Fat Boy's Folly

In college I wrote a story called "Fat Boy's Folly" to entertain my friend Bill. I don't actually remember what the story was about, but Bill later put that title on the weight track sheet he had on the wall above his scale. Somehow, though, I don't think I could have competed with Weight Watchers with that title for a business. Tough Love for the Tubby. Nah, that wouldn't work either.

A couple of nights ago, Marilyn, Sherri and saw a more recent version of Fat Boy's Folly, this time called The Whale, at the SpeakEasy in Boston. As it starts, an immensely fat man (actually a normal man in an impressive fat suit) sits in the middle of disgusting piles of old takeout containers, running what sounds like a fairly typical and boring online class where students write meaningless essays about great literary works. Who these people are, why they take this class, and how it works never quite becomes clear.

Class over, the fat man puts on some gay porn, masturbates, and almost has a heart attack. This lets you know you're in a modern work of art.

Then, various people pop in an out of his house: a Mormon missionary with a hidden agenda, a nurse who has a weird affection for this carcase, and a wittily obnoxious long-lost daughter. Later on, ex-wife and mom shows up.

There is a kind of plot, but it's more an actor's play, with some nice scenes, and a bit of a sitcom pace. Mormonism comes in for some whacks (is it really the easiest religion to make fun of?), particularly about its intolerant spirituality. As usual, a gay relationship has some extra oomph that a regular heterosexual relationship wouldn't have, at least to the kind fo audience that goes to a play like The Whale.

There is a cute essay about Moby-Dick that gets read over and over until you realize where it came from at the end. That is cute too, but is paced to seem like some kind of deep revelation.

Overall, not a wasted evening at the theater (Boston has a lot of those, as we know), but not so great either. But the fat suit is pretty amazing.