Entertainment :: Theatre

John Waters’ "This Filthy World"

by Jack Gardner
Contributor
Wednesday Aug 1, 2012
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John Waters tours with "This Filthy World"
John Waters tours with "This Filthy World"  (Source:Admire Entertainment)

John Waters, The Godfather of Filth, graced South Florida with his presence on July 18 at Parker Playhouse for "This Filthy World." The evening was sponsored by Radio-Active Records, Salty Eggs, Cinema Paradiso, & The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

The renowned maker of such films as "Polyester," "Serial Mom," "Cry-Baby," "A Dirty Shame" and most famously "Hairspray," is touring this year and will also be appearing in Philadelphia, PA, Poughkeepsie, NY, Solana Beach, CA, and Boise, ID. He is giving audiences across the country the opportunity to experience his own personal brand of political incorrectness live.

Seeing a John Waters film or two was definitely a prerequisite for the evening. Luckily enough, the event began with a presentation of "Polyester," his 1981 send up of classic 50’s women dramas staring the inimitable Divine and former heart throb, Tab Hunter.

Waters is well spoken, obviously well read and curious about everything. The more disgusting it is, the more he is interested in it.

The Parker Playhouse is not the best venue for viewing a motion picture as the theater is very large and the acoustics are not the best for pre-recorded audio, but seeing Divine on the big screen was a treat. My theater companion was a John Waters virgin, having only seen "Hairspray," which is perhaps the tamest of Water’s films. He found "Polyester" offensive and disturbing -- which is exactly what Waters intended.

Following the movie, Waters took the stage and spoke for 90 minutes on filmmaking, politics, celebrities and his own unique world view. Waters is well spoken, obviously well read and curious about everything. The more disgusting it is, the more he is interested in it. He can go from discussing bizarre sex acts one minute to Lady Gaga the next with barely a pause in between. He is a completely captivating speaker and a snappy dresser as well.

After his talk, Waters fielded questions from the audience, which was filled with hundreds of Waters aficionados. Several questions were asked about specific Waters films and my theater companion, being relatively unversed in the topic, found this portion of the evening to be less than entertaining, but for those of us who know and love his movies, it was a rare and welcome glimpse behind the scenes.

If you have the chance to see John Waters "This Filthy World" in your area, don’t miss it. It’s amazing how someone so articulate can be so filthy at the same time.

John Waters’ "This Filthy World" played on July 28 at The Parker Playhouse, 707 Northeast 8th Street in Fort Lauderdale. For info on other shows, visit www.parkerplayhouse.com/. For more on John Waters’ touring events, visit http://www.stubhub.com/john-waters-tickets

Jack Gardner has been producing theater in Dallas and Fort Lauderdale for the past 8 years. He has performed in operas, musicals and dramatic works as well as doing voice-over and radio work. Jack lives in South Florida with his three dogs.

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