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?
::grin:: Ariel, Might just have a girlfriend. Yay! Anyway, I don't really know. Went out with her yesterday she was soooo shy it was sooooooo cute, she told me she wanted to "hang out" with me again. Ha ha. Aww soo sweet. Even, better she lives close to me! I want her to get on line so I can talk to her again.
Only, there is Pudding Dish, a girl in Boston..who I think I may have lead on a bit too much. But I like her too, Damnit. I like both of them.. what to do what to do. Then, again I hardly know either of them.. so I don't know what may happen in the future. Hopefully good things!
My band played on Friday, and it was hilariously dreadful!
What a funky dream, and its 5 am! Its somthing about me introducing my sister a homocidal asshole who started mutilate my family. I was trapped, but excaped, nobody cared to listen, but I would call 911 nobody listened there as well. I was left in the gutter to rot. I woke up trempling and scared. I took a gusty walk around the house and came back, turned on my computer and thought DANG BOY THIS IS NOT A REAL DREAM BUT HOMOCIDAL DREAM? OMG! WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! I am still trembling from this dream, sweating and stuff.
Dan called earlier. Could I go camping, like we planned? I dashed upstairs to ask, and, making sure my voice was loud enough to carry to the phone receiver downstairs, asked mom if I could go (while avidly shaking my head.) She asked if there were chaperones. I replied in the negative. Her answer?
sometimes I wonder...wat if I had spent the summer with my friends...would I have turned out the same way?...most of the summer consisted of me watchin the telly-vision when I was supposed to be out partyin' with friends. Why I never went out with them I dunno, it must have been fate. One night while flippin' channels I saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer on, so I was watchin for a lil while and then I saw Willow givin Tara a lil lip lovin, I put that scene in the back of my mind and changed the channels, but then there was a lingering question, could I possibly be gay? I had never really thought about it since I wasn't really around anything like it.
I love it when random people IM me. I just got IMed by someone whose screen name looks like a reference to Joseph Stalin.
I talked a little with this (guy/girl). He (she) wouldn't tell me where they got my AIM name. It always freaks me out when this happens. I was scared that Joe might be a wicked insane stalker, but at the same time, I was kind of excited. OOoohh, talking to somebody new! The anonymity of the internet is so great.