1120 posts categorized "NEW YORK"

May 16 2019
Calvin Klein Package Deals + de Blasio's Quixotic Prez Run + Austin Armacost Full Monty + Alabama Abortion Ban Signed + Britney Retiring? + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Fanye of light.

BELOW: Keep reading for Noah Centineo's package, the first known AIDS death (in 1969), a woman signing off on Alabama's abortion ban (and possibly signing Roe v. Wade's death certificate) and more  ...

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May 15 2019
Shawn Mendes's Gay VIP + Alabama Bans Abortion + Buttigieg Courts Black Voters + Morrissey's So Right He's Wrong + Dragging Madonna + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: I'd love to be in the pink.

BELOW: Keep reading for Shawn & Gus, a Growlr-led Beauty and the Beast, Alabama's constitution-busting abortion ban and more ...

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May 12 2019
Biceptuality + ROCKETMAN Romps + RIP Peggy Lipton + Buttigieg On Privilege + Rep. Sims' BJ Challenge + Cuba's Gay Smackdown & MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Cruz control.

BELOW: Keep reading for arms and the man, Buttigieg on privilege, Rocketman sex, the death of a '60s/'70s goddess of cool and more ...

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May 11 2019
Pecs Appeal + Selfie Expression + Judy Renée Garland + Gilbert Baker's Posthumous Book + Christian Pop Star Allies + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: It's a stretch.

BELOW: Keep reading for model heaven, the second coming of Judy (this time with less voice!), Aly & AJ's taunt for the religious right, Madonna's isolated vocals and more ...

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May 10 2019
Drool Of A Kind + Buttigieg's Abbey Fundraiser + Giuliani Leans Into Treason + Jock Stoops To Conquer + Madonna's Got A CRAVE-ing + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Professional thirst trap.

BELOW: Keep reading for quite a pair, Buttigieg's approach, Giuliani's Ukrainian adventure and new Madonna ...

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May 07 2019
Fur Real + Brunei Backs Down + Gay-Marriage Mom + Met Gala Goofiness + Book 'Em! + Protesting Bolsonaro + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Keep reading below for more on him.

BELOW: Also, Lady Gaga's take on camp, Jared Leto giving head, a Speedo explosion...

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May 06 2019
Madonna, Andy Cohen & More Honored At GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS; Queen Of Pop Urges Everyone To Give Back, But Never Give Up Comments (0)

IMG_1032Unyielding advocate for personal power and giving back (All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

I bought my ticket for the 30th GLAAD Media Awards upon learning that Madonna would be honored there as a tireless Advocate for Change, a much-needed reboot of our appreciation for all she's done for LGBTQ people over the years.

I always cover the carpet, but figured she would not walk — and was right — so wanted to be sure I had a nice spot inside.

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IMG_4044Getting with the programs

In the meantime, sadly, one of my dogs has been caught in a life-or-death health battle, so I thought I'd have to pass up the awards. As it turned out, he was in good hands Saturday, so I was able to take a breath, Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 11.56.56 AMgo and enjoy a very memorable night.

Pictured with my longtime buddy Lav ->

I did the carpet with my old friend Peter Dee, who manned the Q&A part while I filmed. (It's Boy Culture, not Dad Culture.) I wore my familiar CK jacket but accessorized with a vintage Madonna purse to hold my video cam.

The carpet's always fun — you're stressed out that you don't deserve to be next to major news orgs, then overhear that they'd accidentally been recording their interviews on slow-mo, or that someone will IMG_4046hog too much time with the best gets, leaving you with the dregs, then find out the ones you really want have no problem circling back to you anyway.

My own snafu — my video sometimes records with all the audio pitched to one side, not stereo. And I can't figure it out. So watch our supercut of snippets from Shangela (she tackles MAYOchella), Gus Kenworthy (got to say hello to his boyf Matt Wilkas), May Hong of Tales of the City, the Pose cast, Trace Lysette and Alexandra Billings of Transparent, Yuval David (Madam Secretary), Jonathan Van Ness, Sonja Morgan, Adam Rippon, Benito Skinner and more ... but do so with one ear:

With the carpet behind me, I dashed inside to find I was seated at a great table, where I met the owners of the Stonewall Inn. (We also had a Jennifer Coolidge caricature at the table who was apparently a Trumper, as she loudly complained about a very pregnant Chelsea Clinton's passionate speech about tolerance.

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IMG_0966The dress was exquisitely, appropriately over-the-top-and-beyond ...

The show was one of GLAAD's best, with participation from the Pose cast, Rachel Brosnahan, and a hilarious presentation by Sarah Jessica Parker of the Vito Russo Award to Andy Cohen, who she teased for his younger wild ways. Shangela was a most capable hostess. One could even say she had the mostess.

I realized right away my camera gave me carte blanche, so I went from table to table getting lovely posed pics of Sarah Jessica Parker and Anderson Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker and Andy Cohen, Rosie O'Donnell and more.

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 1.26.24 AMI was thrilled with my SJP shots

When Madonna strolled into the banquet room about 25 minutes before her presentation and took a seat, shielding her eyes with red sunglasses, I did not hesitate. I was the first photographer to approach and politely ask for a shot. She turned her head and said, “Nope, nope, nope.” Asked and answered!

IMG_1134Yes, Madonna got teary-eyed.

Still, I was able to park by the stage, so I got excellent close-ups when she was affectionately lampooned by Shangela (in a cone bra) and celebrated by Anderson Cooper, Rosie O'Donnell and queer rapper Mykki Blanco. Taking the stage to the strains of her new empowerment anthem “I Rise,” Madonna gave a lovely, funny, bittersweet speech, in which she thanked Christopher Flynn, Keith Haring and her best friend Martin Burgoyne for helping to form her values, remembering through some tears the plague years, when she went to St. Vincent's and embraced dying men in their beds to give them humanity. 

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 1.16.54 AMAt Madonna's feet

She spoke of her refusal to turn her back on marginalized people, promising to never let her LGBTQ fans down.

IMG_1077The gays — including actual gay Gus Kenworthy & honorary gay SJP back there — watching Madonna speak

She was most emotional when talking about how her commitment to fighting AIDS led her to champion Malawi, from which she adopted four of her six kids.

IMG_1197Like it or not ...

For comedy, Madonna recalled making Truth or Dare and having had no idea it would inspire men to come out as gay, let alone suck off so many Evian bottles.

Best of all, Madonna delivered a rousing reminder that we need to be who we are, whether people like it or not. She raised two middle fingers as she made this evergreen pronouncement, which came minutes after she'd pledged $25,000 to GLAAD during an auction run by celebrity benefit auctioneer Erin Ward that evening.

Madonna's gratitude to gay men in particular (no mention of her gay, estranged bro Christopher Ciccone) was palpable, her wit was in good order and she was, as ever, unready to back down from anyone or anything.

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IMG_1208Wrapping up

I also loved her use of a James Baldwin quote about how we don't own anything, but are mere shepherds of our talents — and we owe it to everyone to give back.

All this, and she was 15 feet away from me!

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IMG_1259Madonna was feeling both Rosie and Shangela — and Shangela had made fun of her cone bra!

After that, she sneaked back through the stage and vanished, hand-in-hand with Rosie O'Donnell, but everyone else stayed and after-partied. She had, after all, told us in parting that Madame X is a freedom fighter, and a freedom fighter's work is never done.

Check out a chunk of Madonna's speech here:

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May 03 2019
Celebrate Pride With THE CHER SHOW Comments (0)

1204_Cher1-1000x725Block delivers the gutsiest of the Chers, the one who'll stick with you. (Image by Joan Marcus)

Not being a big fan of jukebox musicals, I didn't rush out to see The Cher Show on Broadway. But being a big fan of Cher, I couldn't resist forever, and made the pilgrimmage this week.

Teal_wicks_as_lady_stephanie_j._block_as_lady_micaela_diamond_as_babe_and_the_cast_of_the_cher_show_on_broadway_-_photo_by_joan_marcus_1445r-embed_2018I was able to quickly snap out of my disdain for the form thanks to powerful and perfectly calibrated performances by the women playing Cher as a hippie teen called Babe (Micaela Diamond), as a mid-life superstar called Lady (Teal Wicks) and as an ageless goddess and eternal fount of wisdom called Star (Stephanie J. Block).

Though it was a little confusing at first seeing and hearing them interact throughout, as opposed to one aging out of the narrative and being replaced by the next, it was ultimately an effective device — Cher as her own muses, with a big assist from Mama Georgia Holt (Emily Skinner).

The songs are beautifully sung and used in sometimes surprising ways, and no “Heart of Stone” is left unturned — they even explore Cher's backing vocals on some of Phil Spector's '60s hits. If there is a stand-out, it has to be the elaborate “Dark Lady” tango. Some of Cher's biggest solo hits of yore can take on the vibe of novelty tunes, but “Dark Lady” is made both timeless and current, and is embodied in a show-stopping performance led by dancer Ashley Blair Fitzgerald that is worth the price of admission all by itself.

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