Friday, October 19, 2007
The title of this post is a reference to the play Tea and Sympathy. The recently deceased Deborah Kerr starred in the film, which I haven't seen. It's about a kind woman who gently initiates a less-than-masculine and sexually timid boy (homosexual? It's ambiguous) into sexuality. She's lonely and compassionate; he's all mixed up. It's a bittersweet tale. I played the boy in a college student-directed one-act cutting from the script. Playing a wimpy and sexually unthreatening guy was not exactly an acting stretch. The student in the Deborah Kerr role was a large, gentle butch lesbian, who gave a luminous performance but was probably a surprise to anyone in the audience who was expecting a Deborah Kerr-alike. I hadn't thought about the play in years, until someone mentioned it in relation to Kerr's passing. The play is a charmer, but it's the kind of fantasy about sexual awfulness averted by sexual kindness that doesn't match up to life as I've lived it. You can't spell "excruciating sadness" without S-E-X.