Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I have been away again this past weekend. This time it was up to the mountains of Cumberland, MD to my friend's cabin up there. It was a great time and I'll post about it later. I'm still catching up, but until then...

OOO- scary!

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Boho Days...

Last night I had the opportunity to go to the Library of Congress for a concert featuring the works of the late Jonathan Larson (creator of “Rent”), performed by (original “Mark” from “Rent”) Anthony Rapp, the lovely Natascia Diaz (from my obsession, “Jacques Brel”), Randy Graff, Michael McElroy, Jeremy Kushnier, and (another original “Rent”-er) Gwen Stewart. The first act consisted of non-“Rent” songs that Jonathan had written. A few were from his workshopped musical “Superbia,” which tell of a dystopian future not unlike Orwell’s “1984,” and others were simple pop & political songs. Natascia brought the house down with an excellent version of “Superbia’s” “Come To Your Senses” as did Randy Graff’s song about getting drunk because the world’s in such a depressing state so we might as well get drunk.

The second act focused on songs that were considered and (often wisely) changed or cut from the “Rent” before opening at the New York Theatre Workshop. There was a great duet between Natascia and Anthony called “Over It” that was replaced by “Tango: Maureen” and to close out three people who have received grants from the Jonathan Larson Foundation. The first person, Joe Iconis, didn’t really wow with a song about a 10-year old having a friend move away but the true standout was Cynthia Hopkins, who not only sang but kazooed and danced while singing and charmed the audience, and Steven Lutvak sang a sweet song about father/son relationships. The event closed with the performance of Jonathan’s signature song from “Rent”- “Seasons of Love”- by local Patrick Lundy and The Ministers of Music gospel choir and they capped an already-emotional evening with a wallop and some singing to the rafters.

Afterwards, I was able to join the after-party and talked with Ms. Diaz (who’s been corresponding with my good friend, Patrick) as well as joked with Mr. McElroy and I got to meet Victoria Leacock Hoffman, a lifelong friend of Jonathon Larson’s and producer of (my favorite) “tick, tick…BOOM!”

Man, I have been having some pretty amazing concert experiences recently!

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Well, if there were free Wi-Fi at the Airport, I’d be blogging…

Waiting again at the airport for my return flight, I’m slightly annoyed that wireless access isn’t available at an airport, unless you’re willing to pay a price (but that’s the American way, isn’t it?).

The past four days have been a whirlwind and a respite from the doldrums of work and it’s been a boon to just catch up (in person) with Kiwihunter, who I haven’t seen since winter of 2004, when her, Bubba and myself went to New York for a pre-Christmas extended weekend.

The night I arrived we went to the Tabernacle to see the Scissor Sisters perform and what a show that was. While we were in the unfortunate spot right on front of the speakers, we were no more than 8 feet away from the stage and amongst the crowd of people we jumped and danced our way through the night. The Sisters put on an excellent show that focuses on high energy and up-tempo songs and (at moat) two ballads. Singer Jake Shears leapt around while singing in his signature falsetto and Anna Matronic just had us in the palm of her hand. The decidedly gay-mixed crowd had a great time, except the two drunk lesbians that kept annoying everyone around us (one of them even stormed the stage and dove off- I secretly hoped that no-one caught her, but she didn’t even get kicked out and caused more grief among others at the front later) and we me t a slew of gay kids (younger than us) wherein Kiwihunter had an interesting debate about sexuality with a lesbian restaurateur-to-be named Larissa. They invited us to go with them to a gay bar afterwards but, since I’d only had four hours of sleep beforehand, we decided to just silently go home undetected. Our ears were buzzing, and we were soaked from head to toe, but we felt good!

The next day, we slept in for a touch and then went down to the Olympic village to go visit the new Georgia Aquarium. Since it was a weekday in the middle of fall it was fairly empty and we appreciated it. Billed as the world’s largest aquarium, this was a child-friendly place with open spaces and easy navigation throughout each area. It also houses (on of?) the biggest tanks in the world that hold four young whale sharks amongst other sea-life. They also have four beluga whales, which were very active throughout their tank. This was especially fun for me, since the beluga in Chicago’s aquarium was quarantined because of childbirth. At the spider crab area, we over heard these two young ladies talk about how ugly they were and one went to the other- “Who would make something like that?” And the other girl replied, “only the good lord knows.” We had a silent laugh about that and came up with our own phrase- “What Would Jesus Do?” “He’d make a spider crab.”

The previous night, I had convinced Kiwi that we should try to go see the Pet Shop Boys, who were playing at the Tabernacle the following night, and we got tickets for that event. So, since the Aquarium was in the same area as the Tabernacle, we parked in the same garage and we were both kinda tired from walking that we decided we’d take a little siesta before dinner in her car. Leaving the windows open, I set my phone alarm for 6 P.M. and we actually got some nice shut-eye. After waking up, we headed on up to the nearby Ted’s and Kiwi had some Bison pot roast for the first time. As per usual the food was excellent and service so good that we finished our dinner in less than an hour. We ended up just getting in line at the Tabernacle, where we saw no less than 10 people from the night before at the Scissor Sisters. This time, we got up close in the center area and this concert proved to be a time warp from start to end. The Pet Shop Boys played about six songs from their new album and then fixated on older songs, going s far back as Actually and Please. For a set, there were these three huge cube-like pieces that were moved around by men dressed all in white, like oompa-loompas and quite a bit of dancing (hip-hop an otherwise) from two young men. While this wasn’t as high-energy (a few ballads here and there) this brought more chills and emotional high-points in me, since I grew up listening to the PSB and they’ve been there through all my teen angst and stuff. Again, we ended up going straight home because our day was full and we still had one more day of activities planned.

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Presenting the Dreams...

Finally, the full trailer for "Dreamgirls." Here are a few sceencaps:

Coming out this Christmas. Again, it looks incredible in HD...

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Sitting In An Airport In Arlington, VA...

So, here I am waiting to board my plane bound to Atlanta to visit one of my dearest and oldest friends (and by oldest I mean longest not oldest-as-in-age-old), Kiwihunter. Since the plane’s been delayed by half an hour, I figured I’d throw up a little post…

My Thoughts On The Television Season so far.

New Shows I Love:

Ugly Betty-- Although struggling with the fact that this is running against Survivor (of which I am still addicted) and the block of NBC’s Earl/Office hour, I’ve been able to watch UB online, through abc.go.com (I again thank the gods for a high-speed connection). Based on a Mexican ‘telenovela’ and exec-produced by Salma Hayek, Ugly Betty is a joy to watch for the performances alone. America Ferrara, as Betty, is stunning in her enthusiasm and gusto and you want her to overcome all obstacles in her new position at Mode magazine. Vanessa Williams plays the devilish Wilhelmina with sinister glee. She’s “Prada’s” Amanda Priestly and Cruella Deville rolled into one. She’s also still dang hot to look at. Being set at a fashion magazine, Ugly Betty is going to share many comparisons and parallels with “The Devil Wears Prada,” but Betty is, dare I say, stronger in evoking the entire office atmosphere than the Meryl Streep film and it also doesn’t forget its Mexican roots with some of its outlandish plot elements.

Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip-- I never got into either of Aaron Sorkin’s previous TV shows, but started watching this one to see what all the fuss is about. Granted I liked the plays (play?) he’s written, and his dialogue is similar to Mamet, wherein people don’t really talk the way he writes them but the dialogue is sharp and the acting is v. riveting with a star turn by Steven Weber. Matthew Perry has also proven he’s not a one-note actor, broadening his comedic talents into less ‘sitcom-y’ mannerisms, but the one person who I’m constantly looking at is Sarah Paulson as Harriet (Matt Perry’s sort of love-interest)- she is a Christian comedian in a risky political comedy sketch show (SNL in its prime?) and each scene that she’s gets taken up a notch.

Returning Shows I Love:

Veronica Mars-- entering its third season, Veronica starts college and revisits an unsolved mystery from the previous year. The tone of the first episode this year was very off- was it too much exposition trying to reel new viewers in? - but with its second episode last week, we were back to the old Veronica with the quick one-liners and snarky observations as she worked under-cover in a sorority for a newspaper article on said rapist and was conflicted by her prejudices of Greek life and the actuality that some of these girls were pretty cool. The side-story concerning her father, Keith, is getting curiouser and curiouser. I’m glad that this season is going to resolve more story arcs, so at least we’ll know whodunit by Christmas.
Nip/Tuck-- A strong couple of episodes right at the start got bogged down by its third week, with its just-plain-ludicrous stories of Melissa Gilbert’s patient having relations with a dog and an entire organ-harvesting plot. Strange to say, Rosie O’Donnell saved the next week’s episode by playing a white trash lottery winner who wants to look like she’s got a million bucks. I like the whole “is he or isn’t he’ gay vibe from Christian and Sean’s walking a mighty thin line still deceiving Julia. The other interesting aspect is where the entire Mat storyline is going with his toying with scientology. Still gonna watch it, but it better not go all “Urban Legend” on me again.
Lost-- still rocks!
My Name Is Earl-- One of the funniest shows from last year, this year hasn’t focused too much on Earl’s list, mainly because of one item concerning Joy, who’s now facing jail-time for kidnapping someone (long story). But it’s still well written and acted and the guest spots are always fun (Last week’s Amy Sedaris was a stitch as a cat-lover who’s taken by Earl’s brother Randy).
The Office-- Last year’s smartest show is still going strong with the big shifts in the staff (Jim was rejected and took the promotion in Stamford, Pam called the wedding off, Ryan is now full-time) having ripples. Last week’s episode veered a little too close to absurdity but was reigned in enough to still make it good comedy.
Survivor-- This season’s ethnic-division was lacking any real controversy and only lasted two full episodes. The challenges this year are v. good, combining physical and mental at the same time and the backstabbing has been aplenty. So far, I’m not sick of it (yet).

Show that is on the brink of getting tired

Prison Break--Sure, they broke out and are now on the run. Aside from the FBI agent getting all “Javert” on their asses, there is nothing much to this show anymore. I found that watching 2-3 eps back-to-back keeps it interesting but it’s definitely on my “almost cancel off the TiVo” list.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Starts with S...

Last week went by with a flourish, and I was eagerly anticipating Friday arriving, simply because it was the weekend, and I was going out with one of my best friends- Woogie.

I was listening to the entire catalog of Eurythmics albums and finally finished listening to them on Thursday. The next thing on my list was what my oldest brother (the Priest) sent me for my birthday from my Amazon wish list- “Original Sin” by Pandora’s Box, written and produced by (one of my idols) Jim Steinman. Pandora’s box was a girl group put together by him and they released this album in the late 80s and contains the original version of “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” (later covered by Celine Dion) and is even more theatrical than any of the stuff he’s written for Meat Loaf. I know Steinman’s sort of an acquired taste, but I totally love his over-the-top Wagnerian themes, Phil Spector-esque soundscapes, big choruses, and his adolescent lyrics (and I don’t mean that pejoratively). This album really is B-I-G big and is a thrill to listen to. It’s been on replay in my car since I started listening to it on Thursday. (Download “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” and “Pray Lewd”- get it? | Purchase CD).

Thursday night, I was dragged out to the Office by my other House Manager and stayed out way too late, talking television with Filmdom Ryan and I didn’t get to sleep until 1 A.M.

Figuring I’d be paying dearly for it, I was surprisingly awake for work on Friday, and stayed so. I met up with Woogie to catch the new John Cameron Mitchell film, Shortbus (AKA, the “sex” movie where actors have actual penetrative intercourse throughout the narrative).

While not as masterful as “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” his first movie, it was well done and the sex wasn’t really too distracting from the story and it was fairly involving. I must admit that, at first, the sexual imagery was in-your-face, but it was never titillating and I’m not sure if that was just me being jaded (thanks to porn, heh heh) or just part of the film’s role. Grade:B.

After the movie, I was trying my damnedest to get Woogie to go see Barbra Streisand, since the Verizon center was right around the corner and it was really a pretty opportune time to see her, with tickets still available and who knew when she was going to tour again. He didn’t bite while we had dinner, but did wait for me while I made my final decision to purchase a ticket at the box office at 8 P.M. As I was waking to my section, knowing that at least the overture would be missed someone behind me was saying how they had missed almost a half an hour of the concert. I then looked at my ticket and noted that the start time was 7:30 (“aha,” I thought to myself, “that explained the huge crowd at the center at 7.”) I found my seat as she started singing “Evergreen,” and the rest of the concert was pure bliss. Unlike the New York concert where she told some hecklers to “Shut the F&%$# Up,” the D.C. crowd was very well-behaved, even during the George W Bush impersonator segment, which felt like an overdone SNL skit after about five minutes. She ended the first act with an excellent medley of 4 songs from “Funny Girl,” including “The Music That Makes Me Dance” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade” (natch)- that’s when I started getting chills.

While she is getting on in her years, her voice and singing are literally “like buttah.” Granted, her lower range isn’t what it used to be, but Barbra more than made up for it with her delivery and just very laid-back attitude. For this show, she concentrated on songs she hasn’t performed in a long time, which meant a lot of show tunes and stuff from the 60s (so no “Woman In Love” tonight) and, when she sang “Happy Days Are Here Again,” I was almost in tears. She was joined by that bland-but-hot popera group “Il Divo” throughout the night but the concert was, rightfully, focused on Miss Streisand and the 50-piece orchestra backing her up. Her first encore was the “Don’t Rain On My Parade” reprise from “Funny Girl” the musical and that was one of the biggest surprises, which led me to my feet and hollering, even though I was in the last row of the center. I left on a high and satisfaction that what I witnessed was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Granted, this experience is probably what will get me my lifetime queer card in the mail.
(P.S. I didn't take a picture during the concert, that was during intermission and I wanted to show how far up I was.)

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

What Straight Boys Do When All Alone...


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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Great News Today!

The new production of Brel has its CD available soon at the Zipper Theatre on October 17, with additional tracks available on iTunes at the same time! There is a God...

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Who's Idea Was This?

I can picture many teenage boys trying to vitually bed Gabby Solis and the gay gamers try to out-OCD Bree Van De Camp...


"We'll Fight In The Shade"

While working the shows at the Theatre on Saturday, I watched the HD trailer for the film "300," based on the Frank Miller graphic novel and the story of the Spartan 300. For those who like movies in the "Gladiator" vein, this should prove pretty exciting.

Some screen captures:



Saturday, October 07, 2006


This gentleman made the Guiness Book of World Records for wearing the most T-shirts at one time...


Friday, October 06, 2006

'Nuff Said

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The Joys Of Live Theatre

Last night started off as a not-very-eventful night at the Theatre: My volunteers arrived on time, we started allright, I ordered some Chinese food to pick-up, and I went ahead and seated my latecomers.

And then, at 8:35 P.M., it happened.

One of the Assistant Stage Managers (ASM from this point) hurried out and asked me where Eliza’s understudy was seated. I told him (not in an easily accessible seat) and we needed to get her immediately because our Eliza wasn’t feeling well and the Stage Manager wasn’t sure if we were going to cancel or continue if she didn’t feel well enough to go on. So, the understudy came up to me and asked what was going on and I took her into the green room and I said, “you might be going on” and she was in shock. The SM then went on the mike and called for a hold up and got all actors off the stage while she talked with the director to figure out what we should do next. Then I offered to go and get the understudy’s bag and purse from her chair and, as I walked through the theatre, I felt all 160+ eyes on me as I grabbed her big old bag and just hurried out. At that point, I knew we had to make some sort of announcement, so I grabbed my Box Office manager and we talked to the SM and we figured that we were going to hold for a little while due to the leading lady’s not feeling well and we offered up complimentary drinks to our patrons.

In the midst of patrons exiting into the lobby, I got the call from our SM that we were to cancel the performance and exchange all tickets, so I made my next onstage speech. The audience was v. calm and sympathetic towards our leading lady and wishing that she was feeling better as they left and, for the next twenty minutes, I was keeping people calm in the lobby and answering questions and taking names for the BO manager if they didn’t want to wait in line, while the understudy was getting prepared for possibly performing tomorrow.

The lobby cleared relatively quickly after that, and I closed up shop while the BO manager finished up in the office. As I turned off the concessions area lights, I had a call on my cellphone- it was the Chinese place asking about my order and picking it up. It was 9:25 P.M.

After I picked up my (v. late) dinner, the BO manager & I headed over to Munsen’s other job and she was surprised to see us as we told her what happened. After Munsen got off work, we met up at The Office and had a few beers to restore order to the chaos.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Recent Events

Okay, firstly, I want to thank those of you who wished me a happy birthday yesterday with cards and email sand gifties. I appreicate it, and your friendships, greatly and with an open heart. My friend, Flounder, asked me this morning if I felt any older and wiser and I replied:

  • Older- yes

  • Wiser- not sure yet

  • More cynical- maybe

With a winky-face... so who knows what will become of this next year in my life?

Onto other things I've been witnessing.

Not to make a joke out of finding out if your husband is gay, simply because it is a major issue that leads to people getting hurt, but this article clearly is sending mixed messages for clues to wives. I mean, really, if "A strong preference for anal sex" is an indicator I know plenty of straight men who could be pigeon-holed (no pun intended) but then the author writes that these men could be displaying "extreme homophobic behavior" and in the next line he has an "Unusually high percentage of male friends who are gay"- mixed message alert!

And then we've got Mark Foley, who's been doing dirty, wrong things with teenage boys online and then blames his actions on being a drunk, gay, and a victim of molestation himself (like that will get him any sympathy). Well, I have to applaud "America's Most Wanted's" John Walsh for pointing out that being gay and a pedophile are two different things altogether.

Thirdly, I just heard about a Texas school teacher being fired because one child complained about the nude depictions in an art museum on a field trip. Now that's just taking it a bit too far. What did one expect to see in an art museum? Depictions of war & violence? Oh no, I forget that we get that on the news every day. What else is going to be fodder for firings or more complaints- a trip to the zoo because the animals may be caught copulating or because they're basically naked year-round?

Sorry, I just had to rant for a moment...

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Maybe It's My Old Age

But it seems that Washington Post Theatre critic, Peter Marks, has many nice things to say about the Theatre's "My Fair Lady," which officially opened last night. When I saw the final dress rehearsal over a week ago, I had a sneaky suspicion that Mr. Marks would find the joy and splendour in our pared-down production and he has!

That, and I completely agree with his points about Another Theatre's production of "Cabaret."

Or maybe I'm just getting grumpy in my old age...


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy Birthday To Jake Shears

Scissor Sisters frontman and fellow Libran, Jake Shears, turns 29 today- Hooray!

Which just reminds me that, in two weeks' time, I'll be in Atlanta sharing in the fun that is the Scissor Sisters- I can't wait!


Monday, October 02, 2006

I Want To See Pictures, Dammit!

In this TV.com story, some of the v. handsome men of the Lost cast have admitted to going skinny-dipping on the beaches in Hawaii but the networks, want them to stop.

Stupid network heads...


I've Never Been To Me

Based on this article, one of my favorite movies- "The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert"- is going to be a musical Down Under. Now, I'm not necessarily excited about it, but this vehicle doesn't sound as far-fetched as some other movies-turned-stage-musicals, like "The Color Purple" or "Lestat." At least the costumes should prove entertaining...

Also, here's an an interview with Chinchilla namesake, Fry's voice-over artist about the future of "Futurama" and stuff.

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