Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dickey Betts: Heaven is the sound of this man's fingers

by baad lamb

Heaven is the sound of this man's fingers.
Just heard about this, but tickets are still available! Dickey Betts and Great Southern TONIGHT at Society for Ethical Culture Concert Hall.

Besides attendance at a late 70s outdoor gig with his band "The Allman Brothers" (perhaps you've heard of them), I caught him at BB King's eight or 10 years ago and shared a table with strangers, nearly in the front row. That concert was fantastic: the band was tight; the music compelled you to move and groove. The fans were fanatical, friendly and fun. And Mr. Forrest Richard Betts, in his unmistakeable jazzy-bluegrass-country-blues, played his bittersweet life up and down the neck of his Gibson. When Dickey plays, every note drips with pathos, yet every melody and improvised lead makes your heart soar. The blues have never sounded so happy.

Flashback to I don't know when, but this amazing clip of a long-ago performance illustrates exactly what I mean. Listen to the rich, warm, controlled happiness pouring out of that lead between the verses of this old-style country-sad song. Pure heaven.

Another video treat after the jump...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ghost, the Musical

"Ghost, the Musical" at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, April 20, 2012

Posted by Mondschein

Yes, another Whoopi Goldberg film has made its way onto the stage, landing at the Lunt-Fontanne laden with scads of sparkling, flashy lights and some remarkably clever stagecraft.  Yet, like its predecessors (The Color Purple, and Sister Act), the results are mixed at best.  (Full disclosure, I did not see The Color Purple.

Bruce Joel Rubin's cursory book remains true to the film, telling the story of Sam (Richard Fleeshman) and Molly (Caissie Levy), young lovers parted by Sam's murder at the hands of a hired thug.  Unable to move "into the light" Sam eventually connects with Oda Mae (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), a two-bit psychic with heretofore unrealized abilities.


"Macbeth" presented by Aquila Theatre at Gym at Judson, April 21, 2012

I first encountered Aquila when the company was in residence at the University of South Carolina.  Their approach to theatre was one of minimal production values but highly clever direction and staging.  Their production of The Iliad was eye-opening as they created the Argo using only a half dozen 6 foot poles. Aquila moved to New York in 1999 and has produced here regularly along with national tours and international performances. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our Curiously Closeted Ex-Mayor Advocate

Unless I missed something, ex-mayor of New York City Ed Koch has never come out of the closet. That is why I am surprised to read this. While I am glad he has expressed dissatisfaction with Obama's refusal to ban by executive order discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by employers with federal contracts, I find his game of personal hide and seek mystifying. He's 87. Not much too lose by coming out. He is like those closeted priests who begin to feel proud of having kept their secret for many years. They don't want to give it up or let go of it.

Lilac and Wisteria Blooming Today In Central Park

Photos by Baad Lamb

Four lovable baby New Yorkers: Ozzie/Amalia and Boo/Scout

Which pair of twins is cuter? The newly-christened-by-live-cam-viewers baby hawks Boo and Scout in their nest above Washington Square? Or, the Upper West Side angelic Amalia and Ozzy, the children of adoring parents Eric and Asaf. Let's compare exposure. The hawks you can watch 24/7 on live cam. The kids are brought to us on their Facebook page with a regularity that will make you feel like their babysitter/aunt/uncle. Let's compare parenting skills. The hawks often replenish the nest with paper trash from the park and today I watched one of them bring a dead mouse into the nest, tear it apart and feed bloody bits of it to Boo and Scout. Amalia and Ozzy have been swaddled gorgeously and are now sporting the sweetest little outfits imaginable. No shredded road kill in their crib. All in all, the four of them seem to be getting the best New York has to offer. The cuteness is relentless.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Houston, Do You Read Me?

What happens when you get 36 LGBT bloggers, writers, journalists and editors together in one hotel in Houston for a weekend?
Read all about it in my recap!

(Photo of Tony Adams and Houston Mayor Annise Parker by Joe Jervis)

That Dorilton Penthouse

Out walking our nabe one afternoon, we were seized with curiosity to see the inside of the gorgeous Dorilton. We walked into the lobby and announced that we were there for the open house (there is almost always an open house in a large condo or coop building on a Sat/Sun afternoon. If there is more than one, feign confusion and the doorman will always help you select one.) This is the penthouse we toured that day. The publisher of the NY Times has purchased it. He must be in good shape because despite the $3 million plus purchase price, you still have two flights of stairs after you get out of the elevator! The private rooftop terrace is heaven.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Nicola Verlato and Evol Roundup and Photos

by baad lamb

Go here first if you have not already read about Nicola Verlato and Evol at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery  April 7th to May 5th.

Loved the show! But I also had 8PM ticket to Dance Brazil at the Joyce, so I was unable to spend as much time as I'd have liked (gallery opened at 7). One thing I forgot to do was consult the price sheet so I would know how much each of these artists currently command for their work. I will go back, since the show is up till May 5th, and I strongly encourage everyone to check it out. Like the best movies, Verlato should be seen "on the big screen," and Evol's meticulous precision is best appreciated very close up.

The stark contrasts between these two artists may be the point of showing them together. Verlato's compositions are all about Renaissance realism, with so much color and motion that people are literally flying through the air, while Evol's people-less architectural waste-scapes are so still and silent and cardboard-beige they feel totally airless. But they share the stage in at least one important aspect: the painstaking, time consuming process of bringing their visions to fruition. Whether Evol's smallest piece of found cardboard or Verlato's epic canvases, the sketching, refining, painting, cutting, masking, spraying, masking and spraying again, touch-ups and tiny finishing details all track a similar hands-on style of slow and deliberate craftsmanship that is increasingly rare in our instantaneous internet twitterverse. If they were to meet up, I'll bet they'd spend a lot of time sharing frisket tips and techniques.

Tons of pics after the jump...

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Posted by Mondschein 

"Once" at Jacobs Theatre, March 8, 14 and 28, 2012

(Photos: Joan Marcus)

It's been a couple of years since I've seen a show multiple times.  The last was Lincoln Center's sweeping revival of South Pacific, which I saw once in previews, once mid-run, and the closing performance. The beauty and romance of that show is very different from Once, based on the 2006 movie of the same title.

After a successful run off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop, Once has moved uptown for what I hope will be a lengthy run. It brings its own sense of romance, intimate and touching, while hunkered down in a Dublin pub.  Each of its characters are searching for his or her respective place in the world.

Leading the quest are the generically, yet conspicuously named Guy (Steve Kazee) and Girl (Cristin Milioti).  He, a vaccuum repairman and frustrated musician, is foundering after having his heart broken by a recently emigrated girlfriend; she, by an estranged husband who has returned to their native Czech Republic.  She encounters Guy at the pub and is immediately drawn to him, sensing his despair, and manages to turn him to his music to resolve his pain.  The spark between them smolders slowly as each convinces themselves of reasons to stay apart.  She sees his departed girlfriend as first love unresolved, which would forever be a barrier between them.

a step into the past

Every once in a while you come across these reminders that the big city wasn't always so big.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Obscura Day

Obscura Day

Held on April 28 "Obscura Day is an international celebration of unusual places, full of expeditions, back room tours & exploration of the hidden wonders in your own hometown."

A festival brought about from the folks of which describes itself as "a compendium of the world's wonders, curiosities & esoterica" has organized a number of events in our fair city of a queer if not strange bent.

One of these might be:

I'm going on this sold out tour:

And if you're reading this from not New York there might be something of interest in your neck of the woods too!

At The Alamo, They Are Serious!

Luv this! And be sure to listen to the message from the disgruntled customer.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fred Ebb's Gravestone

Touring around Green-Wood Cemetery and searching for the gravestone of lyricist Fred Webb we came across his mausoleum by the lower pond which was inscribed with three names and the phrase "Together Forever."  A search on the interwebs brought up two facts: Fred Ebb had worked with Edwin Aldridge and Martin Cohen on various broadway productions and when Edwin Aldridge died the NY Times' two line obit simply said "He is survived by his closest friend, Fred Ebb." But I can't find out any other details concerning the relationship between the three over the years.

Nicola Verlato and Evol at Jonathan LeVine

by baad lamb

these two photo from Jonathan LeVine Gallery website
I won't miss this opening at Jonathan LeVine, 6 to 9 this Saturday night, when two of my favorite artists share the two main rooms at this always intrigueing gallery.

I first fell in love with the paintings and sculptures of Italian transplant Nicola Verlato in April, 2010, when I went to see "Three Handed", LeVine's triple bill show featuring Verlato with fellow Brooklynite painter Eric White, along with Fulvio Di Piazza of Palermo, Italy. Verlato's hyper-realistic paintings often depict muscular bodies with twisted and exaggerated features, and tell contemporary stories using swirling compositions reminiscent of high renaissance church ceiling paintings. I can't help but think of him as today's Thomas Hart Benton.

This  show's other featured artist, Evol, the street artist from Berlin, caught my eye on various docu-blog photo sites like Unurth and Ecosystem, but I was lucky enough to see his work up close for the first time at the Scope Art Fair back in March of 2010. His meticulous architectural recreations, whether two dimensional or three, are more than tromp l'oiel, they are tromp l'idée. If your think you know what you are looking at, think again.

I'll try for a full report, after the viewing.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blowoff This Friday Highline Ballroom

and QNY has had a pair of tickets to give away! (Tickets snagged. The giveaway is over.)

New Taxi For NYC

Its aesthetics are arguable, but what a huge missed opportunity. If only this new fleet were wonderfully silent and non-polluting all-electric vehicles. I bet the mayor would have preferred that.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Justin Utley at the Triad Theater

by baad lamb

On Friday night I went to see Justin Utley at the Triad Theater on West 72 near Amsterdam Ave. Justin is an out n' proud ex-Mormon, and endured a life of Mormonism and 2 years of conversion therapy before running away to The Big City, where we are happy to have him. Entertaining us with earnest, heartfelt music that draws significantly on his life lessons, his gentle charm, handsome looks and magnificent smile add up to a new gay icon and advocate we can all embrace.

Opening the show for Justin and his backing band The Saturday Saints, was the winsome duo of Liah Alonso and Kelly Halloran:"Left on Red". These women  created quite a local following busking in subways, but have grown many more fans as they tour. Those followers were right because Left on Red rocks!

Lots of video and pics after the jump...