pathetic, which could have been an inspiration for the Stonewall uprising in 1969.

5. Popular among the LGBT community, Rent initially played off-Broadway and eventually moved to Broadway where it won 4 Tony Awards in 1996 including Best Musical.  With music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson and based on Puccini’s opera La bohème, Rent tells the story of a group of broke young artists and musicians including gay and lesbian characters struggling to survive and create in New York City’s Lower East Side in Alphabet City, with HIV/AIDS as a significant backdrop to the storyline.  The song “Seasons of Love” is a classic. Larsen died suddenly the night before its off-Broadway premiere.

4. Kiss of the Spider Woman, based on the Manuel Puig novel El Beso de la Mujer Araña, captured 7 Tony Awards in 1993 including Best Musical.  With music by John Kander and Fred Ebb and the book by Terrence McNally, it tells the story of a gay man, Molina, in a Latin American prison and his relationship with a straight cellmate, Valetin. Molina’s fantasies about the actress Aurora are their only ostensible escape.  The show ran for over 900 performances on Broadway.

3. The 1983 Tony and Drama Desk Award winner for Best Play, Torch Song Trilogy, penned by Harvey Fierstein, is presented in three acts: “International Stud,” “Fugue in a Nursery,” and “Widows and Children First!”  The story concerns Arnold Beckoff, a torch song singing Jewish drag queen living in New York City in the late 1970s and 1980s with each act focusing on a different phase of Arnold’s life.

2. Angels in America (Parts I and II) is a 1993 Pulitzer Prize masterpiece by gay playwright Tony Kushner.  Presented separately, Part I, Millennium Approaches (4 Tony Awards in 1993) and Part II, Perestroika (3 Tony Awards in 1994) center on the AIDS crisis in New York City in 1985 and how it affects a group of dissimilar but connected individuals.

1.  Without question La Cage Aux Folles, a record-breaking Tony Awards winner, ranks as the all-time leader of LGBT productions.  Given that there were gay main characters, the music and lyrics were penned by a gay composer Jerry Herman and the book written by Harvey Fierstein who is also gay, there is no question La Cage deserves the top spot.  Moreover, La Cage gives us the song “I Am What I Am,” which took on a life of its own and became an unofficial gay anthem.  This show also demonstrated before it became widely accepted that children of gay parents turn out well—a powerful message amidst a ton of laughter and great music.

Honorable Mentions with Musicals shown in bold (in no particular order):

Falsettos, The Ritz, The Normal Heart, A Chorus Line, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Stop Kiss, Victor/Victoria, The Children’s Hour, The Color Purple, I Am My Own Wife, Avenue Q, Breaking the Code, Spring Awakening, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Deathtrap, The Rocky Horror Show, The Laramie Project, M. Butterfly, The Nance, Next Fall, Cabaret, Fifth of July, Six Degrees of Separation

Monday, May 26, 2014

Not Out of the Woods Yet

With Pride approaching so quickly, it is easy to get caught up in the euphoria that has resulted from an unprecedented and unpredicted series of victories affecting the LGBT community.  The discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage is falling one state at a time like poorly mounted tiles off a wall.  Just this past week Oregon and Pennsylvania became the 18th and 19th states, respectively, to hop on the road to equality. Remember when there only five?  More states are in limbo because of legal challenges that are in process that may also add to the totals. 

Forty-four percent of Americans now live in a state that allows same-sex marriage. A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in March show that nearly 3 out of 5 Americans support the right of gays and lesbians to tie the knot.  All in all, North Dakota remains as the sole state where no challenge to their ban has taken place. 
On top of that, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that legally married same-sex couples cannot be denied the federal benefits afforded heterosexual married couples.

Locally, the recent passage of the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, derided by opponents as “the bathroom bill,” is another reason to celebrate after years of failure.  A signature drive is underway to petition the law to referendum in November, but my gut is telling me it will fail by either the inability to collect the requisite number of signatures or that it will likely lose at the ballot box.
This past year we’ve witnessed history in the world of sports whereby Jason Collins became the first openly gay man to play in a major North American sport league (pro basketball) while still active, and Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted in the National Football League. 

With the screening on HBO of Larry Kramer’s powerful drama The Normal Heart, we got a glimpse of how our government that is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people” based on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address turned a blind eye on the developing AIDS crisis that began in the 1980s.  In direct contrast, we now have a president that has moved heaven and earth to help achieve equality for LGBT folks.  If only he had a Congress he could work with.
All this welcome news masks one underlying bit of reality: we’re not out of the woods yet.

More states have legalized same-sex marriage than have non-discrimination protections in place for LGBT workers.  The federal law—Employment Nondiscrimination Act or ENDA—has “celebrated” its 40th anniversary of non-passage.  It’s been introduced in every Congress but the 109th without success.  Prospects are dim for the near future that the bill would become law given the Republicans’ staunch opposition to passage despite the fact nearly three-fourths of Americans support nondiscrimination in the workplace for LGBT folks.  The GOP stubbornly continues to trail behind the shifting, progressive public attitudes—a development that weakens the Party nationally.
Despite the progress, old habits don’t die.  There are still haters out there who would physically harm LGBT people if given the chance or deprive them of their rights.  Bullying in schools continues to cause problems for LGBT students, especially among the transgender kids.  And families who rely on a strict interpretation of Scripture still throw their LGBT children out of their homes or make it so uncomfortable for them, the kids become runaways or homeless.

These problems continue to exist but they are more acute outside the U.S. where there is widespread homophobia leading to serious consequences.  We know of the the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 (previously called the “Kill the Gays bill” in the western media).  Instead of the death penalty for being gay, life imprisonment is the penalty.  Whew!
Elsewhere in Africa, new anti-gay laws have been proposed in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.  Anti-gay violence has been increasing across the continent.

In 2013 Russia received international criticism for enacting an anti-LGBT propaganda law, which purportedly was to prevent distribution of “non-traditional sexual relationships” ideas among minors.  This, too, has led to anti-gay violence around the country.
China is cracking down on gay activists.  Brunei has a law that allows death by stoning for gay sex.  And then there are the stringent laws in other Middle Eastern countries.

All this means is that as things get better in the U.S. they seem to be getting worse elsewhere.  Jay Michaelson of The Daily Beast opines that these nations are reflecting a backlash to the progress in the U.S. “Thanks to globalization, America’s current infatuation with all things gay has become more visible around the world,” he writes.  “As a result, many countries have become volatile mixtures of 1950s attitudes and 2010s media.  Children may watch Glee on their smartphones, but their parents still think gay people are pedophiles.”
And the AIDS crisis is far from over.  Though it’s no longer considered a “gay disease,” new infections from younger men who have sex with men are on the rise.

We can celebrate the steps we have taken as we move forward—as well we should—but we must understand that there is so much more work left to be done.  Clearly, we’re not out of the woods yet. 
Not by a long shot.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Courting LGBT Voters in Howard County

Courtney Watson
Allan H. Kittleman
Republican Senator Allan H. Kittleman has been regarded as a hero among LGBT folks throughout the state for bucking his party’s positions and standing up forcefully to advance the cause of same-sex marriage.  He had also been recognized as a stalwart supporter of non-discrimination protections on the basis of gender identity. In doing so, he was the sole GOP Senator to speak out and vote for both pieces of legislation.

The Republican caucus in the Senate did not approve of his stands on these issues; consequently he relinquished the Senate Minority Leader post he held. Kittleman eventually brought down the curtain on his Senate career following this term.  He had decided instead to seek the soon-to-be vacant county executive position in Howard County that is currently being held by the term-limited Ken Ulman.

“Senator Allan Kittleman’s support did not come without a cost; he lost his leadership position,” said Carrie Evans, executive director for Equality Maryland.  “But that didn’t deter him. He worked with the campaign to lend a Republican voice to the chorus of support for Question 6. His support allowed for more Republicans to come forward claiming marriage equality as a Republican value.”

Kittleman has no regrets concerning his pro-LGBT views. “It is said of Robert Kennedy that he ‘saw wrongs and tried to right them,’ and I’ve tried to do the same,” he explained referring to a Democratic icon.  “That is why I co-sponsored and helped lead the effort to bring marriage equality to Maryland; that is also why I co-sponsored this session’s Fairness for All Marylanders legislation to provide equal rights to members of the transgender community.”
Kittleman’s opponent in the Howard County executive race is two-term Democratic Councilwoman Courtney Watson.  Neither candidate is facing a primary challenge.  But as much as Kittleman has earned praise from many LGBT people in the county and around the state, Watson has no intent to cede that demographic to her opponent knowing that every vote matters.

“We all celebrated the marriage victory in Maryland in 2012; it was a great day for something that was long overdue,” Watson said.  Howard County voted 59 to 41 percent in favor of marriage equality in the 2012 referendum.
She has been acclaimed particularly for her work in passing gender identity protections in Howard County, and that effort helped to bring about similar legislation in Baltimore County.

“When I learned about the difficulties facing a transgender classmate of my son's, I started working on a gender identity non-discrimination bill for Howard County and once we passed it in Howard in 2011, I took it to Baltimore County and shared it with my colleagues there who introduced and passed in 2012,” she recalls. “I testified on the bill in Baltimore County and also at the state hearings two years in a row.  With two more counties having successfully implemented this civil rights legislation, gender identity protections got much needed momentum in the General Assembly this year.”
Regarded as a swing county, Howard had been trending Democratic for over a decade yet many project this to be a tight race.  Estimates are that LGBT individuals represent 3% of the county’s population, which translates into roughly 9,000 potential voters.  When you add in families of LGBT people, friends, neighbors, co-workers and other supporters in this ever-widening circle, the amount of votes up for grab could be quite valuable and worth the effort for both candidates to woo. 

No stranger to tight elections is Byron Macfarlane, who edged out four-term Republican incumbent Kay Hartleb in 2010 to become the county’s Register of Wills.  Macfarlane is the first openly gay elected official in Howard and enthusiastically backs Watson.
“I endorse Courtney Watson for County Executive because of her support for marriage equality, her efforts during the marriage ballot referendum, her unparalleled leadership on championing gender identity protections, and her commitment that the LGBT community will always have a seat at the table on important issues facing our county,” Macfarlane said.  “I’m thrilled to be joining her to celebrate LGBT Pride Month with colleagues in government and a host of community leaders.” 

Indeed, Macfarlane will be the principal host of a campaign rally to boost LGBT support on June 1 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Azul 17, located at 9400 Snowden River Parkway, #127 in Columbia.
For his part, Kittleman is planning a similar event to attract LGBT voters. “We are working with our many LGBT supporters to organize an event in the summer/fall.”

Watson extols Howard County’s strong record on LGBT rights.  “I am proud that Howard County has led the way for LGBT issues in many ways, and as County Executive, I will continue to build a strong Howard County where all people are welcome and supported,” she says. 
“But this work isn't just about legislation; it’s about creating a community of support and encouragement where all people can reach their full potential,” Watson adds.  “As County Executive, I will work to make sure that all county service providers, from teachers to professionals who work with seniors, to first responders, have competency training and education about issues facing the LGBT community.  I am committed especially to provide the supports that can be lacking in some of our schools for children who are struggling.  StandUpHoCo is a county anti-bullying initiative begun this year that I worked with Ken Ulman to fund and implement, and I will continue to expand this important program.”

Sharon Brackett, a trans woman from Laurel who is board chair at Gender Rights Maryland, has had positive experiences with both candidates.  “As the key bill sponsor of the Gender Identity bill I have found [Watson] supportive of the Trans community.  I asked her to testify both in Baltimore County and in Annapolis and she did so willingly. I have interacted with her at a few business functions at the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship,” said Brackett who is President and CEO of Tiresias Technologies, Inc.
In that respect, Brackett, who acknowledges Kittleman being the sole Senate Republican to support transgender rights, said she has had good discussions about business development with him.  “He always seems genuinely pleased to see me and offers a hug.” 

Kittleman points to his record on fairness as to why he should receive LGBT support.  “As County Executive, I will ensure that Howard County continues to be a leader in the effort to treat all individuals, all families and all marriages equally,” he says.  “Discrimination and intolerance will not be condoned in my administration.  I will expect and demand that those in my administration treat everyone equally regardless of their sexual orientation.  Further, members of the LGBT community will always have a seat at the table in my administration.  I will proactively reach out to the LGBT community to get their input on issues affecting Howard County.”
Because both candidates have been so supportive in Howard County, regardless of who comes out on top in November, LGBT folks and their allies stand to be winners as well.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The 'Bathroom Bill' Argument is a Loser, the group led by Delegate Neil Parrott that is spearheading the drive to overturn the Fairness for All Marylanders Act (FAMA) by referendum, needs 18,500 signatures by May 31 and if successful, a total of 55,736 validated signatures by June 30. Assuming those goals are reached, the effort will likely fail by a popular vote.   

Twitter/Jenna Johnson, Washington Post
FAMA amends the state anti-discrimination law to include gender identity that would ban discrimination in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.  The opposition cannot make a legitimate case to topple it.
This same group launched the successful drive to petition the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act to referendum in 2012.  Few accurately predicted the outcome, however, because never before had a ballot initiative to legalize same-sex nuptials succeeded when left to the voters to decide.  Despite history on its side, the active support of the Catholic Church, the National Organization for Marriage and other factors, Marylanders rejected the referendum and voted “yes” to marriage equality by a 52-48 percent margin.
I would be absolutely shocked if this statewide referendum effort to maintain discrimination against transgender individuals were to succeed at the ballot box.  One of the main reasons is the referendum proponents’ decision to dub the legislation as “the bathroom bill.” 

While marriage equality opponents presented a combination of arguments based on religion, debunked studies on the negative effects on children of gay or lesbian parents,  opposition to redefining “traditional” marriage, and that somehow same-sex marriage would lead to teaching homosexuality in the schools, and their allies are settling on the outrageously false charge that the law would open the door for men wearing dresses to enter a women’s restroom and do nasty things.
The Baltimore Sun derided this strategy as “juvenile in a 3rd grade classroom” and “embarrassing” in an editorial. The Washington Post opined, “This was middle school trash talk disguised as policy analysis.” 

The petitioners played their hand early, and it should be a cakewalk to tear this argument to shreds.
Listening to the testimony by opponents of FAMA during the House and Senate hearings and then again on the House floor as part of the debate would drive any rational person to shriek. These people have no clue as to what it means to be transgender.  They purposely and misleadingly conflate being transgender with being a transvestite; that if a man “feels like being a woman one day,” he will put on a dress and wig and enter a woman’s private space to presumably stare or commit a sexual assault. 

Here’s a newsflash: if a man is inclined to perform a depraved act like that, he can do so without the benefit of FAMA.  Another flash: if anybody accosts, molests or rapes anyone in a restroom or other locale, they are subject to the laws of the jurisdiction that prohibit those acts and will be prosecuted and punished.    
In the 17 other states and D.C. as well as the several jurisdictions in Maryland—Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County and Hyattsville—where comprehensive gender identity protections have been enacted, there have been no such reports or problems resulting from the passage of the legislation.  FAMA does not make it legal to commit crimes, so how can the referendum’s supporters expect people to believe these so-called horror stories?

Unfortunately, many will.  As the anti-marriage equality folks did in attempting to scare people, they intend to use children as their pawns because once you bring children into the picture, the emotional landscape shifts.  “Little girls will no longer be safe in a restroom if this bill becomes law,” they say.  That’s what we can expect, but fortunately, that’s all they have, and it should and will be shot down. 
Equality Maryland, the most significant component in the umbrella group Maryland Coalition for TransgenderEquality, will ostensibly counter the petition drive.  To its credit the organization has launched an education campaign designed to discredit the falsehoods put forth by the petitioners. Among the 19 questions listed on their FAQ page  the one that directly addresses the question about men dressing up as women to enter a women’s rest room contains a clear response: 

“This law does not entitle a person whose core identity is male to use the women’s room, or whose core identity is female to use the men’s room.  Even if a man dresses up as woman, if his sincerely held, core identity is male, he cannot use the women’s room.  This Act does not change that.
“Moreover, this law does not change or weaken Maryland’s criminal laws in any way.  If someone goes into a restroom to ogle or expose themselves or harass or assault someone, what they are doing is illegal and they will be prosecuted – regardless of how they are dressed or what their sex is or what their gender identity is.”
The general public’s ignorance of what being transgender means causes many to be susceptible to the bunk spewed by the petitioners.  Plenty still perceive transgender folks as cross-dressers acting out a fetish. 
Nonetheless, a Goucher College poll from March shows that some 71 percent of Marylanders support non-discrimination for transgender people.  But as I have cautioned before, one should never lean on a poll.  Social justice issues tend to skew the numbers favorably towards minority rights.  We also don’t know if the methodology was sound.  And most importantly, the data do not reflect the “bathroom” propaganda yet to be unleashed.

Therefore, it is prudent to fight back ferociously with all the information we can muster.  By playing their ace-in-the-hole now, gave FAMA supporters the time to respond to the childish fantasies that comprise the basic rationale for their opposition to the law.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

History Made in the NFL

Michael Sam drafted in the 7th round; becomes first openly gay player 
As people around the country were tuning in to the National Football League draft extravaganza that took place May 8-10, there was a little more interest than usual in the 2014 version than in previous years.  For in this cycle, there was the possibility (and hope) that an openly gay man, Michael Sam, a defensive end who was a star at the University of Missouri, could have his name called by an NFL team and break the rainbow barrier to become the first ever openly gay man to play in the nation’s most lucrative professional sports league. 

After 248 out of 256 players heard their names called  during the otherwise tedious process that will dramatically change these young men’s lives, hope began to melt into concern and then rationalization as the 7th and final round was slowly progressing and still no word of Michael Sam, 24, from Hitchcock, Texas.  
Will the NFL do the right thing or are the executives still not as progressive on social issues as many of their players?  Is Michael Sam really too slow to be a linebacker and even at 6 foot 2, 260 lbs. too small to be a defensive end in the pros based on a series of physical tests that had taken place at a rigorous audition known as the combine?  Will any team take the risk of having a gay player and potentially cause a distraction in the locker room?  Will the media cause its own distraction?

Analysts at ESPN who dutifully provided all the insight one would want (or could take) during the three-day draft proceedings also speculated on whether or not Sam had the right stuff.  The first-team All-American and 2013 Southeast Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year did not have the “numbers” or the size or quickness to be a likely draft pick.  Moreover, some team scouts told the media anonymously that when Sam disclosed his sexual orientation in an interview with ESPN in February, his stock had fallen. 
The in-draft analysts on ESPN, nonetheless, effusively praised Sam’s character and work ethic and “motor”.   Sam should be taken in the draft if a team a club needs a special team player or a pass rusher, they opined, and they encouraged his rooters that even if not drafted, he could be invited to a team’s training camp and be signed as an undrafted free agent as 47 did last year.  A development like that could even be more beneficial to him.
Yet something akin to a Hollywood script unfolded.  As the number of available picks was perilously dwindling to a precious few late Saturday afternoon—only eight remained—Michael Sam received the phone call from St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Fisher.  “You are a Ram,” said Fisher. “The wait is finally over.”
Sam was seen on ESPN breaking down and sobbing at the news in real time, barely audibly thanking Fisher. He was in the arms of his boyfriend Vito Cammisano, and then they kissed for several moments—something ESPN did not cut away from as one would have expected not that long ago.
“This is a football decision,” Fisher said. “We are very, very comfortable with everything about him”—high praise indeed.  “We weren't going to miss the opportunity to add an outstanding player to our roster,” he added.
St. Louis is a good fit for Sam as it is only a two-hour drive from Columbia, MO where Sam excelled at the University of Missouri.  People are familiar with him and he is well respected there.
Reactions were mostly positive, and they poured in from everywhere.  The President of the United States weighed in.  “From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are,” Obama said. He also congratulated the NFL and the St. Louis Rams.
The historic breakthrough was not lost on LGBT civil rights leaders.  “We congratulate Michael Sam and the St. Louis Rams on their terrific decision to draft him,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a statement. “Today, LGBT young people can look to Sam as proof that being open and proud of who you are doesn’t keep you from achieving your dreams.  Gay people are our neighbors and friends.  They’re our United States Senators and, starting today, they're our professional football stars.”
Although he was drafted by the Rams, Michael Sam is not guaranteed to make the team.  But it is a trail blazing moment as was the signing of out NBA player Jason Collins earlier in the year.  With pressure mounting on the NFL to present a better image and the encouragement from its commissioner Roger Goodell, Sam’s ability and heart plus overwhelming support from fans and the media, Sam should succeed.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Theatre Review: La Cage Aux Folles at Dundalk Community Theatre

Edward J. Peters as Albin, Jeff Burch as Georges, and Randy Dunkle as Jean-Michael
Ce qu’est un grand spectacle A kaleidoscope of lovable characters in a town on the French Riviera, zany humor, high camp, splashy costumes, chromatic sets, superb music, stellar performances, and a good dose of family values place a big exclamation point on the conclusion of Dundalk Community Theatre’s 40th season with the entertaining production of La Cage Aux Folles.    
Veteran Director Tom Colonna successfully leads his energetic troupe through seamless set and costume changes and well-delivered songs and comedy to provide non-stop joy.  On the evening this particular performance was reviewed, however, there were mic issues including unevenness in the volume among the ensemble and a feedback episode during the second act.  Hopefully, the sound problems will be worked out in subsequent presentations, but that flaw did not detract from the overall quality of the show and the delight theatergoers will soak in like the warm Saint-Tropaz sunshine—the setting for the musical.  #hocoarts

For full review, visit MD Theatre Guide.