Saturday, August 29, 2009

Upcoming LGBTQ Events - Picks and Previews

September already?

September already? But, but, my tomatoes are still green! I suppose I should be grateful for those few that survived the late blight. And I saved on my air conditioner bill, but one week of sunshine does not a summer make. And I sure wouldn't want to talk with the innkeepers either, this was the summer of the Monsoon. Still, Fall is just a few weeks off, and with it lots of our favorite activities replace summer lethargy.


One thing to note on your calendar is the September gathering of our Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition on Wednesday, September 2nd. Its theme is "What's Next" and rather than the usual potluck, there will be a deli-cold cut style supper starting at 7 PM at the UU Church in Pittsfield. It's open and free to all, though you should give them a call at 413-822-7268 to let you know you're coming so they have plenty of food. If you want to bring a dessert, that would be nice, too. The catered cold cut dinner is donated by Peter Marchetti. Beverages and dessert by the BSCC board. Their message is simple: Bring your suggestions, ideas, and enthusiasm to help decide where to focus our energies and resources in the coming year. There are some exciting plans in the works already, and I will be writing about them shortly. If someone from the North Adams area is going and can give me a lift, call me at 664-6108. I am without transportation that evening.


Justin Adkins, the energetic Queer Life Coordinator for Williams College has declared Thursdays at Mezze in Williamstown to be LGBT Night at the bar from 9 PM on. Many of the crowd wear hats, so don't worry about finding each other. You can always use your gaydar too. We may not have a gay bar in the Berkshires, but this great restaurant and watering hole makes a nice locus for meeting and greeting.


The ever popular and incredibly busy Ryan W. has kept me in the loop regarding what looks to be one of the hottest parties of the year on October 10 of Columbus Day weekend. In fact I am busting at the seams to tell you about lots of other things on the docket, but am awaiting formal confirmation before dropping the news. But here is what I can tell you, and you can find more details on Facebook. Here's what they have posted:

Mission statement: Queer up Pittsfield and make it permanent.
Host: QQ Committee

Time to get queer here now! Featuring MKNG FRNDZ in the Berkshires. More bands to follow.

A portion of the proceeds with benefit the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

It's time Pittsfield became alive with youth, queerness, et cetera. PROMISES OF QUEER BOBBING FOR APPLES @ EVENT! But most importantly, let's BUILD THE SCENE DO-IT-YOURSELF STYLE HOM(O)IEZ! TICKETS will be $10-12. Many ticket outlets throughout the area are being set up. Admission covers both the live music portion as well as the dance party.

Contact TIM KUSHI @ 413 464 7740 OR for more details!


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2009 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM in RUTLAND and

The Unitarian-Universalist congregations of Rutland and Bennington are celebrating marriage equality. This is for couples joined in a Civil Union who would like to get married or a married couple who would like to renew your vows in the context of a celebration of marriage equality

Rev. Erica Baron, the minister of the congregation, will be available all day to perform brief, simple wedding services for couples joined in a civil union, and to perform simple vow renewal services for married couples. Members of the congregation will be providing pot-luck “receptions” at 11:30, 3:00, and 6:00. Pre registration is required. Please call Erica at 802-855-8125 to register.

If you would like to get married and do not have a civil union, you may also contact her, or in the Berkshires, the Congregational Church in Williamstown and the UU Church in Pittsfield will also happily assist you in arranging a marriage at their churches.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Auditions for Laramie Project on Saturday in Pittsfield

August 29, 2009

We can't say too much at this point, but be sure to block out Columbus Day Weekend. It's going to be a very special one for the LGBTQ community in the Berkshires. Many details are still being worked out for a first ever "Out in the Berkshires" weekend, (shhhh...more info later!) but one thing is for sure, Barrington Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Producing Director Richard M. Parison Jr., will be presenting The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later (An Epilogue) on Monday, October 12 at 3 and 7 PM.

Towards that event, open auditions will be held (all ages, types) for those interested in taking part in the semi-staged reading. They will be held concurrently with the local auditions for its Fall 2009 season productions of The Fantasticks on Saturday, August 29 from noon-6pm at Barrington Stage, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA. An audition monitor will be present.

Matthew Shephard

The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later (An Epilogue) will be directed by BSC Producing Director Richard M. Parison, Jr. The creators of the highly acclaimed play The Laramie Project, which since 2000 has been one of the most performed plays in America, will premiere a compelling and groundbreaking epilogue to the original piece. The epilogue focuses on the long-term effect of the murder of Matthew Shepard on the town of Laramie. It explores how the town has changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community.

Auditionees for The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later (An Epilogue) should be prepared to read a portion of text provided at the audition. Auditions will be held by appointment only by calling BSC Administrative Office at 413-997-6105.

The fence, once a horrific reminder to the Wyoming community has been torn down since the tragedy.

The staged reading of this updated work will be performed in New York at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Barrington Stage Company, and over 100 other theaters across the country on October 12, 2009.

You may also audition for another show, The Fantasticks which will be directed by Andrew Volkoff (BSC's Underneath the Lintel, I Am My Own Wife, Fully Committed) and choreographed by Janet Watson (choreographer of current NY production). The world's longest-running musical, The Fantasticks is a captivating romantic comedy about a boy, a girl, and two fathers. Featuring memorable songs that include "Soon It's Gonna Rain," "They Were You" and the beloved hit "Try to Remember." Auditionees for The Fantasticks should prepare two contrasting songs (ballad and uptempo) and may be asked to read from the script.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Olympia Dukakis Appears at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox

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Oscar Winner Olympia Dukakis. Photo by Deborah Feingold.

What's not to love about Olympia Dukakis, the Oscar winning film star (for Moonstruck), the actress unafraid of any role, mother of three and cousin of Mike Dukakis, the former Governor in Massachusetts. She will make a live stage appearance at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox this coming Monday, August 31. This titan of the theatre may be 78 but she's not ready for the rocker yet. You can see that she's still as feisty as ever in my revealing interview with her which was just posted. More than anyone, I think Jesse Helms helped make her a faithful friend to the LBGTQ community.

First things first. For those who may not have heard, there is a new film, Cloudburst, which has her playing a lesbian, rescuing her lover from a nursing home to escape to Canada in a car, planning to finally get married there. Shades of a geriatric Thelma and Louise! The only question is who plays the young male hitchhiker they pick up along the way. The road trip comedy also stars Brenda Flicker in this Sidney Kimmel film with Thom Fitzgerald directing his own script. Originally slated to start shooting this summer, production has been pushed down the calendar with a debut in 2010.

Olympia Dukakis (R) and Brenda Flicker star in Cloudburst about two lesbians escaping to Canada to get married.

The film relates the story of two women who have been together for thirty years until one of them is committed to a nursing facility. Dukakis most recently starred in Away From Her with Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent. Fricker recently co-starred in Richard Attenborough's Closing the Ring with Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer.

Dukakis on Stage in Lenox - August 31

And here's what we know about her Berkshire performance which takes place on Monday, August 31 at 7 PM in the Founder's Theatre on the Shakespeare & Company campus in Lenox. The event kicks off the 15th Annual Festival of Plays with a staged reading of William Coe Bigelow's Leap Year. Also in the cast are Elizabeth Aspenlieder (remember Bad Dates?), David Adkins (Currently in Ghosts at the Berkshire Theatre Festival), Corinna May, and Josh McCabe, among others. It is directed by Tony Simotes, the company's Artistic Director. Tickets are $30, 40, 50 and include an opportunity to meet with the cast afterwards. This is a very important benefit event that is part of the company's efforts to meet a significant challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation. Watch for our interview with her this weekend in Berkshire Fine Arts.

Leap Year is an interesting play. Notions of parenting, personal responsibility, the sense one has of God, and the redemptive quality of love and personal forgiveness, are all at the center of Leap Year. This heartfelt drama tells the story of a thirty-something couple, Rob and Lisa Montgomery, whose second child is born with Down's Syndrome.

The First Act takes place in a duplex apartment in Los Angeles, starting the day their son is born, on February 29th, 1988, as the couple, their friends, and family struggle to come to terms with the painful event and the difficult choiches they suddenly face. The Second Act transpires five leap years later, on February 29th, 2008, in the same duplex apartment, when the decisions the Montgomerys have made play out in stark terms.

For tickets and more information, contact the company at 413.637.3353 or visit them at

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Slipping - A Play About a Gay Teen in the Heartland

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Slipping is a great new play by Daniel Talbott.

Slipping is a stunning play by the young playwright Daniel Talbott and directed by Kristen Kelly which is for and about teens yet speaks in very human terms to all ages. It tells a contemporary story, gay and straight, that sings with truth and is filled with the kind of complexity young people find in their lives every day. It played off Broadway in the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre recently and has left an indelible mark. It should be picked up by one of our Berkshire Companies, and soon, provided they don't pick some 30 year old actors to play the kids. Reality may suck, but it sure is essential to authenticity.

Seth Numrich and MacLeod Andrews in Slipping. Photo by Paula Court.

The new play relates the life story and complex loves of Eli (Seth Numrich) who is trying to start over again, but his past keeps cropping up. After his dad dies, Eli and his mother Jan (Meg Gibson) move from San Francisco to Iowa where he enters a new high school and connects with a baseball jock, Jake (MacLeod Andrews) and their friendship grows into something more. There are flashbacks to his earlier abusive relationship with Chris (Adam Driver) as we see the sources of Eli's self-destructive behavior and his fragile psyche. Jake and Eli cavorting naked in bed is more uplifting and spirited than embarrassing. Yes there is love here, but also homophobia, ignorance and the challenges of negotiating relationships.

The playwright explores these lives with humor and honesty, offering both helpful insights and disturbing realities for the audience to chew on. It is neither dull nor preachy, but alive and kicking, the kind of theatre that stimulates, informs and ultimately leaves you hungry for more. Talbott is a playwright, and Numrich an actor to watch for in the future, too. Numrich is well on his way, having earlier done a fine History Boys in L.A.

If you judged popular plays from the age of the actors on stage, you might come to the conclusion that there are none that are for or about young people. Yet there are some fine plays by younger playwrights out there. Some of them even tell complete stories with a beginning, a middle and an end. Slipping is proof. They just don't get done very much, even in the Berkshires, especially if they have a gay theme. As a result you don't see many young people in the audiences, unless it is High School Musical 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Or maybe a bunch of apprentices doing old musicals or standing around like flower pots (This season's Knickerbocker at Williamstown) or casting shadows on the wall.

The lack of focus on plays for young people - and I do not mean such safe works as Peter Pan which will make parents happy, but is about as safe a choice as can be made, or idiotic running around for pre schoolers as in Toad of Toad Hall at Shakespeare and Company, but rather genuine theatrical experiences for teenagers that speak to them, touch their soul and convince them that theatre speaks to them better than television, movies, video games, or even You Tube.

We have to think more about the audiences of the future and start presenting difficult works like this, which speak to them, but would never get by the guardians of mediocrity in our schools or educational programs in most communities. Let's take some chances, folks. Get real. Offer works that really speak to young audiences rather than underestimating them, The future of theatre depends on it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Randy Harrison in Ghosts at Berkshire Theatre Festival

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Randy Harrison, David Adkins, and Mia Dillon in BTF's 2009 Main Stage production of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts. Directed by Anders Cato. Photo by Jaime Davidson.

Last night at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, the much anticipated new adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts opened and it is a a roaring success. The play will be running through August 29 (Ticket and Performance Information) and a full review will appear tomorrow in Berkshire Fine Arts. This article is not so much a review as a continuation of the conversation I recently had with Randy Harrison, who plays Oswald (Osvald) in the play. But first some buzz.

Randy Harrison at the opening night after party for Ghosts. Charles Giuliano Photo.

There was a first nighters after-party following last night's show and a rare chance to meet and mingle with the players. Randy's fans were out in force, since many of them have become regular ticket buyers and subscribers to the BTF. Some traveled great distances to be there.

I was digging into the munchies when I noticed a whirlwind of activity approaching. Cameras were flashing, people were getting excited.. Many guests dropped what they were doing and soon were circling their target like gnats around a lightbulb, though they were so thick you couldn't see the object of their attention. I knew immediately it had to be Randy. He does cause quite a commotion when he gets recognized. In fact it is one reason he often wears a hat and nondescript garb when he is out in public.

Randy Harrison plays Oswald in Ghosts at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Photo by Jaime Davidson.

Randy Harrison came to the fore through his role as Justin in the Showtime series Queer as Folk which ran for five seasons and was its highest rated show. Although the last episode was telecast in 2005, it went on to be rebroadcast on the Logo network, was released on DVDs and was re-edited last year for Canadian broadcast, all of which have continued to spread his name and image. Showtime's early marketing of the show was primarily targeted at gay male (and to some extent, lesbian) audiences, yet a sizeable segment of the viewership turned out to be heterosexual women. That's who were the bulk of his fans last evening.

Harrison, meanwhile, has made great efforts to not let the series typecast him, and to return to his real roots, which are grounded in live theatre. He has acted since an early age. Indeed, it may be the only thing he can reliably do to earn a living. "I have been fired from every job besides acting that I have had. I got fired from waiting tables, being a bag boy, temping at a bunch of different companies, and being a caterer. I can't do anything else but act," he has said.

Randy Harrison indulges the yapping blogger. Photo by Charles Giuliano.

Last night's performance proves that it is a wise choice, and we are all the beneficiaries. On stage with older and more seasoned actors such as David Adkins, Jonathan Epstein and Mia Dillon, he more than held his own. It is interesting that Mia Dillon's husband Keir Dullea was in attendance as well. He has had a career path similar to Harrison's. He started as a bit of a heartthrob in the films Hoodlum Priest and David and Lisa, went on to play David Bowman ("Please close the pod bay doors HAL,") in 2001 A Space Odyssey. Today he is past the 70 year old mark, but still working, and still a handsome devil.

Actor Keir Dullea, then and now. Now Photo by Charles Giuliano.

Still, the crowd wasn't circling Keir, but rather Randy. Once again, they had witnessed a breathtaking performance of great depth from the actor, and even been rewarded with a scene in which he was partially undressed by his mother. But don't get too excited. It revealed far less than the famed Showtime series.

When we met to talk, we spoke about his role in developing new audiences for the theater. Many of his loyal fans in evidence last night are proof that his early fame has helped his theatre career. He probably signed a hundred programs last night, and many more photographs, tee-shirts and the like from his fans who were in the audience simply because he was on stage. And in this, he is not alone. At the Berkshire Theatre Festival, this process has a long tradition. In fact, Kate Maguire, Artistic Director, tells how the actor, Richard Chamberlain, has played a similar role in developing audiences for the theatre, and talks to him often hoping to have him back as early as next season. He played the title role of Dr. Kildare in a TV series from 1961-66 and recently has been seen on Desperate Housewives, Nip/Tuck and is also remembered for the series The Thorn Birds.

Actor Richard Chamerblain, then and now.

Harrison, who just turned 30, is happy about the event, "and I look forward to my 40's and 50's too. There's a lot of good roles coming up. The fact that I have worked on Shaw, Ibsen, and Beckett here is amazing. I do want to play Uncle Vanya when I am an older man, but it isn't something I will play anytime soon. So where do I see myself? I am more artistically satisfied now with the work I have been doing over the past five years than I've ever been. So I intend to keep it up, to make enough money to pay my mortgage and act."

Randy Harrison steps into the bright daylight as he takes a break from rehearsal earlier this month. Larry Murray photo.

I wondered if his approach to his career, somewhat serendipitous, but constantly moving forward has been calculated and deliberate. "Well, yes, it has, though slowly. It hasn't been a particularly intellectual planned career, masterminding ideas. It's more like acknowledging that I have different passions and interests and trying to pursue them all. Slowly but surely it seems I am becoming more active, more satisfied and more mature. I enjoy doing projects with friends, and I have been spending more time doing music, too, though no more karaoke in the Berkshires, even though it was fun while it lasted. "

When I interviewed Randy in 208, he said at the time that he didn't have much interest in pursuing musical theatre. This was a surprise, since he has had considerable training and experience in the form. (He was in the Broadway production of Wicked). The conversation turned to Matt McGrath whom I interviewed for Caroline in Jersey and the ongoing development of a musical version of Armisead Maupin's Tales of the City, presented last month in a staged workshop version at Connecticut's O'Neill Center. "You know I do miss music now. I have been away from it long enough, and I have done lots of other kinds of work that I wanted to try. I would feel confident going into another musical at some point."

The thought of Randy Harrison in a new musical, especially one based on such a famous book, is something to contemplate, but frankly, I will be happy just as long as we get to see him trying out a new role each summer at the Berkshire Theatre Festival.

In April of 2009 Randy Harrison appeared with Olympia Dukakis in the Craig Lucas drama, The Singing Forest at New York's Public Theater. Photo by Peter James Zielinski.

The limited engagement of Ghosts extends to August 29 and there are some tickets remaining. You get get full (Ticket and Performance Information) by visiting the website.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Arts Are a "Little Gay"

It comes as a great pleasure to read that the new head of the National Endowment for the Arts. Rocco Landesman, is not afraid to confront those who disparage the arts community by using thinly veiled homophobic insults. Homophobia is behind much of the move to diminish the role of the arts in our lives, our economy and our community. The barbarians in our midst must not be allowed to turn our civilization back to one where pitchforks and bonfires meted out community standards.
That kind of thinking suggests that “artists don’t have kids to send to college,” Mr. Landesman said, “or food to put on the table, or medical bills to pay.”

In American politics generally, he added: “The arts are a little bit of a target. The subtext is that it is elitist, left wing, maybe even a little gay.”

The Full Interview with Landesman in the New York Times is encouraging.

We have been seeing increasing amounts of hate speech being openly (and anonymously) posted in the Berkshire Eagle bashing the LGBTQ community, side by side with more vitriol about how "elitist" and "sissified" the arts are. These slurs seem to come primarily from people whom our schools have failed. Their poor grasp of English is invariably a telltale sign of their incomplete education which seems to go hand in hand with their failed attitudes.

Perhaps it is time that the local papers made these anonymous idiots identify themselves publicity. It's not just gays, or culture they attack. The vitriol hurled at virtually everything our elected officials try to accomplish is poisonous. Civility has left the pages of the paper. It's one thing to allow discussion and dissent, but the level of discourse is strictly schoolyard. Most of the posters are nothing but a mob dragging down the Berkshires by their constant cowardly attacks. Strip away the anonymity, and these bullies and blowhards would melt back into the background where they belong.

The first thing to recognize is that artists are working people, and they work hard. They often earn mediocre wages, and most supplement their income as artists with second jobs. Hell, if you get a waitperson who is really nice, really good at remembering who ordered what and attentive and observant to the needs of your table, you probably are being served by an actor who regularly has to remember lines, blocking and a million details in performing a role. They deserve a lot of respect.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Meet Actor Matt McGrath
Gay, Trans Roles Don't Faze Him

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Matt McGrath, Up Close and Personal

Matt McGrath appears in the World Premiere of Caroline in Jersey by Melinda Lopez at the Williamstown Theatre Festival (Show and Ticket Information). It plays on the Nikos Stage through August 16. There are low cost rush tickets sometimes available. Matt plays the best friend to Lea Thompson's complex Caroline. You can read the funny preview interview I had with the two of them here. In it, Lea Thompson is the jokester, and Matt plays the, um, straight man.

Sneak shots! Matt McGrath and Lea Thompson are best friends in Caroline in Jersey.

But Matt's a complex person, and he's far more than just a great actor, he knows LGBTQ issues inside out. Different aspects of his life and career have brought him in touch with them, even as he continues to hone his stagecraft. The darkly handsome actor has one of the most diverse backgrounds in the business. And he was happy to talk about his many unusual roles for both this Gay in the Berkshires blog and for Berkshire Fine

Matt dons leather in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Matt's unusual in that he has been part of not only gay movies, but those that deal with transgender issues as well. "I've worked on a number of movies dealing with transgendered issues, with Boys Don't Cry being the best known. But Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which I ran in for the last four months of its run, was a joy and an honor, and I am so proud of being part of that production. What John Cameron Mitchell (Book) and Peter Askin (Director) created there is an important moment in time, and thankfully lives on in the film version made later.

He Saved Hedwig from closing, making a name for himself in the process.

I wondered what Matt did just before he came to Williamstown, and what is up for him in the future. His answer was exciting.

"Right now I am in development with the Scissor Sisters, Jason Sellards (aka "Jake Shears") and John Garden who are writing the music for a new musical based on Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City books," he replies. Matt played Norman Neal Williams in a staged workshop version at the O'Neill Center in Waterford, CT last month. The show has a libretto by Jeff Whitty and direction by Jason Moore, both of Avenue Q.

Even in caricature, Matt looks gorgeous in this treatment by the incomparable Hirschfeld.

"Tales of the City has had a wonderful life, having begun as a series of articles in the San Francisco Chronicle, then the full length books, the television series (there were two with different casts and directors) and now this. The workshop was really magical, recreating the residents of 28 Barbary Lane on stage. Of course, with its variety of characters gay, straight and transgendered, it is a perfect platform to describe what it is like to be a trans person. Through the portrayal of their struggles - whether in the book, on the screen or on stage - we come to understand each other as human beings, to see the struggle so many of us face in order to live a full and honest life.

Matt McGrath, seen here with Charles Busch, played the roles of Hugo Hoffman and Lotte Von Elsner in The Lady in Question at Bay Street Theatre. Photo courtesy of Bay Street Theatre

"It's hard to predict exactly how the show will continue to develop, it will probably go to San Francisco next for additional development. I of course hope it might go to ACT where I did Black Rider. It's a wonderful place for developing original work." This is all in the works for this winter, with a hoped for New York Broadway opening in 2010. Of course if it opened to raves in San Francisco, it could easily run for months or years before even needing to head back to the left coast.

In Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets, Matt took to the air.

Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets was a cutting edge piece of theatre, almost opera, that turned into a phenomenon. With a book derived from the work of William Burroughs, staging concept by Robert Wilson, and music by Tom Waits, young audiences came out of the woodwork. 15 year olds were lined up buying tickets to see it, truly a phenomenon not often seen in the theatre.

"To get a fifteen year old to spend that kind of money on tickets, it has to be something they really want to see." If the performing arts have difficulty attracting younger audiences, perhaps they should reconsider just what they are putting on stage that would attract them.

"That demographic is incredibly important for the future of the theatre."

Matt and Gus Mattox at the 2005 GVN Awards. Hot!

Matt should know. He has been attracting younger audiences in virtually everything he does, from Hedwig to Tales of a City, and now, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Caroline in Jersey.

One lesser role that I found very appealing was his appearance in Boys Life 2, a typical collection of short gay films. In it Matt plays a son being driven back to the station by his father. "That was written by my friend Tom Donahue, I actually do a lot of his plays, I am a real fan of his work. It may be short, but it is an important film about HIV as it affects the young man and his partner. It takes place just after Thanksgiving dinner, and it addresses our complex familial issues as no other film I have ever seen." That does seem to be one of the payoffs of these collections, they cover areas and issues larger films often overlook or take for granted. As Matt says, "The writing is just so exquisite."

In Boys Life 2, Matt was in The Dad Shuttle

Tonight is the official opening of Caroline in Jersey at Williamstown, and all his friends send him the traditional "break a leg" greetings. Can't wait to see it myself.

Which Cabaret Master of Ceremonies is Matt?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Berkshires Drag Show in Pittsfield

Saturday, August 8 at 8:00!

The Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition (BSCC) is sponsoring its first ever drag show as a benefit for the organization. It is slated to take place Saturday, August 8 starting at 8 PM at the Elks Club at 27 Union Street in Pittsfield. That's right across sthe street from Barrington Stage Company's main theatre with plenty of parking nearby. Doors open at 7 PM.

The performance will be at 8:00 PM followed by dancing until 12:30 AM. Please help us spread the word, your friends won't want to miss this rare chance to see drag queens in action without having to leave the Berkshires.

BSCC is now on FaceBook and it is easy to join as a "fan". You don't even have to be one of the letters in LGBTQ to be a friend.

For more information I would normally post a link to their website, but it seems to have been hijacked by some British Berkshires tourism site at the moment. Strange. Stay tuned. Meantime, here's something to keep you amused:


Semi Sweet Charity
Tess Tosterone
Lilly White
Holly Mackerel
Karen Carpenteria
Helen Heels
Sofonda Cox
Hollee Luja
Hope Heelcum
Orna Mint
Sharon Needles
Holly Goheavily
Marianne Unfaithful
Jean Pool
Eva Destruction
Amber Waves
Nequelle Anne Dyme
Brigett of Madison County
Visa Gold
Marsha Mellow
Amanda Playwith
Devoida Taste
Iona Sextoy
Ivana B. Queen
Kaye Wye
Sharon Husbands
Paige Turner
Shanda Lier
Anna Rexia
Bertha Venation
Penny Tration
Anita Cocktail
Tequila Mockingbird
Ivana Cockatoo
Barbra Seville
Glenda Bender
Layona Davenport
Ivana Kutchakockoff
Winnie Baygo
Ginger Vitis
Della Catessen
Anita Mann
Patty O. Furniture
Gloria Hole
Lois Commondenominator
Candy Ass
Joan Jett Black
Pagan Holiday
Misty Cologne
Crystal DeCanter
Kitten Kaboodle
Amanda Reckonwith
Miss Inglink
Miss Construe
Marsha Dimes
Eileen Dover
Madam Ovary
Rachel Tensions
Agnes of Gosh
Bea Reasonable
Bessie Mae Mucho
Candy Wrapper
Catherine the Above Average
Dee Flaytable
Clare Boothe Luce Change
Rhea Listik
Rosie Cheeks
Snow White Trash
Venus de Mile-High Lo
Gail Force
Mary K. Mart
Jenny Tonic
Juan Nightstand
Amanda Peon
Miss Diagnosed
Hedda Lettuce
Wilma Ballsdrop

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Lea Thompson, Matt McGrath and Dean Cain

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Lea complains "Dean Cain is way cuter than me, which is a problem."

The poster girl for wholesome, Lea Thompson, and Matt McGrath, the actor who saved Hedwig and the Angry Inch from obscurity are in the Berkshires, preparing to premiere a brand new play Caroline in Jersey by noted playwright Melinda Lopez at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. It is going to be fun. I interviewed them both last week and you can read about it here but there are some details that I left out. I've saved them for this Gay Berkshires blog.

Dean Cain is one of those macho guys who make gay guys weak, perhaps because they play such strong characters. Cain of course played Superman in Lois and Clark, and was to the 90's what Tom Welling and Smallville have been to this new century. So it came as a bit of a surprise last week when I sat down for coffee with both Lea and Matt to find they had both worked with Dean Cain in different movies. Holy Kevin Bacon!
Lea played with Tom

Lea of course was a big hit in the tv series Caroline in the City, and before that her breakout role was in Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox, and even earlier, with Tom Cruise in All the Right Moves. Lucky girl. But it turns out that she played Dean Cain's wife in Final Approach. Discuss.

Lea Thompson: It was fun playing his wife, though I didn't get to do that much with him. I was on the phone most of the time. It's hard to build a rapport. I always thought he was cute as Superman [in Lois & Clark]. He's way cuter than me, which is a problem. [Laughs]

In The Broken Hearts Club, Matt McGrath (lower left) and Dean Cain (upper right)

Meanwhile, it turns out that Matt McGrath also worked with Dean Cain in the heartwarming film, The Broken Hearts Club.

Matt McGrath

So this begs the question of whether McGrath is way cuter than Cain. The answer is that it really doesn't matter. Matt has a wonderful outlook on GLBTQ issues, and spent some extra time with me talking about them. Watch for our special Gay Berkshires feature on Matt later this week.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bill Nelson's All Male Revue
One More Show Tonight

Bill Nelson
Orville Mendoza
Matt Castle
Frank Galgano
Claibourne Elder
Howie Michael Smith

Trust me, you don't want to miss this show at Barrington Stage and you only have one more chance, tonight, Saturday August 1 at Barrington Stage Company's little theatre, Stage 2 on Linden Street in Pittsfield.


The title is suggestive
But our pants will stay zipped.
No thongs in this performance
Long as we don't leave the script.

The lyrics will be naked, though—
Exposed, unguarded and true in


Bill Nelson's All Male Revue.
Bill Nelson's All Male Revue (woo hoo hoo hoo)
Bill Nelson's All Male Revue.

Sit back and soak us in.
Enjoy the all-male view. (CLAY: You know you do!)

(Lyrics by Bill Nelson from the show's witty opening number)

Bill Nelson's All-Male Revue has lyrics by Bill Nelson and most of them have a gay twist. The music is by a variety of composers. But don't take my word for it. To get a sense of what we are talking about here, here are a couple of You Tube clips.

Rob Broadhurst performs "Who Wouldn't Want A Kid Like That?" in State of the Union. Music by Dimitri Landrain, Lyrics by Bill Nelson. Directed by Daniel Fischer. Part of The Spotlight Cabaret series.

Wesley Taylor sings "Would I Do Bill Nelson (If Bill Nelson Weren't Me?" (music by Julia Meinwald, lyrics by Bill Nelson) as part of THE OH, SO SEXY SONG'S OF BILL NELSON at NYTB

The final performance takes place tonight, Saturday, at 8:00 at the BSC's Stage 2 which is at 36 Linden Street (one block from North Street) in Pittsfield. All seats are: $15 (general admission) and can be reserved by calling 413.236.888. Or visit the Barrington Stage website.

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