Martin Moran was groomed and repeatedly sexually assaulted by Vietnam veteran and Catholic boys’ camp counselor, Bob, from the age 12–15. Thirty years later, Bob reached out to Moran for a meeting, and Moran obliged. In The Tricky Part, currently running at The Barrow Group, Moran breathtakingly, heartbreakingly, and exquisitely recounts—alone, on stage—the story of his sexual awakening and his adulthood encounter with the man who forced it upon him.
The current production, directed by Seth Barrish, is a revival of its premiere run—also at The Barrow Group—in 2004, which earned an Obie Award, as well as nominations for two Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and a GLAAD Award. In 2005, Moran wrote a memoir based on the play, entitled The Tricky Part: A Boy’s Story of Sexual Trespass, a Man’s Journey to Forgiveness. The book won the 2005 Lambda Non-Fiction Prize, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction.
Moran—also known for his roles in the musicals Floyd Collins, A Man of No Importance, Titanic, and Spamalot—spoke to me on the phone the morning after I saw The Tricky Part on December 1. What follows is a condensed transcript of our discussion.
No one ever came over to my house. They never came to any of my houses, in any of the six states I grew up in. In high school, both my evangelical friends and my sister’s Wiccan friends got the heebie-jeebies the moment they stepped inside.
Last week, someone called to discuss a potential music direction gig. My heart sank the moment they were like, “Miss Bouzy Rouge! That looks like a lot of fun!” — not because I’m not proud of my work with Sarah Goussé, but because I’d not thought about this website for over two years.
And a lot has changed in the last two years: I left my nonprofit office management job, I began writing professionally, and I did a bunch of cool music things… plus, I’ll have some exciting stuff to share soon. It’s well past time for a reboot.