THE HANGOVER REPORT – Paul Alexander’s TRINKETS strives and stumbles, but still shines

The cast of Paul Alexander's "Trinkets" at the Gene Frankel Theatre.

The cast of Paul Alexander’s “Trinkets” at the Gene Frankel Theatre.

Last weekend (its closing weekend), I caught a performance of the return engagement of Paul Alexander’s Trinkets at the Gene Frankel Theatre in the East Village. The musical depicts the eclectic experiences of a group of transsexual prostitutes during 1990s New York City. The show mostly takes place in the then-seedy Meat Packing District, particularly within the safe, celebratory confines of an all-inclusive gay bar called “Trinkets”.

There’s a lot to like about Trinkets. For one, its heart was definitely in the right place. It was a joy to see these eclectic, albeit admittedly two-dimensional, creations lovingly come to life. These are tough, irresistible queens who have created a vibrant community for themselves against considerable societal odds. As a gay man, I also warmed to the idea of commemorating and paying homage to the triumphs and struggles of those that have paved the way for me.

Despite the fabulous creatures that prowled the stage, the musical suffers from a hackneyed book that just squeaked by. Much of Mr. Alexander’s dance music score is catchy, at times inspired, but ultimately semi-formed; the canned tracks, played at a curiously low volume, didn’t help matters either. Understandably, the gutsy, glittery cast possessed varying levels of talent, but each and every one of them was endearingly and fiercely game. They shined.

Part of the fun was seeing Trinkets at the Gene Frankel Theatre, itself a defiant remnant of a time when the city was a very different place.



Off-Broadway, Musical
Gene Frankel Theatre
2 hours (with one intermission)

Categories: Off-Broadway, Theater

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