The Temperamentals – Theater Review
“Temperamental” was code for “homosexual” in the early 1950’s, part of a created language of secret words that gay men used to communicate. The Temperamentals tells the story of two men – the communist Harry Hay and the Viennese refugee and designer Rudi Gernreich – as they fall in love while building the first gay rights organization in the pre-Stonewall United States.
The Temperamentals is a well meaning piece of gay and therefore American history about five men in Los Angeles, actually more than five, but it’s a cast of five, who, in the 1940’s, decided to stand up for being gay. It is a good cast. The cast is adequate except for a truly charismatic actor who among other things plays Rudy Urie, but unfortunately makes the other actors look a bit wan by comparison, partially due to the part, but he also brings a lot more energy to the party than his counterparts. It is an interesting story, but you just wish that it somehow been a little bit more energy in either the writing or the production, but the audience was filled with gay men who were thrilled to be there and I suppose if it was a history of radio psychologists I might have been a little bit more thrilled, but I would get it two and a half stars.