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 ask myself why can't catch up with people I see around me and I ask myself why I'm doing this.
As I emerge from the dining hall
the world is as bright as the day is long
bright with snow
bright as winter
through the long white expanse, I walk
on paked down snow, cold and barren
as the frigid air that smaks my cheek
I wish I had a portal, like Homer Simpson, so I could magically appear wherever I wanted to, at the push of a button.
Ahh, the possibilities.
In my job, I speak to americans. everyday, all day. all regions of the country, all differnt clases aswell. and one thing I have noticed is. For the most part they are dumb. I often wonder how most of these people make it thro day to day life,, they are that stupid.
Most have no concept of deductive reasoning, and the rest are so Naive in thier life, they would surely be the first to die in a cataclysmic global event.
I miss Riley. Where is she?!
I think there should be a student discount for vibrators and other sex toys.
In third grade I dissected owl pellets. Despite my usual enthusiasm for science, (I won the state science fair that year experimenting with the feeding habits of Lumbricus Terrestris (known to laymen as "earthworms")), I was deeply troubled- not so much by the pellet itself, after all, I handled the worms without so much as a murmur- but, as I now believe, by the concept of regurgitation. As my schooling progressed I was introduced to a more sophisticated form of pre-digestion: the textbook.