Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lemon Sky

"Lemon Sky" presented by the Keen Company at the Theatre Row, September 24, 2011

(photo by Richard Termine)

My experience with the Keen Company has usually been very good - solid productions and strong scripts.  This production is a tribute to the late Lanford Wilson in this autobiographical play.  This is the first time they have missed the mark for me.

17 year old Alan (Keith Nobbs) has traveled west to live with Douglas (Kevin Kilner) his estranged father who has remarried and has two sons by his second wife Ronnie (Kellie Overbey).  Douglas is eager to make up for lost time, and Alan is at first receptive, but as time passes,  Doug's old habits resurface.  Complicating the matter are the two foster daughters, Penny (Amie Tedesco) and Carol (Alyssa May Gold), who bring in needed cash to the household budget with their monthly state allocation.

The Submission

Posted Mondschein

The Submission, presented by MCC Theatre at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, September 11, 2011

Writing a play is a daunting task.  Getting a new play produced takes "daunting" to exponential levels.

Danny (Jonathan Groff) has been writing for a couple of years, trying to get established on the new play festival circuit.  In a unexplained fit of inspiration, he writes a fresh, powerful and highly provocative tale of a young African-American trying to escape from the life his family has led for generations.  He shows it first to his best friend Trevor (Will Rogers), an aspiring actor, who gives him the first inclination that he's written something very special.  Danny finally shows it to his boyfriend Pete (Eddie Kaye-Thomas), who echoes the praise.

Danny, however, has already made submissions to several new play festivals and has just been accepted by the renowned Humana Festival.  All sounds good, looks positive - except for one thing: Danny has submitted under a name that suggests a woman of recent African-American extract.  He justifies the action on the rationale that no festival committee would take him seriously as the author of such a play.  With the pseudonym, the subject matter doesn't conflict with its source, and it seems to have worked.

A SKIN CARE OPTION FOR MEN

EVOLUTIONMAN has created a modern skincare and grooming collection with every man in mind. Whether he’s an outdoorsy type, perfectionist, or workaholic, every guy needs to look and feel his best. Many skin care products on the market use cheap synthetic chemicals that should avoid anyone’s face, but with EVOLUTIONMAN you are promised the highest quality with natural extracts, such as Antarctic seaweed and chamomile. EVOLUTIONMAN is not only polished and sophisticated, but the cutting edge formulations provide maximum results with minimal effort. Check it out here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New York's Archbishop Dolan Threatens Obama Over DOMA


The Roman Catholic bishops of the United States have uniformly emphasized the notion that a marriage must always and only involve one man and one woman. They claim that same-sex marriage is an attack on traditional marriage, and on the traditional family God intended. On the local level and with each bishop in his own diocese, they reliably express horror whenever same-sex marriage is proposed in their backyards, delivering words that echo the sentiments of their boss, Pope Benedict XVI.

Their opposition to same-sex marriage took a significant and startling turn on September 20th with the issuance of a letter from New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to President Obama in which Dolan urges the President to end his Administration’s “campaign against DOMA, the institution of marriage it protects, and religious freedom.”

In the course of the letter, Dolan emphasizes that he is not alone in his disappointment with the President. He writes, “The content of this letter reflects the strong sentiment expressed at a recent meeting by more than thirty of my brother Bishops who serve on the Administrative Committee of our episcopal conference. I know they are joined by hundreds of additional Catholic bishops throughout our nation.” His implication is that if the President does not reverse his stance regarding DOMA, he can expect the bishops to campaign against him when he is up for re-election. There are 430 bishops who lead 195 dioceses, or districts, in the US.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gay In America



GLAAD's Aaron McQuade Interviews Scott Pasfield
Creator of  GAY IN AMERICA





AM Where did the idea for this book come from?
SP: People always tell you to shoot what you love. You have to start with yourself. The epiphany came one night at home. I was surfing the web and realized what a powerful tool it had become for connecting gay men across the country, from all over, and it just dawned on me. I decided that I would meet men from every state, and photograph them in the hopes that I could do a book that would change opinions and educate. And that started with shooting who I was and what my passions were.

AM
Why gay men?
SP: That goes back to shooting what I am, and what I know. I originally thought that I would like to try and shoot men and women from every state, but I really think that a woman, or a lesbian, has to go out and do that project, to make it as strong, to be one of them, as this project is for me and gay men. I tried at first, but it became obvious terribly fast that I would've had to masquerade as a lesbian to do the same project. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

good ol' reliable nathans

QNY's Perry Brass is "Past Annoyance"

Storm damage to his Spuyten Duyvil residence has him camping out at a friend's place from the balcony of which he can see his building. His situation is brought to us in today's New York Times. Hang on, Perry.

(Librado Romero photo for the NYTimes)

Shara Worden's My Brightest Diamond

I absolutely love this. So arresting, haunting, curious and enticing.
Recorded and filmed in New York City.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Follies

"Follies" at the Marquis Theatre, September 8, 2011

Stephen Sondheim's 1972 musical returns to Broadway via the Kennedy Center transfer from a successful run this summer. 

It's got star power with Bernadette Peters and Jan Maxwell as Sally and Phyllis, respectively.  There's some depth in the cast as well, with Danny Burstein, Jayne Houdyshell and featuring Elaine Paige as Carlotta.

Director Eric Shaeffer creates an aptly dark mood with a ghostly chorus line of deco-clad follies girls haunting the stage, already in motion as the house opens pre-show.  His sound designer carried it a bit too far, employing effects from Disney's Haunted Mansion before the show begins.  Derek McLane's sets also straddle the line of success.  The crumbling proscenium and brick-walled set, with iron catwalks and stairs evoke nicely, but draping the entire theatre in dirty oil cloth pushes too far.

Happy Birthday to Sophia Loren


The fabulous Sophia was born 77 years ago on September 20th

The World Premier of Logo's The A-List:Dallas

Not my first trip to the rodeo but one of the most fun, last night's screening and meet-the-cast session at SVA on 23rd Street was a rowdy mix of adoring twinks who screamed at the screen as each character was introduced in the first episode.

When asked how they differed from the cast of A-List New York, the cutesy gay Republican/Christian guy said "We're younger, hotter and have less wrinkles". Them's fightin' words, cowgirl.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Archbishop Dolan: "Yes, a lot of Catholics are leaving the Church."

The archbishop of New York wonders, in his blog, if the Catholic Church should bring back the no-meat-on-Friday rule in order to stop the exodus of Catholics from his church.

While I agree with him that the church has been dishing out Catholic-lite rather than Catholic light for several decades, the exodus of believers is rooted in more than a nostalgia for the "Ancien RĂ©gime" of Catholicism. If he really wants to stop the stampede at the exits of St. Patrick's cathedral, he should consider ordaining women, married and openly gay priests. He should also admit that the priest pedophile scandal killed the confidence Catholics once had in the integrity of their pastors. That fact makes pondering meat on Friday a little bit like holding a bake sale to bolster the national economy.



Michael Musto by Anita Sarko in New York Social Diary

Michael Musto had a Supremes cover band in which he sang Diana? Why does this not surprise me much? The morals of this article? NYC luminaries are not built overnight, and, any gossip columnist who can claim friendships that have lasted decades is probably a fine man.

Read the article in New York Social Diary. Incidentally you should always be reading NYSD immediately after you read QNY. We are like wine and cheese....

(In the photo: Chip Duckett, Joey Stefano, Robin Byrd and Michael Musto)

Tom Otterness Dogged By His Past May Lose San Francisco Art Contract.

Thirty-four years ago, Brooklyn's Tom Otterness—you'd recognize his whimsical bronze sculptures that dot the New York City subways and streets—acquired a dog, tied it to a fence and shot it for a film he made. He recently received a $750,000 contract to make sculpture for the San Francisco subway system. Some residents of a city dedicated to animal friend St. Francis are outraged and the city leaders are re-examining the contract.

Otterness had repeatedly apologized for shooting the dog. He has said that his actions were indefensible.

Some questions: Is your reaction to public art colored by what you know about the artist? Should public art be chosen only after the artist has been vetted and proven to have a "clean" record? If so, who would decide which artists are personally worthy of a public contract? Is an often repeated apology enough to permit the setting aside of a person's decades-old repugnant action? What if the issue was the artist's sexual orientation or his race or religion?

We don't allow convicted pedophiles to become public school teachers not because of our distaste for their crime but because we don't want it repeated. Convictions mean the forfeiture of rights. In the case of Otterness and the outraged citizens of San Francisco, his new sculptures would not endanger animals. Should his previous actions be paid for by his forfeiture of the opportunity to bid on public art projects?


(photo by Tyler Hicks for the NYTimes)



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

The One

THE ONE
Written and directed by Caytha Jentis
Exclusive Theatrical Engagement begins October 7, 2011
Meet the cast/crew opening weekend at
Quad Cinema
34 West 13th Street, New York, New York 10011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

At the Geary Marcello Fashion Show

A beguiling group in the basement of the Chelsea Hotel on Thursday night:

From left, homoerotic artist Michael Mitchell, artist Ivan C. Morales, make-up artist Kurtis Dam-Mikkelsen, actor Miestorm Serpent, designer Tommy Beall and the host of Elray del Mundo (and QNY's Darling!) David Frank Ray. If I had the lead in a recast Gilligan's Island, this crew would do me just swell.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's Still Fashion Week Here in NYC

When I asked him where he was from, I anticipated Arizona but he says he's a native New Yorker!

New from Daryl Hall

Do you remember Hall and Oates?

Here's a new song from "the blonde one".

My crowd was always conflicted as to which of the duo was the hotter. I vacillated. To me, they were visually a sexed-up Simon and Garfunkel, and I always wanted to imagine them as lovers even though they are widely reported to be straight.

The new song is very chipper with some hints of what I loved about their music. It makes me, with some hesitation, want to hear more of his album before proclaiming it satisfying or disappointing.

It's Fashion Week in NYC

and cameras were sizzling at Lincoln Center as attendees and designers and models and just plain folks with flair came and went.





Monday, September 12, 2011

Follies: A Review

I was a lucky SOB and scored a preview performance ticket to the current revival of Follies that is playing at the Marriot Marquis Theater on Broadway.

For those of you who don't know, Follies is one of those shows within the musical theater world that is so fraught with expectation, dogma and preconceived notions that mounting a production is not something for the faint of heart. I did not see the original and legendary production from the 70's, which many hold up as the holy grail of versions, but I saw the much reviled Roundabout revival and enjoyed it. Obviously I'm not a purist so bear that in mind.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mychal Judge, The Saint of 9/11


Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

(This is a crosspost from 10ThousandCouples.com)

The body of Mychal Judge was tagged with the designation “Victim 0001”, as the first official casualty of 9/11. In the famous Shannon Stapleton/Reuters photo, he is being carried out of the lobby of the North Tower where he had been killed by debris from the collapsing South Tower. He was a Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor assigned to the monastery at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Manhattan on West 31st Street. He was also a chaplain with the NYFD and one of the first responders to the attack on the twin towers. He was a recovered alcoholic and he was gay.

Now called the “Saint of 9/11”, Father Judge had earned a reputation for kindness and compassion that infused his ministry to the poor, addicts and persons living with AIDS.

Friday, September 9, 2011

memorial

Alyson Adventures' "Splash" gay tour of the Grand Canyon


I had a blast. A dozen gay men, including a priest, rabbi, minister, banker and TWO dentists! Ages 30s-60s. I behaved like a Gabor sister throughout the 8 days, but I nightly stood naked in the cold Colorado River washing out my clothing before putting on a sarong for happy hour at the campsite. SFGN.com will publish my diary account in installments.





When you book your tour—and you seriously should—tell them who sent you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tracking the Republicans Candidates On LGBT Issues

I contributed this to 10thousandcouples.com where I am heading the newsroom. In the article, you'll find some small dispute about the merits of marriageequality.org's graphic, but I think it's useful.

Blowoff!

This Friday. Highline Ballroom. Don't miss it.
Great music. Hot half naked men. That's all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do you remember Taimak.......?





He caught my eye in 1985 when he starred in the movie The Last Dragon (which is now a cult classic) never to be seen again, although a re-make is in the works.

QNY Fave: Sin Morera

(My profile of Sin Morera in sfgn.com this week)


A 14 year-old Passaic New Jersey Latina single mother of a baby boy she named Carlos Sindrid Morera left her son to be raised by her mother while she went away to find her destiny. The boy’s father would surface occasionally and that always meant trouble. Whenever his mother returned to visit her child, the boy felt only anger at her absence. In school, he was an outsider who was beat up daily, and even his art teacher told him he just wasn’t any good. If this sounds like a Dickensian recipe for a disastrous life, you will be surprised when you jump ahead 20 years to the day the handsome young poet, Sin Morera, escorts his mother to an elegant Manhattan venue for a party thrown by Patrick Conseil, the VP of Creative at Warner Music, to celebrate Sin’s signing with Warner.
                                                        
[photo, right, by Tony Adams]  

Monday, September 5, 2011

After 11 years together..........


Congratulations are in order for Cheyenne Jackson. The 'Glee,' '30 Rock' and Broadway star married longtime partner Monte Lapka on September 3.

Homemade Syrups for Sodas and Ice Creams

By West Village Bill

I bought Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home—the cookbook from Ohio-based ice cream maven Jeni Britton Bauer—back in June, and I've been using it as inspiration all summer. I haven't yet tried any of her more unusual flavors, like Sweet Basil & Honeyed Pine Nut or Cucumber, Honeydew, & Cayenne, but I've followed her very simple yet fullproof recipe to make fruit syrups that I've then swirled into ice creams and used as the base for homemade sodas.

I first made Jeni's Blackberry Syrup by boiling two parts berries to one part sugar and forcing the resulting mixture through a strainer after it had cooled a bit. After it was chilled, I layered it into my homemade vanilla ice cream to create Vanilla Ice Cream With Blackberry Swirl. On a whim, I poured the little syrup I had left into a glass and added club soda. It was awesome, so I bought a whole lot of blackberries at the Greenmarket the next weekend and made a big batch of syrup for soda.

I then went on to make peach and raspberry syrups and to try creating peppermint and lemon verbena syrups. The peach was my favorite. It was delicious in soda ...


Thursday, September 1, 2011

QNY Must-See Film: We Were Here


Last night I attended a screening of We Were Here, the new AIDS documentary by David Weissman.  David is friend to many illustrious radical faeries I know, including Justin Vivian Bond, Covelo, Fannie Mae B. Free, Fussy Lo Mein, and Daisy Shaver, who were all in attendance.  I also spotted NY Sen. Tom Duane, Mario Cantone, and tons of other celebrity-looking people whose names I should probably know.  After co-directing the 2001 documentary The Cockettes with Bill Weber, it's not surprising that such a crowd would appear to view Mr. Weissman's new film, but this one especially because it's one of the first and deepest looks back at the AIDS crisis in San Francisco.  I've never been so moved in a room filled with so many stars.

We Were Here takes a simple, spare approach.  Mr. Weissman interviews five individuals who lived in San Francisco before AIDS struck and elicits their plague stories.  A florist, a nurse, an activist, an artist, and a caregiver tell about those years and how their lives were changed.  The interviews are set against a variety of still and moving archival images from the time.

The film is well served by by this minimalist approach.  The audience develops an immediate affinity with each, and I'd venture a guess that most queer people will find a particular interviewee with whom they resonate.  I was particularly drawn to Daniel, an artist who survived the very first drug trial, which study quickly killed every other participant (including his boyfriend), because he was a "wuss" who refused to tolerate the lethal side effects.  Daniel's story of survival while caring for dying friends and lovers and founding a seminal, grassroots AIDS care organization is nothing short of stunning.  I also found myself drawn to Eileen, a nurse at the first AIDS ward in San Francisco, and one of the first AIDS researchers, whose pragmatic approach to comfort and work to save lives is heroic.

But this isn't a movie about favorites.  The director does an amazing job of integrating these stories and using them together to tell the broader story of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s and 90s.  Of course I shed tears throughout much of the film.  But I also shook with anger as I watched queers fight proposed laws that would have quarantined all AIDS patiets in California--not once but twice!  I booed and shouted with ACT UP! members as they demanded adequate government response.  The whole story is here, beautifully and terrifyingly brought to life with video footage and art from those times.  And finally, the film brings these epic cultural events back to these five people who lived through them, and grounds us in the simple human feelings and failings that overwhelmed them.  In so doing, the film becomes about more than AIDS; it is a hopeful prayer for all humanity, for all who suffer unimaginably and survive.

Please see this film.  It premiers at the Angelika Film Center on September 9th.  It is essential for every queer person and every loved one of every queer person.  I cannot overstate the importance of keeping this recent history at the forefront of our social consciousness.  I graduated high school in Kansas in 1994, and though I have heard hundreds of accounts from dear friends and partners who witnessed these times, never had I seen the whole arc so succinctly and intensely retold.  Had I known, had I experienced this story in the visceral, total way that it is presented here, I might not now be living with HIV.

It means so much more than the success of a documentary.  It could mean the health and happiness of a young queer person.