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Nov 11 2016
OUT100 & About Comments (0)

622253426Amanda Lepore and her court (All images via Getty Images/Out)

I went to the OUT100 party in NYC last night, a bash meant to celebrate the magazine's annual list of 100 influential LGBTQ+ people.

I didn't have the energy to do red-carpet coverage, as I have at times; I could live without doing another red carpet for the rest of my life. This week has been draining, too. Additionally, I have been upset with Out recently for its, in my opinion, unnecessarily deferential piece on right-wing agitator Milo Yiannopoulous, who was given a dedicated photo shoot that suggested he was merely a clown. He's worse.

622240316Actor Paul Iacono

But I went and it was relatively nice to be surrounded by—as my friend called it—brethren. (Forgive the male lean.)

The party was smaller than usual, and I didn't spot stars. Was sorry to realize later that I missed Joanna Cassidy, among others.

The sad part was everyone had stories about family, friends and co-workers who had voted for Trump and who said they weren't against gay people, but ... 

622253006Actors Joanna Cassidy & David Millbern

622253334Bob the Drag Queen

622244232Marriage-equality warrior Edie Windsor

622247406Actor Ray Santiago

Then as I was leaving, a black SUV with the alarming vanity license A ARYAN picked up some of the people from the event. I have to believe it was a hired ride and that there was no connection, but seeing that after hearing stories that have popped up about kids and others attacking people for being gay or of color in Trump's wake was eerie.

14963305_10154474291556001_6285226429689943540_nAs good a pic as I could get at a distance at night. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

I also witnessed a white Wall Street type being extra-rude to an Indian clerk at the 7-11 on my block, annoyed that the guy's accent seemed to slow his ability to quickly retrieve a favored brand of cigarettes. I wasn't dreaming, because as I walked home, the Wall Street type's female companion shouted WHAT? and stopped walking with him. He kept going and cockily called back, C'mon, we're not kids. Her response was, Do you realize women bleed to death from illegal abortions? Literally bleed to death?

I'd also heard a well-heeled black women telling a friend, Well, Trump's a New Yorker, I really don't believe he ... And the rest, unheard, was obvious.

I don't know if Trump despises gay people, though it's a safe bet he has a macho disdain for us. (Ask Roy Cohn how he feels about gays with HIV.) But I don't care. I'm not trying to determine if he is anti-gay, I already know he has no choice but to do anti-gay things to please his constituency.

So that was my night, and that is why the very nice party felt very, very somber.

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)

FULL VIDEO: Madonna In Washington Square Park! Comments (0)
Madonna's With Her ... In Spirit!: Inside Her Washington Square Park Pop-Up Gig! Comments (0)

*IMG_3455(All images can be maximized with a click; all by Matthew Rettenmund)

Madonna was stressin' me out with her secret, election-eve gig ... would it be in Philly? North Carolina? Michigan? Streamed live from her john?

MADONNA PROMO(Image via Madonna Promo)

Turned out to be an impromptu, pop-up gig in Washington Square Park, which she broadly hinted at while I was en route and then confirmed shortly thereafter. The small window of time ensured only the craziest fans could hightail it over, ensuring a manageable but enthusiastic crowd.



*IMG_3449I'll remember ... to vote!

My buddies and I sat at the fountain, directly across from the arch. It seemed obvious she'd perform inside the (empty) fountain with her back to the arch for the best photos.


In no time flat, we realized she would make her exit and entrance RIGHT beside us, which she did after her SUV pulled up at 7:30 on the dot.



*IMG_3517Shiny and New Hampshire ...

Madonna strolled in, surrounded by minders but quite accessible, wearing a stocking cap, long golden locks and an extremely colorful bomber. Had she been at Hillary's North Carolina rally, the Internet may have decided her look was an Illuminati salute; after all, Gaga was accused of dressing like a Nazi (when she was, in fact, wearing an original Michael Jackson jacket worn by the King of Pop to the George H. W. Bush White House).



*IMG_3558Madonna with her running mate, her talented kid David!

The set-up was 100% simple, and Madonna performed with her trusty guitarist Monte Pittman and her young son, David Banda, who strummed the guitar in parts.

Sadly, she spent most of the concert with her back to us. It was a theater-in-the-round set-up, but she only looked back at us a few times.

In good spirits, Madonna asked us to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton and urged us to believe in the power of prayer before launching into an engaging and charmingly rough-around-the-edges set. I was that guy demanding that his friends give him credit because I had predicted the first three songs—from her entire catalogue—exactly: “Express Yourself,” “Don't Tell Me” and a cover of John Lennon's “Imagine.” Then, asking if we believed in the power of love, she seemed ready to dust off “Rescue Me,” but instead launched into “Like a Prayer.” She finished with a vocally amazing “If I Had a Hammer”/“Rebel Heart” mashup.



*IMG_3642Hoping it's a celebration in a few hours!

The 25-minute performance was warm and cheerful, and all the fans kept their distance, showing great respect for her space.

Probably my favorite was Madonna needling Obama for never having invited her to the White House, and only meeting with her when he had one day left as president.

*IMG_3568She's got the write-in stuff!

I didn't get the jaw-dropping photos I had hoped for—she was pretty  shy coming in and out—but did get some, which I'm sharing here. Enjoy. Wish I could have brought all of you along.

More after the jump ...

 Read More

Nov 07 2016
Joe Gulla's THE BRONX QUEEN: One Last Time! Comments (0)

Unnamed(Image via Joe's Pub)

The Bronx Queen, by Joe Gulla, is playing at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater on November 15 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

The show is the first in Gulla's Bronx Queen Trilogy, with Faggy at 50 coming next year. (Faggy at 50 comes for me in two years this Christmas.)

Find out more about Gulla via his Next interview, and get tickets to the show here. Anyone who attends Bette Midler's Hulaween dressed as Donald Trump's missing taxes is our Helen Hayes, as far as I'm concerned.

Get yer tickets here!

Buffy The Autograph Sender! Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 12.28.48 AM(Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

I recently wrote about something unusual that happened regarding my autograph-collecting hobby.

When I see plays, I tend to be too lazy to hang out and stage-door the stars, unless it's someone I really want to nab/would be extra-thrilled to meet in person. For example, the cast of Other Desert Cities in 2012 was irresistible, and I loved getting to meet Stockard Channing, Judith Light, Rachel Griffiths and Justin Kirk—who wouldn't?! I also had to stick around after the show when I saw the horrendous Deuce, if only to see Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes, and was pleasantly surprised to see Celeste Holm, too.

When I saw Lucky Guy three years ago, I would've been excited to get a pic with Peter Scolari and Tom Hanks—Bosom Buddies was one of my favorite TV shows ever—but I couldn't brave the huge crowds, so I mailed my two programs to the theater in care of Scolari, assuming he'd be more likely to reply. I actually get back, signed, more than half of the Playbills I send, so don't scoff!

I never heard back ... until last week, when I received my three-year-old Playbills back in the mail from Scolari, who is in Wicked at the moment. I was floored! He signed one and kindly wrote a note instructing me where to try Tom.

I promptly mailed my Playbill to Tom at his office, assuming I'd never hear back. In my note, I wrote about the comically long wait I'd had for Peter's signature and joked that I hoped to hear from Tom “before Hillary Clinton is about to clinch her SECOND TERM. haha”. As one final joke, I noted that I had enclosed an SASE, and that “millennials have no idea what that means.”

Would you believe I mailed it 10/27 and received it back signed 11/4 from California?

IMG_4874(Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Even better, not only did Tom sign my Playbill, he returned my typed letter with the haha underlined and a note on my millennial comment: “Idiots!” (I'm sure he meant it affectionately, as did I.) That, too, was signed.

I definitely felt like a lucky guy to hear back from someone busy winning Oscars.

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.

Nov 04 2016
Madonna Doing A Concert To Support Hillary! Comments (0)