Washington Post drama critic Peter Marks is always a sucker for gay leftist expression about oppression at the theater, so he was intrigued by a one-man show at the Capital Fringe Festival about the Boy Scouts. It was called “How To Be a Terrorist.”
The Post’s headline on Monday was simply “‘Terrorist’: A winning, offbeat monologue. Scout’s honor.” Jimmy Grzelak, who calls himself a “mad theater scientist,” achieves “resonance” by mocking Scouting’s founder in homoerotic overtones:
And in point of fact, terrorism does play a tangential role in the goofily appealing Grzelak’s roundabout monologue, which finds ironic connectivity in the biography of Scouting’s eccentric 19th-century British founder, Robert Baden-Powell, Grzelak’s account of his own sometimes punishing experience as a Scout and the tweeted ramblings of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev...
Grzelak displays a winningly offbeat imagination, and his show latches onto an intriguing thread when it takes note of Baden-Powell’s idiosyncratic personality. (Apparently, he loved to dress up and perform.) Slyly, Grzelak introduces a suggestion of homoeroticism, a notion that has contemporary resonance in the organization’s opposition to openly gay Boy Scouts, a resistance that only recently has begun to weaken.
In another review at DCMetroTheatreArts.com, Mariya Danilenko wrote, “Why this title, though? For one it’s eye-catching, but Grzelak tells us being a gay eagle scout, an angry young man frustrated by the stigma surrounding his sexual orientation, and being able to make a fire out of almost anything, the thought of burning things down to make a point has crossed his mind.”
If you want to lose six minutes of your life to confirm this monologue is incredibly lame, check out Grzelak's (successful) fundraising pitch here.