Friday, May 24, 2013

The new normal

One of my favorite children's books is Leo the Lop. My son Ryan and I often read this delightful story about a lop-eared bunny who wants desperately to have nice tall ears like the other bunnies. He feels defective because he's different. He tries all sorts of machinations to make his ears look like other bunnies' ears until he finally realizes that lop is normal for him.

Looking for Normal, the latest offering from Actors' Theatre, is the adult version of the same story. (See review) A man feels defective because he believes he is a woman trapped in a man's body. He decides to go through a sex change operation which reminds me so much of all the efforts Leo made to look "normal."

But unlike Leo who finally accepts himself as he is, the man in Looking for Normal goes through hormone injections, electrolysis and reconstructive surgery to make himself "complete." And that's nothing compared to what he puts his family through in trying to cope with their feelings for this man turned woman. The situation is a real test of love and friendship. The ultimate question is does gender really matter? Can you still hang out, drink beer and watch the game with dad if he's wearing a dress? Can your son still inherit the family farm if he's a she?  

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