Theater Actor Supposedly Objects To Same-Sex Kiss On Religious Grounds

Categories: Theater

Pleasures and Palaces--a 1965 Broadway flop set in 18th Century Russia, with a Frank Loesser score--was just revived by the Lyric Stage down in Texas.

In the script, there is a comic kiss between two men.

A source tells me that one of the men, actor Bryant Martin, announced approximately a week before opening that he objected to the kiss on religious grounds.

I didn't know institutionalized bigotry was allowed as an excuse to interfere with the creative process.

I reached out to the Lyric's managing director and am awaiting a reply.

It's been over a day and she must be pleasuring herself in her palace because she's not answering.

Update: She replied, saying she's administrative and doesn't comment on creative things, plus she hadn't heard anything about this. I asked her for someone who could comment and I got the publicist, who said he wasn't at the rehearsal where the issue came up. (In other words, there was an issue.)

I also messaged the actor, who hasn't responded at all.

But two people who saw the show say the kiss was in there.

Perhaps it was modified, or maybe there was an issue, but they insisted on keeping it in.

Whatever the case, if someone would only comment, we could get some resolution here.

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The Managing Director got back to me and said she knew nothing about this and doesn't comment on these things. She referred me to the publicist, who said he wasn't at the rehearsal when the issue came up. I messaged the actor two days ago and am still waiting for a reply.


Very odd.  Disappointing that the company would cave like that, and surprising that an actor would pull that kind of stuff; actors around N. Texas would mostly prize getting to perform with that company, and most actors I know or know of around here are well beyond that kind of sad, unprofessional attitude.  We have one of the best glbtq-oriented theater companies in the country here (Dallas' Uptown Players), and artists of all orientations are thrilled when they get to work with them.  Plenty of other theaters around here produce shows involving gay characters, kissing, etc.  (Dallas Theater Center produced a lovely LAST FALL this past season--plenty of kissing between a straight and a gay actor.  And the Cliff in their incredibly good CABARET in 2011 didn't shy from kissing that Kit-Kat boy.)  Sounds like Mr. Martin left it until it was too late to replace him, to make his ultimatum.

Lyric Stage generally produces stellar shows, with excellent orchestras of 35 to 40 players, and many of the best musical actors from the region, along with others cast from New York (their FUNNY GIRL of a few seasons ago introduced us to a very young star in the making, then just graduated from AMDA, Kristin Dausch as Fanny; I'm still waiting to hear that New York has recognized that particular pearl in its midst).  Lyric's MOST HAPPY FELLA last fall was one of the best things I've ever seen anywhere, in long years of theater-going in NYC, Texas, and many other places.  It was a joy to have Jo Sullivan Loesser come down for that, and sing for the audience and cast at curtain call one night.  That production and Lyric's track record of restoring scores, with (as far as possible) original orchestrations and reinstating music that has disappeared over the years (for instance, a little number in THE KING & I, for young Louis and the Prince) was the catalyst for the Loesser estate to entrust re-creating the died-out-of-town PLEASURES AND PALACES to them.  (P & P never did play Broadway, which brings up the question of whether it qualifies as a "Broadway flop," merely by virtue of having been intended to play there.  If so, that would greatly expand the numbers of Broadway flops in our history and present.)  BTW, I'm not connected to Lyric or any of these other organizations, beyond being a fan, but just wanted to give a theater-lover's perspective from the area.

 Anyway, I just don't want y'all thinking that theater around here is filled with a bunch of homo-hating, unprofessional artists who want to secede from the USA--oy, spare me.  Honestly, I don't understand how Gov. Good-Hair Maple Syrup-Lover keeps getting re-elected; even the rabid Republicans of my acquaintance can't stand him.  But that's another rant.


But the chap's views have little to do with kissing my ass.


Texas.  I should have known.  (When is Texas going to secede?  Can't wait.)


The first requirement of an actor is to ACT; to create a character who is not yourself.

You check your racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny or homophobia at the door of the rehearsal room.

Shame on a theater that would cave in to one actor's prejudice.