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279 posts categorized "ME"

Feb 07 2017
Best Friends Forever: A Review Of Nora Burns's DAVID'S FRIEND Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 1.52.01 PMA story with heart (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

My cultural benefactors John & Sheldon — not really, but they do get me to go see things I'd otherwise not get motivated to see — invited me to David's Friend, the show by Unitard comic Nora Burns, a few weeks ago. I bought my ticket knowing next to nothing about it. By the time I entered the Club at La Mama this weekend, it was already touted as a hot ticket.

Check out my 2015 Unitard review here!

In 60 minutes, Burns (pictured) provides an unapologetically sentimental Bioremembrance of the original best friend forever, David, a fellow Massachusetts teen who joined her in running off to NYC at the end of the '70s, and the beginning of what would beecome a live-fast-die-young adventure.

Except Nora survived.

Over time, the eventual artist has been driven to memorialize their toss-my-salad days, when she stripped and he hustled and both did so many drugs this might be why Quaaludes became scarce, and when both became friendly with the types of artists drawn to the city back when it was seedily affordable. She is reliving that era onstage in a joyous way that gives contact euphoria and a sense of connection to the audience, and also in a way that sloppily and then — with unexpected precision — provides a sketch of her fallen friend and their eternal friendship so vivid it's hard to believe he wasn't a member of the cast.

2-6Back in the gay: Nora & David (This & photo booth image via Nora Burns)

At times, it's as if she is taking our hands and putting them into her side; her approach to show and tell is to skip both and instead to conjure and to make manifest.

The story is deceptively slight; the two danced their asses off. In fact, they met dancing on a speaker and seemingly only climbed down when he eventually became sick with AIDS and when she, later on, settled down with a husband and children. Their time on the speaker sounds like a mad dash from one party to another, and from the safety of suburbia to the more interesting, more dangerous nooks and crannies of a city that no longer exists.

While nostalgic and affectionate, the show is never whitewashed — plenty of STIs, jealous fits and jobs from hell are recalled, and her Valentine to NYC is spiked by a recurring image of the city in the '70s and '80s as a pile of junk teeming with rats and predators. But if you're one of those people who thinks the city is now a Giulianified shell of its former self, you will understand her longing for not just her friend but their grimy stomping grounds.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 1.54.39 PMPage from a drag calendar David put together (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Nora's delivery is utterly sincere. It is also funny, except for when it veers into Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 1.43.25 PM sadness, when it becomes difficult to imagine how she puts herself through such a naked (and public) connection to still-raw grief each performance.

She is so uncompromisingly honest, it might make you squirm when she cheerfully announces she needs gay men to provide the witty Oscar banter these days (she's got to be kidding! she's hysterical!) or when she drives home that she is a classic fag hag. There is a degree of supplication, but I think it's also just a reflection of her devotion to the best person she ever met.

David is beautifully remembered in this warm and scrappy show in a way he may never have been able to imagine, knowing Nora as he did then — and never getting to know Nora as she was later, is now.

Due to an outbreak of raves, David's Friend — directed by Adrienne Truscott and also featuring Billy Hough —has been extended. Along with other lessons, one the show offers is: Spend your time wisely. This applies to theater, too.

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Separate from my review, something that struck me about the show is that it is another example of something that elicits from me a longing to have been a part of the era that came just before me, which is also always laced with gratitude that I barely missed the inevitability of AIDS.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 12.09.55 PMSelf-portrait of Dillard from one of his books (Image by Gavin Geoffrey Dillard)

Hearing of David's recklessly fabulous life at Studio 54 and strolling Manhattan's dives and clinics in silver hotpants and leather definitely ignited that dormant fascination, as did the name-dropping of the ubiquitious Patrick McMullan (such a dishy appearance his name makes in the show, and he later shot it) and also of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, the so-called Naked Poet.

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Jan 27 2017
Follow ENCYCLOPEDIA MADONNICA 20 On Instagram! Comments (0)

Madonna(Illustration by Alejandro Mogollo)

Follow my new Encyclopedia Madonnica Instagram!

I'll be posted all things related to Madonna there, including rare images, not just book-related promo.

See you there!

 
Jan 26 2017
Italian Sub: Meeting Pietro Boselli Comments (0)

IMG_0557*From my “shoot” with Pietro Boselli! (Images by Matthew Rettenmund)

Yesterday, I randomly heard that “world's sexiest maths teacher” (the Euro phrasing is so much hotter!) teacher Pietro Boselli, who's in NYC often, was doing a meet-and-greet at Bloomie's — I decided I'd go if I could swing it.

IMG_0539*

IMG_0551*Pietro with some new pals

My shift ended at 6 p.m. and his appearance was slated for 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. and with travel time, I figured I'd arrive 6:30 p.m. Well, first I had a subway snafu, running from one to another, only to find the re-routed train wasn't. So then I started walking across town, and wound up in a slow-moving cab.

I walked up to the event at 6:56 p.m. to find Pietro posing in front of a backdrop advertising the new Lab Series line Maxellence (a line of skincare he is decades away from needing and that I am decades too late in trying). His PR was pulling him, but I asserted I was there for my agency (I was) and that I needed a pic-with, too, and a very nice employee took my pic with him.

It was from kinda far away and not how I'd have done it, but he was so nice to help! Pietro* After that, I was able to grab a handful of posed shots of Pietro.

All I really did was shake his hand twice and feel his back (no groping), but he seemed nice, if dazed, I was ultra-dazed, having huffed and puffed over. Puffed is the operative word — man, standing next to a 20something vision really doesn't make one feel fresh.

Glad I made it! I'm looking into the products now. No shame there; I have a 19-year-old actor friend who is convinced he needs an eyejob and fillers.

I remember the first time I ever saw skincare products for guys — it was at Marshall Field's in Chicago and I did a double-take. There was no more than a small table of goodies, but it included makeup. I felt transgender merely glancing at it, which at the time was a nervous feeling of being caught red-handed. Now, I wouldn't flinch about indulging in vanity.

Pietro-boselli-lab-series-09062016(Image via Lab Series)

Hey, Trump's gonna get us killed anyway, so we might as well die smooth-ish.

Check out the product Pietro was plugging here.

 
Dec 28 2016
What A Card!: My Christmas Haul 2016 Comments (0)

IMG_7732(All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

I think I received more cards this year than last, which is odd because I have very few friends and several of the people closest to me send NO cards.

Above, the corporate card from Tani Underwear, a luxury brand I'm using in some shoots lately, plus a color-ful and creative card (plus crayons!) from Michael Screiber & Fam I'll soon dive into his One-Man Show: The Life and Art of Bernard Perlin.

Below: Hard to choose a favorite, but Anthony Coombs — designer of my Encyclopedia Madonnica 20 — got points for his die-cut card so pretty he couldn't bear to sign it.

IMG_7728

Finally, below, check out my pal Bobby's bootylicious card, and Michael Stern — starfucker extraordinaire! — went with Bruce Springsteen this year. My other starfucker mentor, Brian Boyle, offered himself with Alex Kingston, but it's hidden away in his tasteful card:

IMG_7729

Thanks to everyone who sent me a card, and big thanks to the 800+ who wished me a happy birthday on Facebook. The well-wishes often came with positive notes about my blogging activity, which is much needed 11+ years in.

THANK YOU!

 
Nov 27 2016
6-PACK — Lucian STILL Not Lucid + Kellyanne Conway vs. Mitt Romney + Falwell Offered Sec. Of Education! + Flirting With Disaster Movies + Indifference She Wrote + Ball-Busted! Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 4.22.42 PM(Image via Instagram @RevoLucian)

WIDGETLucian Piane begs for a 5150, calling black people N-words, exposing himself, Holocaust-harrumphing.

WIDGETKellyanne Conway is reallllly against Mitt Romney being made Secretary of State.

WIDGETThanks again, LGBTQs who voted for Trump: He tried to make Falwell Jr. Sec. of Education!

Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 4.28.22 PMAva Gardner, Henry Fonda, Leslie Nielsen, Shelley Winters (Image via AVCO/Embassy)

WIDGETBest write-up of a disaster movie you've never seen that you'll ever read.

WIDGETAngela Lansbury turns her nose up at new Beauty and the Beast movie.

Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 4.11.02 PMMe with Busted in 2002. Their apartment then was an old mental facility! (Image via Matthew Rettenmund)

WIDGETSexy boy band puts their testes on a restaurant table to celebrate new recording contract.

Boyband-BustedBusted as they appear today (Image via East West)

 
Nov 16 2016
6-PACK — Engaging Gay Celebs + Gosselaar Bears All + One SCOTUS Pick Wants Gays Jailed + Trump's Alleged Victims Speak + Trump Political Arm? + Joe Simpson Ailing Comments (0)
 

Sun rays, tittays ☀️

A photo posted by Jwan Yosef (@jwanyosef) on

*widget boy cultureABOVE: Ricky Martin is engaged to this. BELOW: Jonathan Knight is engaged to this. I'm single!

*widget boy cultureMark-Paul Gosselaar goes full-on bear.

*widget boy cultureOne Trump SCOTUS possible believes gay people should be imprisoned for having sex. Period.

*widget boy cultureThe women who have accused Trump of sexual impropriety speak out: “We as a country did not listen.”

*widget boy cultureTrump wants political arm outside White House — sounds like he's making good on this.

*widget boy cultureJessica Simpson's manager/photographer dad Joe, rumored to be gay, reportedly has stage 4 cancer.

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 10.14.11 AMI worked with Joe in my teen-pop days. Always a lovely  man. (Image via Matthew Rettenmund)

 
Nov 08 2016
This Is Where I'll Be — Good Luck To All Sane U.S. Citizens Comments (0)

Scan 8 copy(Image via Hillary for America)

 
Nov 06 2016
Inside Hillary's Biggest NYC Field Office Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-11-06 at 12.59.14 AM(All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

I got word about Hillary's Election Night bash at the Javits on Tuesday—which we hope will be a victory party—and was told all I had to do was pick up tickets in person Saturday or Sunday.

So, I trekked to her Manhattan field office way downtown and got into a gigantic line of upbeat Democrats and #NeverTrumpers, spending about an hour and change making our way closer to the door.

IMG_4738Note the prominent shout-out to Orlando.

Everyone kept asking either me or a young girl behind me what the line was for, and no one had a negative reaction. Most went out of their way to express positivity, including several foreign tourists who wished us luck. I spent half the time chatting with a millennial who had many of my same opinions, including that Hillary would win, that Bernie might have proved to be an unexciting campaigner (and that we'll never know what would've happened had he won the nomination) and that Hillary would never run for a second term.

IMG_4726One can hope!

Looking in on the space, it was like a movie set of a campaign office! (Okay, reminiscent of Taxi Driver.) Very bright and bustling with young intellectuals and scores of people signing up to volunteer. Once inside, an exhausted young woman took my ID and the name of my guest, then handed me the tickets.

Screen Shot 2016-11-06 at 1.07.56 AMThey're gonna hear us roar!

Now, I just have to show up to the Javits around 6 p.m. and hope that we get in.

Wish me luck—wish us all luck.

 


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