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

(23 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 (23)

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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+

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

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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