Monday, May 18, 2009

High school goes gay in Zanna, Don’t

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 6:00 PM

click to enlarge A DIFFERENT WORLD: The Zanna, Don
  • A DIFFERENT WORLD: The Zanna, Don

The Actor’s Express Theatre musical Zanna, Don’t! relies on a premise one might expect from “The Twilight Zone” had it originated on the Logo network. At Zanna, Don’t!'s Heartsville High School (and, implicitly, in the rest of the world) gay is the norm, while straight people are an oppressed, closeted minority.

Creator Tim Acito (who also wrote the musical The Women of Brewster Place) delights in the implications of his alternative-lifestyle universe. Football is less popular than the school's chess or all-girl mechanical bull-riding teams, and controversy breaks out over whether the library should keep a copy of Heather Has One Mommy and One Daddy. The students stage an original musical about the hard-hitting issue of straights in the military, but when football star Steve (Nick Morrett) and bull rider Kate (Caitlin Smith) sing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” onstage, they feel the love that dare not speak its name at Heartsville High.

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(Photo by Eric Hermann)

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