Saturday night, Corb and I attended one of our favorite events of the year--the annual fundraiser for Crossroads of Rhode Island. It always has a really clever theme, which always comes to life in a really clever fashion. For example, last year was Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, for which they took over an entire factory in the center of Providence. Another year, they took over McCoy stadium to recreate a 40s nightclub.
This year's theme was...and Mousey, you gotta love this...pirates.
Pirates! What self-respecting gay man doesn't love a pirate theme? Dressing up in black and wearing bandannas in a jaunty fashion? Covering yourself with eypatches and bling? Plundering some other man's booty? I tell you, it is truly a pirate's life for me.
True to form, the place just plain felt like a gay nightclub, simply by virtue of all the pirate costumes and decor. The music didn't hurt, either--it was all seventies disco (Like "Shake Your Booty," of course) along with several dancer that looked suspiciously Solid Gold-era. Dionne Warwick, eat your heart out!
This only reinforces my theory that the pirate theme contains within it a strong homo-erotic undercurrent. Case in point: "Pirates of the Caribbean." Is it any surprise that Johnny Depp comes across as a slightly fey Keith Richards?
"I have a friend who did a paper in college about 'Prirates and their Cabin Boys," said my friend Leslie, as we were nibbling on slightly over-tart salads. "Those young energetic fellows did more than swab the decks, if you know what I mean."
"You think they were--"
"Well, think about it," she said. "Cherubic lads, no women on the ship, for six month stretches in a row. What else do you think was going on?"
Egad. There's a side of Pirates of Penzance I've never contemplated before. My mind was awash with walking the plank and pieces of eight...inches?
Fortunately, the week before, I had gone to a 50th birthday for my friend Wayne. His girlfriend, Hot Coco, had planned a surprise roast for him, which contained a pirate theme. To help things along, she supplied everyone with eyepatches and fake costume jewelry.
What a totally unexpected piece of luck! I snatched some up and saved them for a week, and then threw on a black pleated sheet that I had purchased when I was directing the musical Oklahoma, a few years ago. It had helped with The Farmer and the Cowman, and it sure as helped now. Black jeans, black shoes, and I was almost there. All I needed was to steal one of my daughter's bandannas, and I was all set.
I should note that all the photos used for this were taken by my one and only big guy, Corb, using his i-Phone. By the way, he chose not to dress as a pirate, although with his spiky yellow hair, I decided to think of him as my parrot.
For more information about the work that Crossroads Rhode Island, you can visit www.crossroadsri.org. It was a fun evening, for a totally good cause.