“It’s only terrorism if it doesn’t work. When it works, we call it a revolution.”
Photo by Ruben Permel
How does an edgy, award-winning theatre company celebrate Vegas PRIDE in a year marked by domestic political turbulence? By producing a wild, dark comedy about left-wing terrorism. Majestic Repertory Theatre opens its 2022-2023 season with Topher Payne’s Angry Fags from September 29 through October 23.
Bennett is really trying to keep it together right now. He broke up with his boyfriend and moved in with his best friend, Cooper. It’s election season, and he’s the speechwriter for Georgia’s only gay state senator, who’s engaged in a bloody campaign against a conservative darling. Then Bennett’s ex is attacked in the parking lot of a gay bar. Bennett and Cooper are informed that the assault can’t be classified as a hate crime because, in Georgia, hate crimes against homosexuals don’t legally exist.
Their frustration and fear will eventually turn to rage as they realize “acceptance” simply isn’t enough. They’re still living in a society that relegates them to second-class status. They’re not respected. They’re not feared. It’s time for that to change.
“Majestic has never been afraid of stirring the pot,” says Artistic Director Troy Heard. “Our selections have always been politically responsive—whether it’s Orwell’s Animal Farm and Marie Antoinette in reaction to the Trump election, or HAIR, Green Day’s American Idiot, and most recently Oleanna. We’re a crucible to foment change.
“Now, with gay rights under attack throughout the country and the insane amount of dog-whistling from our right-wing political leaders, we’re showing solidarity with our queer community with this hysterical and provocative play that unfortunately becomes more relevant with each news cycle. Topher’s original draft pre-dated the Trump administration, but you’d never guess by reading it.”
Not only does Angry Fags coincide with Vegas PRIDE, but it also opens right before Nevada’s midterm elections. “We’re realizing that more than ever, the midterms have just as much influence on the direction of our country as the presidential election every four years,” says Heard. “If this show can motivate a complacent audience member to show up at the polls, we’ve done our job. To paraphrase the play, it doesn’t ‘get’ better—you have to ‘make it better.”
The other selections in Majestic's 2022-23 season are the queer rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch in January, and the classic courtroom drama Inherit the Wind in March.
Performances of Angry Fags will be held at Majestic Repertory Theatre, located at 1217 S. Main St. from September 29 through October 23, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. There will be a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. on October 22. General admission tickets are on sale now at www.majesticrepertory.com.