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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Doing Their Part: This Man-in-a-Dress Musical Comedy Added One Sentence About Accepting Everybody, So Now It’s Okay

by Ben Schrager. Instagram: @ben.schrager. Twitter: @ben_schrager.

NEW YORK, NY. – In an act of solidarity that’s being lauded as “brave,” the latest musical adaptation of a man-in-a-dress comedy has added one line in the second act about accepting everybody, so now it’s totally okay.

“When this project first came across my desk, I thought to myself ‘absolutely not. We in the theatre world cannot continue causing harm to marginalized communities by being so careless,’” said Michael Ehrlinger, lead producer on Sorority Boys: An Uncut Musical. “But then I got to the second act and I was blown away by the sensitivity and care that was put into this one sentence about acceptance and love. True allyship like that needs to be highlighted on our stages, now more than ever.”

The musical, which includes gags involving men struggling with breastplates, grabbing at their crotches while in dresses, and pitching their voices up two octaves to disguise themselves as women, has a book and score by Oliver Fritz and Jackson Morris.

“We know the concerns that many trans and nonbinary folx have with these stories,” said Morris, whose book also includes a seven-minute uninterrupted scene where a cisgendered man stumbles around the stage in high heels going “whoaaaaAAaaa how do women do it?!?” on a continuous loop. “But we hope that this show - especially the one sentence in the second act that talks about how love is love and people are people - can start a dialogue. And if we knew a single trans or nonbinary person ourselves, we’d want to start that dialogue with them, too.”

Phil Trindle, a representative from the Cis Alliance of Performative Accountability, or CAPA for short, sat in on a rehearsal of Sorority Boys. He had high praise for Fritz and Morris’ work.

“In times like these, when our trans and nonbinary family are being persecuted, media narratives matter more than ever,” said Trindle while trying to close a suitcase full of money. “I went into Sorority Boys incredibly skeptical of what I might see, but in the 15 minutes that I viewed, I was convinced that this creative team has put in the hard work to make sure that one sentence in the second act gets the true message of this show across: that hate is bad, and that love is good, or whatever.”

The team’s hard work recently received a CAPA Culture Award for Most Heroic Sentence.

“We invited a trans person to speak on behalf of the entire trans community for the ceremony,” said Fritz while posing for a statue of himself to be donated to The Stonewall Inn. “Unfortunately nobody got back to us in the 12 minutes between us sending the request and accepting the award, so we have to assume they’re just cool with it.”


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