It’s back to Broadway as we gear up for a new season of hits, flops and everything in between. To kick things off, contributor Scott Redman gives a listen to the new cast recording of Forbidden Broadway: Comes Out Swinging.
The satirical revue has been running sporadically Off Broadway since the 1980s. All of the versions of the shows have been conceived by Gerard Alessandrini whose signature talent of twisting show tunes into humorous jilts while poking fun of writers, actors, directors, composers, and producers on the rialto has become a tradition of its own.
Highlights from the latest incarnation include scenes from the Jason Robert Brown Fan Club (guess who’s the President?) and laugh out loud zips from Kelli O’Hara’s character in The Bridges of Madison County, “I live here with my kids and Sutton Foster’s brother…” Idina Menzel gets a hilarious nod in “Let it Blow” making ample use of the Frozen anthem and showcasing her prowess as one of Broadway’s belters. Liza Minnelli gets a moment in the spotlight commenting on the revival of Cabaret and battling it out with the new Sally Bowles, Michele Williams.
Asbury Park is a pretty special place. Not your ordinary Jersey Shore town, there’s a quirky and freewheeling spirit here, and a GLBT influence that’s become part of the very fabric of the town. Once one of the great seaside resorts, it fell on hard times in the 1970s, and it was only through the infusion of LGBT creativity, devotion, and money that it became what it is today: a dining destination so good that New Yorkers will come down just to have a meal here, and a music magnet that attracts performers and fans from all over, perhaps hoping to be or see the next Bruce Springsteen, who was a major figure in putting his adopted hometown on the map.
It doesn’t have the glitz of Atlantic City or the cutesy Victorian appeal of nearby Neptune. What it does have is an artistic and independent spirit that constantly surprises, making Asbury (as locals tend to call it) the most interesting and singular town along the Shore. It also has, of course, the Atlantic Ocean and an alluring boardwalk, which is still the primary attraction here. Take some time, though, to explore the rest of the town: this is one city with a thriving life away from the boardwalk. It’s only a little over an hour from New York or Philadelphia, so you can just visit for a day or a long weekend.
A few months ago, openly gay football player Michael Sam was on top of the world when he was drafted into the St. Louis Rams, but after this week, the defensive end has been left with few, if any, prospects for his football career after the deal cut him and announced that he will not even be part of the ten-player practice squad. While the coach, who met with Sam in person, said that the practice squad will contain only players and positions that the 53-man active roster may be thin on, an official roster shows that the ten-person squad doesn’t contain a single defensive end, prompting many to speculate that Sam’s sexuality is party to blame. [USAToday]
The northern Mexican state of Coahuila has become the latest region in Mexico to approve same-sex marriage after a congressional vote changed the civil marriage code to give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. Mexico has seen a number of regions approve same-sex marriage beginning in 2009 when Mexico City became the first to legalize it. While opposition existed to the Coahuila vote, mainly from the Catholic Church, the Congress approved the change in a 19-3 vote.
Marriages may be instituted beginning as early as next week. [BBC]
It’s Labor Day in the US this weekend, which can only mean one thing, stop working, enjoy your last weekend of summer, and mix up a tasty cocktail while you soak in those few and far between holidays summer has to offer. The Summer’s End cocktail from our friends at Cruzan Rum is exactly what the weekend calls for, something both celebratory and fresh with its lime juice and rum, but also representative of the gloaming of summer.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek is available for pre-order now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your fix of two legends belting out a little cabaret-style fun beforehand. The second track to be released from the album, the jazz standard “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” has a new video out today. If this doesn’t scream Cocktail Music, we’re not sure what does!
Check it out after the jump…
One of our guilty pleasures (yes, still) is watching Survivor. It always gives us a little Tribal Council anxiety when CBS introduces the new cast offs. Usually there is one member of the gay or lesbian community (and they usually end up being horrible, thanks Colton!). But this season, we have two gay cast members competing on Survivor: San Juan del Sur. Gay couple Joshua Canfield (32) and Reed Kelly (31)—two self-proclaimed Christians—will be competing. BTW, they are singers/dancers/actors from Broadway.
Meet them after the jump…
Based on a survey conducted in 123 countries last year, a new Gallup poll has listed countries in order of most gay-friendly to least gay-friendly by asking residents a simple question: “Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for gay or lesbian people?” Note though, the results are skewed for those countries who were placed on the lower spectrum as Gallup decided that the question was even “too sensitive” to be asked in: Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Nigeria, Bahrain, Bhutan, Iraq, Kuwait, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.
Not surprisingly, those who scored in the highest tier (where over 75% of responders said yes) were in Europe, with Canada the only non-European country in the top. Ireland, a country where gay marriage is up for a vote next year, demonstrates the swift change in public opinion toward gay and lesbians. Sexual acts between gay men was only decriminalized in the country in 1993 (note too, divorce only became legal in 1995).
Netherlands citizens overwhelmingly responded yes to the question, with more than 8/10 saying the country is good for gays and lesbians.
Berlin’s openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit, has stepped down after 13 years in office. The mayor, who was one of the first openly gay officials elected, has seen his support crash land after years of delays and skyrocketing costs from the city’s long-planned Berlin Brandenburg Airport. In stepping down, Wowereit called the project his “greatest defeat.”
“I’m gay, and that’s OK,” Wowereit said before his election in 2001. In fact, for Berlin, it was more than OK. Since Wowereit first took office, Berlin, “poor but sexy” (his 2003 quip and the city’s unofficial slogan), has transformed. In 2006, it was likened by the New York Times to “New York City in the 1980s,” in that “[r]ents are cheap, graffiti is everywhere and the city crackles with a creativity that comes only from a city in transformation.” More than 150,000 jobs have been created since 2005, with start-up firms being drawn to the city like tourists to—well, to Berlin since Wowereit took office.
It’s been more than 23 years since Jim Burba and Bob Hayes met one enchanting night at a black-tie gala for The Center OC (The Orange County, California gay and lesbian center) held at the Disneyland Hotel. Both were quite the socialites back then (and still are today). Jim was with John Duran, former mayor and current West Hollywood City Council member, while Bob accompanied the gala chairman. If you know Jim and Bob, you wouldn’t be surprised that Bob, the more social of the two, made the first pass at Jim, who, according to the couple, “rebuffed him.”
“I was surprised,” says Bob. “His friends told him I was cute and so he should ‘go for it.’” Despite the rejection, Jim did end up getting Bob’s number and called him the next day. This fateful meeting made history not only as a romantic gay love story, but also because it was the beginning of the successful Burba Hotel Network.