IndyFringe review: "Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach" 

So many people in the theater lobby Saturday afternoon clearly adored Ron Spencer, Theatre on the Square's artistic director, that I wanted to adore him, too. As Spencer pranced on stage, shaking his silver hair like a best-in-show poodle, I willed him to be funny as Mr. Charles, the cable TV host judged "too gay" even for New York. I smiled hard at weary jokes about the wispiness of gay speech and the gay man's love of hair products. I cringed at a mock advertisement for ass deodorant. I laughed at lesbian jokes and then felt instantly ashamed. This wasn't an honest-look-in-the-mirror sort of humor, but a look-at-how-odd-they-are burn. By the time Charles got his boy toy Shane (a buff, unnamed and unskilled actor) to drop his robe for us, it was clear that Spencer was staging little more than a peep show. I could stop trying to think he was cute. Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 p.m.

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