531 posts categorized "THEATRE"

Oct 16 2014
Need To Know: There Once Was A Man With A Bucket + Hall Monitoring + The WOOF Is On Fire + Dan Osborne's Naked Dare + Dr. Keith Ablowhard + MORE! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureNeil Patrick Harris crosses hosting the Oscars off his bucket list. Dan-Osborne-nude

*widget boy cultureWill Michael C. Hall slay as “Hedwig”?

*widget boy cultureWicked Gay Blog ups the WOOF! factor considerably.

*widget boy cultureSweetest dog video ever.

*widget boy cultureDan Osborne accepts nude dare!

*widget boy cultureShirtless doctors calendar.

*widget boy cultureFOX's Dr. Keith Ablow says Obama wants Americans to die from Ebola. Full-stop.

*widget boy cultureBut FOX's Shep Smith attacks Ebola hysteria.

*widget boy cultureTom Daley accepts Attitude's “Man of the Year” award.

TomDaley

*widget boy cultureTrans-beating hoods shown in surveillance footage. Help put them away!

*widget boy cultureGay actor Ezra Miller to play “The Flash” on the big screen through 2020.

*widget boy cultureTippi Hedren & Melanie Griffith had a pet lion in the '70s.

*widget boy cultureStargroves wins “Most Beautiful Website” from Young Turks.

*widget boy cultureSnoop's heartfelt apology to “biiiiiych” Iggy Azalea. (Biiiiiych accepted it!)

*widget boy cultureEleanor & Hillary rocked, but Michelle is easily the coolest 1st Lady.

Michelle-ObamaTurnip the radio!

 
Oct 14 2014
2 Die 4: A Review Of DEARLY BELOVED Comments (0)
  Dearly-Beloved-actors Robin-de-Jesus-performsRobin-de-JesusDearly-BelovedLena-Hall

Promo images courtesy of JD Urban, live images by Matthew Rettenmund for BoyCulture.com

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: ***1/2 out of ****

I still wasn't being allowed to see R-rated movies in 1984 when Prince's Purple Rain came out, making him seem like Jehovah's gift to the multiplex, and I was probably a bit protective of my diva Madonna due to Prince's chart-busting achievements with its legendary soundtrack. But as an American Top 40 freak, I was acutely aware of the many hits the record launched...it was like Minneapolis spooged all over Billboard.

Dearly-Beloved-Prince-Robin-de-JesusMaking his big entrance

Lena-HallPurple reina

Robin-de-Jesus-profileTake from him his lace.

Flash forward 30 (!) years, and I'm seated in 42West (514 West 42 St., NYC), watching Dearly Beloved, an anniversary tribute to the album (and the film), directed by Jacob Langfelder and starring Robin de Jesús (as Prince—I don't honor the whole Artist Formerly Known As thing) and Lena Hall (as Apollonia), and with featured performances by E. Clayton Cornelius, Kiyan Taghaboni and Ariel Bellvalaire.

Performers-PrinceTheir chemistry was something that you cannot comprehend.

AiiaKKDl7Si4TFI0gR89Iw-YluRYWcexTg1mVjjlL5wE. Clayton Cornelius was Morris Day all night long!

The show was a straight-up revue, but certainly wasn't karaoke. De Jesús suggested Prince without copying him exactly, sounding perfectly confident in every number, with the possible exception of “When Doves Cry”, with its odd, nasal vocal, which proved a little too offbeat for him to nail.

Hall, looking the opposite of her male Hedwig and the Angry Inch character in her bustier and Katy Perry via Bettie Page glamour makeup, soared in her numbers, making even the delightfully sugary “Sex Shooter” sound like a whole different animal coming from such powerful pipes.

Sexy-Robin-de-JesusCock 'n' Robin

The audience was mesmerized by the whole thing, especially de Jesús's libidinous writhing—it will be hard to see him in his In the Heights mold after witnessing this transformation.

Prince-fansThese fans acted surprised that I wanted their picture...

Lena-Hall-Prince-Robin-de-JesusMy pal Jason shot these. Yes, I wore purple...I wasn't kidding around!

The show felt like a try-out for a more elaborate, sung-through musical based on the already very musical movie; if that's the case, I think everyone involved proved it's an idea worth exploring.

De55519973075610852322f44b5c26d5

After the jump, check out the original “Sex Shooter”...

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Oct 13 2014
Rossy Is A Rossy Is A Rossy Is A Rossy Is A Rossy: A Review Of Jessica Mitrani's TRAVELING LADY Comments (0)
  Rossy-de-Palma Rossy-cast Rossy-FIAF Rossy-Spanish-NYC Rossy Rossy-de-Palma-fans

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: *** out of ****

It's not every day that I'm invited to the U.S. stage debut of a Pedro Almodovar superstar, so how could I refuse when offered the chance to see Traveling Lady, a multi-media presentation by Colombian visual artist/director Jessica Mitrani and Spanish film icon Rossy de Palma? Answer: I couldn't, and I didn't.

IMG_9348De Palma & Mitrani, post-partum

After initially bobbling the invite for me plus-one (sorry, Nathaniel!), I showed up fresh from a full day at New York Comic Con and a quick visit with Don Bachardy to find a long line outside FIAF Florence Gould Hall (55. E. 59th). A passer-by seemed nonplused when I told her we were waiting for a show. “A theatrical performance???” she sputtered. It was as if she knew what was in store for us; we didn't, however, so I went in thinking we were seeing a play while my companion Jason though it would be a movie. We were both kinda right.

Rossy-de-Palma-flowers

Rossy-de-PalmaWith “Kika” herself!

A part of FIAF's Crossing the Line 2014 series, Traveling Lady turned out to be a singular experience. I wish I had seen it both nights it played to get a firmer grasp on it, but I did divine its staunchly feminist roots, using as a jumping-off point the 19th-Century travels of journalist Nellie Bly. The show made use of a booming female voice-over, outstandingly dazzling projections, a somewhat goofy, talking, 8-foot dress with no body in it (voiced with an insinuating authority by Joan Juliet Buck), original music and all-too-brief appearances by de Palma in the flesh, lip-synching to her pre-recorded recitations.

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De Palma plays more than Bly; it quickly becomes obvious she is embodying various female archetypes. In so doing, she only had to appear briefly, allowing her unique visage to do all the talking. She merely had to stand there in order to give the show a twisted depth. Her presence is so arresting it was shocking later to meet her and see that she herself isn't 8 feet tall.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01bb0796ee37970d-550wiThe show lagged when it became too esoteric for its own good, but I felt was saved from being a parody of NYC performance art excess thanks to its tongue-in-cheek humor. While it's true enough that some of its odder visuals would have baffled the real Bly (who once feigned insanity in order to explore the depravity of early insane asylums), I felt the show's broad send-up of branding and marketing were spot-on and LOL hilarious. I was also very taken with the show's tangential embrace of passages from the writings of Gertrude Stein (Ida: A Novel), which gave perfect voice to some of Mitrani's visuals.

Ida Gerrtrude Stien

All in all, Mitrani and de Palma's collaboration seemed a match made in heaven.

Afterward, we were invited to a champagne toast, at which de Palma was mobbed and a child was given a birthday cake. When I met her and congratulated her on the show, de Palma rasped in her wonderful way, “Wasn't it great???” and enthusiastically posed for photos.

 
Oct 11 2014
Waiting In The Wings: Iva Withers Dies @ 97 Comments (0)

Iva-Withers

Iva Withers, perhaps Broadway's greatest understudy, has died at the age of 97. Her credits are incredible.

 
Oct 07 2014
11 O'Clock Number: Cast Of THE BOOK OF MORMON - HELLO Comments (0)

Hello-Mormon

The Book of Mormon's cast takes the Lord's name, but not in vain...

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MILKing It: A Review Of I AM HARVEY MILK Comments (0)

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: **** out of ****

Tonight, I was privileged enough to be invited to attend a one-night-only oratorio (or, as last-minute guest Whoopi Goldberg called it, “oratio”) I Am Harvey Milk, with words and music by Andrew Lippa and starring Lippa as Milk, Noah Marlowe as Young Milk and angel-voiced Kristin Chenoweth as a soprano muse who stands in for several different women in Milk's life.

They were accompanied by the Joel Fram-conducted Orchestra of St. Luke's and The All-Star Broadway Men's Chorus.

Following Goldberg's intro (she referred to us as “family”...) and a more impassioned intro by Milk protégé Cleve Jones, the 60-minute presentation was thoroughly impressive, especially considering how well-mined the subject matter is. It was especially exciting to see and hear on the day the Supreme Court declined to review some lower court decisions, bringing marriage equality to five states immediately and another six in the long run, but this piece would be exciting to see and hear any day or night of the week, at any point in history.

The reason I Am Harvey Milk has a timelessness is that it's about the overall struggle for equality and fairness, even as it uses Milk's personal political odyssey to get at that larger theme. 

I was lulled to light sleep at times by the beauty and sonic purity, but there were plenty of attention-getting highlights, most notably the jumpin' “Enough Is Enough”-inspired “Friday Night in the Castro” (complete with clapping hands and gay boogie), the triumphant “Lavender Pen” (recounting Mayor Moscone's signing of a non-discrimination proclamation) and the searing “Tired of the Silence”, in which the assembled singers exhort every gay person in the world to come out, come out, come out. (Using images that included reluctant, quasi-out Jodie Foster was perhaps a misstep, but damned if they weren't up-to-the-minute enough to include headlines from earlier today!)

Fantastic evening, surrounded by a lot of civic-minded gay people and our supporters, lovers of the arts and some glitterati; but the snazzy ensembles and relentless fitness of the crowd was just fashion, and the music and words were a reminder than being loud and demanding respect never goes out of style.

 
Oct 06 2014
Final Bow: Theater Great Marian Seldes Dies @ 86 Comments (0)

Marian+SeldesAugust 23, 1928—October 6, 2014

Theater legend Marian Seldes has died at 86. Renowned for her work ethic (she never missed one of the 1,809 performances of Deathtrap in 1978) and versatility, she appeared in such celebrated productions such as the Hume Cronyn (July 18, 1911—June 15, 2003)/Jessica Tandy (June 7, 1909—September 11, 1994) original production of A Delicate Balance (1966), Equus (1974) and Three Tall Women (1993).

Seldeslife460In Deathtrap with (L to R) John Wood (July 5, 1930—August 6, 2011) and Victor Garber (b. March 16, 1949)

She was married for nine years to writer/director Garson Kanin (November 24, 1912—March 13, 1999), and was the daughter of author and critic Gilbert Seldes (January 3, 1893—September 29, 1970).

Marian-Seldes-A-Delicate-BalanceSeldes (R) in A Delicate Balance with (L to R) Carmen Mathews (May 8, 1911—August 31, 1995) and Henderson Forsythe (September 11, 1917—April 17, 2006). Seldes won her only competitive Tony for this role, and was the play's last surviving cast member.

I'm glad I got to see her perform, even if it was at the first preview of the subpar Deuce in 2007;  she was fun at the stage door in what wound up being her second-to-final Broadway show:

I saw Ms. Seldes (in a wheelchair) a year ago in the spring. Times flies...I'd thought it was recent.

 
Oct 04 2014
I Yam Because We Are—A Review Of KAREN FINLEY: WRITTEN IN SAND Comments (0)

Karen-FinleyFinley is a dazzling stage presence who's still got a lot to say—and that voice with which to say it.

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: ***1/2 out of ****

The last time I saw Karen Finley on stage was around 1990 in Chicago, at the height of her notoriety as one of the NEA Four—artists whose grants were voided when right-wingers decided to make an issue of their work's sexual and political content. I recall her being smeared in chocolate pudding, among other things. It was a heady time for edgy performers—I saw Finley, Annie Sprinkle (my first cervix sighting!) and Lypsinka the same year—but there must be something in the air, because I just saw two of those three again in 2014.

KarenFinley-sand-300x175Finley is performing Karen Finley: Written in Sand at Baruch Performing Arts Center every Thursday through October 23. The show is a 90-minute, stripped down collection of her AIDS-related work, consisting of Finley and a musical accompanist. I have to say that while it begins with a characteristically out-there series of vignettes (and ends with an amazing tribute to the black sheep of the world), the show quickly becomes irresistibly, uncomfortably, movingly intimate; she's able to summon up vivid visions of the many friends she's lost to AIDS with sometimes sad, sometimes sly in-jokes and the verbal shorthand that exists between all friends.

Just hearing her unique speech in person was exciting to me—this is, after all, the woman who commanded us all to drop our ghetto blasters:

Karen at 1:39, 2:27, etc.

I found her works challenging and raw, even as Finley herself—she would emerge from in character every so often to wink at us and reassure us, or to charmingly play off any rough transitions—came across as endearingly open and flat-out funny.

Bonus of seeing Karen Finley in 2014 instead of 1990? Jesse Helms is dead.

Keep reading for some classic Finley works...

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