John Waters. Image via Baltimore Sound Stage.

“You better watch out. You better cry,” taunts the hot pink poster for an upcoming holiday event at Baltimore Soundstage. “John Waters, the People’s Pervert, is coming to town.” 

The downtown venue will be hosting “A John Waters Christmas,” the Baltimore author and filmmaker’s annual one-man holiday tribute/mockery, on Tuesday, Dec. 19. In what has become a highly anticipated tradition, Waters’ touring show promises the “spreading of Yuletide profanity and perverted piety” with a variety show featuring the filmmaker’s trademark vulgarity and a holiday twist on all things dirty-old-man. The show offers Waters’ personal inspection of the more bizarre aspects of the frenzied season of giving, with the gleeful, wicked edge of a person resolved to coal in his stocking. 

From the press release: “This rapid-fire ‘trigger warning’ for holiday traditionalists asks the questions, ‘Is Prancer the only gay reindeer?’, ‘Is it wrong to steal purses from cars in graveyard parking lots on Christmas Eve while mourners leave flowers?’”

“Nobody gets mad at anything I say anymore,” Waters told The Washington Post in a 2014 interview. “I don’t think it’s much more acceptable, what I say, it’s just because I’m not mean, and I make fun of things I love and am interested in.”

The show caps off a busy year for the Baltimore filmmaker, largely focused on fine art. Waters was chosen for and participated in the 2017 Venice Biennale in August, in addition to preparing a large one-man retrospective which opens at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2018.

The event page for Baltimore Soundstage indicates tickets have already sold out, though Stubhub still has some available for resale for $66-85 apiece.

Rachel Bone

Rachel Bone is a regular contributor to the Baltimore Fishbowl.

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