I wonder what it would have been like to watch “Bent” in a parallel universe where Obergefell v. Hodges went the other way. It’s not an easy play to experience under any circumstances, and Keira Fromm’s production with The Other Theatre Company is a skilled, deliberate bludgeoning that leaves you walking out in a daze. At least in this universe when audiences leave the theater they get to walk out into a world where gay marriage is newly and still exhilaratingly legal. In that parallel universe this play might honestly be too much to handle.
The 1979 play, by Martin Sherman, begins in 1934 Berlin, with lovers Max (Nik Kourtis) and Rudy (Will Von Vogt) squabbling over Max’s having drunkenly brought home another man, Wolf (Michael Carey), to share their bed. This intensely domestic scene is then shattered when Hitler’s SS burst through the door, slitting Wolf’s throat and sending Max and Rudy on the run. Eventually the two are rounded up and sent to Dachau, where Max is able to finagle a gold star instead of a pink triangle, much to the chagrin of fellow prisoner Horst (Alex Weisman). Pink triangles, you see, were considered the lowest of the low, even among other prisoners. Read the rest of this entry »