Sexuality can be a superpower. With the world making it something to be shameful about, creators of Baloney, Michael Phillis and Rory Davis, thought it was about time to make it a celebration on stage. Baloney, the documentary, allows viewers to see inside San Francisco's first and only gay all-male revue. They explore what male sexuality means. It is an in-depth look at body and gender diversity and sexuality, in all forms, through sex-positive performances.
The film follows Phillis, giving up his 9 to 5 lifestyle to live out his creative dreams and develop Baloney with his partner and choreographer, Rory Davis. As he puts it, "I'm living my dreams, but I eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches." The directors and cast allow a look into their personal lives, what the show means to them, and their experiences growing up in the gay community. It is an a-ha moment in the film when Phillis discovers until he embraces and incorporates that he is a sexual, gay male, the stories and experiences cannot come to life. Everyone sees the vision, showing their commitment to the big picture. It's moving.
The ideas behind the dance numbers and the lessons learned are inspiring. The shows are thought-provoking, and while some of the content is like a car accident, you can't look away. But that's the point. America's shame of the human body and society's need to hide it damages younger generations and adults trying to find themselves. Baloney is an escape to explore and feel safe without judgment or ridicule. Everyone is equal, and every fantasy is fulfilled.
Baloney makes you think. In this time of suppressing creative materials deemed offensive, this documentary could end up on this list. So, I encourage everyone to say fuck that and break the status quo. Show this film to those who have expressed not knowing who they are or have a fear of what they enjoy. Joe Andrews said it best, "Once you're in that dark place in getting to know all aspects of yourself, you discover that your sexuality can be powerful. We are not shying away. We're all about the smut in Baloney, that's what you came for. That’s what we’re going to give you. But we're also going to make you think." Baloney makes you do just that - it may also want to make you start an all-male gay revue in your town, but one step at a time.
Baloney is streaming now across North America and is available on a number of digital and cable platforms, including iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, Spectrum, and inDemand.
- Teresa Robinson
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