NEW YORK — R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” has had many people wondering just where he gets such ideas. On Wednesday night, he joked that they come from outer space.
Kelly, along with the Independent Film Channel, hosted an event at New York’s IFC Center, where he screened chapters 13-22 of his musical/ soap opera/ dramedy. Despite facing life-altering changes with his trial on child-pornography charges beginning on September 17 (see “R. Kelly Case Finally Going To Trial” ), Kelly was in a celebratory mood. The line to get in the theater was packed down the block, and Kells was greeted with cheers as he walked down the aisle, dressed all in black, to the mic in front of the theater.
“I’d like to welcome me here,” Kelly said with a smile before talking about the series. “I don’t know how to explain how I wrote it,” he said. “It just keeps rhyming and rhyming.”
He then explained that “Trapped” seems to have taken on a life, mind and body of its own. “It’s an alien,” he said, grinning. “I hope y’all have as good of time watching it as I did making it.”
You won’t find any spoilers here, but we will say that the new chapters pick up where Chapter 12 left off (see “R. Kelly’s ’Trapped In The Closet’ Rolls On: New Chapter Released Monday, More On The Way” ). The lead character, Sylvester (Kelly), is trying to get answers from Cathy (LeShay Tomlinson), the woman he had an affair with. The new chapters find Kelly playing a whole series of new characters: a grumpy old-timer named Randolph, a stuttering pimp named Pimp Luscious and even a singing man of the cloth.
Supporting characters from the first 12 installments pop in as well, such as Sylvester’s brother-in-law Twan, the midget Big Man and the gay couple Rufus and Chuck. Even a few names who were called out in the early chapters see their characters revealed and developed in the new chapters: There’s another homosexual affair, a love child, dealings with organized crime and a special “package,” all of which make for bizarre plot twists and cliffhangers. The audience applauded heavily after the end of each chapter on Thursday evening, and there were several laugh-out-loud moments.
Kelly said he’s hoping his record label, Jive, will foot the bill to keep the series going on indefinitely. The singer said he’s already written and recorded a bounty of new “Trapped” material.
“I have 51-and-a-half more chapters to bore y’all,” he said. “We just gotta get the budget to shoot ’em all. I ain’t got no job, I got nothing else to do!”
On Monday, IFC began rolling out a new chapter each day on its Web site, leading up to the Tuesday release of a DVD containing the 10 new chapters.