1104 posts categorized "Arts-Entertainment"

November 25, 2015

President Obama Awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Sondheim, Spielberg, Streisand were among this year's honorees. It was good to see William Ruckelshaus honored; he resigned as Deputy Attorney General rather than obey President Nixon's order to fire the Watergate Special Prosecutor, on Saturday, October 20, 1973. Attorney General Elliot Richardson had resigned before him. That was called the Saturday Night Massacre, and was the beginning of the end for Nixon. Among many other posts, Ruckelshaus also helmed the Environmental Protection Agency. Yesterday's honor was a reminder of a time when public servants could put their country before their party.

White House honors LGBT artists as 'Champions of Change'

November 20, 2015

Book review: Keith Hamilton Cobb's The Odd Purgatory of My Personal Perception


Here's a link to my rave review of Keith Hamilton Cobb's short story collection, The Odd Purgatory of My Personal Perception. I encourage you to purchase it in one of its three formats.

November 16, 2015

Barbra Streisand, Stephen Sondheim to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Congrats to them and all the other recipients.

November 15, 2015

Midnight in Paris (opening)

The opening of Woody Allen's charming time-travel fantasy set in the City of Light.

(Hat tip: Bob Witeck)

The Met's tribute to Paris

Margaret Meyer shared this on Saturday:

The Metropolitan Opera's tribute to the victims of yesterday's terrorist attack in Paris. A great moment. Conducted by Placido Domingo. #PrayforParis #MetOpera

November 05, 2015

TRAILER: Alice Through The Looking Glass

The Mad Hatter and his friends are back.

Boxer Yusaf Mack comes out as gay, explains why he lied about starring in porn film

Mack's coming out could help a lot of people in his situation.

November 04, 2015

Scary Scrum of Candidates

My Blade column this week (written before Tuesday's election) is now up. While it may be tempting, please do not take my humble musings as a cue to go crashing out of bedroom windows. I only recommend that for deranged candidates who are eager to defeat Satan.

November 03, 2015

Boxer Yusaf Mack says he's bisexual and wasn't drugged and tricked into doing gay porn

Not, I think, the ideal circumstance for coming out, but good for him.

October 29, 2015

This gay stand up comic opens up about the incredible homophobia he's faced

Our friend Sampson McCormick opens up.

October 25, 2015

This day is called the Feast of Crispian

The odds may be against you. Fear not.

October 21, 2015

Keith Hamilton Cobb issues book of stories, The Odd Purgatory of My Personal Perception

Our friend Keith Hamilton Cobb, who wrote and starred in the play American Moor, has released a new book of stories. Click on the Amazon link above to order.

The Future Is Now! - 10/21/15

Doc Brown from "Back to the Future" makes an appearance in his DeLorean.

Lee Daniels' Empire follow-up starts casting for transgender actress

October 14, 2015

Gay Jamaican novelist Marlon James wins Man Booker Prize

Marlon James (@MarlonJames5 on Twitter) on Tuesday became the first Jamaican novelist to win Britain's highest literary award, the Man Booker Prize. His novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is an oral history in multiple voices. Much of it centers around an attempted murder of Reggae singer Bob Marley in 1976. Read Michiko Kakutani's review for NYT.

The openly gay James, who teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, wrote last March about having to leave Jamaica to avoid being killed.

Below is a clip from an interview with his idol, previous Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie, and his appearance in October 2014 at DC's Politics and Prose bookstore. Congrats to Professor James.

October 04, 2015

50 Cent Blames 'Empire' Ratings Drop on Too Much 'Gay Stuff'

Just when I was starting to hope for a joint guest appearance by him and Chris Brown as lovers.

Hillary Clinton on SNL

For me, SNL set the standard for funniness four decades ago with a fake car commercial in which a mohel does a briss to show the smoothness of the ride. Hillary's skit as Val the bartender did not approach that level. But she was appealing, good-natured, and self-deprecatory. Well done. And I liked the way Huma Abedin was worked into it. It doesn't hurt Hillary that I can imagine her as my bartender; few of the Republican candidates pass that test.

October 01, 2015

Live entertainment for a captive audience

My friend Matsimela saw this Thursday afternoon on the NYC subway.

September 30, 2015

Matt Baume responds to Matt Damon

Matt Baume is right. I have been wondering how many women Matt Damon has paraded in front of the cameras on red carpets. Look, I think Mr. Damon is a lovely guy, and I am sure he means well. But he should please just STFU.

September 24, 2015

The Trouble with Stonewall: Roland Emmerich’s latest disaster movie

Randy Shulman's blistering review of Stonewall. Below, Brian T. Carney's review for the Blade.

September 21, 2015

Viola Davis wins Best Actress Emmy

Congrats to Viola Davis for making it across the line, and for putting her historic win in context.

NYT: portraits of the LGBTI community on Instagram

September 11, 2015

Stonewall clip 'Marsha P. Johnson'

The Advocate reports:

A new clip of the Stonewall film has been released, and it features a pioneer of the LGBT rights movement.

The video introduces the viewer to Marsha P. Johnson (The P stands for 'Pay It No Mind'!), who is known as one of the first LGBT activists to fight back during the Stonewall riots. She and her friend Sylvia Rivera were prominent activists in New York who fought for gay liberation and rights for transgender women.

Previously, the trailer for the film, directed by Roland Emmerich, has been criticized for eclipsing the role of trans activists and people of color in its depiction of one of the most famous moments in LGBT history. The Stonewall riots, a series of 1969 demonstrations against police in Greenwich Village, are considered the birth of the modern LGBT rights movement.

September 04, 2015

He's not mad at you, he's mad at the dirt

Mommie Dearest with a bit of A Clockwork Orange for color.

September 03, 2015

ABC Family & Fox get highest grades for #LGBT representation on TV

Dr. Tyson, you've been done by Key and Peele

Key And Peele spoof America's favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

R.I.P. Dean Jones

Stage and screen actor Dean Jones, known for his Disney films and to Broadway fans as the original Bobby from Stephen Sondheim's Company, is dead at 84. May he rest in peace. The above recording session clip from 1970 is thrilling. And Elaine Stritch looks so young.

August 31, 2015

R.I.P. Kyle Jean-Baptiste

A memorial gathering for Kyle Jean-Baptiste was held today at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. He fell to his death from a fire escape on August 29. At 21 he was the youngest and the first African American to play Valjean on Broadway. May he rest in power.

August 30, 2015

Work it, Sirina!

August 28, 2015

Josh Groban Sings Donald Trump Tweets

Three words from a Trump tweet: Clownstick von Fuckface.

Pope Francis gives blessing to author of gay children's book

Another charming gesture by Pope Francis. That is fine as far as it goes; but I am a policy man, and pastoral gestures are not enough. He will be in D.C. three weeks from now as part of his visit to the United States. The closest I expect to get is when he visits St. Matthew's Cathedral, which is three blocks south of my apartment. I wish him well, and certainly consider him a vast improvement over his predecessor. But I am now 59. I was 23 when I first was in D.C. during a papal visit in 1979. I long ago stopped waiting for what my friend Craig calls Holy Mother the Church, Inc. to reform itself. I send my best wishes to those who made a different choice and continue to push for change from within the community of the faithful.

August 27, 2015

Above the Keyboard Warriors’ Din


In my Blade column this week, artists and activists overcome the background noise:

Hyenas would be better conversationalists, I sometimes think as I scan political arguments on social media. This is not unlike a Republican presidential debate, where a Bad Lip Reading parody is just as enlightening as the original.

When former president Jimmy Carter spoke candidly and with good humor last week about his cancer, millions were inspired by his serenity, humility, and grace. But the next day, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz attacked him. When I said on Facebook that I recently read Carter's 2006 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid and found it fair and reasonable, I was met with scorn by someone who had not read it.

This reckless speed is all too common in public forums. So let us look at a few examples of activists and artists rising above the din of the keyboard warriors to propose useful reforms or tell their stories in ways that help us see differently.

After weeks of squabbles by various people over direct-action tactics in the Black Lives Matter movement, policy solutions were issued by activists DeRay Mckesson, Johnetta Elzie, Brittany Packnett, and Samuel Sinyangwe. The effort, called Campaign Zero, is described as a "comprehensive platform to create systems and structures to end police violence." Their detailed plans (see joincampaignzero.org) are informed proposals by practical public policy advocates, notwithstanding sniping and trivializing like that of a self-described anarchist I encountered on Twitter.

The #CampaignZero planning team writes, "Police in England, Germany, Australia, Japan, and even cities like Newark, NJ, and Richmond, CA, demonstrate that public safety can be ensured without killing civilians. By implementing the right policy changes, we can end police killings and other forms of police violence in the United States."

Read the whole thing here.

#CampaignZero #StraightOuttaCompton #BlackLivesMatter #HugoAwards

Kentucky clerk vows to die fighting gay marriage

Well then he can just forget having Voices of Kentuckiana sing at his funeral.

August 21, 2015

Gay D.C. film festival returns from hiatus

August 19, 2015

Islamic State beheads leading Syrian antiquities director


August 16, 2015

Thumbs up for Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton is a stirring and superbly done movie. Not to be missed. It is eerie how current it is. This is compelling storytelling.

August 15, 2015

Stonewall trailer parody

Part of the controversy over the new Roland Emmerich film about the Stonewall riots, of which we have only seen the trailer, is bound up in ongoing battles over historical revisionism and the substitution of favored myths for evidence. For those interested in what really happened, I recommend David Carter's Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution.

August 11, 2015

The Invisible Moor Speaks: Who's afraid of a large black thespian? #americanmoor


My Blade column this week looks at Keith Hamilton Cobb's tour de force performance in his all-too-timely play, American Moor, now showing at Washington's Anacostia Playhouse:

The lively arts can give us fresh eyes when they beguile us into identification with other people and places. In the body and voice of a living performer, a long-vanished composer or playwright can provoke a flash of recognition. Such moments can bind us together more than political arguments could do. Yet their transformative power flies on delicate wings. It requires collaboration and vision and receptivity and mutual challenge. Our impulse to connect can be thwarted in a hundred ways.

The urge to come together despite difference is brought powerfully and movingly to life in the play American Moor, written and performed by Keith Hamilton Cobb, at Anacostia Playhouse through August 16. The situation is an actor's audition. His agent used to tell him, "You're an actor. You can do anything!" But people didn't buy him as 'anything,' only as one thing. He is invisible, as Ralph Ellison wrote, because people refuse to see him. So the tall black thespian, with unrealized visions of Hamlet, Prince Hal, and Romeo dancing in his head, tries out for Othello.

While waiting, he recalls his student days when he recited Titania's "forgeries of jealousy" speech from A Midsummer Night's Dream. His skeptical teacher asks why he chose Titania. "I like what she says," he answers. "The Faerie Queen?" the teacher mocks. "Yeah, sure." Decades later, his intoxication with Shakespeare still inspires him to climb into selves unlike his own. He channels Desdemona's thoughts of Othello: "For the fact that such as you so much as breathes I am jubilant. I feel you deeply, great and lovely thing, in my heart, and in my throat, and in my belly."

Ironically, the actor himself is caught in a mistaken identity, like an unarmed black man stopped by police on a false suspicion. The young white director's privilege blinds him to the possibility that the tall black actor might understand the tall black character better than he. The actor confronts him: "It will not grace my cause, nor Othello's cause, the play's cause, the American theatre's cause, to pretend that I don't know that you are frightened of me. You are afraid of me. I am afraid that nothing will ever change. And these are the forgeries of jealousy."

Read the whole thing here.

Click here for tickets.

August 07, 2015

Roland Emmerich responds to 'Stonewall' "whitewashing" complaints: see the movie

Emmerich, who is gay, insists that the movie features activists such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Ray Castro. I will withhold judgment until I see the movie.