The cast of Looking: The Movie HBO movie—airing July 23 on HBO—assembled in San Francisco for its world premiere yesterday, which finished off the 40th anniversary of the LGBT film fest Frameline.
Some 1,400 fans bought up the seats, and reportedly cheered the movie-length finale of the series, which lasted two seasons and divided gay viewers.
Over at Broadway World, Groff was quoted on the show's graphic sex scenes:
It's hard to lie in a sex scene because you're so vulnerable and literally naked. Also, I had friends who didn't know gay people could have sex while facing one another. When Russell fucked me at the end of the first season, face to face, they thought [gay sex] was always from behind. I laughed but while driving home, I thought: 'That's so sad.' That they think gay people can't relate to one another while we're having sex. That it's just some animal act from behind. That's why I feel so proud of the sex scenes in 'Looking.' Because they were written and directed so beautifully.
Three sisters: Kim Kat (Carmen Mendoza), Kourtney Kat (Bridget Kennedy), Khloé Kat (Elliott Brooks)
Okay, like, I got invited to this super exclusive new Off-Broadway show called Katdashians: Break the Musical, and it was seriously the funniest thing everrr or, like, at least, it was a funny thing, you know? Bible.
Katdashians: Break the Musical is the very funny creation of Bob and Tobly McSmith, the warped minds behind past romps like Bayside! The Musical!, Full House: The Musical! and Showgirls!: The Musical. With the McSmiths' perverse combo of legitimately complex songs and gross-out humor, tight direction by tight John Duff (who we would all like to see attempt to break the Internet with his own fame-ready caboose), and Broadway-level choreography by Viva Soudan, the show has more to offer than just cheap laughs at the world's most famous Armenian-Americans.
There goes Times Square (again). (All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund)
Though there are plenty of cheap laughs, too.
The show follows—wallows in?—the regrettable ascension of the Kardashians, ending somewhere just beyond Caitlyn Jenner's transition. The songs are, as the title suggests, frequently parodies of famous numbers from Cats (which is returning to Broadway in the near future—that legendary musical is as bad as Keeping Up with the Kardashians and apparently just as hard to euthanize permanently), but there are also clever re-workings of tunes by Beyoncé, Madonna and other suitably fabulous fame whores.
And yes, it was “better than Cats.”
A Chorus Feline
Speaking of which, if there is anything limiting about doing a parody of the most famous, most polarizing people alive, it may be that the show works best if you know everything about the Kardashians and also have the Cats original cast recording memorized. Thing is, very few people probably check both boxes. Luckily, the show does work if you're only into one or the other, and even seems to work if you're a novice regarding both. I surveyed some patrons and was surprised how few were well-versed in Kardashian lore, though a girl behind me who claimed she knew nothing knew all the terms in the “How to Speak Kardashian” insert from our program. The guy next to me, who knew zero about the Kardashians, laughed loudly throughout. I mean, jokes about pubic hair and anal sex are pretty universal.
Finding North: Vogue cover subject Kim vogues.
The cast/cats are purrfect, led by Carmen Mendoza as busty, bratty, dusky-Baby Doll Kim Kat. She has her look down pat and has the star quality necessary to function as the epicenter of an attention-logged sect.
Bridget Kennedy as Kourtney Kat is a riot, offering a deadpan, personality-free take that reminded me of the fun femme performances in the late, great American Psycho. She channels a Selma Blair monotone and has the requisite bombshell looks, the exact recipe for Kourtney.
Standing out from an already stellar group is Elliott Brooks as Khloé Kat, whose character gets the Cher-in-Moonstruck treatment as we follow her from Khloé's birth status as a softer, potty-on-me-mouthed version of The Thing to the voluptuous blonde work-out fanatic that she is today. With manic, verbal-diarrhetic glee, she spits out shocking one-liners about anal sex, anal beds, “Shit on a dick!” and projectile vaginal discharge—singing hysterically at one point about the seemingly drug-resistant strain of pubic hair she hosts—and yet still makes the audience root for her. Definitely pick of the litter.
When Mama Jenner introduces her new boyfriend, Corey Gamble.
Bailey Nolan is Kris Kat/Kris Jenner's doppelgänger thanks to the perfect wig and a great vocal imitation; it felt like Kris was appearing in the show herself, which is not something I would put past her. Her counterpart, Peter Smith as Bruce/Catlyn/Caitlyn, nailed the transgender trailblazer's guyish speech and was able to make us cheer for her transition all over again, even though in real life, Caitlyn turned out to be kind of a dud in the inspiration arena. Smith's take on a parody of “Memory” was a show-stopper.
They call me Bruce: Smith's Catlyn was the cat's meow.
Knee-slapping, mutinous scenes featuring choreographer Soudan as Kylie Kat and Ariel Ash as Kendall Kat (in a mask and peek-a-boo unitard, she was the spitting image) had some audience members howling. Alexis Kelley and Jenyvette Vega serve as ass-tastic Dash Dolls.
Let's hope the litter-box office is strong!
Best thing about the show, though, might be the innovation of encouraging (non-flash) photography, and especially selfie-taking, throughout. So if your mind wanders, take a great selfie and let your followers on social media know that you're doing looking good.
In the end, this sometimes almost admiring, more often catty, hoot has its claws out mostly for you, the audience that pretends to revile a family famous only for being famous ... all the while watching their every move like a cat watches a bowl-bound goldfish.
Katdashians: Break the Musical is at the Elektra Theatre at 300 W. 43rd St., NYC, through July 16. Tickets are $25-$45. Visit the site here.
Keep reading for video and pictures from the opening-night champagne toast ...
A Lammy? We're aiming for the National Book Award! (All images in this post courtesy of Matthew Rettenmund)
Uncharacteristically, I haven't written about my recent quick trip to L.A. to promote the book I wrote with Alaska Thunderf*ck (or Thunderfun, as she is called for the sake of marketing the book to people still living at home). For some reason, I kept putting other stuff in front of writing this up, maybe because it wound up being an unexpectedly warm-and-fuzzy (if frantic and fleeting) event.
I went out two weekends ago—business class. I've never been in business class, so far as I remember, and found it ultra-comfortable and immediately took it on as my new normal, so that when I fly coach next time it will feel like being evicted from a gated community.
I'd planned to work from the plane, but the WiFi was out, meaning I did nothing but sleep. I wasn't sure what I was doing as far as promo for the book—Alaska Thunderfun and the Inner Space Odyssey—so being well-rested was a step (in a high-heeled shoe) in the right direction.
Working with Alaska had been a breeze. She has an insanely fun creation story that involves intergalactic gender-bending and the early '80s, and she knew pretty much what she wanted me to do, so I simply did it and she offered her input where needed and it was finished. I think it wound up being pretty funny and hopefully will surprise people with its mission of gender fluidity. I think of it as a Choose Your Own Gender book, or like Goosebumps with lovely lady lumps.
Jiggy Caliente was on hand to interview the ladies who launch
I stayed in Little Tokyo, which meant I was sick of Japanese food—which I love!—within two meals, but since I was working all day from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., that really only left me time to eat at offbeat times and squeeze in a couple of meetings with friends I hadn't seen in forever and, of course, to explore my popularity as a new face on the locals' Grindr feeds.
Again, I must thank the parents who continue to raise their young men to have no morals at all.
The event itself was a lot of fun, once I had a solid handle on what was expected. It was celebrating the opening of the first all-drag retail store at Arts District Co-Op (453 Colyton St., L.A.), where the merch of such drag luminaries as Jinkx Monsoon, Adore Delano, Sharon Needles and—of course—Alaska would be on sale. The space was chic, beautifully designed and 100% conducive to lots of impulse-buying. I was eyeing some Violet Chachki wear, and I'm not even a big fan!