And now John Clum steps to the podium and the crowd shifts uncomfortably in its seat as, perhaps having downed one too many vodka stingers, Clum launches into a rambling and familiar eulogy, succeeding mainly in demonstrating that he did not know the deceased so well as he had thought.
Through a sequence of examples, Clum limns how gay men might "queer" a given text by teasing out its latent capacity for subversion.
Larry Hart, Cole Porter, and Noel Coward--the trio of Golden Age artists whose witty lyrics Clum admires--were already on the wane by the time Clum's generation came of age.
Clum in Something for the Boys, his fascinating new book on musical theater and gay culture.
Interestingly, Clum uses as a case in point Kiss Me, Kate, the 1948 musical adaptation of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, widely acknowledged as Cole Porter's masterpiece.