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?
I am no longer ill, and I got a haircut, and ate a lot of cheese, and had band practice, and went to Toys r Us! And things and stuff!
Would you expect anything less from me?
I talked to one of my friends on the phone last night who I'm not out to (hardly needs that "not out to" qualifier; that would be most of my friends). We don't talk very often, like most of my friends she lives far away. So it was fun. Until the topic of conversation turned suddenly to guys. And how so and so should hook me up with one of her boyfriend's friends. And I'm hemming and hawing and trying to deflect the conversation to a new subject. There are some good things about not living near my friends. I hate lying to them, and so ofen I feel like that's what I'm doing when I hide my sexuality. I think if we still lived in the same place I would have to come out to them, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that. I just have no idea how some of them will react.
i want to be with her...i might go in june. that would be great. *sighs happily*
I'm looking across the street when a guy walks by, right close to the window.
Oh dear... the problem... part the two....Read more:-)
Well, my father is still not speaking to me. The silent treatment is fun, no? Then my mother went on another rant about how the gay community "is lonely, they have no family, no meaningful relationships, and do lots of drugs."
Then, there was silence.
I wish I was kicked out, it's better than the crap I'm getting, but still, no regrets.
What kills me is why I *had* to come out. Was the Lesbianation thing on the computer a hint? The fact my ceiling is, and I mean this literally, wallpapered with models. The fact I've participated in Day of Silence. It feels like you're living out...and yet either they're dense or in denial. My vote is denial.