John M. Becker

Introducing Grindr, the Opera

Filed By John M. Becker | April 12, 2015 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Grindr, hookup app, music, opera, sex

Believe it or not, there's a Grindr-themed opera in the works. The Guardian reports:

A new rehearsed reading in New York this week moves their focus off the computer monitor and tackles the world of phone apps. After all, what's more fitting for the world of illusion than Grindr: an app with a mask for a logo? Grindr the Opera may not be playing at Lincoln Center yet, but the team behind this new show believe this is more than just a gimmick: it's an idea with legs, and a topic worth parsing...

The five characters, one of which is a drag queen embodiment of the app itself, are drawn from the "tribes" listed on Grindr: the elfish twink, the hairy daddy, etc. It's an interesting choice considering how controversial these labels can be. On an episode of the now-cancelled Looking, two characters are taken to task for devising a game that pits gay subculture labels against each other, in albeit friendly battle. It's something [composer and librettist Erik] Ransom was conscious of, and he never aimed to pander to the tropes. He provides me with the example of the twink character. "We learn about how he got pigeonholed into that subculture and how he embraced it. There are dark avenues that this goes down."

[Director Rachel] Klein also made sure they avoided the easy option with these character types, which she puts down to Ransom's writing. "It has pathos, a story and clearly drawn layered characters," she says, "but that's not something you think of when you think of Grindr. Because that gives you only the one-sentence description. And this articulates why they choose what they say." She likened her role, of an outsider looking in and focusing on the lives of these five people in a larger community, to the recent viral video of a mother looking at her son's Grindr conversations.

If a Grindr-themed opera made it to the stage, would you buy a ticket?

h/t: Towleroad

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