Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Big Gay Musical

When it came to casting his religion-themed film The Big Gay Musical, Fred M. Caruso handed down two top commandments: "Thou shalt be hot" and "Thou shalt be out." Now, those are two commandments that I can support! Brandon Voss has a new interview with the first-time screenwriter, Fred M. Caruso, about the new film, The Big Gay Musical. Below is an excerpt:

In The Big Gay Musical, actors Paul and Eddie (Daniel Robinson and Joey Dudding) are starring as the first same-sex couple in Adam & Steve: Just the Way God Made ’Em! an off-Broadway tuner that looks at Genesis through lavender-colored lenses. But the real gay drama is offstage, where Eddie comes out to his religious parents and Paul ditches dating to whore around. Having premiered at Philadelphia’s QFest in July before a brief Provincetown run, The Big Gay Musical now opens in New York City on September 11 and plays more than 20 LGBT film festivals around the world this fall. First-time screenwriter Fred M. Caruso (who codirected the film with Slutty Summer’s Casper Andreas and penned the songs with NEWSical’s Rick Crom) took a break from writing the second installment of a planned TBGM trilogy to tell why his movie is so much sexier than Prayers for Bobby. What was the genesis for The Big Gay Musical?

Fred M. Caruso: I actually wrote Adam & Steve, the musical within the movie, eight years ago. So many gay people have been screwed up by religion, but gay shows and movies about religion always end up being so depressing. I wanted to create a show with a positive message about being gay and religion that was funny, campy, and crazy. Did you ever mount Adam & Steve?

Fred M. Caruso: I did a reading of it back when I wrote it, but as a commercial theater producer I realized that the show could never make money. It has a cast of 10people, so it could never really find an audience to sustain it. But now that the movie’s out and can help sell the show, there’s actually talk of mounting Adam & Steve, so we’re looking at the possibilities. You cast gay comedian and Trick star Steve Hayes as a very effeminate God in Adam & Steve. Are you hoping to piss off Christian right groups for publicity’s sake?

Fred M. Caruso: I do want to push the envelope and get people thinking. But Steve Hayes plays God the way that he wanted to play God; I never told him to play God as effeminate. Besides, I see his God as more of a sweet, cuddly teddy bear than anything. Your actors -- including Liz McCartney, Marty Thomas, Andre Ward, Jeff Metzler, Celina Carvajal, and Jim Newman -- have performed collectively in nearly 50 Broadway musicals. Why did you fish almost exclusively in the Broadway talent pool to make this film?

Fred M. Caruso: I had to find triple threats who could not only act on film but also sing and dance. If you’re going to find that in New York, you have to go to the people working on Broadway, and I was lucky to get some of the best people in the industry. Obviously, they had to have hot bodies too. What was your audition process like?

Fred M. Caruso: We did ask the actors to take their shirts off for the dance call, which made it more fun to watch.

Read full interview at Advocate.

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