Scroll To Top
Arts & Entertainment

Queer Scissorhands Reunion Concert Brings Christmas to Pride

Queer Scissorhands Reunion Concert Brings Christmas to Pride

Actors in Scissorhands

Los Angeles audiences have another chance to see the musical show about otherness, an adaptation of the beloved film.

It’s been five years since a queer jukebox musical version of Tim Burton’s beloved 1990 film Edward Scissorhands wowed Los Angeles audiences to the point that the show, set around Christmas, was extended well into March. Now, with the original venue, Rockwell Table & Stage, lost to the pandemic, many of the original Scissorhands the Musical cast members who belted songs like Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited,” Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow,” are returning in time for Pride Months\ with Scissorhands: A Concert Reunion Event at Hollywood’s Bourbon Room on Monday and Tuesday.

A modern take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Edward Scissorhands (starring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder) was always about the “other” — about celebrating otherness until someone at the center becomes uncomfortable or fearful of moving to the margins and lashes out. The character of Edward, as with Frankenstein, has always been read by many as an allegory for queerness. When The Fosters and Good Trouble co-creator Bradley Bredeweg conceived of Scissorhands, he placed that queerness front and center by depicting Scissorhands, played by Jordan Kai Burnett, as a nonbinary character who falls for the kind and open Kim (Natalie Masini).

Actors in Scissorhands

A highlight of the show is Burnett and Masini singing “Shallow” to each other like the queer anthem it is. But beyond that central love story, Scissorhands is conceived of by queer people, features LGBTQ+ characters across a spectrum, and stars several queer actors including Burnett and Good Trouble star Emma Hunton as Peg, the sweet Avon Lady who gives Edward a home. And Burnett and Hunton are thrilled to be back together bringing the Christmas-themed Scissorhands and a message of acceptance and love to life again during Pride.

“I’ve done a lot of ensemble shows. But I think this was the first time that I really felt like we were all one moving organism — offstage as well as on-stage,” says Hunton, who starred in Spring Awakening on Broadway and in Next to Normal’s and Wicked’s national tours. “Jordan can't use her hands backstage. So if she needs like, a lozenge, I'm the one putting it in her mouth,” Hunton adds, nodding to the scissor-like appendages Burnett wears as Edward.

For Hunton and Burnett, returning to Scissorhands marks a period of change and growth. The show helped Burnett — a veteran of musical theater with credits including Seussical, American Idiot, and Romy & Michele the Musical — come into their queerness. In some ways, Edward is a return.

“I never really felt gendered. I always felt somewhere in between. It always felt for me very expansive,” Burnett says. “I understood myself later than a lot of other people…. Scissorhands was one of the first times that I was able to feel kind of like me in a way.”

There weren’t many mainstream films for queer kids in the ’90s, but for those who felt something other than the mainstream popular kid. Edward Scissorhands,about an open, loving character brought to life by a lonely scientist who gives him scissors for hands, filled that void.

Actors in Scissorhands

Scissorhands is a celebration of queerness and life. But as in the movie, the gossipy neighbors, who embrace Edward while the newcomer is trimming their hair and their hedges into art, turn on Edward when Kim’s boyfriend demonizes the outsider and sets Edward up for a fall. Amid the noise around Edward are Kim and her mom, Peg, who see their guest as a beautiful being to be embraced.

Coming back to Scissorhands is also personal for Hunton, who’s enjoyed five seasons of Good Trouble amid change in her life since the show was first mounted in 2018.

“I went through so many things…. I ended up getting a divorce. I lost my mother, unfortunately,” Hunton shares. “But this show gave me a beautiful gift in that my mom got to see me be a mom [as Peg] in a way. I'm very grateful to everything that the show has given me and the way that I can see my life changed in positive ways because of this show.”

Scissorhands: A Concert Reunion Event also stars Dionne Gipson as The Inventor, Ryan O’Connor as Helen, Carly Casey as Joyce, Morgan Smith as Esmeralda, and Garrett Marshall as Jim. Gregory Nabours is back as musical director, and the concert is produced by Bredeweg, Kate Pazakis, and Rob Wood.

It’s no accident that the very queer Scissorhands concert returns during Pride Month. The way Burnett describes the show, it’s a ready-made queer Christmas in June.

“Scissorhands exists in a world of so many structures and breaks those structures, breaks the binary, breaks the rules about sexuality, all of these things because they [Edward} are just them. They just exist,” Burnett says.

Scissorhands: A Concert Reunion Event runs Monday and Tuesday at the Bourbon Room in Hollywood. Tickets are available here.

Advocate Magazine - Gio BenitezAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories