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Kinsey Sicks at Oregon Contemporary Theatre

With humor, love and a deep well of obscenity, the Kinsey Sicks’ Things You Shouldn’t Say blows the roof off the house. These performers combine gorgeous harmonies with wit and shtick and silliness, and something more, too — with story, revealing history and biography, of themselves, the group and the long, painful struggle for gay rights.

Sure, they’re funny, and of course they’re talented. But in this show they challenge us to a new understanding. It’s time to witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational Dragapella Quartet.

There are so many things you shouldn’t say that Kinsey Sicks talk about openly and with great gusto; it’s delicious, and when they shared moments personal — and universal —it was especially poignant to hear at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, in Eugene, Oregon, on World AIDS Day.

The Kinsey Sicks bring the past to the present. This hatred? Bigotry? We’ve been here before.

The troupe offers solace, commitment, leading the charge to put the “rage” in outrageous — they welcome all to the flock of weirdos and delinquents, a ragtag group of freaks that this cis ally is honored to join. They’re made-up with pastels and boas and painted eyebrows, and because they’ve lived through vile hatred, and they’re still smiling, still creating, still loving, they’re each more “man” than most straight men will ever be.

I walked away from the performance with a new sense of humanness, an inclusion that’s made possible when we let down our guards. Aristotle notes that humor weakens defenses. We could all learn a thing or two from the Sicks — and their founders, and their communities.

Thank goodness, the Kinsey Sicks are here to stay.

The Kinsey Sicks played Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, at Oregon Contemporary Theatre.