April 2013June 2013 


6 posts from May 2013

May 22 2013
Straight To The Top: A Review Of The 7th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant Comments (2)
DSC08364-Broadway Beauty-Pageant

Above, an occasionally shirtless gallery of photos from The 7th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant.

Monday night was The 7th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant, a ribald affair that pits chorus boys from various Broadway shows against each other based on their talent, their ability to sell the good in a swimsuit and their answers to random questions. It raises money for The Ali Forney Center, so attracts a lot of support. The show's celebrity judges don't hurt, either—this year featured Andrea Martin (Pippin), Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar—best play I've seen in years) and Billy Porter (Kinky Boots—I hate that I could not get review tickets to this show, of all shows!), all of whom had just won Drama Desk Awards for their performances the day before.

DSC07824-Broadway-Beauty-Pageant(L-R) Pageant Queens (and Kings) Orion, Yurel, Matthew, Callan, Paul & Julius.

For the first time, the event was held at NYU's Skirball Center in the Village. Timing being what it is, the event fell on the same day that people from all over the city were gathering down the street to protest the wave of anti-LGBT violence that has swept NYC, including the cold-blooded murder of Mark Carson. It was quite a night-and-day experience for anyone who managed to hit both events, a chance to experience rage and grief before settling into irreverent tomfoolery and balls-out (not literally, unfortch) entertainment.

We arrived early for the red carpet. An adorable couple macked on my companion (why do people assume we're not together?), I had a juicy political chat with an anybody-but-Christine-Quinn operative and I saw my buddies Curtis and Peter. The carpet was somewhat disappointing this year in that two of the judges avoided it, I somehow missed the superdreamy Max von Essen and even the contestants only popped out for a brief photo op. (In the past, I've sometimes interviewed the guys before the show and have had access to the judges.) But on the bright side, the one judge I did get, after she sat with Cindy Adams for a Q&A, was the one I was dying for...the legendary Andrea Martin!

DSC07811-Andrea-MartinI have not yet seen Pippin (I'm gonna!), but I have heard nothing but raves. Martin, a household name among households with taste for her SCTV past alone, was a total delight. Before our brief interview, she did a pic-with and used it as a way of checking her hair and makeup. "I wish I had someone do that for me tonight!" she fretted, before saying her dress was ridiculous, too. (It wasn't. She is 66 and looks amazing!)

After I'd reassured her that my video camera had a cheap light on it that would blow her out like an Andy Warhol Polaroid of Joan Collins, she answered my questions warmly and gamely, including my query about what, if anything, in her career was something she still can't believe she did or is even embarrassed to admit she did. Who knew that she made a movie in 1971  for Ivan Reitman called Foxy Lady in which she had a brief nude scene? (She claims no one has ever seen it.)

DSC07805Paul-McGill-Andrea-MartinPaul McGill, Andrea Martin, Seth Sikes & Tovah Feldshuh: What a great cast they'd make!

I was also excited to connect with Paul McGill, whom I had encountered when he was plugging his 2009 role in the remake of Fame. He's an amazingly gifted dancer; if you never saw his beauty in the reenactment parts of the spellbinding documentary Man on Wire (2008), you're missing out.

Inside, we were treated to box seating, which was great for the view but less than ideal for shooting. (The judges were stage left, as were we, so I got precious few shots of them.) Great venue, though.

DSC07800-Mike-RuizMike Ruiz & Martin Berusch looking faboosh.

DSC07815-ClementiJane, Joseph & James Clementi, the family of the late Tyler. James told me he loved the show.

DSC07818-Carl-SicilianoCarl Siciliano said my Encyclopedia Madonnica was a staple of his youth. Wondering what he looks like nekkid is a staple of my oldth.

DSC07819-Nasty-PigOink Tank: Dave Hughes (VP of marketing & PR) & co-founder David Lauterstein of Nasty Pig.

DSC07820-Marti-CummingsFormer Mr. Broadway Marty Cummings shows off both of his best sides at once.

DSC07821-Billy-PorterKinky Boots queenpin Billy Porter.

DSC07825-dragNathan Lee Graham flips out.

For the sixth year in a row, Tovah Felshuh, 60, was our filthy emcee. The show is set up very loosely, so there's plenty of awkward time to fill. Tovah is the ideal host for the times when you need someone with a faulty filter to vamp.

DSC07883-Tovah-FeldshuhTovah really  has a way with cum jokes.

Before getting raunchy, though, Tovah gave a moving speech in remembrance of Mark Carson that brought down the house and reminded us all that along with fun and games, our community knows how to get pissed off and get involved.

The show was a hoot, as always, from its Our Gang-esque let's-put-on-a-show opening (McGill was the evening's volunteer choreographer) to featured performer Nathan Lee Graham's appearances as a Diana Ross-esque "Fairy Godmother."

DSC07832-Broadway-Beauty-pageant"Oh, we are the chorus, we hope you like our show..."

DSC07841-Orion-GriffithsThe eventual winner allegedly didn't know it was a contest until the day-of.

DSC07927-Broadway-Beauty-PageantWatching six performers trying to outdo each other on the same stage is bliss.

The guys competing for the title of Mr. Broadway were:

Callan Bergmann (from Silence! The Musical), Orion Griffiths (Pippin), Julius C. Carter (Spider-Man), Matthew Goodrich (The Nance), Paul Heesang Miller (Mamma Mia) and Yurel Echezarreta (Matilda).

DSC07954-Michael-UrieUrie was particularly devilish with his critiques and questions.

DSC07999-Callan-BergmannTense moments. These bitches wanted to win!

DSC08060-hot-bulgeMichael Prince wasn't even a contestant, yet he won the big-dick contest. Gulp.

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May 19 2013
Can-Do Attitude: Bryan Hawn Tops THE LIST Comments (1)
Tumblr_m957cwhcfQ1rrbz0po5_500 Bryan-Hawn-speedo

Above, a gallery of 10 scorching-hot Bryan Hawn images.

If you haven't heard of Bryan Hawn, you're behind on your behinds.

Currently in possession of the Web's best back-up plan, Hawn is a fitness model, singer (A Decade of Music) and author, his latest book being THE LIST (What the Top Fitness Models Don't Want You to Know).

There's very little I don't want to know about Mr. Hawn, so I ended up interviewing him to find out some of those secrets, and to ask about the guy with the caboose that seems to be laying golden eggs for him...

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Havana White: A Review Of Lucie Arnaz's Cabaret Act & LATIN ROOTS CD Comments (3)

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

Lucie-Arnaz-posterMy friend Michael invited me to An Evening with Lucie Arnaz at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn last night. My first thought had been, "I wonder how expensive flights are to Brooklyn?" But I went anyway, joining him, Greg and Tom for a long ride on the 2 and a trip down memory carril.

The court in front of the theater looked a little bit like Night of the Living Dead, which I say affectionately; some of Ms. Arnaz's (Mrs. Luckinbill's—she's been married to Boys in the Band actor Laurence Luckinbill for 33 years) fans were inherited from her late parents, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, so are not as mobile in their seventies and beyond as Arnaz is at 61.

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May 06 2013
Grindr: The Musical—BROADWAY BARES: SOLO STRIPS Undresses For Success Comments (2)


My pal Jason had to remind me about Broadway Bares: Solo Strips at XL tonight, which I attended following a friend's book-signing. It was pretty crowded, probably because there was only one show this time.


DSC06976I bought an inseam's worth of raffle tickets from the one on the left. I lost, but still won.

The audience contained plenty of Broadway Bares-backers, including many who'd shucked their clothes in the past for the same cause: To raise cash for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Andrew Glaszek and Matthew Steffens were among those scouting the competition. (Okay, okay: Supporting friends. Okay, fine: Ogling friends.)


Above, a gallery filled with sexy bodies and skin, skin, skin

The program was as lean as its stars, featuring short but sweet (more like fast and dirty) performances of the variety that used to get ladies with bad reputations hauled off to the hoosegow just a few decades ago. But as always, the men of Broadway Bares managed to be racy without getting distastefully raunchy. Maybe it's because, as Broadway professionals, they never forget to SMILE.

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May 03 2013
The Dear Hunter: A Review Of Christina Crawford In SURVIVING MOMMIE DEAREST Comments (10)

Mommie-DearestI was dying to see this show for reasons well known to you

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: ** out of **** for the documentary, **** out of **** for the Q&A

I was invited at the last minute to see Surviving Mommie Dearest, which is billed as a multimedia one-woman show starring Christina Crawford and executive produced by Jerry Rosenberg. Christina is, of course, Joan Crawford's 73-year-old adopted daughter and the author of the book that blew the lid off of her late mother's carefully constructed image. How could I miss this sure-fire campfest, right?

When I arrived at the theater, I recognized 50% of the audience assembled for the special press performance. Several volunteered to me their contempt for Christina, who they view as having made up her story of abuse or who they think should be "over" it by now even if it were true. I regularly get into Facebook scuffles about Christina vs. Joan, with my take being: She's very likely telling the truth, we know she suffered some kind of abuse, why can't we admire Crawford as an icon and actress and still acknowledge she was nuts? (Maria Riva makes that case for her muti dearest, Marlene Dietrich.)

Rutanya-AldaWith the radiant Rutanya Alda

The show itself is not distinguished. It consists of Crawford doing some interstitial narration and a long documentary played on DVD. That Crawford is standing and talking in the DVD, too, makes for a static presentation. The filmed documentary is not as professional as it could be, with amateurish edits and a strong need for better direction and at least a few better takes.

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May 01 2013
Moving: An Interview With Poet Craig A. Combs, My Childhood Bestie Comments (2)


When I was a kid, attending Elms Elementary in Flushing, Michigan, my best buddy at school was named Craig Combs. To my recollection we were the Laurel & Hardy of the first grade—I was the fattest kid in the class, he was the smallest. I vividly recall being weighed in front of everyone on the day we received a scale to work with, then being branded the "sixty-five-pounder" by Craig. But that was okay, because I felt a kinship with Craig—he could say anything.

I remember him at my birthday parties (in one of his missives to me, he complimented my mom on the "delicious" cake), and other classmates recall his rapier wit, such as the time in third grade when the kids were asked what they knew about Hamlet, to which Craig replied, "It's a an omelet made with ham!" A natural ham joking about a ham. He was destined to be an entertainer or artist of some sort.

ResizeImageHandlerI always felt Craig was like me, even if I didn't know what that meant. And outside. So when I moved away—I received a  handful of letters from him, in which he very helpfully informed me that a first-grade teacher from our old school had died of a heart-attack—I always wondered about him. Over 30 years and several Google searches later, Craig popped up on the grid. He had gone through a health crisis, testing positive for HIV in his thirties, and had entered the poetry scene, publishing his first book, Taking Tea in the Black Rose: Singing Through the Shadows Until We're Dancing in the Light.

When I reached out to him, he didn't remember me. (I don't blame him! It was forever ago, and I'm sure I've forgotten better people than myself.) He asked his mom to jog his memory about "Matt R" (we also had a "Lisa J" in our clique; she does not fare well in one of Craig's kid-era letters to me).


We've had a friendly correspondence since then, even though I suspect our personalities couldn't be more opposite—which is a cool thing. Readers of my blog will know me as a non-spiritual person (this is not exactly a selling point), a lover of words and yet the opposite of a poet, and the last person to embrace almost any conspiracy theory (the ultimate of which says that everything in the world is connected, the penultimate of which says everything happens for a reason—maybe we are and maybe they do).

Still, it's a kick to be able to connect with a person who represents a fragment of my past, and to see how he grew and changed after we moved apart.

I e-interviewed my old pal, whom I finally found but who's still about as far away from me as it felt like he was when I moved after the third grade...

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