Bent opened Sunday night at the Mark Taper Forum here in Los Angeles. I'm proud to be a part of this production, and to perform this play at this particular moment. When Bent originally premiered in London in 1979 (and then Broadway in 1980), Martin Sherman brought to light an almost forgotten chapter of history: the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis. The gay rights movement subsequently reclaimed the pink triangle in the 1980s as a symbol of pride and identity, subverting its original intent as a label of hate. Just thirty-five years later we celebrated as a cast when the Supreme Court reached its verdict in Obergefell v. Hodges (reaffirming the right to marriage), by drinking champagne at rehearsal. Martin joined us for the last week of preview performances, and stayed for opening night. I'm so glad I got to meet him, and celebrate his remarkable play. But now it's back to work for me: I start understudy rehearsals this week for the role of Horst.
I couldn't have asked for a better way to start out in Los Angeles than to work on a play at the Mark Taper Forum. Lesley and I drove a yellow Penske truck from New York to Los Angeles at the beginning of June, and the next week I started rehearsals for a production of Bent directed by Moisés Kaufman. Bent is a Holocaust play about the persecution of homosexuals by Nazi Germany. The production is the first major American revival since its original Broadway production in 1980. I have a few small roles, as a concentration camp prisoner and as a backup dancer for Jake Shears of the rock band Scissor Sisters, who plays the drag performer Greta. I'm also the understudy for one of the central characters, Horst. If you're in LA, you can use the discount code SHERMAN to get $35 tickets for performances through July 31.