After winning London’s Off West End Award for Best New Musical in 2019, the highly anticipated pandemic-delayed staged concert version of GRINDR The Opera is coming to NYC for two nights this Pride month at The Green Room 42. In his daring original parody, librettist, composer, and lyricist Erik Ransom takes a humorous look at the popular gay hook-up app and the people who use it, along with some serious issues in the gay community and the changing landscape of gay relationships, through the lens of the exaggerated world of opera.
According to Ransom, “The advent of GRINDR represents a huge paradigm shift in the way queer people seek out connection, and I find it fascinating how it spread out into straight culture as well when apps like Tinder and Bumble started to crop up. My goal in writing the show was to raise questions about how our most basic evolutionary imperatives are affected by the rapid advancement of technology and how well we, as a society, are keeping up with these novel trends.”
The full-score GR42 concert, with musical styles ranging from Baroque to contemporary pop, is a co-production of The Iconoclast Theatre Collective (created in 2020, by Ransom, Director Rachel Klein, and Music Supervisor Andy Peterson) and TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence – NYC’s oldest and longest-producing LGBTQIA+ theater company). In addition to them, the team for the current show also includes Music Director Luke Williams and Associate Director Scott Lilly, and the all-new cast features Noah Hartwell as Jack, Coleman Steele Cumming as Tom, Terrance Johnson as Devon, Kevin McGuire as Don, and Taylor Ratliff (aka Plasma LaRose) as the personification of GRINDR.
Erik told me that there have been a few changes to the show since its award-winning run in England, and added, “After our successes in London and the compulsory intermission of the pandemic, it’s a thrill to bring GRINDR the Opera back to our home away from home in Hell’s Kitchen.” NYC should be equally excited to have this internationally acclaimed hit back!
GRINDR The Opera plays Friday, June 17 and 24, 2022, at 9:30 pm, at The Green Room 42, inside YOTEL, 570 Tenth Avenue, 4th floor, NYC. For tickets (priced at $19 for the livestream and $39-79 for the in-person show), call (646) 707-2990, or go online. Everyone must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a photo ID to enter the venue. A link to the livestream will be emailed one hour before the show.