'Mommie Queerest,' Joan Crawford Parody Play, Staged In Maine To Benefit Gay Marriage Efforts

UPDATE: Due to Hurricane Sandy, the Camden Opera House performance of "Mommie Queerest" has been moved to Nov. 16. In addition, the venue will also host a free screening of the original film "Mommie Dearest," starring Faye Dunaway, on Nov. 15 for all ticketholders.

One New England town is hoping to promote marriage equality in a most unique way.

On Nov. 2, Maine's Camden Opera House will stage "Mommie Queerest," an award-winning parody which re-casts the principal characters of the 1981 camp classic "Mommie Dearest" with men in drag.

Written by Jamie Morris, the play -- which depicts the infamously rocky relationship between Hollywood legend Joan Crawford (Morris) and her adopted daughter Christina -- premiered in Provincetown, Mass. in 2003 and has since played in Los Angeles, New York and other major U.S. cities. Helming the Maine production is Christopher Kenney, also known as drag sensation Edie, while "Who's the Boss?" veteran Danny Pintauro will be featured among the cast.

Proceeds from the show will benefit Equality Maine, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group which is working locally to promote same-sex marriage. A referendum that would allow Maine-based LGBT couples to wed will appear on the November ballot via "Question 1."

One Camden resident said he was particularly impassioned by the cause. "Marriage is about the love and commitment of two people who work together as equals to weather life's celebrations and challenges, become members of each others families, and often raise children together," said Raymond Brunyanszki, a Dutch native who co-owns the Camden Harbour Inn and its adjacent restaurant Natalie's with his longtime partner Oscar Verest and is sponsoring the event. "In the Netherlands, we believe that one can never deny another person the right to equality. We are born free and equal, endowed with reason and a conscience, and we should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

Pintauro, who plays Crawford's maid Carol Ann along with 12 other characters in the show, said he was "looking forward to visiting Camden, and supporting Equality Maine, with this one-night show" in an email.

President Barack Obama threw his support behind the Maine ballot measure last week, but as the Associated Press notes, voters overturned a same-sex marriage law passed by the state legislature in 2009.

For more information on "Mommie Queerest," click here.



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