By Jeff Walsh
Tales of the City, the musical based on the beloved books by Armistead Maupin, opens in San Francisco tonight. The story is set in the 70s and brings together a magic group of characters for a timeless story of self-discovery, family, and community.
The show fuses Maupin's books with some of the creative team behind Avenue Q, and music written by singer Jake Shears and musician John Garden of the dance pop band, The Scissor Sisters (My review of the show will run later this week).
I recently spoke with Shears during the show's preview run, and here's what we had to say:
By Jeff Walsh
Violet Tendencies is a fun fag hag movie, starring Mindy Cohn (Natalie from TV's Facts of Life) as the hag in the starring role.
The movie, which comes out on DVD May 24, opens on a wedding, as a fag hag is getting married surrounded by hot gay men. The bride notes that she was the last fag left, quickly adding, well... except for Violet.
Violet is so surrounded by gay men that she barely knows how to navigate the straight world, and when she does meet straight guys through an online phone dating service, her gay-tuned candor and humor sends them packing.
Violet's gay friends are all in some state of taking their lives from where they are at present to a next level, whether that is monogamy or adopting children. When Violet finally meets someone interested in her, a Mormon architect with whom she doesn't share much of anything in common, she abandons her gay life for a chance at happiness.
By Jeff Walsh
Nick Adams has been in three of my favorite shows: A Chorus Line, La Cage Aux Folles, and now he is one of the leads in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, a new musical on Broadway based on the Australian movie. Sadly at this point in time, I've only seen the movie version of Priscilla, which I've adored for years, but that will be remedied as soon as possible.
For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, Priscilla is a road trip picture with two drag queens and a transvestite on a road trip through the Australian outback with a lot of campy bitchery and disco anthems peppered throughout.
Nick, 27, became more visible when he appeared in the revivial of A Chorus Line. He got press when he landed a 2(x)st underwear campaign, landing the shoot over his Chorus Line co-star Mario Lopez, which the media turned into a feud that both actors deny (publicly, at least).
He then appeared as one of The Cagelles in La Cage, where he stole every scene he was in as the odd drag queen out. And now, he recently opened Priscilla on Broadway, landing one of the main roles in the show, as well as the funniest, bitchiest, showiest roles in the piece.
In the movie, his role was played by a young unknown Guy Pearce. There's a good chance that magic will repeat itself with Nick's career.
Nick and I chatted on a spotty phone connection this week, and here's what we had to say:
So my debate and speech group performed our speeches for an assisted living facility for the elderly this evening. Or was it technically late afternoon? Anyways, my best friend Beth (who I have a crush on) was home from college, and since her brother and sister are in the club and her parents run it, she emceed the performance. Afterword we all went out for ice cream. It was a lot of fun. The conversation varied from horror movies to colonies on mars leading to a mars revolution. I did finally ask Beth what her feelings were about same sex marriage and the LGBTQ community.
New age music has been greatly inspiring me. I've been playing ultra chill new age guitar, hooked up to Ableton and ran through delay, reverb, resonation, etc. and it's really changed my perspective on everything, and made me much more relaxed. I highly recommend getting into this music or playing it.
Thank you, Devin Townsend, for making the album Ghost. Also, does anyone here know any music similar to this?
Daddy was a very smart man with horrible decision making skills. My melancholy and not so fortunate story starts with a man who brought me into this world seven years before he decided it was time to say goodbye to the air that travelled through his damaged lungs. My father was a foster home, lost cause, individual set between metal bars. An alcoholic. And addict. Whatever the twisted, mangled, frayed, and shattered label may have been, to me he was my father. Daddy heard the voices; he starred down the un-seeable with this quickly fading sanity. ..
I think I swallowed your name that night in the bar.
I think you infected my veins while the music was
raging some 90s rock song and nobody was
paying attention to us as we ran to the back
room of this exile for tar-winged children.
And boy, now you're starving for some
sort of distraction in button-down lust;
a porn star type in DKNY jeans.
But I'm not one of those underground souls,
looking to lose consciousness
in pretty lashes and money-grabbing directors.
Honey, you can take a cab home because
I'm only here for the bottled-up affection
you said would never be mine
I definitely wish I had ended my speech with that, haha.
So, I graduated! Everything went surprisingly well. (The hat and I were absolutely not friends, though. It messed up my hair so much.) Giving the salutatory speech was beyond nervewracking, though. When I got onstage and looked out into the audience, for some reason, I thought this girl in the very back was FCG, so it freaked me out big time. I later discovered that the girl was not, in fact, FCG, but I couldn't tell that from the stage. (It was possible that she could've been there. She's apparently still friends with IG.) Despite my nerves, I actually gave the speech with minimal problems. I messed up once because I started reading the wrong line, but it was only a little mistake, so it wasn't that big a deal. And I didn't trip going up the steps or walking across the stage!
A lot of the other girls cried, but I didn't. I'm so glad to get out of there. I can't even begin to put the feeling into words.
We've had another spat over high school. I want to take Italian and move back to Italy to home school, and spend my days wandering those deliciously silent streets of Venice. But Mom purses her lips and says that she won't "narrow my horizons" like that, that I'll get a better degree if I stay here. She says I have to see the "light at the end of the tunnel." I can see a light alright, but I might have to walk into it before the four years are up. She keeps talking about rights of passage and persevering. I just don't know if I can survive this.
*I've been reading Judy Shepard's book "The Meaning of Matthew" about her son who was murdered in 1998. I wanted to write a poem about who Matthew was as a person, not just the headline story. The title was taken from Lady Gaga's cover of "Imagine" by John Lennon.*
The state melted into a pool
of cerulean in your eyes,
Wyoming tinted your hair
a cowboy prairie blond and
stained your boyish lips
with a wanderlust grin.
Matthew, you've grown
older by now but some
things never change like how
the Curious Unknown
still sparkles in your dreams,
the sticker lights of Laramie.