Monday, March 29, 2010

Famous Gay Moments in Broadway History

Always on the lookout for great videos, this little gem has Nathan Lane visiting Cheyenne Jackson n the dressing room of the infamous musical Xanadu.

They discuss whether the show might be a little "too" gay.

There is a whole collection of great gay moments in the history of Broadway in the latest online version of OUT magazine.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sorry Scott Brown, but Rachel Maddow says you lied

Scott Brown as Pinocchio
"How do you know I am lying?" "Lies, my boy, are known in a moment. There are two kinds of lies, lies with short legs, and lies with long noses. Yours, just now, happen to have long noses."

Ah the joy of politics, especially Republican politics where spreading fear and lies are the coin of the realm, and armed demonstrations seem to be taking the place of nonviolent protests. We have already had our mini-Kristallnacht following the health bill signing. What's next Tea Partiers, guillotines in the town square? The armed demonstration you plan for April 19 ought to be exciting.

The latest nonsense comes from our own Massachusetts senator, Scott Brown, who is apparently desperate to shake the money tree to get re-elected. He sent out a fundraising letter that says:

It's only been a couple of months since I've been in office, and before I've even settled into my new job, the political machine in Massachusetts is looking for someone to run against me. And you're not going to believe who they are supposedly trying to recruit--liberal MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.

Rachel lives in western Massachusetts, and recently it was reported that the chairman of the state Democratic Party had apparently tried to reach out to her in an attempt to coax her into a race against me."

But of course, even though some of us think this would be wonderful, it is absolutely untrue. Maddow took out a full page ad in yesterday's Boston Globe to make sure everyone understands exactly where she stands. It is difficult to spread lies about someone who won't let bullshit stand. Despite repeated corrections, Brown continues to spread the lie.

Click on image to enlarge.
Rachel Maddow shoots down the bullshit from Scott Murphy.

Of course, it is nice to know that Brown lives in fear of Maddow and her never ceasing search for truth, justice and preservation of the American way of change through rational discourse. One can hope that the Massachusetts voters will keep an eye on the new Senator, and when it comes his time for reelectionin 2012 will remember what kind of person he really is.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Update on Glee and "Sneaky Gays"

The character Kurt (Chris Colfer) may find a romantic interest this Spring on Glee.

I've written a lot about Glee which has some great new episodes coming up, and here's a delightful promotional video to help get the next installments off to a rousing start. It has Sue Sylvester complaining how difficult it is to fit people in boxes these days.

Glee has one gay character the fourteen-year-old Kurt, played by Chris Colfer. Originally written so as to imply his being gay without actually saying the word, you can tell, just the way you can tell that Vin ("I come from the Harrison Ford, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino code of silence") Diesel is most likely straight.

Word has it that the new Glee episodes will find Kurt being more specifically gay as he enters into a relationship.

Meantime all is not a bowl of cherries as far as gay characters on tv. As few and far between as they are, they could get rarer still as the whacko right continues to punish equal treatment through whatever means they can. In Florida there is an effort to remove tax credits from films and tv productions in that state that feature homosexual characters. Half the world away, Malaysia is finally allowing the depiction of gays in films as long as they go straight before the film ends.

So it goes. The battle for equality is far from won.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Agog over Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's new video "Telephone"

Click here to view.

Fresh from the delightfully sick minds of Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and what looks like hundreds of co-conspirators, "Telephone" is the most creative and outrageous music video since Michael Jackson's "Thriller." The nine minute plus production has already swept all the youngsters up into its clutches, and it is slowly seeping its way into the consciousness of the original MTV Generation as they approach retirement age.

While it is not possible to embed the video into a blog like this, you can simply click here or on the caption above to see the full video.

Lady Gaga and Telephone Video

This is the "clean" version of the video I have linked to. But a few bleeps and a little blurring hardly make it any less wonderful.

While I hate over-hyped commercial media with its product placements, (in this video Coca Cola among others) cliches and mediocre music - all of which are present in the Lady Gaga's current and past work - this video has so many layers and so much going on it is worth repeated viewings.

John Waters was once the Duke of Dirt and Prince of Puke. In the past couple of years he has been unable to get financing for his proposed film "Fruitcake". Perhaps he is living out the same frustrations that Orson Welles felt at the end of his career. Time marches on. The crown has been passed on.

Once you were forbidden to watch Divine. But now your parent's worst nightmare has just reinvented itself. And I am simply gaga over it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

BSCC April Dance April 17 in Pittsfield

Spring in the Air!

The Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition invites the LGBTQ community and its allies to celebrate Spring!

More information at the BSCC website.

Namoli Brennet in Concert April 23 at the Topia Cafe in Adams @ 7:30

Folksinger Namoli Brennet returns to the Berkshires at the Topia Cafe.


Friday, April 23. at 7:30 PM

PLEASE NOTE THE PERFORMANCE TIME IS 7:30 PM (Not 9:00 as published earlier or elsewhere.)

Plan a pleasant evening with a great talent. It takes place at the Stone Soup Café at Topia Arts Center, 27 Park Street, Adams. There is a $10 cover charge.

Here's a rare chance to see and hear Namoli Brennet, the distinctive singer-songwriter as she returns to the Berkshires with her warm, funny, distinctive style in a totallyfriendly and intimate setting.

Grapes of Wrath_ Namoli Brennet from Kevin Anderson on Vimeo.

Chris Evans offered Captain America role

Chris Evans

The Heat Vision Blog tells us that, based on a rerport in the Hollywood Reporter, the actor, who once donned superhero garb in two "Fantastic Four" movies, has been offered the role of Captain America.

Evans' offer would include starring in up to three "America" movies plus "The Avengers" movies and appearances in several other Marvel movies.

Since it is not yet confirmed, nor signed, it still could be offered to one of the actors we mentioned below if this deal does not work out...Evans does have other film commitments that could create problems with scheduling and shooting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Who will play Captain America?

"When I’d heard that Will Smith was [interested], I’m just like, ‘God, yeah. That’s who should play it… It would be a different Captain America than we all know in the comic, but it’s perfect.” Channing Tatum (pictured here).

In less than a year the first of nine Captain America movies will begin shooting, and a new star will be born. Based on the Marvel comics character, the superhero will also inhabit the persona of his alter ego, Steve Rogers, and try to defend an America that is in deep trouble. It's going to get interesting.

The rumors of which actors heads the top of the list have been flying, and just to give you an idea of who they are looking at I have compiled a list of both the finalists and the failures.

Wilson Bethel, who starred in HBO’s “Generation Kill” and currently appearing in “The Young and the Restless,” is still in the running.

Mike Vogel, who appeared in “Cloverfield” and CBS’ “Miami Medical” is still on the list of possibilities. Bethel and Vogel are relative unknowns, and therefore long shots, though the lower salaries such actors demand can be a deciding factor.

My choice, because of the success the Star Trek franchise had in casting Chris Pine to play Captain Kirk.

There's also James Cameron's choice of Sam Worthington for Avatar. But he is Australian...

Still very much in contention, and currently moving to the top of the pack is actor Chris Evans, currently shooting "Safety Point" in Texas. He has read for the part and has a test offer which may come to fruition next week.

Garrett Hedlund has not tested yet though Marvel itself is very keen on him.

Sadly, word has it that Chace Crawford is a no-go.

Michael Cassidy is no longer on the list.

John Krasinski (The Office) has always been a long shot.

So who would you like to see try out for the role? Whoever it is, they will spend a lot of time underneath a face mask and costume, so the acting is likely more important than the look. But still...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

When Men Dance Together: Trey McIntyre at Jacob's Pillow August 4-8

Jonathan Powell and Jonathan Dummar duet. Photos by Jonas Lundqvist

Gay Berkshires is always on the prowl for artistic events that appeal to the LGBTQ community and its friends. It appears that the first half of August is going to be the perfect time for LGBT folks to plan their stay in the Berkshires.

Not only are there two incredible dance events of interest to the gay community at Jacob's Pillow, but the highlight of the Berkshire Theatre Festival 2010 season is likely to be their fresh version of Samuel Beckett's Endgame (July 6-24), featuring Randy Harrison as "Nag."

Randy Harrison last summer between rehearsals. Larry Murray photo.

Randy played Justin in the groundbreaking Queer as Folk series (now being rerun on the Logo Channel). In his sixth season at BTF, he continues to prove that he is far more than just another pretty face, but an actor of depth and substance who can hold his own on any stage.

When I wrote up the Jacob's Pillow schedule earlier this year I focused on the highly amusing and talented Trockaderos who will perform August 11-15.

Strong women dancers too. Alison Roper can hold her own with the boys.

Now I would like to bring the Trey McIntryre Project to your attention, playing at the Ted Shawn Theatre from August 4-8. It will be an uplifting experience in more ways than one.

Hymn from Trey McIntyre Project on Vimeo.

In the video above you get a real sense of the company and its work. Hymn was commissioned by DRA for the 2007 Fire Island Gala. The dance was created by Trey McIntyre, with music by CocoRosie and simple costumes by Liz Prince. The gorgeous dancers are Marc Petrocci and Jonathan Powell.

One of the challenging things about filming dance is that - for the moment at least - it is strictly two dimensional. On stage the dancers come towards you, getting closer before they move away. The diagonal line delivers the feeling of both arrival and departure.

On film these effects are difficult to replicate. The flatness of film and video renders the dancers getting larger and smaller or moving side to side. A very different vocabulary than what is possible on stage. This presents a true creative challenge to filmmakers who must suggest the third dimension depth through special camera setups, lenses and lighting. This particular film does the job extremely well. It was filmed in the studios at White Oak Plantation.

In the end, you must see dance in person. It's the only way to fully enjoy it. Sitting close up you can even feel the air move as the dancers execute their combinations.

Company founder, Trey McIntyre.

While Hymn is not currently scheduled for the Pillow, Trey McIntyre has equally entrancing works planned. We think that now is a good time to line up your seats, and before the season begins, you do have access to some of the best seats in the house, which go quickly as the summer approaches.

For all their daring, this company is sometimes called the "Bad boys of dance."

Tickets: Jacob’s Pillow Member single ticketing began Wednesday, March 10. Single ticket ordering for all others opens via phone, fax, mail, and online on Wednesday, April 7. Box Office phone ordering begins March 1, Monday-Friday, 10am - 5pm, with additional hours during the Festival. Box Office: 413.243.0745 (phone) or 413.243.0749 (fax). For complete ticket policies, visit

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rising Talent: Jack Cutmore-Scott - "The Next Matt Damon"

Jack Cutmore-Scott in the dressing room.

It remains to be seen if he lives up to the expectations that have been placed on him. And they are many, what with his debut this week as the lead character in Entertaining Mr. Sloane in Boston. But Jack Cutmore-Scott, the young (22) Harvard Senior and already accomplished actor is likely to fulfill them. He has the charisma, the accent, the talent, and yes, the looks.

Jack Cutmore-Scott opens this week in Entertaining Mr. Sloane at the Boston Center for the Arts. Susanne Nitter photo.

I was pleased to be able to do a profile of Jack for Arts America and get the ball rolling. Now the Boston Globe's Joel Brown has followed up with this great compliment:

“He’s probably the most talented undergraduate I’ve seen come through since Matt Damon,’’ says director Eric C. Engel.

Jack may be straight, but he is not intimidated to play the bisexual Mr. Sloane, nor to don a dress in the service of the Hasty Pudding Club. "It's not that different from the British panto I was brought up with, and just as much fun." I mention this because should you entertain any thoughts of chasing Mr. Sloane, you will have a lot of competition - his female fans outnumber the male ones by a wide margin.

Where's Jack? Welcoming a Hasty Pudding winner.

The Hasty Pudding boys like to watch.

Entertaining Mr. Sloane is of course written by the infamous (and out gay playwright) Joe Orton, whose life was explored in the testily titled Prick Up Your Ears. And Orton is a genius with both convoluted plots and hilarious farce which explode in equal portions of gasps and laughter from an audience.

If you plan to be in Boston between now and April 3, I urge you to find your way to the Publick Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, and be among the first to see this promising new talent at work. Tickets are priced at $33-$37.50. You can call for reservations at 617-933-8600, or go online to order them at

Jack's roots as a comic actor sometimes go to his head. Candid photos from Mr. Scott and his friends.

While in Boston you should also consider seeing The Adding Machine, a new musical from the Speakeasy Stage, and of course, The Donkey Show - a disco version of A Midsummer's Night Dream at American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge. And to top off these treats, Ryan Landry's Phantom of the Oprah is the ultimate spoof with Varla Jean Merman playing at The Machine.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Great art comes to life in this captivating music video

What starts off looking like a sacrilegious spoof ends up being four minutes of music and creativity uncensored. What fun.

What is it? The entertaining and cheeky music video for “70 Million”, hit song by Franco-American band, Hold Your Horses!, offers a wink at art history as band members playfully reconstruct famous paintings in an off the wall lyrical interpretation all their own. Produced by L'Ogre.

Clip de 70 Million, chanson du groupe franco-americain Hold Your Horses ! produit par L'Ogre, mettant en scène les membres du groupe dans un voyage à travers l'histoire de l'art.

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L'Ogre on Vimeo.

Did you catch all the tableaux vivants?

1. The Last Supper (Leonardo da Vinci)
2. The Birth of Venus ( Sandro Botticelli)
3. The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (Rembrandt)
4a .Portait of Henry VIII (Holbein) and
4b. Girl with a Pearl Earring (Johannes Vermeer)
5. The Raft of the Medusa (Theodore Gericault)
6. The Death of Marat (David)
7. The Creation of Adam (Michelangelo)
8. The Son of Man (René Magritte)
9. Composition with Black, Red, Yellow and Blue (Piet Mondrian)
10.Frida Kahlo Self-Portrait
11.? Portrait of Dora Maar Seated (Pablo Picasso)???
12. The Scream (Edvard Munch)
13. Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear (Vincent van Gogh)
14. Marilyn Monroe (Warhol)
15. Gabrielle d'Estrées (right) with his sister, Princess de Villiers (School of Fontainbleaux)
16. Santa Trinita Madonna (Cimabue)
17. The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist (Caravaggio)
18. Olympia (Eduard Manet)- but without shoes
19. Liberty Leading the People (Delacroix)
20. Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden (Otto Dix)
21. mix : ''The Kiss''and "Virgin'' (Klimt)
22. La Mariee/The Bride (Marc Chagall)
23. Las Meninas (Velasquez)
24. Sunflowers (Van Gogh)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gender Outlaws, Wannabes and Perplexities

An LGBTQ eye on the week ahead.

If the world was really as simple as the fundamentalist Bible thumpers claim it should be most of us would not be annoyed by them. But god makes more than just straight people of two sexes. He uses an infinitely variable palette of possibilities, not just male and female.

In the coming days, several of these will be discussed at the Queer Summit at Williams College, showcased at a national sculpture exhibit curated by Pittsfield's Leslie Ferrin and the focus of exploration at the Mass. College of Liberal Arts who welcomes "gender outlaw" performer Kate Bornstein to the Berkshires.


As surely as night follows day, informal pizza will follow the more serious working sessions.

More than a hundred students from colleges throughout the region are expected to converge on Williamstown tomorrow to participate in a "Queer Summit" organized by Justin Adkins, Williams College, and a group of hard working volunteers.

The purpose is to enable LGBTQ students to network and to discuss the successes and challenges of being LGBTQ identified at small colleges in New England.

It starts off at 10 am with two sessions: How do you do what you do in your student group? What are the goals and are they being met? How do we face criticism and grow as an organization? A breakout session for LGBTQ directors and staff advisers
looks at supporting and advising students without taking over.

After lunch, the gathering will explore the different ways of constructing identities and how best to incorporate them into activism and community building.

Beginning at 2:30We the summit will look at policies affecting LGBTQ students and how to make institutional changes. What are the methods that have worked and what are the ones that haven? At 3 there will be an opportunity for smaller focused discussion, including LGBTQ within athletics, QPOC, and queer students abroad.

Following the work sessions, the students will gather for a Pizza Dinner and Meet and Greet featuring DJs Nordia & Krystal. We wish the participants a positive and productive day!


Kate Bornstein's book is a good read.

Issues of sexual preference, gender identity and self identification will be explored through a performance by author and “gender outlaw” Kate Bornstein on Thursday, March 11, at 7 p.m. in the MCLA Church Street Center. A former heterosexual male who now is a lesbian woman, Bornstein is an author, playwright, performance artist and gender theorist who incorporates cultural criticism, dramatic writing and autobiography to make her point that gender is a cultural rather than a natural phenomenon.

Using slam poetry, Bornstein performs several monologues from the plays and other performance art she has written and performed over the years. Audiences might see her cranky eighth grade teacher, a drag queen who is dying of AIDS or her mother talking about the day she discovered her son was undergoing a sex change.

The event is sponsored by the Mass College of Liberal Arts in North Adams and theMCLA Women's Center (413-662-5497.)

“This year, it’s a very special celebration because it is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8,” said Susan Birns, professor of sociology, anthropology and social work at MCLA and the director of the College’s Susan B. Anthony Women’s Center. “Kate will perform what she calls ‘Postmodern Gender 101’ with a comic twist. She performs and speaks this piece in the unique style she calls ‘edutainment.’”

Sponsored jointly by MCLA and Williams College, Bornstein will perform “On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us.” The Women’s History Month event is free and open to all.


Seen here: Tip Toland's Tender Flood (Detail). 2010. Ceramic.

Tonight in Philadelphia the Wexler Gallery opens The Hermaphrodites: Living In Two Worlds. There is an online portfolio you can view. This unusual and provocative exhibit is curated by Leslie Ferrin from Pittsfield's Ferrin Gallery. We can only hope that many elements of this breathtaking exhibition might return to her gallery in the Berkshires following this showing. She has shown some of these artists previously, but this grouping is especially strong.

Chris Antemann, "Wardrobe." Ceramic. 18 x 12 x 8 in.

Ferrin's group show of figural ceramic sculpture embodies the literal definition of hermaphrodites as encompassing both genders. Such art is sometimes found in early societies but is rarely seen in contemporary art. The Hermaphrodites: Living In Two Worlds coincides with the 44th annual National Council for Education on the Ceramic Arts Conference (NCECA) in Philadelphia (March 31-April 3, 2010).

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Pain and the Ecstasy of Lee Alexander McQueen 1969-2010

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Lee Alexander McQueen was the "hooligan of fashion."

Outrageous and unconventional barely describe the life and work of Lee Alexander McQueen, an English fashion designer whose approach to couture was more theatrical than practical. Still, for sheer creativity and brilliance, he is unlikely to be surpassed. He died on April 11 of asphyxiation by hanging. It took place nine days after the death of his mother, and the day before her funeral. One can only speculate as to the state of his mind.

Hats, gothic and eccentric.

McQueen was quoted by Vogue in 2002 as having been born gay with nothing to hide. " I went straight from my mother's womb onto the gay parade," he quipped.

During his early career, before he received his degree from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, he worked on traditional Savile Row. McQueen developed a reputation for impeccable tailoring and drew clients like Mikhail Gorbachev and Prince Charles. But he was already breaking the mold. McQueen once bragged that he had sewn the words "I am a cunt" into the lining of a jacket destined for Price Charles. It wasn't long before he was dubbed the hooligan of British fashion.

McQueen's designs were never dull.

That didn't stop Björk and later other celebrity patrons, including Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker and Rihanna, from wearing Alexander McQueen clothing to events. Lady Gaga has often incorporated Alexander McQueen pieces in her music videos.

In the video above, you can see some of the incredible feats of this designer. In it his 2007 showcase featured models sporting intense blue, green, and teal eyes with strong black liner extended Egyptian-style. McQueen handpicked the makeup based on the Elizabeth Taylor movie, Cleopatra.

McQueen was known for his lavish, unconventional, runway shows, such as a recreation of a shipwreck for his spring 2003 collection, spring 2005's human chess game and his fall 2006 show, "Widows of Culloden", which featured a life-sized hologram of supermodel Kate Moss dressed in yards of rippling fabric.

His "bumsters" established a new low in jeans that someone like Marky Mark could appreciate, and came close to revealing a new backside cleavage.

Alexander McQueen designed shoes that any drag queen could fall in love with.

From 1996 to 2001 he designed for Givenchy, toning down his usual Over the Top approach. Still in 1998 he had models in white cotton dresses being spray painted by robotic auto refinishers and double amputee model Aimee Mullins striding down the catwalk on intricately carved wooden legs.

He will most certainly be missed.