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Music

A Pop Attack on Gender Conformity

Music

A Pop Attack on Gender Conformity

In a musical landscape where the distorting effects of Autotune on vocals are the clearest hallmark and glitchy production effects are increasingly common (the aesthetics behind trans producer Sophie’s “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides” and rapper Travis Scott’s “Astroworld” aren’t so far apart despite vast differences in recording budgets and sales figures), the idea that music is most truthful when it consists of a singer/ songwriter standing with a guitar and performing confessional songs about their life is dying out. Comment
Theater

Character Issues

Theater

Character Issues

The dazzling, diminutive production of “Heartbreak House,” now on Theater Row, draws its emotional heft from several sources. It starts, of course, with the play and Shaw’s passionate condemnation of Britain’s institutional and cultural status quo that created the conditions for the first World War and then treated that war merely as a hiccup rather than the transformative event that should have awakened people to a new world but did not. Shaw wraps his polemics in characters for whom, however symbolic, an audience comes to care. Then there is Shaw’s nod to Chekhov in creating a darker domestic comedy, like “The Cherry Orchard,” where the characters are blinded to the world around them, making this one of his bleaker social commentaries. Comment
Remembrance

Farewell, Marin

If you were lucky enough to catch the Michael Blakemore-directed 1999 revival of “Kiss Me Kate,” then you experienced pure musical theater bliss. And no one was more responsible for this than Marin Mazzie, who succumbed to ovarian cancer at her home in Manhattan on September 13 at age 57 . Comment
Politics

Public Advocate Possibilities Include Daniel O’Donnell

With Letitia James winning the Democratic primary for state attorney general, the question of who will become New York City’s next public advocate stops being idle political speculation and becomes a serious matter affecting the city’s future. Comments (5)
News Briefs

One Step Forward: NYC Approves Non-Binary Gender Category

The New York City Council voted 41-6 on September 12 to add an “x” category to birth certificates for people who are non-binary. The bill was sponsored by Speaker Corey Johnson, an out gay Chelsea Democrat, who said it “will send a powerful signal to the world that New York City government works for everyone.” Comment
News Briefs

Fore: Golf Has its First Out Gay Male Pro

Professional golfer Tadd Fujikawa, 27, came out publicly on World Suicide Prevention Day. Comments (1)
Romania is set to vote on a referendum to ban same-sex marriage, drawing American anti-gay forces to help push its likely passage of it. B Comment
News Briefs

LGBT Serbs: No Pride in Lesbian Prime Minister

It was quite a breakthrough when Serbia’s conservative Orthodox Christian Party made Ana Brnabic, an out lesbian, prime minister last year. She made a splash at last year’s Pride March in Belgrade. But this year, some LGBTQ activists have launched a “Say No” campaign to keep politicians out of Pride since they have not delivered on LGBTQ rights and Brnabic is their prime target, especially after she said at the 2017 Pride that LGBTQ issues would be put on a back burner by her government while until officials addressed what she considered bread-and-butter issues. Comment
News Briefs

No Thanksgiving Dinner for these Siblings

Curtis Ingraham, the gay brother of Fox News host Laura Ingraham called her “a monster” and told the Daily Beast, “We grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father who was a Nazi sympathizer. Like father like daughter?! This was the familial soil that gave bloom to my sister’s anger.” Comments (1)
It was “an electoral earthquake that reverberated all the way to Syracuse.” Comments (1)
Music

Stadium Play for Gay Pop

At age 23, Troye Sivan’s second album “Bloom” positions the South African-born, Australian-raised, LA-based singer for world stardom. (He’s also an actor, who will be seen in the […] Comments (1)
Remembrance

Janet Weinberg, Leader in Health, Social Services, Dies at 63

The death of Janet Weinberg, a longtime lesbian activist who held senior positions at the Educational Alliance, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and Manhattan’s LGBT Community Center, has drawn tributes from LGBTQ community leaders nationwide. Comment
Film

Drawing the Moment

James Crump’s striking documentary “Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion & Disco” celebrates the Puerto Rican-born, New York-based illustrator whose life was as vibrant and colorful as his drawings. In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, Lopez (1943-1987) cemented a reputation in work for The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, and Vogue, among other publications. Comment
Theater

Getting All Up In There

Theater

Getting All Up In There

When I first heard about Jen Silverman’s feminist piece, “Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties,” I assumed it was about women’s empowerment in the age of the “Me Too” movement — an angry polemic against a president bent on rolling back women’s reproductive rights after grabbing them by the pussy. I was only partly correct. Comment
The three leading local media companies serving the five boroughs of New York City along with Long Island and Westchester have now become one. Comment
Nightlife

Coach Sylvester Does the Great American Songbook

As Sue Sylvester on “Glee,” she was everybody’s favorite mean high school coach. Jane Lynch has ditched that track suit for more sophisticated apparel and appears in cabaret at the Café Carlyle through September 22. A veteran of Broadway’s “Annie” in the role of the mendacious Mrs. Hannigan, she spoke to me about this important club debut via phone from Los Angeles and made a particular point of emphasizing that she is not doing it alone. Comment
Media Circus

This Is Not Your Joe Klein’s Anonymous

Like most of you, I’m sure, I greeted the recent unsigned Times op-ed piece by a senior member of the Rump administration with unadulterated glee. It painted a gratifyingly ugly portrait of dysfunction, […] Comments (1)
Insider Trading

The Dos and Don’ts of LGBTQ Politics

A cardinal rule in politics is that you don’t claim endorsements that you don’t have since you are sure to get caught. But the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club has done just that. In its bid to elect a slate headed by former State Senator Tom Duane, CRDC sent out a mailer claiming the endorsements of Congressmember Jerry Nadler and State Senator Brad Hoylman — neither of whom endorsed its slate. Last year, the club made the same claim regarding Council Speaker Corey Johnson. If you can’t be honest about your endorsements, why should anyone trust you to elect Supreme Court judges? Comments (1)
Film

Salem Possessed

Film

Salem Possessed

Take an op-ed about social media’s negative impact on teenage girls and the rest of us, adapt it into a narrative film somewhere between Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” and Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers,” and you have Sam Levinson’s “Assassination Nation.” You’ve also got the worst new film I’ve seen in 2018. If it belly-dives as cinema, it’s a very telling symptom of American culture’s inability to come to terms with the impact of Facebook and Instagram. Comment
There’s nothing worse than middle-aged New Yorkers complaining about how the city has changed since the “good old days” — but it’s wonderful when cranky old coots get up and actually do something to recreate the lost wonders of the city. Comment
Nightlife

Wigstock Best Served with a Sense of Self

I remember seeing a flier on an East Village lamppost years ago, advertising something called Wigstock. This will be interesting, I thought. Talk about understatement — it was fascinating. Comment
Music

Bavarian Holiday

Munich seems an essential operatic tourist destination. The Bavarian State Opera, historically strong, is rocking out under Nikolaus Bachler. As manifest in two astonishing March Carnegie concerts, principal conductor Kirill Petrenko is — welcomely without much hype or projected ego — among today’s most accomplished maestri. Beyond this, Munich offers unbelievably rich and varied museums and architecture, fantastic parks, easy transport (including bicycles), and distinctly LGBTQ neighborhoods and festivals. Comments (1)
Theater

‘Tis a Pity She’s a Bore

Theater

‘Tis a Pity She’s a Bore

The Hollywood prostitute Vivian Ward, the character at the center of the movie-now-musical “Pretty Woman,” consistently refers to herself as a “sure thing.” She’ll deliver the basic goods, no need for any extraordinary attention or seduction. What she promises is a mechanical, largely impersonal transaction — a simulacrum of passion — with no kissing on the mouth because that’s too intimate. Comment

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