A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING
January 27 - May 6, 2017
Turku City Theatre presents Tom of Finland: The Musical
What cannot be said out loud must be drawn.
What cannot be drawn must be sung.
The musical is subtitled in English. We recommend the production for people over 16 years of age.
The story of how Touko Laaksonen became Tom of Finland. It shows a gifted, eccentric Finnish boy growing into an artist whose work is celebrated worldwide.
Turku City Theatre has got it right in their interpretation of the life of Touko Laaksonen and his alter ego Tom of Finland. In starting off, they are providing buckets of laughter filled with shovelfuls of joy. This musical will be a grand success because it brings people to the “pleasure zone”. Keep it simple, take time to stop and smell the roses, work effectively with diligence and employ the art of recreation in making sure you take full advantage of your time here. Tom did just that, leaving a few pearls of wisdom behind to ignite the curious. A grin was at home with Tom, it came easily and often.
In this musical’s adaptation of the artist’s life they really got his rhythm down. Turku City Theatre is at the core of this epidemic of smiles, which is very contagious. Tom of Finland’s life is a beautiful thing and honoring him this way is so appropriate. We feed our own lives whilst cementing his into history. A legacy of national hero proportions: Tom of Finland, who’s very much alive residing in the forests of Finland with other Nordic gods.
–Durk Dehner, President and Cofounder, Tom of Finland Foundation
About The Musical
God created man, man created Tom of Finland. In turn, Tom’s Men gave millions of people the right to breathe and love.
Turku City Theatre’s new musical tells the story of how Touko Laaksonen became Tom of Finland. It shows a gifted, eccentric Finnish boy growing into an artist whose work is celebrated worldwide.
Tom’s fantasies-turned-drawings shaped the identities and sexualities of millions of men, sometimes as far as giving them a reason to keep on living. For the heterosexual majority, the drawings offered a peek into a world that had previously been unknown, even forbidden and punishable.
The musical challenges the audience to consider Tom of Finland and his art as one of the biggest factors in gay liberation and LGBT rights worldwide – an icon comparable to Martin Luther King in the African-American civil rights movement.
The story is based on real life, but just as Tom’s drawings became bigger and bolder during the course of his career, the musical also grows larger-than-life. Comedy and fiction intermix with the real story of Tom of Finland conquering the world. Furthermore, the musical explores Finnish history from World War II onwards from a fresh point of view, shining a spotlight on the parts of history that have often been silenced.
”It’s pure joy, from beginning to end”, librettist Tuomas Parkkinen says.
”It’s a musical for everyone who has ever loved or dreamed. It’s for everyone who enjoys life and sensuality, who likes handsome men, enjoys beauty and tease. And for everyone who wants to see a musical like they've never seen before – not onstage, not even in their wildest fantasies.”
The musical is composed by Jussi Vahvaselkä and Jori Sjöroos. It is directed and choreographed by Reija Wäre.
”It’s a musical heaven, an imaginary world where everything is possible. Just like the world of Touko Laaksonen’s drawings”, librettist Tuomas Parkkinen summarises.
“In those days, a gay man was made to feel nothing but shame
about his feelings and his sexuality. I wanted my drawings to counteract
that, to show gay men being happy and positive about who they were.
Oh, I didn’t sit down to think this all out carefully. But I
knew — right from the start — that my men were going to
be proud and happy men!" —
Tom of Finland