Photography by JD Urban
Anyone listening to George Michael in the '80s knew the songs were about sex. Dressed in his tight denim, a leather jacket, and wearing dark shades, the camera lingered on his backside and he smirked as he sang about. Even if it was years before the former WHAM! star came out publicly, and most of his videos featured women clinging to him rather than sexy guys, his charisma worked on everyone -- no matter who you wanted to hop into bed with. Now, Broadway's Broadway's John Arthur Greene is going to channel some of that sexy stage lust into a one-night only tribute show, titled FREEDOM, an experience created by Jacob Langfelder and Burt Rock.
Currently on stage in the hit musical Matilda, Greene may be used to entertaining youngsters and their parents, but this production -- which features everything from "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "I Want Your Sex" to the rough trade dance hit, "Outside" -- is a completely different sort of immersive experience. With video graphics on a 34 foot LED wall (curated by JD Urban and Burt Rock), the night ends with a bit of BDSM stage magic. That's right: Greene is subjected to Shibari (Japanese suspended rope bondage) by Marcus Likesit and is suspended upside down on stage.
SLIDESHOW | JOHN ARTHUR GREENE in FREEDOM
When asked if the show might attract a crowd looking for a bit of real-life Fifty Shades of Grey titillation, Greene doesn't seem concerned. "I think that this show will bring out all types of people, looking for all types of fun! That is what is so amazing about George Michael's music: It fuses a gap between reality and fantasy, which allows a huge canvas of art and inspiration for multiple generations."
But any Matilda fans shouldn't be too concerned that they might be disturbed by the show's graphic nature, according to Greene. "I don't think we are doing anything to shock anybody. We are simply taking art that happens to be controversial and giving it a platform or staging it."
FREEDOM starring John Arthur Greene takes place March 30 at 42West in NYC. Watch a teaser video below: