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Get Your Tickets: Andrew Lippa and Kristin Chenoweth Star in ‘I Am Harvey Milk’

September 15th, 2014 Comments off
Image via I Am Harvey Milk

Image via I Am Harvey Milk

Producers Bruce Cohen, Robb Nanus, Jessica Leventhal, Bruce Robert Harris, and Jack W. Batman will be bringing  Tony- and Grammy Award–nominee Andrew Lippa’s oratorio, I Am Harvey Milk, to the New York Stage for a one-night-only performance on October 6th at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. Starring Mr. Lippa as Harvey Milk and Tony- and Emmy Award–winner Kristin Chenoweth as the Soprano soloist, I Am Harvey Milk will feature the Orchestra of St Luke’s and introduce the 120 member All Star Broadway Men’s Chorus. Part choral work, part theater piece this theater experience is an emotional celebration of an American hero. It weaves the story of Harvey Milk’s life—from boyhood to his rise as the first openly gay man to hold public office in California to his assassination.

Tickets for the New York premiere of I Am Harvey Milk are now available here. Tickets start at $40 with premium seats, including access to a VIP reception, starting at $500.

 

THEATER BUFF: Erik Altemus of ‘Pippin’

August 22nd, 2014 Comments off

Every third Wednesday of the month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out contributor Tom Mizer’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. For August, we’re getting back to nature with our man of the month…

Erik Altemus. Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia.

Erik Altemus. Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia.

Name: Erik Altemus

Hometown: San Ramon, California

Current Show/Role: Pippin / Lewis (Pippin us)

The best part of the show I’m working on now is: The blend of musical theater and circus.

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: Playing Kurt in The Sound Of Music with a 105-degree temperature. Thanks to my Mom for the intermittent cold presses and TLC.

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be: A professional wild food forager!

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? Curtain Call, straight up.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at: The Men’s Dressing Room at the Music Box Theatre.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

Iconic Plaza Hotel and Dream Hotel May Be Bought By Anti-Gay Sultan of Brunei

August 18th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel as well as the trendy Dream Downtown may become the latest accommodation acquisitions for the Sultan of Brunei—owner of the Dorchester Collection. According to the UK-based The Times, the Sultan of Brunei is seen as the favorite to obtain three hotels—The Plaza Hotel and the Dream Downtown hotel in New York, as well as The Grosvenor House Hotel in London—for an estimated $2.2 billion. All three are being sold by the Sahara Group’s chairman, Subrata Roy, who is currently in prison.

The Sultan has faced an international backlash following his decision in May to begin implementing a horrific series of penal code reforms that could lead to the stoning of women and LGBT Bruneians.

HRC is continuing their call for a boycott of the Dorchester Collection, which owns hotels in the US like Hotel Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel.  “The Sultan of Brunei could start executing women and LGBT people in Brunei as soon as next year,” said Ty Cobb, HRC’s Director of Global Engagement “The American profit stream that flows from his hotels back to his regime needs to stop.  We urge all New Yorkers to have one simple and straight-forward message for the Sultan: take your business elsewhere.”

 

Wedding Venues Cannot Discriminate Against Gay Couples in New York

August 15th, 2014 Comments off
Image via FingerLakes

Image via FingerLakes

The New York State Division of Human Rights says that it is illegal for businesses in New York State to discriminate based on sexual orientation. The statement, reaffirming an already existing policy, comes after the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, whose wedding was rejected by the owners of an Albany area farm and wedding venue when the owners found out that they were a same-sex couple.  “No one should have the happiest time of their life marred by discrimination,” said Jennifer McCarthy. “We hope this decision will protect all New Yorkers from having to go through the hurt that we experienced.”

While the owners contended that they don’t believe in same-sex marriage therefore they shouldn’t have to allow gay weddings at their farm, New York’s Human Rights Law prohibits businesses from providing services and conveniences to the public from discriminating against protect groups. [NYCLU]

This is great news! But let’s make sure we, as a community, are supporting the businesses in New York that are on our side and hit these discriminatory businesses where it hurts the most…their wallets!

Click here for our Gay Weddings and Honeymoons in New York article. 

NYC Council Member Pushes for Community Center for Gay Seniors in the Bronx

August 13th, 2014 Comments off
Ritchie Torres

New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres. Photo via Facebook.

The Bronx is New York City’s only borough that lacks any kind of gay community center. Ritchie Torres, 26, the youngest member of the New York City Council and the first-ever openly gay candidate to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx, hopes to change that through his recent plan for the 2015 construction of a community center for gay senior citizens in his home borough.

Out of about 100,000 gay seniors living in New York, approximately 5,400 of them are living in poverty in the Bronx, according to Service and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). SAGE opened the nation’s first publicly funded, full-time gay senior center in Harlem in 2004 and a second Chelsea-based facility in 2012. Brooklyn’s Griot Circle, an intergenerational and culturally diverse community-based organization, provides services for LGBT seniors, especially those of color. The Bronx Community Pride Center, which closed in 2012 following a corruption scandal, was the borough’s only facility that catered to its LGBT population. No center has since replaced it, but gay seniors are at a particular disadvantage because they often experience inhospitable conditions at “many retirement communities and nursing services,” Kira Garcia, a SAGE representative said in an interview. As a result, Garcia claims, “many gay elders go back into the closet as they age.” Now Torres has secured some funding to back the project, which he told New York Magazine, will benefit “the most underserved part of the most underserved New Yorkers.”

The Lust List: The Back Room at One57

August 7th, 2014 Comments off
The Back Room at One57. Photo via Park Hyatt New York.

The Back Room at One57. Photo via Park Hyatt New York.

We’ve waited years for a Park Hyatt to appear in NYC, so you can bet that this one made our list. While the hotel is elegant, trendy, and unbelievably luxe (basically everything we love about Park Hyatts), it’s the restaurant inside that has us lusting. The famously upscale—read ‘five-star’—hotel will house what promises to be one of New York’s best new restaurants, and we had the chance to sit down for a preview. Trust us, book your reservations now.

Tucked away on the third floor Manhattan’s newest 90-story high rise, The Back Room at One57 serves up top-notch Americana heaven in a sultry hideaway that’s part Mad Men and part Midtown penthouse. The seasonal menu—think classics like steak, fish, and the best mashed potatoes you’ll have in the city—is locally and regionally sourced, right down to the bread (from neighborhood favorite Amy’s). Try the vegetarian carrot risotto (we did), and watch straight-from-the-sea lobster being prepared at the open boutique kitchen…or steal a glance at what’s for dessert at the confectioner’s station. The Back Room at One57 is expected to open at the end of August under the direction of Executive Chef Sebastien Archambault, and we’re already dying to go back for seconds.

The Back Room at One57, 153 West 57th St. NY, NY. (3rd Floor). Tel: 212-897-2188. www.TheBackRoomOne57.com

Don’t Miss: One-Night-Only Benefit ‘Not Since High School’

August 5th, 2014 Comments off
Seth Rudetsky (photo: Coyle Entertainment via The  Broadway Blog).

Seth Rudetsky (photo: Coyle Entertainment via The Broadway Blog).

Perhaps your high school days were filled with pranks and hijinks… or late-night rehearsals of The Music Man, Grease, or some other teen-friendly production. Whatever your memories, relive them again with Sirius XM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky for a one-night-only benefit concert, Not Since High School.

The August 24 performance will include: Tony winners Christine Ebersole, LaChanze and James Monroe Iglehart; Sierra Boggess, Jose Llana, Julia Murney, Mario Cantone, Anthony Rapp, Jerry Dixon; Tony Nominees Keala Settle and Emily Skinner and more, with proceeds benefiting the Middle School 245 Music Program. These Broadway performers will sing the classic roles they played as teens while wearing braces and/or breaking out. Roles performed will include Sarah Brown from Guys and Dolls, Seymor from Little Shop, Rizzo from Grease—as well as ones that are hilariously inappropriate for teens, like Carlotta from Follies (“I’m Still Here” sung at age 15).

Tickets are $45 or $100 for VIP seating (with special treats!). To purchase tickets got to notsincehighschool42west.eventbrite.com

Wondering how the antics may play out? Check out the last such concert that Rudetsky hosted.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

Reach New Heights during Ascension Weekend in Fire Island

August 4th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

There’s no payoff for a year of faithful gym going like Ascension Weekend. From August 15-17, this iconic Fire Island party rages. Included among the events are the VIP Launch Party, the Float Pool Party, the Fire Island-staple Tea Dance, and, finally, the moment attendees have been waiting for, world-famous Ascension Beach Party. Hundreds of gorgeous men are brought to the Pines every year for this summer highlight. Fun and games aside, Ascension also helps provide funds to the Fire Island Pines, which funds projects that protect the Island’s pines as well as the health and infrastructure of the community.

Exclusive! Meet the Cast of ‘You Can’t Take It With You’

July 31st, 2014 Comments off

youcant

Nearly 80 years after it took The Great White Way by storm, You Can’t Take It With You—the timeless comedic three-act play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart—will start previews on August 26 at the Longacre Theatre. Passport reporter Marcus Scott sat down with members of the cast and creative team of the now-iconic stage play during a one-hour photo call prior to rehearsal to talk about the play, its messages, family, race relations and the legacy of the celebrated show.

“This is play is that is very insulated,” Crystal A. Dickinson (who plays Rheba) proclaimed. “So everything takes place within this house and it seems to me that family has found a way to live in love and joy and in peace in the midst of whatever is going on outside the door. It’s a very interesting play because you don’t even get a sense of what’s going on outside of the door. Maybe that’s why won the Pulitzer.”

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

Fire Island Pines Events in July

July 3rd, 2014 Comments off

Are you ready to party in The Pines? LGBT travelers around the world have long celebrated the Fire Island Pines experience: its stunning natural beauty, progressive spirit, famed entertainment, and social and nightlife options.

Here are some fun events taking place in The Pines during July:

The Summer Recess pool party benefitting GLSEN will take place on Saturday, July 12th from 1-4 P.M. Help raise money for a great organization while attending a wonderful party filled with great people, delicious food, music, and dancing.

One of our favorite events each year is the spectacular Fire Island Dance Festival which will take place July 18-20. Watch some of New York’s best dancers perform and help raise money for Dancers Responding to AIDS and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

When it comes to celebrating on the beach, the Pines Party is one of the world’s penultimate events. The theme this year is “South Pacific” and it all takes place on July 26!

When planning your trip to Fire Island Pines, remember that there are very few accommodations for visitors. One of its finest new additions is THE MADISON Fire Island Pines , a luxury guesthouse just a minute’s walk from the Pines Harbor, and a minute from the beach. Owned by New York television personality and author Andrew Kirtzman, The Madison is the Pines’ premier upscale inn.