175 posts categorized "THEATRE REVIEW"

Oct 07 2014
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 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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Oct 03 2014
Need To Know: LiLo Blow + Tight End + Made For A Man (But I Like It, Too) + The Goldwyn Standard + White Mischief + MORE! Comments (0)

Raven-Symone
*widget boy cultureRaven-Symoné subtly shades ex-roomie Lindsay Lohan.

*widget boy cultureOne of the best butts on any football player. Ever.

*widget boy cultureWomen love gay male porn?

*widget boy cultureTeresa & Joe Giudice will serve prison time. Yay!

*widget boy culturePHWOAR!: Ben Cohen's 2015 calendar cover revealed.

*widget boy cultureNew York Times also loved Tail! Spin!

*widget boy cultureDisgusting rationale behind lesbian moms' suit over black sperm donor.

Scott-foley-800Tony Goldwyn's having a go at Scott Foley. I want a go at Tony Goldwyn!

*widget boy cultureHollywood is a dog-eat-dog town!

*widget boy culturePresident Obama tweaks FOX News over healthcare.

*widget boy cultureHIV traced to the Congo in the '20s.

*widget boy cultureIf you like the Artist Often Known as Prince, click here now.

*widget boy cultureRandy Quaid and his wife are lunatics.

*widget boy cultureAfter the jump, hear Megan Mulally's advice on what NOT to wear...

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Oct 02 2014
Political Animals: A Review Of TAIL! SPIN! Comments (0)

Playbill-Tail-Spin

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

Had a great night at the opening of Tail! Spin! at the Lynn Redgrave Theater (45 Bleecker St., NYC). Comic VIPS (Robert Kline, Mo Rocca) and well-heeled voyeurs packed the house for Mario Correa's show, a clever, unflinching re-enactment of some of the most embarrasing sex scandals of recent years, using the actual words spoken by the high-profile politicos embroiled in them.

Tail2f-2-webNate Smith is the total package.

Far from a rote reading, the show is intricately stitched together to wring maximum laughs and insights from the damning words of the notorious, sort of the political version of what Lypsinka does.

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Sep 25 2014
She Knows What It Is To Be Bad...She's Been Bad Comments (0)

Lindsay-Lohan

Lindsay Lohan's stage debut in Speed-the-Plow in London sounds disastrous.

 
Sep 22 2014
The Reviews Are In: 10 Vintage, Personal Takes On NYC Theater Comments (0)

Playbill-Chicago copy

Made a fun find at the Broadway Flea Market yesterday—a stack of old Playbills from some guy (I assume) who seems to have seen every show on the boards from the '60s until at least two years ago. What makes his collection special is he jotted down his reviews on the covers...and at times they're hilariously malevolent, if not also downright wrong. The original Chicago? Hated it. Torch Song Trilogy? Too much mugging and the fat fag with a gravel voice never could be believed.

Check them out below (all of the below is quoted from his writing)—some of them are priceless...

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Sep 14 2014
Keepin' It MIGHTY REAL: A Review Of That Must-See Sylvester Musical Comments (0)

MightyReal266Resolutely fabulous

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

Sylvester (September 6, 1947—December 16, 1988) was a force of nature—he forced his nature on a world that was at times unwilling to accept him for the person he didn't choose to be, and for the MightyReal565person he chose to be. It's hard to imagine Sylvester's brand of authenticity bringing him success in the 1970s, but he had a good imagination because success is what he had. With some indelible disco classics and a refusal to play the game required of most other popular singers, he became a gay icon and an inspiration in his short life—he died of AIDS at 41.

In Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, Anthony Wayne (who also wrote the book and is co-director and co-producer with his partner Kendrell Bowman) resurrects Sylvester, doing a damn fine job of disproving any notion that Sylvester was inimitable. In a performance that's informed by Wayne's obvious respect for the icon, he recalls without mimicking Sylvester's piercing falsetto in a string of soaring musical numbers that draw from the entertainer's entire oeuvre.

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Sep 12 2014
Debtor's Prison: A Review Of BAD WITH MONEY @ The Duplex Comments (0)

Ben-Rimalower

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

When Ben Rimalower was gracious enough to invite me to his latest one-woman show, Bad With Money at The Duplex here in NYC, I knew immediately it was a show for me.

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