"Glitter & Doom"
Doom' Source: Music Box Films

Review: Jukebox Musical 'Glitter & Doom' a Valentine to Indigo Girls and Young Queer Love

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Real life couple and moviemaking team of Tom Gustafson and Cory Krueckeberg ("Were the World Mine," "Getting Go: The Go Doc Project") draw on their love of queer '80s band Indigo Girls for a jukebox musical about an aspiring singer-songwriter and a kid who wants to run away to the circus falling in love one magical summer.

Glitter (Alex Diaz) is a free-spirited young man whose heart is set on going to Paris to study at a prestigious school that teaches the serious art behind clowning and circus performance. Doom (Alan Cammish) is the angsty singer who struggles to get the words and the music inside of him out to the world. When the two meet, it's an instant attraction – but there are impediments, among them the fact that both young men have some pretty serious mommy issues. Glitter's mom (Ming-Na Wen) is a highly successful businesswoman who has already decided that his career will be at her side, helping guide and grow her company; Doom comes by both his apprehension and his musical gifts thanks to his mother (Missy Pyle) being an alcoholic who's in and out of prison as often as she's in and out of bad relationships, all while she's writing songs of her own.

As with any musical rom-com, it's more obvious to the viewer than to the characters that they really are meant to be together; song and dance break out at the drop of a red rubber nose; and everyone from Lea Delaria to Tig Notaro to the Indigo Girls themselves turn up in the course of the movie (Notaro with cinema's all-time worst French accent but her signature dry attitude, for which you can forgive her).

The movie pops with vibrant colors and serves up a satisfying contrast between the city, where the boys are perpetually anxious, and the forest, where they retreat for weekend camping trips and have a chance to enjoy being together. There's more than a touch of midsummer nighttime magic in those woods, even if, despite the romantic setting, it takes them an awfully long time to reach second base. When they do, though, it's a home run.

What's not to love about a musical that draws all its songs (and a fair amount of its dialogue) from the Indigo Girls' body of work, gives us Ming-Na Wen in an eyepatch, and sprinkles in a bunch of fun cameos? Gustafson, who directs, and Krueckeberg, who wrote the script, have given us another queer gem.

"Glitter & Doom" plays in theaters starting March 8. Check out the film's soundtrack, available via streaming and featuring 25 of the Indigo Girls' iconic songs in newly reimagined versions as well as the new single What We Wanna Be."

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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