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Bash'd! A Gay Rap Opera

Since this musical, created by Canadian writers Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow and composer Aaron Macri, was inspired by the spike in hate crimes in Alberta, Canada, during the national debate on equal marriage for gays and lesbians, it's particularly appropriate that it was announced, just before curtain, that New York had just legalized gay marriage. This production, skillfully directed and choreographed by Ameenah Kaplan, moves at lightning speed. Two militant gay rappers, Feminem (Sean Bradford) and T-bag (Chris Ferro), come tearing onstage, spitting clever, rousing and defiant lyrics, with pounding hip-hop moves. After hilariously skewering various straight and gay targets, they set out to tell the tale of urban Jack (Bradford) and suburban Dillon (Ferro). When naïve Dillon arrives in the city, Jack becomes his mentor, and their relationship develops into love and marriage. But their happiness is marred when Jack is attacked and seriously injured by gay bashers, provoking Dillon to becoming a vigilante straight-basher, with disastrous consequences. The two actors, moving at driving speed, portray a kaleidoscopic array of characters, including fag hags, right-wing zealots and anxious or disapproving parents. DJ Jedi provides flawless musical direction from behind the turntables on Evan Bartoletti's evocative abstract set. Celebration Theatre, 7051B Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru July 23. (323) 957-1884, celebrationtheatre.com.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: June 10. Continues through July 23, 2011


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