"Warner Bros. continues to entertain the world with films passionately produced, selectively acquired, carefully preserved and impeccably curated for both the casual and ultimate movie lover to enjoy forever. Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Musicals will be released February 12 and will include films such as Singin' in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz and many more."
Countless public figures have married for love, only to discover they'd married into the love that dare not speak its name. It's a fascinating phenomenon because we can all relate to the terror of finding out our partners are not who we think they are, and because most of us have fairly rigid ideas of sexuality: Didn't she realize the dude was gay when he couldn't get it up on their honeymoon? Bisexuality exists, people, as does functional bisexuality.
It's also a fascinating phenomenon when it comes to the rich and famous because it's sometimes a marriage of convenience to shore up finances, to nail down some sex-free companionship and/or to beard up for one's public.
Check out this list of some famous, straight or straightish (hey, with Hollywood stars "straight" is pretty hard to pin down) people who got hitched to gays, lesbians and/or bisexuals...
Some friends and I saw End of the Rainbow Saturday night, the new play chronicling a few weeks toward the end of Judy Garland's life, and I have to say I was really disappointed. And embarrassed that a publication like Entertainment Weekly could give what we saw an A-, even with an admittedly fantastic central performance. (Other sources have similarly praised the production.)
As my friend Christopher pointed out, the show is mostly made up of bits that Judy said on TV shows and elsewhere (a barb about Deanna Durbin's unibrow, a remark about Elizabeth Taylor's annoying perfection, some slams regarding her ex-husbands); it feels like one of those bad TV biopics FOX used to do.
The acting is nothing special. Michael Cumpsty offers a likable but drearily familiar supportive gay pianist (one who offers to take care of Judy as what would have been yet another homo hubby for her) but sexy soap actor Tom Pelphrey, as Judy's last husband Mickey Deans, is simply out of his depth. It felt amateurish, a vibe unaided by unimaginative, overly utilitarian sets.
It actually ends with a brief monologue about what happened next, as in, "Judy Garland died a few months later..." etc.
End of the Rainbow's pot of gold
And yet...I can still recommend this show. Why, if it's so...eh? Because if you are even slightly less down on all of the things I've criticized, it's worth it for Tracie Bennett, whose portrait of Judy Garland is scarily spot-on. Definitely she must be the best female Judy Garland impersonator. Except, even though there are moments when she is almost ridiculously over the top (so was Judy!), her portrayal rises above mere mimickry. She presents who that woman was—surprisingly lusty, insecure, gifted, exhausted. With the recent demise of Whitney Houston, the story of Judy Garland is all too relevant—and it's a shame so many gay men not only express disinterest in her legacy (hey, to each her own) but contempt at the traditionally close tie between Garland and the gays.
Garland & Deans
Bennett's vocal performances are truly amazing, from a show-stopping Act One closer like "The Man That Got Away" to a majestic "Over the Rainbow" that manages to make that extremely familiar song fresh, and to ferret out every nugget of pathos in comparing its cheerful message with Garland's misery.
Bennett may or may not win a Tony, but she has to be nominated.
Give this one a chance if you think you can stomach the filler. We used TKTS to pay about $70. For my money, I'd rather have seen Bennett do a one-woman show.
As a member of the Host Committee, I'd pledged to sell $500 worth of tickets, which I absolutely did—mostly to myself! I took José, brought my pal Jason along (VIP tickets including the afterparty) and the rest went to a Boy Culture reader who later informed me he'd been a homeless gay youth just a couple of years ago and to a lucky, last-minute couple.
As much work as it was trying to interest people in tickets, the show would go on to sell out, raising a record-breaking $75,000.
Arrived early to cover the junior red carpet, but it was kind of a bust for me because as a hobbyist blogger, I don't have pro lighting and it was in a 100-degree antechamber that might as well have been a cave.
I grabbed a few quick tidbits from the contestants but skipped everyone else, including judges Jackie Hoffman, Michael Musto and Tonya Pinkins, feeling bad about taking up anyone's time when they were impossible to see. Speaking of which,I didn't see expected guests Paul McGill, Rachel Dratch or John Glover, but I did at least make the acquaintance of Broadway expert Richie Ridge, one of whose helpers turned out to be Alex, a Boy Culture reader who kept my spirits up in the stifling heat.
Probably lots of Preparation H on those fresh faces (in some cases, perhaps coincidentally)
Sat down just in time to see the show open, featuring hysterical emcee Tovah Feldshuh who, as she pointed out, starred in Broadway's longest running one-woman show—take that, Lena Horne. She cracked wise about Grindr, Boy Butter and her many unconsummated Tony nominations. She was, without a doubt, 10 times funnier than last year.
Tonya Pinkins, Jackie Hoffman, Ali Forney's Carl Siciliano & Michael Musto
With Body (& Soul) Beautiful, Carl Siciliano, the director of Ali Forney
KEEP READING FOR TONS OF PICTURES & VIDEO, SOME OF IT RATHER REVEALING...
***PLEASE CLUE ME IN ON NAMES OF ANY UNIDENTIFIED DANCERS***
Last night was the twenty-first annual edition of Broadway Bares and the fourth one in a row I've attended. Broadway Bares XXI: Masterpiece! snuck up on me; as I was watching it, I was thinking it wasn't my favorite. However, looking back at pictures and videos, it's obvious that there were some stunning numbers in spite of some pretty cringe-worthy humor interludes. In fact, the full-length musicals in which the night's dancers are currently performing should take notes.
The David? How about The Brandon! (Rubendall)
We arrived at Roseland to get in line around 9:30PM, so would have our pick of spots once the show let us in two hours later. Jason and I ran into a bunch of his friends, including Clark Kent, "Hey, Jude," and someone who once dated with Truth Wins Out good-fighter Wayne Besen (I guess his ex-, just not an ex-gay). There was a Bares virgin among us (sounds like a Treasure Media title), but the rest of us knew what to expect inside—skin, bawdy humor and opportunities to slip green into pink and/or brown. (Sidebar: Not just saying that—this year's Bares felt remarkably more racially diverse than past installments.)
Let's just look at Rotation here instead of at the end
Just past 11:30PM and after the 9:30PM show's patrons had spilled into the streets looking keyed up and, well, drunk, we filed in and beelined to the far side of the middle runway. I was pleased to be right at the stage, yet I'd later realize my "less good" position in previous years had actually been more desirable—I was so close it was tougher to take pictures and, at times, see thanks to the very sweet but confoundingly non-transparent guy in front of me. Making conversation as a go-go boy doled out ones in exchange for twenties, he asked me if I liked that the dancer was wearing a cock ring.
The sea of horny homos looked like Grindr come to life; I didn't check it inside, but I imagine the first 50 guys on my screen would have been 0 feet away.
Keegan Albrecht paints "Come back to Broadway Bares, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean"
The place was teeming with celebrities along with testosterone, including Wilson Cruz (in my group yet too far for me to chat with), John Benjamin Hickey, Nick Adams, BearCity's Joe Conti, entertainer nonpareil Scott Nevins, Jack Plotnick, Jonathan D. Lovitz and probably more.
While waiting for things to begin, we were treated to watching a cute artiste (Keegan Albrecht) painting an image of James Dean, but it was just as fun watching the pre-show T-shirt vendors attempting to steal the dancers' thunder by baring their buns for a determinedly devoted crew at the end of the middle runway.
Gay Carrington weaves Judy Garland's 1939 performance of "Over the Rainbow" with her 1961 take—both are lovely, but it's haunting to hear the voice of the elder Garland emerging from her younger self...
My memory's fuzzy on the exact quote, but I think Liza Minnelli always said NO ONE could sing her mother's signature tune "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" like Judy Garland, except for Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow. (If you're not a Judy purist, the latter is available on iTunes as we speak and then burst into song.)