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?
Hi this week I've decided to see what it's like with my free time intact. I've had time to cool off since my last entry and I don't quite know what my feelings are about being at this school or if the unhappiness I feel will foow me elsewhere. But in the mean time, I'm going to class and doing my thing as best I can.
Also, I uploaded a picture that I took a while ago. It's one of my favorites
All Dancing in a circle
Throwing their limbs
Tossing their hair
Must be a dream
No way they can be real
Or maybe it is I
Laying here in the middle
Haven't seen Clea DuVall pictures in almost 12 hours...
and already I have the symptoms of a QGA (queer girls anonymous) trying to get off an insanely hot supposed-lesbian's blindingly beautiful features.
What will happen next?
Quick, I need another dose!
I'm new. There's nothing much I can tell you except I'm bi. It's cool. I've mostly accepted myself. I wish my family can say the same. They don't really accept it. That's alright though. They'll come around eventually. I'm 18. I'm graduating this year. I don't really have plans for after that. I don't have a significant other though. I wish that I did sometimes. No one at my school really pays me any mind.
What gives *you* the fucking right?
Happy Tuesday. I'm cheerfully ignoring Boccaccio this hour, having made it through French class despite being unprepared. It turned out that we were talking about Rimbaud and Verlaine -- I can do gay at the drop of a hat!
It is me the one who tends to toy with others emotions. I live in a small town in GA and it sucks. My friends call me Felix because they say my personality is like a cat's. I will be you slave as long as you pleasure me. I am only out in the night looking for prey, a lover if you like. So who wants to have fun?