Casa Valentina at the Manhattan Theater Club

1.169095Casa Valentina is a new play written by Harvey Fierstein.  The play is based on actual events that took place and my guess is most people do not know about this slice of history.

It is set in 1962 in the Catskill Mountains at an inn where heterosexual men who are fond of cross dressing and acting like women go to relax. They can be themselves and leave their corporate jobs, wives and children at home to spend a weekend of their own little slice of heaven.  Yet one of the members has decided to create an actual organization where they could all feel free to share their secret lives with the world.  By doing that they could pave the way for the next generation of men like themselves.  That desire is not shared by all the men for fear of what it would do to their lives.

This organization actually did happen and there are still some left across the country.  What is interesting about the play is that many of these cross dressers have absolutely distain for the homosexual community.  Most of them actually prefer living as their female alter-egos  yet they openly discuss that because they are heterosexual that they should  be accepted into society with ease.

An incredible cast.  The writing is sharp and funny.  Considering this took place over fifty years ago makes it more interesting considering that gay marriage is moving towards full approval in most states across the country.  As the gentlemen said as he was walking out of the theater to a young woman, “makes you realize that you have to accept people for who they are because that is who they are no matter what.”   In my opinion he could not have spoken truer words.

Really enjoyed the play.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Just read ‘And the Band Plays On’. Such a wonderful, painful, eye opener of a book. To think that I lived through this and didn’t have hardly a glimpse of the details of what was going on is astounding.And thankful at how much the world has changed and how more and more we don’t define ourselves by what we are not.

    1. Gotham Gal

      so thankful how much the world has changed.

      1. AG

        As a person of a younger generation, I often wonder what has allowed the world to change so much for the better. Is it just time? Access to the internet and lower geographic barriers alone don’t explain a greater proclivity towards acceptance or do they? I am truly grateful to be living at a time when differences are more accepted than they’ve ever been in the past.

        1. Gotham Gal

          More open doors. People are not as uptight as they were years ago. It is a more casual way of living which has made people more accepting of each other. IMHO

          1. AG

            Agreed. But how did that transition to a more casual way of living come about? Just inherent in progress?Though I guess it depends, too, where you are. Even much of the U.S. is not where the city is.

          2. Gotham Gal

            Here is a thoughtYears ago when Carol Burnett would host her show she would walk out in a long ball gown. Very formalFast forward for the reunion show she wore a totally casual pants outfit The world has changed