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WAGNER FOR THE GAY ICONOCLAST

Bad boy—often very good bad boy—director Christopher Alden continues his work on Jonathan Dove’s 1990 chamber reduction of Wagner’s “Ring” with a trimmed-down “Valkyrie.” The “Rhinegold” of 2001 was provocative with Quentin Tarantino-meets-“Dynasty” aesthetics, and, all in all, a fitting complement to the Met’s doggedly idea-free “Ring” staging. Comment

Victor Robles, Mon Amour

Mr. Robles is the person to see in Manhattan if you need a marriage license. Except his office hasn’t been putting out for our community. Comment

Throngs at City Hall Seek Marriage

Less than a week after the mayor of the Village of New Paltz presided over New York’s first same-sex marriages in upstate Ulster County, a crowd estimated by organizers at more than 1,000 turned out at City Hall and across the street at the Municipal Building to call on City Clerk Victor Robles to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples here in the city. Comment

This Time Unauthorized

Thirteen days after the death of Katharine Hepburn last year, celebrity biographer A. Scott Berg published “Kate Remembered,” reflecting 20 years of interviews with the legendary screen luminary. Almost immediately, The Advocate labeled the tome, “a mixture of cautious disclosure and obsequious deference” and threw down the gauntlet for someone willing to go behind the carefully constructed public persona Hepburn protected throughout her eight decades in film. Comment

The Road to Equal Marriage Rights in NYC

In a magnificent lead editorial last Sunday, The New York Times took a long view of the political, legal, and social evolution likely to lead to nationwide acceptance of same-sex marriage. The Times envisions the defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment, a long process of certain states establishing civil union and marriage rights and finally, federal intervention to pull the laggard states up to the equality standards set by the leaders. Comment

The Money Argument

Gay marriages are costing somebody 700 million dollars––at least. Comment

The Children’s Hour

“Tokyo Girls Bravo” is a showcase of the work of ten young Japanese women curated by Takashi Murakami, best known in New York for his piece “Double Helix Reversed” at Rockefeller Center last year and his reworking of the Louis Vuitton logo for bag designs. Comment

The Bard’s Summer Emissary

Don’t tell British director Edward Hall about same-sex marriage. He’s been rehearsing Shakespeare’s doozy of a wedding play, and what’s more, doing it with an all-male company. Still, it would be a mistake to look for his acclaimed Propeller Company to storm the marriage license bureau after their production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Comment

Taking on the Lie of “Activist Judges”

John P. Dunne is a state court judge in New York’s suburban Nassau County. A graduate of Georgetown Law School, Dunne is a Korean War veteran decorated with a Purple Heart and earned his living in the 1980s as a Republican town leader. Comment

St. Pat’s for All Touts Marriage for All

For the crowd gathered in Sunnyside, Queens on March 8 for the fifth annual St. Pat’s for All Parade, the sunny day mirrored a sunny outlook regarding the fate of same-sex marriage. Comment

STDs Rising Among Gay, Bi Men in NYC, US

The 2004 National STD Prevention Conference, held this week in Philadelphia, showcased more bad news on sexually transmitted diseases among gay and bisexual men and it included one report of an emerging disease trend among men who have sex with men (MSMs). Comment

Same-Sex Marriage Suit Filed in NY

Lambda Legal, a leader in the nationwide struggle for gay and lesbian equal rights, announced on March 5 that it has filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan seeking equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in the Empire State. Comment

Reading Room

Thursday March 11 Comment

Poetic Rendition of Tchaikovsky

The concerto’s first classic theme, sung by the orchestra, then punctuated by thunderous piano chords, elucidates a melody undergoing several permutations as it migrates from piano and then back to the orchestra, each time with greater effect. Comment

Overlapped Spaces

Artist Sheila Pepe, who also writes art criticism for venues including Gay City News, focuses as much on the physicality of her materials as on the spaces that she defines in her room-filling installation at Susan Inglett Gallery, “Bridge and Tunnel.” Comment

7 Days & 7 Nights

State Senate President Robert E. Travaglini and House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran are co-sponsoring a compromise amendment that would ban gay marriage but create civil unions in Massachusetts when the constitutional convention reconvenes on March 11. A similar amendment was defeated last month by a margin of 104-94. Both lawmakers told the Boston Globe they spent much of the weekend urging lawmakers to support the amendment, but cautioned that the situation remains fluid. Other lawmakers told the Boston Globe they were merely polled on their position and expressed skepticism about Finneran’s support of the amendment he is Comment

New Paltz Mayor Defends Gay Marriage

Jason West spent his first day off in nine days marching in the Queens St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The part-time mayor of upstate New Paltz has made a living painting houses since he was 15, but that job is not keeping him occupied. Comment

Life’s Small Moments of Heartbreak

Tragedy comes in all shapes and sizes. Shakespeare wrote about it with a capital T, showing how hubris, betrayal, avarice, and other forms of human folly, of which we are all capable, can only end in tears. Comment

Showing Up For Marriage

In only the most recent mass gathering of gay and lesbian marriage rights advocates here in the city, I had the opportunity Wednesday evening to moderate a discussion at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center about the role that New York City and New York State will play in this suddenly whirlwind struggle. Comment

Lesbians Demand Spousal Privileges

A unanimous three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a lesbian couple is entitled to a trial for their discrimination claim against a San Diego country club that refused to recognize their relationship for membership purposes. Comment

Irish Company Alleges Retaliation

Days after a gay-inclusive St. Patrick’s Day parade in Queens attended by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a host of elected officials, including Mayor Jason West of New Paltz, the upstate town where he has conducted same-sex marriages, a corporate sponsor of the parade is alleging it is the victim of retaliation. Comment

Into the Marriage Maelstrom

Before Ric Best and Louis Navarrete slipped into Asbury Park’s City Hall on March 5 to complete a marriage license application, the city’s five-member City Council had already begun investigating if Asbury Park could give such licenses to lesbian and gay couples. Comment

Here Comes the Bribe

Howdy-do, I’m Mr. Zeitgeist. Here, shake. Ah, firm grim. Short fingernails. You must be a lesbian. Comment

Grin and bear it (abroad pt. 2)

Who needs Ambien when you’ve got a snooze-inducer like the Oscars? Comment

Gender Fucks and Intimacy

Cheim and Read surveys 37 years of Lynda Benglis’ sculpture work To provide a sense of the amazing breadth of Lynda Benglis’ sculptural vocabulary, here are some of the things the work in […] Comment

Gay Resistor Released from Brig

Two years after joining the armed forces, Marine reservist Stephen Funk is out of uniform and out of jail. Since his February release from the Marine brig at Camp Lejeune, Funk’s hair has grown longer, but the young man’s conviction that the United States made a mistake in invading Iraq remains unchanged. Comment

Feds Raid Sound Factory

The latest crack down came on March 7 when the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and New York City police raided the Sound Factory, a nightclub located on West 46 Street. Police arrested Richard Grant, the club’s owner, Ronald Coffiel, director of security at the club, and Randell Rogiers, Coffiel’s deputy. Comment

’Til Death Do Them Part

I was sick to my stomach after reading an article in the New York Times concerning the Log Cabin Republicans’ continued support for Bush. Patrick Guerriero, the executive director, had eaten his words. I am so disappointed that all these people worry about is their money. They try to mask it by saying that they are not one-issue people. Comment

Dick Dadey’s Latest Challenge

government accountability at Citizens Union Comment

Dance Card

Amanda Loulaki and Short Mean Lady present “I wanted to say––but I said,” a quartet about compulsion, repetition, and decision-making. Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th St. at Second Ave. Tickets are $15 or TDF/v. For reservations, call 212 674 8194. Mar. 11-14 at 8:30 p.m. Comment

curtain call

BRIDGE & TUNNEL Creating a show-within-a show, the supremely gifted performance artist Sarah Jones’s latest play is based on a poetry slam in South Queens. In this archly provocative play, Sarah Jones, who is of African, European, and Caribbean descent, plays 14 characters from myriad ethnic backgrounds who recite their poetry or perform soliloquies onstage. Without a trace of sentimentality, the play shows the travails of assimilation and racial intolerance in America, as well as revealing common traits some folks would rather ignore. Jones does not hesitate to play the “green card” to drive home her messages in monologues gleaned from months of interviews with immigrants, many of Comment

Confirmed Dead:  Bush's War

The following members of the United States Armed Forces died this past week in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since the inception of hostilities, 553 service members have died, 415 of them since Pres. George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, 2,766 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

CONCERT FOR A MAD KING

The youthful, venturesome International Contemporary Ensemble is readying “Theatre Music,” a free concert of theatrical and staged works by John Cage, George Crumb, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Comment

Cinemascope

BLIND SHAFT Adapted from a novel by Liu Qingbang, “Blind Shaft” is a gritty fable of morality and murder. Set against the backdrop of China’s illegal mining and the nation’s deteriorating […] Comment

Cal. Supremes to Rule on Gay Marriage

As gays and lesbians continue to get married across the nation, and other local officials follow San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s lead, the legal battle over San Francisco’s gay marriages is headed for a showdown in California’s Supreme Court. Comment

Buddy System

Days after a gay-inclusive St. Patrick’s Day parade in Queens attended by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a host of elected officials, including Mayor Jason West of New Paltz, the upstate town where he has conducted same-sex marriages, a corporate sponsor of the parade is alleging it is the victim of retaliation. Comment

Bloomberg Bobs and Weaves and Bobs...

After years in which he avoided taking a position, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appeared ready to come out publicly last Thursday night with his position on same-sex marriage. Comment

Bartoli Awes in Salieri Revival

Cecilia Bartoli added another frond to her laurels on February 24 when the popular 30-something Italian singer, who changed classical recording strategies and expectations forever with her rise to eminence more than a decade ago, filled Carnegie Hall for an all-Salieri evening. Comment

Asian and Pacific Americans Convene

Historic gathering of queer people of color; event highlights political organizing and artistic endeavors At a March 6 event during the Queer Asian Pacific Legacy Conference held at New York University, […] Comment

A Mad King Comes Undone

Were it not for Christopher Plummer’s astonishing performance in the title role, the new production of “King Lear” would fall into the category of “good for you” Shakespeare—the kind of straightforward reading and conservative, if well-executed, mounting one expects from repertory theaters. Comment

A Girlhood Dream Realized

In the twilight-darkened Bemelmans Bar of the Hotel Carlyle, Madison Avenue and 76th Street, the hands of the very young son of an attractive couple at a nearby table were bouncing along in midair, playing piano in concordance with the music flooding the room. Comment

7 Days & 7 Nights

The New York City Police Museum celebrates the rich history of women in the NYPD with “Women on Patrol,” a multi-media exhibition featuring interviews with the very women who piloted the first radio patrol car assignments in the 70s and discusses the challenges they faced. A uniform and artifact display illustrates the transformation of uniforms from the “policewomen” to the gender-neutral, female “police officer” of today. New York City Police Museum, 100 Old Slip (between Water and South Streets). Suggested admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children. Call 212 480 3100 for more information. Comment

Very Slow Descent into Madness

in a tale of hopeless mental illness Comment

True Collaboration

“Barcelona in 48 Hours,” a collaboration of dance, film, photography, and live music at Dance Theater Workshop opens with five musicians amidst a luxurious stage environment created by set designer Illya Azaroff. For what seems like a long stretch, the band, Edward Ratliff + Five Agents, fills the stage without the accompaniment of dance or film––the music organically meanders, easing us into an environment equally luxurious with the one in which the musicians stand. It’s as if they have taken the stage space and gently nudged it out past the audience. By the end of the song, we’re all in a sweetly warm tango bar in Barcelona. Comment

Three Women and a Noisy Girl

In a time when anxieties over personal safety have us seeking solace in the artifice of reality TV, two ambitious works question the rules by which we live, the role of women in that world, and the very concept of what is real. Comment

GAY CITY NEWS

Less than a week after the mayor of the Village of New Paltz presided over New York’s first same-sex marriages in upstate Ulster County, a crowd estimated by organizers at more than 1,000 turned out at City Hall and across the street at the Municipal Building to call on City Clerk Victor Robles to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples here in the city. Comment

Tackling the West Bank Issue

All but a few of the hundreds of auditorium seat were occupied for a presentation entitled “Jewish Ethics Under Pressure,” Butler’s first in New York City since 2001. The talk inaugurated the Graduate Center’s new Distinguished Lecturer Series. Comment

Support Same-Sex Marriage In Massachusetts

The Civil Marriage Trail, which has been assisting gay and lesbian couples planning to get married in Canada, is doing a day of action to support the same-sex marriage ruling in Massachusetts. Comment

Straight Books for Queer Guys

“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” the book that is, looks like a men’s magazine, complete with the ubiquitous top-five list for absolutely everything fabulous. Written in handsome fonts in masculine colors and punctuated with “Hip Tips,” and “Straight Guy FAQs,” the Fab 5 promise to help straight men meet women by garnishing their lifestyle with manicures and perfect leather jackets. Comment

Spitzer, City Offer Marriage Opinions

Responding to requests for legal advice from local officials around the state and the New York City Clerk, the top government lawyers for New York State and New York City have issued their first “official” pronouncements on the ongoing same-sex marriage debates. Comment

Sodomy and Penal Time

Now that it is legal for two men to make love in the United States, and while doing so nearly receive the same tax benefits as heterosexuals, it bears remembering a time when anal penetration was a perilous exercise in sexual expression that could land a fellow some hard time, courtesy of the discriminatory statutes of an imperialistic white power. Comment

Senate Holds Amendment Hearing

On March 3, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee responsible for constitutional amendments conducted a hearing in which witnesses from both sides of an increasingly divisive debate testified about changing the Constitution to ban marriage for gays and lesbians. Comment

Reading Room

Daniel Barenblatt will read from his alarming and compelling book, “Plague Upon Humanity.” In World War II, Japan waged biological and chemical warfare against China in one of history’s most monstrous crimes. And even though a half million Chinese were murdered - many in ghastly experimental vivisections - after the war the United States aided the Japanese with the cover-up. 7 p.m., Bluestockings Bookstore. Comment

7 Days & 7 Nights

Massachusetts legislators will reconvene their historic constitutional convention on March 11 and revisit a state constitutional amendment on same-sex marriage. Lawmakers failed to agree on language banning marriage to gays and lesbians during their February constitutional sessions at which another measure failed that sought to limit marriage to straight couples but guarantee certain benefits to gay couples through civil unions. House Speaker Tom Finneran now supports that latter proposal, which also received the backing of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Previously, Kerry oppo Comment

Miller Says Yes, Bloomberg No

A stark contrast is shaping up on LGBT rights between at least two of the men running for mayor of New York in 2005. Comment

Marriage Erupts in NY

Following a week of community organizing, meetings, and demonstrations, gay and lesbian residents of New York City prepared on Thursday to take their first organized direct action to press for same-sex civil marriage rights. Comment

Marching to Stop Violence

On February 28, a contingent of civic leaders and lesbian, gay, and transgender activists, led by police cars and three funeral hearses, marched along Central Avenue in New Jersey’s Essex County to raise awareness for what some participants said was a murder rate spiraling out of control. Comment

Mannering a Master

Courtesy of Bellwether Gallery Comment

Love, Honor and Disobedience

In massive acts of civil disobedience, queer-positive officials launched gay marriage for their constituents this month. Diverse queer opinions about the value of marriage aside, the officials did one thing indisputably right: acting in the public interest, they took action against the deep American well of hatred against queers emerging in the marriage debate. Comment

Long, Cold Winter

Charles L. Mee’s new comedy at the Second Stage Theatre is a pret-a-porter romance. Well-suited for any occasion, it could play anywhere. To savvy audiences, however, it’s an insult. Comment

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 18, 2004 Comment

The Waning Shadow of Political Cover

The recent dramatic developments on the same-sex marriage front have put into sharp focus the role that straight allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community play in our struggle for civil rights. Comment

Lesbian Soprano at Lincoln Center

“It’s a decision everyone has to make them for themselves,” Brandes, 39, recently acknowledged in the Oakland home she shares with her partner, the orchestral conductor Karla Lemon. The two were united in a civil union ceremony in Vermont more than three years ago. Comment

Inching Toward Gay Divorce

One of the important benefits of marriage is divorce––having available a legal mechanism to divide up the assets when partners decide to call it quits. Comment

Imagine If He Watched “Oz”

Norman Whiteside, who describes himself as “100% heterosexual,” is angry about the constant statements and implications on television that male prisoners indulge in sexual activity with each other and are thus “homosexuals.” Comment

How Many Labels Make a Man?

Whatever happened to identity politics? Ten years ago, artists were producing work that deliberately addressed what they looked like, who they slept with, where they were born, and what passport they carried. The identity practitioners exercised a strong influence on how the art world not only thought about, but also acted upon, issues like commercial marketing, otherness, privilege, and citizenship. Comment

Embodying Tough Characters

The question is: How does she do it? Yes, she is beautiful, Isabelle Huppert, but beautiful in the plainest way in the world. It is what is beneath the skin that counts, behind that chaste forehead––torrents and earthquakes and forest fires of the 77 deadly sins up to and notably including carnal concupiscence. Like Emma Bovary herself. Comment

The Third Rail in Political Discourse

A sure sign of a weak argument is to bring up the Nazis. While I agree with much of what you say, I like many reasonable people find equating Bush’s treatment of gays and concentration camps both nauseating and intellectually lazy. Comment

Eliot Spitzer Joins the Fray

The opinion, signed by state Solicitor General Caitlin Halligan, and presented by Spitzer, a Democrat, at a Lower Manhattan press conference Wednesday afternoon, also makes clear that same-sex marriages entered into legally in jurisdictions outside New York State should be recognized here. Comment

Dutch Troupe in Brooklyn

Next week, one of the world’s leading contemporary dance companies, Nederlands Dans Theater, begins its U.S. tour in Brooklyn. NDT1, as the main company is known, has risen to acclaim under the artistic direction of Prague-born Ji&Mac249;rí Kylian, who has created more than 50 works for the company in his 25-year tenure, as well as spinning off NDT2, for young dancers, and NDT3 for seasoned performers. Comment

Dubya is Our Pal

Here we go again. Recently I complained in this space about The New York Times giving the Bush administration a hand in spinning its position on gay marriage. Comment

curtain call

BRIDGE & TUNNEL Creating a show-within-a show, the supremely gifted performance artist Sarah Jones’s latest play is based on a poetry slam in South Queens. In this archly provocative play, Sarah Jones, who is of African, European, and Caribbean descent, plays 14 characters from myriad ethnic backgrounds who recite their poetry or perform soliloquies onstage. Without a trace of sentimentality, the play shows the travails of assimilation and racial intolerance in America, as well as revealing common traits some folks would rather ignore. Jones does not hesitate to play the “green card” to drive home her messages in monologues gleaned from months of interviews with immigrants, many of Comment

Confirmed Dead:  Bush's War

The following members of the United States Armed Forces died this past week in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since the inception of hostilities, 550 service members have died, 412 of them since Pres. George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Thus far, 2,731 service members have been wounded in action. Comment

Cobbling Together A Civil Union Plan

Just days after he said he supported a constitutional ban on gay marriage in his home state of Massachusetts, Sen. John Kerry, now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, told a group of gay and lesbian supporters that he would support federal recognition of gay marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. Comment

Cinemascope

BLIND SHAFT Adapted from a novel by Liu Qingbang, “Blind Shaft” is a gritty fable of morality and murder. Set against the backdrop of China’s illegal mining and the nation’s deteriorating […] Comment

As New Paltz Goes….

Amidst a crowd that consisted almost entirely of supporters, there were less than a dozen people opposed. Those individuals there to protest used religion to make their points, holding signs that read, “Gay marriage is morally wrong,” and “Pray for them.” Comment

A Feminist’s Phallocentrism

“The Testicle Tree Series” is the strangely clinical name for a suite of eight drawings that transport us to a magical, funny world of girlhood yearning. Welcome to the fairy forest of Suzanne Wright. Gnarly, labial trees laden with candy canes and delicate sacs arch languidly over meadows carpeted with marshmallows, mushrooms, and wildflowers. “Maidens’ Home,” a rainbow-colored cottage, is nestled into a psychedelic burst of vegetation. Tender heroines loiter wistfully, copping campy poses worthy of Lillian Gish in “Broken Blossoms.” Comment

7 Days & 7 Nights

THUR. MAR. 4 The Roaring Girle The Foundry Theatre – winner of 7 Obies and 3 Drama Desk nominations – presents the world premiere of “The Roaring Girle,” written by Alice Tuan […] Comment

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