The Austerity of Hope's Wedding Bell Blues
Dan Fingermans The Austerity of Hope, now playing in the Fresh Fruit Festival, is like Boys in the Band meets Sex in the City: a group of twentysomething gay men seek love in the outer boroughs, wrestle with coming out, and eat a lot of brunch. This sitcommy but sweet tale unfolds during the heady days of Obamas 2008 victory and the post-inauguration letdowns that followedespecially the long fight to legalize gay marriage.
Simon is a perennial playboy who falls for a married man; Braydon, an aspiring actor, dates a closeted TV star; Mike and Jonathan, longtime boyfriends, break up after realizing they disagree about whether to tie the knotif they ever could. (Claire, the sole straight friend, listens patiently to her buddies woes. Eventually, she moves to Korea; what this says about straight people, I dunno.)
Fingermans efforts to align the personal and the political dont always cohere: Surely marriage equality is about more than curing commitment-phobes. And do Obama-related disappointments really determine how we treat each other?
Still, the plays optimism is endearing. Its 2009, declares one character toward the end, no one cares about your sex life, other than you. And now its 2011, and Fingermans soul-searchers can officially get hitcheda real-life happy ending (for better or for worse).
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