A FAIRY TALE by S. Steinberg


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It wasn't funny a decade or so ago in a Broadway flop called Norman, Is That You? And now, dated and more actively evangelical and explicit and campy, it still doesn't come out funny: a grossly stereotyped Jewish couple being confronted with their young-folk's flaming homosexuality. Here it's narrator Solly Steinberg, who was raised by Uncle Hymie and Aunt Sylvia--and they still don't know that 34-year-old Solly (who interior-decorates as ""Murray Roberts"") is gloriously, proudly, wildly gay in San Francisco: ""GAY! (Sounds of trumpets, and maybe a little fireworks)."" So when Solly finally breaks the news, confused Uncle Hymie pays a visit and tags along to various fetish/S-M bars (where he sees old chum Sam Levitz in leather and chains); he even allows himself to be dressed in fishnet and purple plastic shoes. And then Aunt Sylvia must be won over--which eventually happens with help from Solly's new lover, psychiatrist Jimmy; she even has the boys to the house and furnishes a double bed (""Mazel Toy""). That's the whole story, but it's weighed down by Solly's rather desperate-sounding proclamations about how happy he is and about how gays are exactly like everyone else and about how people think ""all gay boys wear fluffy sweaters and tight pants."" Solly, as it happens, wears a gold-lamÉ caftan--he only writes as if he's wearing a fluffy sweater and tight pants. Tinny, crude comedy; shrill, whiny propaganda.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1980
Publisher: Delacorte