“The Pope of Trash,” John Waters comes to Fayetteville

“The People’s Pervert.” “The Filth Elder.” “The Pope of Trash.” Creative forces don’t get much more fearless than the beloved John Waters, who through landmark films (including the infamous Pink Flamingos and mainstream hit Hairspray), books, photo exhibitions and solo performances, has delighted in challenging norms and celebrating outsiders with fierce intelligence and gleefully transgressive aesthetics.

Coming to Fayetteville next week is his newest, fast-moving, part-confessional, part-inquisitional comic spoken word show, Devil’s Advocate. In it, Waters salutes the new gender-guerilla generation for doing the impossible — actually making him nervous. Typically outrageous and razor-sharp, Waters urges audience members to “form a new rainbow of rancid colors” and seize back the sexual revolution from the self-righteousness of the left and the intolerance of the right. A new middle-of-the-road madness that uses humor as terrorism, wit as ammunition. A happy family of all-age, cuckoo crossover: hip-hop hippies, pansy punks, queer gangstas… “We’re here. We sneer. Don’t get used to us.”

John Waters. Is he a cautionary contrarian, a reactionary radical or a true Devil’s Advocate? See for yourself on Wednesday, May 1 at Walton Arts Center. Tickets start at just $25 at waltonartscenter.org.

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