55 Shades of Gay: Balkan Spring of Sexual Revolution
Closed 1h 10m
55 Shades of Gay: Balkan Spring of Sexual Revolution

55 Shades of Gay: Balkan Spring of Sexual Revolution NYC Reviews and Tickets

(24 Reviews)
Members say
Confusing, Ambitious, Edgy, Disappointing, Dizzying

About the Show

La MaMa presents the US premiere of Kosovo’s Qendra Multimedia in a contemporary burlesque story about LGBTI politics in the Balkans.

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Member Reviews (24)

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891 Reviews | 259 Followers
Relevant, Quirky, Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you would like a taste of the life faced by those in Eastern European countries in these challenging times. Good acting and singing non-stop

Don't see it if you are bothered reading superscripts to understand what is being said or you find more than an hour on a tight folding chair difficult.

754 Reviews | 124 Followers
Dated, Quirky, Intense, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if you loved Vietnam War protest theater. Ironic & loud using absurd actions & statements to make obvious points. Well done for what it is.

Don't see it if any of the above bothers you.

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
Slow, Edgy, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if Disjointed effort to shed light on gay Kosovo political scene Language is a stumbling block w/poorly illuminated subtitles Cast is spirited

Don't see it if Needs a more powerful dramatic punch than burlesque style can provide Critique of EU's economic leverage good but underdeveloped Finale A+

670 Reviews | 156 Followers
Personable, Episodic, Eastern european, Queer, Educational

See it if you are interested in experiencing a theatricalized take on the emergence of queer life in a Balkan country.

Don't see it if you want a play: this is a series of vignettes staged as a floor show. Read more

567 Reviews | 147 Followers
Experimental satire, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Edgy, Great singing

See it if From Kosovo, an experimental satire of same-sex marriage rights w/ singing. The plight of the Albanian homosexual gets short shrift today.

Don't see it if Battalions are sent to Syria, but the social problems of Kosovo are ignored.Some broken english, but Albanian valiant effort w/ superscripts

484 Reviews | 130 Followers
Committed, Experimental, Heartfelt, Burlesque take, 70s agit prop

See it if throwback 2 experimental theatre as it once was, primer on gay rights in Albania, humorous take on imposition of values 2 gain E.U. status

Don't see it if no interest in gay issues, fear supertitles & translation, need polished production values, offended by sexual imagery & issues

434 Reviews | 95 Followers
Experimental, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if You're interested in LGBTQ rights somewhere other than the US. You like experimental theater and theater from across the pond. Great acting.

Don't see it if You want a cohesive linear story and don't want to read supertitles as their accents are quite strong. You don't like LGBTQ stories.

407 Reviews | 67 Followers
Confusing, Thought-provoking, Dizzying, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy experimental theatre presenting the LGBTQ POV in the European Union, It ain't all that it looks like. Very poignant but difficult

Don't see it if shows spoken mostly in Albanian or the language of Kosovo with titles that lag and weird staging and effects. It goes over the top

Critic Reviews (6)

March 15th, 2019

"With a running time of 70 minutes, this brisk burlesque-infused play tracks the progress and problems of a male gay couple...Equal parts peep show and politics, the play burns hot (fuchsia) unapologetically...'55 Shades' electrifies what could have been an otherwise important-but-familiar 'fight for your rights' story...At times grim, grotesque but consistently gripping, the show's sights and sounds don't only push the envelope, they lick it."
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March 13th, 2019

“Costume elements, personifications of inanimate objects, and abstract blocking hark unapologetically back to the 20th-century theatrical avant-garde. But filtered through an unfamiliar culture, the spectacle feels mostly fresh, and all heartfelt. One can only marvel at the effort and dedication that must have gone, first, into creating and mounting this controversial show in Kosovo, then rendering much of it into English and taking it across the ocean...Powerful, semi-operatic curiosity.”
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March 12th, 2019

"Equal parts flamboyant exaggeration and furious indignation, '55 Shades of Gay' is a jumble of styles, languages, and music...An interesting piece of theatrical experimentation. The five Kosovar actors, particularly the lovelorn Tristan Halilaj, manage to present nicely drawn characterizations (and cartoons) amidst the grotesquerie and satire. Overall, the performance feels a bit long likely due to repetition in the storytelling."
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March 13th, 2019

"Laugh-out-loud comedy...The play’s universal message of overcoming bigotry and fighting for equality is relevant whether in Kosovo, or…Kentucky!...The play tickles and titillates the audience with its colorful, multi-media mix of bawdy dialogue, music, burlesque, and visual projections– all imbued with naughty but smart humor and a lovingly over-the-top queer sensibility running throughout...A deliciously raunchy, truly unique comedy that’s more relevant than ever in 2019."
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March 11th, 2019

"'55 Shades of Gay' is a fun and frenetic play from Kosovo dealing with the problems when well-meaning outsiders clash with locals over morals, aid money and sexuality. It uses a variety show of ideas, songs and vignettes related to an Italian factory owner who wants to marry a local man. The mayor and Prime Minister realize that the EU approve Constitution allows same gender marriage, despite the locals' objections. A humorous look at imposed values."
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March 12th, 2019

"Nothing in '55 Shades of Gay' is subtle...The vast artistic creativity onstage is innovative, provocative, and unabashedly electrifying...'55 Shades of Gay' scorches the inane & inhumane obstacles to people loving each other...The play also eloquently touches the heart in its quieter moments. A tree on stage testifies to having born witness to years of homophobic brutality and stands as a reminder there are no innocent bystanders. '55 Shades of Gay' at La Mama must be seen in all its glory."
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