I’m really proud of this one.

In the days leading up to seeing Fun Home at Circle in the Square, I tried to think of Broadway roles for masculine-of-center women in musicals. I’m no theatre historian, but I’ve taken so many Theatre History classes that knowledge has fallen on me like so many watermelon seeds, spit from the mouths of those who know better than I; they took root and planted jazz-hands in my heart forever.

And I could think of only one role: Shirley, from The Producers. She sings one phrase (“keep it gay”); she is fat, speaks in a humping voice with her thumbs in her tool belt; she’s a punch line, held up against the glamorous (feminine) gay men.

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