La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club will present the U.S. Premiere of Kosovo’s Qendra Multimedia in “55 SHADES OF GAY: BALKAN SPRING OF SEXUAL REVOLUTION,” a contemporary burlesque story about LGBT+ politics in the Balkans, written by our dear friend and colleague, Jeton Neziraj, and directed by his wife, Blerta.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Jeton Neziraj for ten years now. We first met in Kosovo when Jackie and I brought our GAC production “Truth in Translation” to the National Theatre of Kosovo. He was the artistic director there at that time, always controversial. He is a man of explosively creative passion, with the theatrical and personal courage to support it. He also has a dramatically delightful disregard for political correctness, combined with the ability to find humor anywhere he looks. Known in Europe as a theatrical provocateur, Jeton will be part of the collaboration team of our next international project, the Festival of Radical Recovery. How ironic that he is bringing his “55 Shades of Gay” to NYC, the progressive mecca of LGBT+, just when the U.S. is pedaling back on gay rights under the Trump administration.
If any of you in NYC has the chance to make it down to La MaMa, I think you would enjoy meeting Jeton after the show. Let us know, and we’ll try to arrange it. He is almost as entertaining as his plays.
© Photo by Atdhe Mulla
“The play is an explosion of burlesque, music and possibly offensive humor; it is simply a riot. But, in tackling a taboo topic in Kosovo – the legalization of gay marriage – it might also just inadvertently cause one.” — Lura Limani, Prishtina Insight
“55 SHADES OF GAY: BALKAN SPRING OF SEXUAL REVOLUTION” runs March 7 – 17, Thursday – Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 3pm with an additional performance Monday, March 11 at 7pm. Running time is 70 minutes. The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa is located at 66 East 4th Street, New York City. To purchase tickets, call 212-352-3101.