Kelsey Grammer's gay roles are
increasingly at odds with his conservative politics.
The 55-year-old Republican, best know
for his role as the fastidious Frasier Crane on NBC's long-running
Frasier, is the star of the Broadway revival of La Cage Aux
Folles, which opened to rave reviews last week.
Grammer plays Georges, the owner of a
St. Tropez drag nightclub, where his flamboyant partner Albin is the
star attraction. The original 1993 Broadway production was the
inspiration behind the hit film The Birdcage staring Robin
Williams and Nathan Lane.
This is not Grammer's first gay role;
in 2001 he led an all-star cast in L.A.
Theater Works' J. Edgar. The play is a comic look at the
life of closeted FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover.
Grammer, however, has also signed up to
play pitchman to right-wing cabler RightNetwork,
which promises to be farther to the right than conservative Fox
News when it launches this
“There's wrong and there's right,”
Grammer says in a promo located on the network's website.
“RightNetwork: All that's right with the world.”
The website features Republicans such
as Newt Gingrich who oppose gay rights.
In a promo for Politics & Poker,
a series that mixes cards and politics, one player says, “Let's
make it gay marriage plus vulgarity and see how we can, like, walk
the fine line without getting in trouble.” At which point a woman
bounces in and asks, “Speaking of gay marriage, are we done with
our wieners?” as she reaches to remove a plate of pigs in a
For his part, Grammer says there's
nothing political about playing a gay role and has even endorsed gay
marriage: “My take on homosexual, heterosexual, transgender
relationships, interracial relationships, it's all up to you and the
person you love, and frankly I've never thought that politics and
marriage mixed in any way,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
“So I'm not a big proponent of big
government being in charge of weddings,” he added.
But that answer is not pacifying some
who view Grammer's work and politics as incompatible.
“Maybe someday Grammer will figure
out who he is and how his work relates to what he believes,”
Michael Feingold, a writer for Village Voice, wrote in a
TalkinBroadway.com chatroom. “Or maybe he'll just embrace the
contradiction, like Lillian Hellman – a lifelong socialist who
lived expensively and did ads for Blackglama mink. People who expect
showbiz figures to be ethical role models are barking up the wrong