Above, a gallery of the best-lookin' cast since Paper Dolls in the '80s!
I spent some time with the cast of Hustling in honor of its second season premiere last night, including a revealing Q&A with creator/director/star Sebastian La Cause:
The episodes we screened contained precious little of hysterical Stephen Guarino (as a porn agent) and Gary Cowling (as a career counselor)—these two should get their own spin-off!—but were otherwise filled with what we've come to expect from La Cause's hustling drama: solid acting, witty writing and unexpected situations. This season also benefits from much better production values, even though I though the kick-off season was already remarkably well done on a shoestring.
Rubin-Vega directed us to the after-party: "There's a party in your mouth and everybody's comin'!"
Daphne Rubin-Vega continues to bring real depth to a part that could easily have been a throwaway, and veteran actress Sharon Washington is on hand as the trash-talking mom who will never understand her son's direction in life.
La Cause honors Movember while celebrating his second season
Cowling gets handsy with the boss
Boys, boys, boys: Cowling, Robert Montano, La Cause, Glaszek & Rodriguez
While there, I ran into my buddies Andrew Glaszek, one of the main stars, and Guto Bittencourt. Both, like La Cause, are Broadway Bares alumni. Guto's got a hot song and video that's about to drop (stay tuned) and Andrew was teasing us about sexy developments involving his Hustling character. Sounds like La Cause's character has been a bad influence!
After-party boys Guto & Andrew
Speaking of which, this season definitely ups the ante when it comes to sexy scenes; everyone was showing ass crack, including Guarino (who I bet had that in his contract—he's proud of it!) and there were several tastefully and tastily filmed horizontal throw-downs, including an eye-opening kick-off featuring a busty Wilson Cruz.
If anything about the series feels unreal, it's how appealing the johns are. But while titillating, the hustling isn't really the core of Hustling, ironically.
Who nose? Rodriguez plays a pornstar who parties a little too hard...
My third Broadway Bares, directed by Josh Rhodes and assistant director Lee Wilkins and produced by Jerry Mitchell with a Monopoly theme, was the best yet even if the star power was not as jaw-dropping as one might expect for a 20th anniversary show—no matter, because who the fuck cares about Missy Tony Winner when you've got a stage filled with the country's best, brightest and nakedest Broadway dancers? The night was like one big no-handed edging session. I'm not sure if the experience is untoppable, but if it isn't, it's definitely a power bottom in sequins.
Shiny, happy people
Jason and I (pictured, above) showed up at 10:35 last night to line up for the midnight show, only to find the line snaking out of Roseland and about three-quarters of the way to 53rd already. It was already a gay-list day—not only did I spot both Leslie Jordan and Paolo Andino on Ninth Avenue, but I got all blogged down by brunching with Kenneth from Kenneth in the (212) and running into Jesse Archer, Joe Jervis (pictured), Jared Eng and Andy Towle at BB. See, not all bloggers spend their lives in the pajamas...though I'm in mine as I type this. Hmmm.
The lovely AJ Thorpe ushered us in
They let us in around 11:30, whereupon we made a beeline for the middle, settling on the inside edge of stage right. It was packed and quite warm (a 90-degree day had preceded) but not too bad. I feel terrible for the cute guy adhered to me from the front (I felt bad, but he felt good) because my camera must have poked him 200 times later on. I saw some of the usual pervs—myself included—many of whom pop up in my videos from previous years.
The show started 20 minutes late, but it unfolded at whiplash pace. Dapper Euan Morton (so brilliant eons ago in Taboo) kicked off the opening number "The Best Game in Town" in a top hat and tails a good little monopolist, introducing us to the lovely ladies who stood in for the iconic game pieces. Each and every one was described in sexually suggestive ways, even the wheelbarrow—you can guess what she's capable of carrying away.
No, THIS is the best game in town
There she is, Miss...Vanessa L. Williams
The show's biggest star opened the whole thing
With no build-up, he introduced the biggest stars of the night, the resurging Vanessa Williams (don't even dream that she would be dumb enough to get naked again) and everybody's favorite Christian Broadway bombshell Kristin Chenoweth. The ladies were on point and suitably glam, sporting nice gams.
Josh's entrance (the other one is available to view here.)
Joshua Buscher, a West Side Story dancer in possession of (this must be official somewhere?) the greatest white behind on the Great White Way was someone I picked out last year as a dazzler; this year, he starred in a show-stopping number called "The Bank" set to Lady GaGa's "Money Honey" (OMG, or was he copying Madonna???) that culminated with him dancing totally nude while basically wearing two male peers. It was a well-tailored fit.
Josh puts it allll behind him
If you want all the minutiae about what the ladies accomplished this year, you might need to search for a Girl Culture blog; I love women, but I was so boycrazy I fear I will not do justice to the female-driven numbers. I do know that soon after a rowdy lipstick-lezzie lingerie number called "Connecticut Avenue", a talented, black-bustiered female Alysha Umphress crooned Journey's "When the Lights Go Down in the City" so well that I do hope someone went down on her after the show.