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?
All Alone All Alone
I went everyone to know
This is who I am, This is who I am
But what if I'm not what I say
Its a lie, Its a lie
Just like before
I want an excuse
An excuse to be depressed
Im telling myelf a lie to be different
I brainwashed myself
I dont know the truth
Who I am, What I say, nothing is true
I just want attention
I want everyone to see me
I want to be noticed
I feel confined when no one knows
So were going to the bar to play pool...sounds like fun...
volunteering. intellectual illumination. an apology.
So hey, I haven't written much in a while.
So I've got a significant other, I suppose. I'm pretty sure I'd call him my "boyfriend," but I've come to the understanding that this is something one asks, and not something one assumes.
At any rate, so much to talk about.
It all started about two months ago. I was talking to Alex online, and he told me that he was talking to this guy Alfred; someone who had contacted me, but I didn't feel any "chemistry," and I don't think he did either. So, nothing came of that. Alex was SO upset about this. He accused me of all sorts of things. In the end, he and Stef, my two best friends, said that I should give people a chance, and to lower my expectations a bit. So, I did, sorta.
I tried locating those lost seven hours...but to no avail. Oh well, all is good in the House of Debauchery.
What is wrong with strait friends? Maybe its just my strait friends. Take my best friend for example; She is one of my favorite people in the whole world, and I love her to death, but every now and again she will say or do something amazingly rude, or make some narrow minded assumption. There is a huge disparity there, something that we can't seem to overcome. On some level we just don't understand where eachother is coming from.