“Temperamentals” cast (L-R): Eric Mijares, Aaron Hernandez, Corey Dlask, John Cantrell and Gabriel Cortez. Photo: Lindsey Taylor | What’s Up El Paso | 14275
Words and double meaning are all-important in “The Temperamentals,” a historical play about the Mattachine Society, a proto-gay rights organization founded in L.A, a two-act, two-hour production.
“Many believe that the gay movement in America started with Stonewall in 1969,” reads the play’s handbill, referring to the historic uprising against gay-hating cops in New York’s gay district. “Harry Hay would tell you that that event was the East Coast catching up with the West Coast.”
At a time when gay men could only reveal themselves to each other in code, Harry and Rudi meet kindred spirits, form a clandestine organization and try to advance a political manifesto for the rights of “bachelors.” They meet nothing but resistance, from forces external and political (patrolling police, House Un-American Committee summons) to internal and personal (sham marriages, career ambitions).