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?
Did I get your attention? Hehehehe. Well good, thats what I meant to do. So I got three voicemails from my ex, and an email. Fun fun fun. She doesn't want to let go. ::frowns:: I would like to move on. Yah, the world hates me more often than not. I think my chemistry teacher is possessed by the devil AND his family. Heres part of the conversation:
Some girl in class: Mr. Virzi, do you want this? (holds up worksheet)
The power of mitts on a sting.
The only thing more depressing than opening your email account and having 0 messages is opening your second account and having 0 messages there, too.
Okay, I know... actually lots of things are more depressing. But this morning that one takes the cake.
Should I have just Kissed him?
Well, my predicament over what to do about the new guy who liked me and the old one who liked me again is over. New things happened, I decided, and I am very happy with my decision.
A week ago, I went to a play with some friends and the old guy drove. I sat next to him in the front seat and we flirted the whole time. When we got back, everyone else went to bed and we went back to his place to watch a movie version of the play we had seen. We ended up getting closer and closer, laughing more and more, and I finally brought up what happened back in January. It was awkward at first, but we talked about it freely and even a little jokingly, and I got some satisfying answers. It was as if he undid everything that had happened, as if he erased all of the bad feelings I had back then. He even said that the reason his relationship didn't work out was because he thought about me too much, and that he had prayed and considered the matter a lot and determined that he made a mistake when he said that we would make better friends than boyfriends. I was skeptical, but I started believing him the more he talked. I mean, why not believe something so positive? So then we started making out for a while, and despite our efforts to the contrary ("We need to set an example," "We're higher species; we can control ourselves.") we ended up doing a bit more. By the morning, as we saw the sun rise, he was calling me his boyfriend. So that's how that happened.