By Jeff Walsh
A lot of times, when reviewing gay movies, I think that I am judging them far more critically than they may have been intended. Usually this frame of reference occurs when I think of the number of movies I have enjoyed in packed theaters of gay audiences, where every sassy comment and sexual remark was met with roaring laughter and people yelling back at the screen.
When I'm writing a critical review of a movie, I often wonder, would I have enjoyed this movie if I had watched it in that setting, as opposed to just popping in a DVD at home, myself, after work? It doesn't mean the movie would be any better, of course, but just shows how much the power of community can inform the experience.
On Sunday, I had the opposite experience watching an almost-completed print of "We Were Here: Voices from the AIDS Years in San Francisco." I knew it was going to be a heavy movie, given the subject matter, but I had no idea just how palpable the depths of sorrow flowing through the audience would be.
By Jeff Walsh
When we last caught up with Robin De Jesus, he was nominated for a Tony for the role of Sonny in In The Heights. He didn't win, but the show did win Best New Musical. De Jesus ended up performing that role on Broadway for two full years. Then, with just a two week break, he went to the new revival of the La Cage Aux Folles musical.
(If you want to read our earlier interviews first, we first chatted with him the day In The Heights was first opening Off-Broadway, and then nearly a year and a half later, when the show was on Broadway, and De Jesus was nominated for a Tony Award)
You may know La Cage Aux Folles better as The Birdcage, the movie with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a long-time gay couple who run a nightclub with a nightly drag show. There's a lot of twists and turns in the plot that I won't go into (but, if you're so inclined, they're detailed on Wikipedia). The main differences are that this is the musical version with a book by one of my heroes, Harvey Fierstein, and music by Jerry Herman. And, in this revival, the Robin Williams role is played by Kelsey Grammer, aka Frasier.
De Jesus plays Jacob, the supposed maid to the couple who desperately wants to prove to Zaza (the Nathan Lane role), that he's ready to be in the drag show. As you can see from the photo, De Jesus does a good amount of drag in the show. Not that he's a stranger to drag, as he performed as Angel in Rent on Broadway before.
And, to stick with tradition, De Jesus is once again Tony-nominated for his role in La Cage, and I'll certainly be rooting for him on June 13. He is always such a generous, positive spirit, it's always great to catch up with him.
Here's what we said:
By Jeff Walsh
Watching "8: The Mormon Proposition," it's hard to get past the central irony of the Mormon church fighting against alternative marriage, given the church's polygamist roots. But this documentary covering the Mormon's church's fight against gay marriage does make you almost sorry for people who can put such questionable religious teachings above their own family members, friends, and loved ones.
The documentary sheds light on one of the core problems the Mormon church has with gay marriage, which is related to their concept of an afterlife. I will write it out without editorial comment for the sake of brevity. In a nutshell, when you die, you go to your own planet, are reunited with your spouse, and you then have babies and repopulate your planet. I can't watch such nonsense twice to see if I'm missing any details here, but suffice it to say if they allow gay marriage, then their afterlife doesn't work because you have two guys sitting on a planet alone, OK?
What does it mean when a girl you barely know says you look adorable? It was the day of silence & we were both wearing ribbons, and she came up to talk to a guy friend of mine while I was putting on my cold-weather garb. As I pulled on my hat she said, "You look adorable!" and I said "Thanks!" and ducked my head and ran away to get home and look in the mirror.
It's true, I did look adorable. ;)
But do straight girls often say things like that? We've never spoken before that. I'd definitely go out with her if she was interested, but how do I know based on so little field research?
The girl that i have been talking about is still on my mind. I wanna talk to her. Should i just message her on Facebook? I don't have the guts to talk to her in real life. Should i just say hi? Should i just tell her about my crush? What do i do?
It is 12:12. i can't sleep so i am going to write.
As the weekend dawns, so does the longing for someone who knows and understands me. Every weekend, i get that loneliness that eats away at me.
Sometimes, if it is nice, i will go into the pool area in my backyard and skateboard. I wouldnt dare skateboard in public, i'm not even remotely good at it. Sometimes, i'll go for a bike ride. Those always end quick. My bike is one of the oldest, heaviest things. I thought bicycles were made for transportation. My bike goes slower than a turtle.
Hi, thank you for the nice comments. I like to write in story-style because it lets me express myself more.
Anyway, let me introduce myself. My name is Emily. I am 14 and a freshmen in high school. I am one of the youngest people in my grade. I am bisexual but still not yet "out". I also am sort of transgender and not "out" about that either. I am not planning on coming out any time soon. It seems like it would just be too stressful. I am not ready for the labels or the enduring stares.
I have not forgotten about Sam. I look down every time i see her. She probably thinks i am scared of her or something but really, i am scared that she won't like me back. Every day, I daydream of being with her. I dream that a year from now, i will send this message:
I feel that this past week has been a blur. I have been so out of it lately. Am I tired? Sick? Or do i have crippling depression knowing that no one knows who i truly am. Sometimes, i don't even know who i am.
I told one person that I am bisexual and already, it is backfiring. No, he hasn't told anyone but he almost talked about it in front of my other friend who is has proved himself untrustworthy on a number of occasions.
She pulls me out into the hall outside of the cafeteria.
“Do you like me?” she asks
I dart my head left and right while blushing uncontrollably. Partly because the love of my life just talked to me, but also because i was embarrassed “Shhh!”
She stares at me, confused.
“Okay,” i start to whisper to her “I have a killer crush on you,” this makes her blush.
“So, you are gay too?” she whispers smiling
I don't know what to make of the situation. It is like all of my secrets are pouring out.