May 2012July 2012 


2 posts from June 2012

Jun 25 2012
Stand Together As One, Yeah-Yeah-Yeah-Yeah!: NYC Gay Pride With Cyndi Lauper Comments (3)

*PreviewScreenSnapz002With Cyndi 17 years ago and yesterday

IMG_0685QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz001Out of the blue, a friend contacted José and I to ask that we join the group marching with Cyndi Lauper in the NYC Gay Pride March yesterday. Lauper was plugging her new charity, The Forty to None Project, dedicated to stamping out homelessness among LGBT youth (or, as the site forebodingly promises, "helping to bring an end to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth experiencing homelessness"). Look, one way or another, we gotta get these kids offa the street! And what an honor and a treat it was to be able to march alongside such a tireless advocate for gay causes, not to mention one of my very first musical idols.

Gay parade IMG_0637It's important to care for your slave properly—sunscreen is a must!

Gay parade IMG_0638
Gay parade IMG_0642
1 gay parade IMG_0641My pals Angel & Gerard are about to make it legal

Gay parade IMG_0643Imagine a relationship older than Stonewall

Gay parade IMG_0652Kiehl's was keepin' it real (Chris Salgardo, CEO of "Kiehl's Since 1851", was a marshal)

6a00d8341c2ca253ef0148c77ce8da970cSidenote: Before Madonna for me, there was Cyndi. (Even before Debbie Harry, who I didn't get into until Rockbird.) I was absolutely floored by She's So Unusual, which I still think is one of the most perfect pop records ever. It propelled me into a music store to buy my first-ever poster (which, if you've been reading me a while, you'll recognize was the start of something big), a fabulous, punky shot of Cyndi that was, unfortunately, a little crushed. Nonetheless, it became the very first poster on my wall in a room that would be covered (including the ceiling) by the time I left home.

In 1995, Cyndi was the first person I ever interviewed. I was working as a news assistant at Reuters and pitched a Q&A with Cyndi to my bosses. They went for it, she went for it (she was plugging Twelve Deadly Cyns), and so I found myself spending probably 45 minutes chatting with her in an office. I remember she kept looking at my pages of questions, probably wondering if they'd ever end, yet she answered everything at length and gamely posed for some pictures with me after signing quite a few odds and ends I'd brought with me. (I didn't care if it wasn't professional—I hated that job otherwise!) I'd even brought my "Hole in My Heart (All the Way to China)" picture sleeve, at which she'd exclaimed, "Oh, that! Well...that one I liked, though." (It was "Goonies" that she kinda hated.)

IMG_0619Crowds assembling to march

IMG_0625Cyndi was in heels and on wheels

IMG_0629Ignore that URL, you want this one instead

IMG_0631Flashing forward again: José was traveling in Puerto Rico, so I arrived to the March with my Madonna Cyndi husband Jason around 11AM at 41st between Fifth and Madison. It was hot but not unbearably so, sunny and breezy, and as always, as goofy as Pride might seem before you're in the midst of it, there was an infectiously optimistic vibe of unity radiating from the diverse crowds milling around their meeting spots. We were all about to march in a parade whose roots go back to that history-changing night at the Stonewall and nobody's feet were going to be dragging.

Once we found our area, I wound up wandering a bit and snapping atmosphere shots as well as, of course, photos of sexy menz—I always have pervert pride, though I wound up asking quite a few of them, which was a new concept. I was also killing Jason by tawking and singin' like Cyndi Lauper (complete with lip snarl) at every available opportunity.


George takei IMG_0157I boldly went there with George Takei

My good friend Rich with GLAAD was with George Takei and Jennifer Tyrrell, the lesbian booted from being a boy scout den mother due to her sexual orientation (had interviewed her here), and he graciously introduced me to George and facilitated a photo op.

I told George that I've been supporting him on Twitter a long while and he thanked me and was supernice, looking spiffy and giving us boy scout realness. "Oh, my!"

Gay parade
Gay parade IMG_0633
Gay parade IMG_0634Their true colors were shining through

IMG_0635Cyndi's float was certainly good enough

Back to Cyndi's group, I waited with camera in hand and caught great footage of her as she emerged from the Andaz decked out in what could only be described as a Twelve Deadly Cyns top hat. Between that and her ageless face, it was 1995 all over again for me. Cyndi was businesslike as she positioned herself in her red convertible, allowing photographers to swarm over her and briefly acknowledging the crowd. In a flash, she took off and we all filed into place behind her car and banner.

IMG_0686 CYNDiHaving a Cynfully good time

Before things really got going, I was able to get lots of close-up footage and photos of Cyndi in her parked vehicle. At first, tons of people were approaching her for photo ops (which she was granting liberally), so I asked a handler if I could snag one for my blog. He said yes, so I went around and commandeered a fabulous photographer (Jason was still amongst the marchers) named Marie to take my shot and e-mail it to me later. She complied as did Cyndi—and it came out pretty terrific!

IMG cyndi lauper tom duane_0687When Cyndi met Tom

I'm sure Cyndi was a bit more excited to meet and speak with New York State Sen. Tom Duane, who helped us achieve marriage equality and who was the country's first HIV-positive person elected to office (or at least the first to be open about it, which is what counts).

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Jun 19 2012
Bottoms Up—A Review Of Broadway Bares XXII: Happy Endings Comments (7)

IMG_0488You've gotta hand it to them

Please let me know if you ID anyone in these photos so I can credit them. Please don't take any images unless you credit them to me. Thanks and enjoy! More coverage here.

1 IMG_0608It was that time of year again—another  Broadway Bares fleshfest to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS—and we were late. My buddy Jason and I walked up to the Roseland around 10:15PM ahead of the midnight show, and the line had already wrapped around onto Broadway. I figured everything would work out, and yet I also swore that 2013 would be my year to see both the 9:30PM and midnight shows to double up on photos and videos.

1 img674Andy Mills is so hot he must have some beanstalkers out there

We'd been to the show many times before. In fact, you can flash back to those times here, here, here and here.

A sign posted before the show reminded us that photography was disrespectful to the participants, yet their excitement at being asked to pose told a different story. Why look amazing and wear an outlandish outfit if you're not going to let people document you for posterity?

Let's start with the best video: "Rotation"

IMG_0478In line we were joking with friends and came up with a parody that Jackie Beat needs to do—"Christian Fister" set to "Sister Christian", all about a holier-than-thou Bible-thumper who's secretly a pig bottom. These are the kinds of things that get said while waiting to see 200+ dudes and chicks in the almost-buff. That and the remark that Elena Roger is so hated in Evita thaf if she were to do Broadway Bares the crowd would root for HIV. Don't get made at me—I liked the production! (P.S. More seriously, why couldn't Ricky Martin have done Bares this year?)

Hot will photoA Smashing good time was had by all (thanks to Greg for these 2 pix)

My pal Greg exited the first show and promptly told us of seeing Christian Borle (formerly married to Sutton Foster, a piece of trivia that bears repeating at every opportunity), Steve Kazee and Will Chase (all pictured above) entering the midnight show together as VIPs, but mostly we were scoping out the rather hot crowd. We'd just done Folsom Street East earlier in the day (100s of photos coming soon) and it can be hard to turn off being turned on.

IMG_0757Hirsute is back! No stopping me when love handles come back in.

IMG_0491Inside, we dashed to the central of three stages and I glaciered my way from one body away to being right at the stage. It seemed to me to be an ideal spot, though there is an argument to be made against being too close—I wound up shooting straight up at some of the performers, which worked out well in cases where we're talking about a lead performer in a kilt.

IMG_0480Tinkerbelle of the ball

1 1IMG_0489A wandering stud fondled this undercover agent pre-show

Before the show, which was themed to fairy tales, two lovely ladies fluttered overhead like gigantic Tinkerbells as sexy boys made the rounds selling memorabilia but giving everything else away in their skimpy outfits. There was a childlike sense of wonder in the air as well as the rather more grown up scent of balls. One had to be careful not to slip in the pools of Pavlovian drool once the lights went down signaling the main event was about to unfold.

The opening, "Happy Endings",  was one of the most spectacular I can remember, a light-hearted romp starring superfit Kyle Dean Massey (those jean shorts were so lucky) as The (Gay) Boy and GCB's Miriam Shor as his Fairy Godmother. "Well, I used to be a good Christian bitch," she announced. "Now—I'm just a bitch."

IMG_0497Bet leggy Kyle Dean Massey has never needed help seeking happy endings

Kyle Dean Massey Miriam Shor IMG_0505
Kyle Dean Massey Miriam Shor IMG_0506a
Kyle Dean Massey Miriam Shor IMG_0516
Kyle Dean Massey Miriam Shor IMG_0519aKyle & Miriam were a Shor thing

But a well-intentioned bitch, and one who promised to help him find his own happy ending via a magical song she performed with backing by her Goddamnettes (Holly Davis, Chelsea Morgan Stock and Dan'Yelle Williamson)—it was consistently hysterical and bawdy.

Img_0520bThese guys started great...

Img_0520d...but ended even better! (Jeff Metzler front—and back—'n' center!)

How can you not like a song that seamlessly segues into a limerick containing the word "cunty"?

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