By Jeff Walsh
When you watch a movie called "The Big Gay Musical," you know what you signed up for. The only question is, will it deliver? Thankfully, this movie gives you all the laughs, songs, hot guys, and camp that you expect going in.
The movie centers on two actors playing Adam and Steve in an Off-Broadway musical. It has a queeny God, hot muscular angels, and a lot of campy dialogue with double entendres, like this one from their time in the Garden of Eden:
Adam: Last night, you figured out how to pull the skin back! It's so much better that way.
Steve: I know! Now, I really like bananas!
So, yeah, that's the kind of show to expect.
Offstage, the guy who plays Adam is sorting out how he feels about dating, monogamy, and hookups, whereas the actor playing Steve isn't out to his highly-religious parents, who are coming to opening night. With a few other characters and the slutty angels in the show, it ends up being just campy enough, just sexy enough, and with just enough heart to make it fun to watch.
It also sends up this sort of campy show, which isn't far from things that have appeared onstage before, in just the right dosage. You wouldn't really want to attend the whole show they're in, and the excerpts we get are just enough.
The musical numbers are the songs featured in the musical itself and at the cabaret where the one character goes to sing, so it's not a situation where they just start breaking into song while walking down the street, if you're one of those people who care about such things.
I think this would be a fun date movie, or good for watching with a group of like-minded people, so you could talk back at the screen. It isn't something like Hedwig, where the songs stick with you for a long time, but it's a good campy trip through ex-gay summer camps, religious fundamentalists, and the Bible (which the show says was written by a vengeful Eve after she was kicked out of the Garden of Eden and God liked his gay replacements better, forcing her to gather her thoughts in the Breeders Information Book of Living Examples).
When the characters are offstage, they actually exist in the real world and are navigating serious issues such as dating, sex, relationships, HIV, and finding someone special.
I was most impressed by how many ways this could have gone off the rails, and gotten the delicate balance wrong, but didn't. It was a big gay musical worth watching, but aren't they all?