It’s Romeo and Juliet. But gay. And with Mummers.
If you think this sounds like the plot of an episode of Family Guy, you’re wrong. It’s the show Two Street, the newest brainchild of the Philadelphia-based Tribe of Fools, the physical theater company that has won critics over with its previous Fringe festival hits Heavy Metal Dance Fag and Antihero. The troupe, which consists of Terry Brennan, Zachary Chiero, Tim Popp and Peter Smith, welcomes Peter Andrew, Isa St. Clair, and Karina Balfour to the group for the FringeArts Festival take on Shakespeare’s classic tale, updated for queer contemporary audiences.
The synopsis for the show summarizes it as follows: "When two rival fancy brigades are forced to share the same clubhouse, tensions are bound to be high. But when Ronnie and Jules, two natural born enemies, develop romantic feelings for each other, New Years Day on Two Street may never be the same."
The show plays with the juxtaposition of romantic relationships and traditional narratives presented through films and other popular culture, says Two Street's director Terry Brennan, who is also the artistic director of the company.
"Popular entertainment has built us a one-size fits all relationship model and many of us have bought into it without even knowing it,” says Brennan. “That’s why I wanted to create Two Street. I wanted to take that one-size fits all model and make fun of it, dissect it and really examine what it says about us as a culture.”
The company thought that having two gay lovers at the center of the story certainly helps break barriers with traditional romantic narratives.
"While we still have a long way to go, as a society we're becoming more and more accepting. I feel like a natural next step in that is writing love stories that happen to have gay characters instead of love stories about the fact that the characters are gay," says Brennan.
For those interested in seeing how these gay Mummers strut their stuff, head on over to the Church of the Crucifixion, where the show runs from September 4th through the 13th at 8 p.m. Tickets and more information can be found here.
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