Performers at the meeting often times bridge the gap between comedian and musician. Songs from more well-known Julie Andrews works such as The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins were interpreted with enthusiastic wit. The lesser known features of the Julie Andrews oeuvre were performed with less bravura, framework and with soft rich sentiment. This is especially true for Gabrielle Stravelli and her refined soaring take on the haunting Julie Andrews lament, "Whistling Away The Dark". Even the host performed a piece from the Andrews songbook, "Poor Butterfly," making sure to take equal time to acknowledge its dated politics and eternal message. The evening's piano accompanist and musical collaborator Tracy Stark performed personably and passionately.
The program also included a sketch reading of Justin Sayre's, with Matt Dennie and Josh Sharp. This reading was funniest for those with a visual imagination as it followed the tale of Mary Poppins' misadventures in a frat house. The Meeting* concludes, as it always does, with alterations to the gay agenda as set forth by Mr. Sayre.
The Meeting* remarks upon a gay culture which has become an entity that is at once overly self-serious and socially dispassionate. Justin Sayre aims to enflame his audience with a presentation of personal ferocious anger at compromise. Proving his point with evidence he enforces acknowledgement that the journey of acceptance is still long and that the maintained ignorance projected upon the LGBTQIA community is horrifyingly ever present. (Editors Note: For those of you inquiring as to the previous acronym, the Q=Questioning, I=Intersex, A=Aesexual, just FYI). With a Jon Stewart eye for hypocrisy, Justin Sayre says what he intends with brilliant clarity and shoulders a political attitude that is filled with the intelligence of an enraged cultural optimist. The Meeting* denies itself both intellectual shame and haughty superiority, as it extends its irreverent and touching utility to all who might attend.
The next appearance of The Meeting* at Joe's Pub will be on November 16th. Details can be found here.