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2014 Story 55

From Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers:

55. GOMORRAHS OF THE DEEP: A Musical Coming Someday To Off-Broadway  By Steve Berman   I suppose if you're doing a young adult anthology about openly gay teens, eventually a story will focus on a kid who loves musicals. And I suppose if the anthology is speculative fiction, that story is going to riff on the classic musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer ("Once More, With Feeling").  Berman's take on this concept is fun and light while still managing to deliver a message. Gregory, the musical-lover, is struggling with his boyfriend Hugh's intent to do an oral report on the gay subtext of Moby Dick. Gregory doesn't understand why, when they're both out and accepted, Hugh needs to rub the issue in the face of all the straight students when the book is "just about a whale."  Hugh pleads his case via song -- and eventually the whole school is singing at Gregory.  The difference between this story and the Buffy episode is that Gregory seems to be the only one who recognizes how unreal it is that everyone is singing what they're thinking, as if his childhood wish that life was a musical comedy had come true and he's the only one who knows this isn't how life really works.  (It's either that, or the whole story is an hallucination. I don't think that's really what Berman was going for here.)  The lyrics are fun and pointed and just a little bit snarky in all the right places, as all the best Broadway lyrics are.

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