Remember what it was like to go to a closing night cast party? When it gets really late and the booze is almost gone and the coke is certainly gone but no one’s tired and no one’s ready to go home? And then around three a.m. what’s left of the chorus crowds around the piano and sings songs like “I Enjoy Being a Girl” and “A Boy Like That” with cheesy accents—only they’re all guys? Well, imagine my surprise to find Lin-Manuel Miranda and Raul Esparza re-enact what I thought was just a bourbon-induced hallucination of my early womanhood.
This is where I spent some of my happiest hours as a teenager. But David Geffen Hall—are you freakin kidding me? At least Avery Fisher made a genuine contribution to music with his Fisher amps.
“Country Gardens” is one of the few piano pieces I could play all the way through (not like the fine player in this clip, much more basically) so I have a special affection for Grainger’s arrangements and compositions, as well as an admiration for his drive to create a truly “English” school of music. I also liked that he married his wife at the Hollywood Bowl after conducting a concert (in 1928).
But ever since music school I’ve also known about Grainger’s unusual sexual drive—his taste for Nordic blondes and being flagellated—plus the fact that in his twenties he was kept as a semi-willing love slave by a fortyish society dame (shades of Joan Crawford!)—and I can’t deny it: The fantasy of pleasuring, of possessing a boy like this, talented and handsome, is definitely arousing.
Listen. Creative people are not normal. People who create music are in another world. But consent is everything. I had a friend years ago, a young musician, who was hit on persistently by an up-and-coming stage actor at the Public Theater, and not in a nice way. I can’t bear to watch this guy in anything now. Fuck. And I love O’Neill.
Update 22 Nov 2017: Now it can be told. It was Kevin Spacey.