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World Class Opera Festival

Opera-goers attend international festivals in the hopes of witnessing stagings like Laurent Pelly’s brilliant production of Massenet’s enchanting “Cendrillon” (August 9), centered around Joyce DiDonato’s vocally and theatrically incandescent heroine. Or the first North American staging of Thomas Adès’ 2004 “The Tempest” (August 11), thanks to a strong cast, director Jonathan Kent, and designer Paul Brown. Many factors make any Santa Fe Opera’s summer season memorable, not least the phenomenal beauty of the Comment

With Hope, World Pride Closes

Lasting impact of Jerusalem event marred by war and divisions remains to be seen Comment

Two Make Flap In Columbus Park

<<Spectators at LMCC’s Sitelines performances of H.T. Chen and Dancers and Sharon Estacio in Columbus Park can physically follow the shifting focus of the performance or stay put in hopes it will come nearer at some point. Comment

Try To Remember

Downtown moves uptown when “The Fantasticks,” the deceptively “naïve” boy-girl romance by Tom Jones (words) and Harvey Schmidt (music) that ran for 41 years and 17,162 performances from May 3, 1960, to January 12, 2002 as a Greenwich Village landmark at the tiny Sullivan Street Playhouse, opens in a new production at a new venue—Times Square! Comment

Toronto AIDS Conference Targets Bush

In Zambia, they microwave condoms and then pour milk through them to show they don’t work. In Nigeria, an organization working with youth can’t get money from the United States because it talks about condoms with school kids. In South Africa, publication of a book for Muslims that contains the headline “Sex is OK” was held up for more than six months. In Tanzania, condom marketing campaigns disappear, and rumors begin that condoms aren’t effective. Comment

The Americas of Old

<<Commemorative Monument (Stela 11), 200–50 B.C. Guatemala, Kaminaljuyu; granite, 76 x 26 3/4 x 7 1/8 in. (Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala City ) Comment

Student HIV Claim Proceeds

A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that “extraordinary circumstances” justify allowing a recent high school graduate who claims to have been sexually infected with HIV by his band director to sue the Newark school district, even though he missed a 90-day deadline to file suit after discovering his injury. The August 14 decision by a unanimous Appellate Division panel upheld a ruling by Essex County Superior Court Judge Verna G. Leath. Comment

NYC’s HIV-Infected Testing Earlier

A study of 3,464 blood samples collected at city-run clinics and hospitals that showed that HIV testing is increasingly capturing New Yorkers who are recently infected with the virus may undercut the health department’s rationale for changing the state law that governs HIV testing, an effort aimed at identifying people living with the virus earlier in their infection. Comment

Notice Duty Snares Hospital

The New Jersey Appellate Division, an intermediate level court, revived a lawsuit against a hospital and several doctors filed by a former patient’s girlfriend who claimed she was infected with HIV because they neglected to tell her boyfriend he had the virus. The August 10 ruling, in an opinion by Judge José Fuentes, followed the lead of a 1995 California appeals court case in finding that the defendants’ failure to inform the patient about his test result violated a duty to that patient’s future sex partners. Comment

News Briefs

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, making use of Freedom of Information requests, found that the Department of Defense discharged 10 percent more soldiers and sailors for being gay or lesbian in 2005—a total of 726—than the previous year when 653 were booted. The numbers had fallen from 2002 to 2004 as the Iraq War got underway. Back in 2001, there were 1,227 such discharges, the New York Times reported. Comment

Memories And Beliefs

Blood ties and faith binds in two laudable shows With “Indian Blood,” A.R. Gurney is on familiar territory, mining the world of the preppy and privileged to create idiosyncratic yet comfortably […] Comment

Christine Quinn’s Privacy Misstep

Defending her proposal to require nightclubs with cabaret licenses to install surveillance cameras and ID card scanners, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn this week told The New York Times that that young adults already must show proof they are old enough upon entrance, “So, I don’t believe there is any expectation of privacy as it relates to going to a club.” Comment

Confirmed Dead and Wounded

August 3-August 16, 2006 Comment

Check Your Expectations

Everyone knows that when you see a FringeNYC show, it’s wise to check expectations at the door. Given that the fast-and-loose festival is chiefly comprised of newcomers challenged by minuscule budgets and unforgiving schedules, the best we should hope for is a quirky diversion. So when brilliance strikes, and it often does, it’s a welcome bonus. Comment

Cameras, Scanners: The Answer?

Facing criticism that her nightclub security proposals could violate the rights and privacy of gay club-goers, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn vigorously defended the requirement that nightclubs and bars that have city cabaret licenses install video cameras and ID readers. Comment

Basher’s Murderer Released

A confluence of state and federal court decisions, both concluding that the California parole system had violated the federal due process rights of convicted murderer Robert Rosenkrantz by continuing to deny him parole after he had served more than the minimum length of his sentence, resulted in the man’s release to the custody of his family on August 5. Comment

A Misguided Nightlife Crackdown

There is an atmosphere—maybe in New York, perhaps nationwide; call it a political-cultural mood—that is curtailing expression based on nightlife, sex, fun, and more. And it plays into a larger notion of “safety”— which from airlines to being quiet on the beach is pervasive right now. Comment

A Failure of Vision at the Pride Agenda

Now that New York judges have dropped the issue of same-sex marriage directly into the laps of state lawmakers, the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA) is on the verge of committing two major political blunders, each of which may irreparably damage the LGBT community’s quest for marriage equality in New York. Comment

9/11 Or The Boss?

The mass of eager and curious spectators packing themselves around the performance space of Wire Monkey Dance served as the best kind of promotion. This dance company was part of the gathering at Lincoln Center for Out of Doors 2006, an annual free summer festival inviting viewers to experience traditional and contemporary art from various cultures around the world. From a distance, the dancers could already be seen swinging confidently on 19 to 20-foot scaffoldings. Critics rave about the “gravity-defying, acrobatic” dances Wire Monkey has become well known for. Comment

25 Years For HIV Non-Disclosure

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously upheld a 25-year sentence for Jimmy Dean Stevens, who was convicted under the state’s criminal HIV transmission statute for engaging in oral sex with a 15-year-old boy, in a conviction that relied on jurors using “common knowledge” about how the virus is transmitted. Comment

15 Injured in Estonia’s Pride March

A gang of homophobic protesters used stones and sticks to attack Estonia’s third annual Gay Pride March this past Saturday, injuring 15 people. Some 500 participants joined the Pride March in Tallinn, Estonia’s capital—they carried rainbow flags and placards reading “Love Doesn’t Ask About Gender,” “We Have the Right to Be Who We Are,” “Children of Gays Need Protection Too,” and “We Heteros Support Gays.” Comment

Vermont Court Challenges Virginia

In the first major appellate gay parenting decision to consider the interstate implications of a civil union, the Vermont Supreme Court unanimously declared on August 4 that a former civil union partner is the co-parent of a child born to her ex through donor insemination while they were residing together in Virginia. Comment

The Awkward Age

Ryan Fleck’s debut feature “Half Nelson” is an angular compound of five distinct genealogies in American cinema: the civil rights era neorealist “problem films” such as Shirley Clarke’s “The Cool World,” the contemporary urban pastorals of Jim McKay’s “Our Song,” threnodies for ‘60s radicalism like Sidney Lumet’s “Running on Empty,” hell-and-back addiction diaries like Gary Winick’s “Sweet Nothings,” and, despite his avowed wish to dodge it, the soppy ghetto inspirational of Wes Craven’s “Music of the Heart.” Comment

Secrets And Lies

“Conversations with Other Women” is the absorbing story of an attached Man (Aaron Eckhart) and a married Woman (Helena Bonham-Carter) who flirt at a wedding and retire to her hotel room that same night. The plot may be deceptively simple, but director Hans Canosa films this relationship drama with two cameras at once, shooting each of the characters independently, and projecting the images side by side on the screen. Comment

Riis Pride in the City Bash Okayed

Following successful negotiations with the National Park Service, the fifth annual Pride in the City, New York City’s official black pride event, drew thousands to a ball field adjacent to Jacob Riis Beach at Gateway National Recreation Area in Brooklyn on August 6. Comment

Rick Santorum’s Flip-Flop on Bias

Senator Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania Republican trailing Democrat Bob Casey, Jr., the state treasurer, in his re-election bid, surprised but did not move LGBT leaders last week when he allegedly became the 170th member of Congress to sign a statement vowing that he will not discriminate in his Senate office on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. Comment

Rhythm And Carnival Flair

If the African heritage of Peru—a legacy of the Spanish slave trade—one day becomes as widely known and welcomed by Norteamericanos as similar cultural riches of Brazil and Cuba, we’ll owe thanks in large part to the confection known as Perú Negro. For two hours, this accomplished folkloric troupe, led by artistic director and lead percussionist Jaime Ronaldo Campos Ponce, enchanted a huge Lincoln Center Out of Doors audience at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. Comment

Pride Amidst the Bombs

Jerusalem World Gathering Draws Many From U.S., Few Muslims And so it was on the first official day of Israel’s World Pride, the contested event in arguably the world’s most contested city. […] Comment

New Briefs

Senator Tom Duane, the gay Chelsea Democrat, wants the New York City schools to enforce the city Dignity in All Schools Act to reduce bullying, not continue the ban on cell phones. Duane’s remarks are from testimony prepared for a Department of Education hearing on a new school discipline code on August 9. Comment

New Jersey Appeals Court Nixes Lewdness Conviction

A New Jersey appeals court reversed a lewdness conviction in Palisades Interstate Park, saying lower courts that ruled on the case were wrong on the law and questioning the credibility of the arresting officer. Comment

Musical Dreams Come True

They’re young, gay, smart, and passionate about musicals—as are many men who try to take on New York and the theater. What sets Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen apart is that they’ve channeled their assets—and a whole lot of talent—into one of the most charming musicals of the season. Comment

Meat In Motion

Svankmajer taps into Sade for his “Lunacy” Czech director Jan Svankmajer has a rare knack for making seemingly harmless imagery disturbing, even disgusting. For example, “Lunacy […]Comment

Letter to an Old Teacher

Dear John, I don’t doubt you remember me. I’ve been getting in touch with some people from high school and that led to finding your church’s Web page and you. I had no idea before now that you went on to become a minister. Comment

A Guide to the Iran Debate

During the last year—and particularly over the past four weeks—Gay City News has devoted substantial space and energies to the story of growing repression of gays, lesbians, and transgendered individuals in Iran. We have done so because we think that LGBT people everywhere have a special responsibility to understand and work to improve the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world, and the reporting done by Doug Ireland has convinced us that the situation in Iran is dire and deteriorating. Comment

I Was Afraid To Speak Out About Iran

I have a confession to make regarding my attendance at the vigil held July 19 in front of the Iranian Embassy to the United Nations in Midtown, to protest the persecution of gay people in Iran by its totalitarian government. Because of the withdrawal of the vigil’s original sponsors, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the event was smaller than it might otherwise have been. There were about 50 of us there. Comment

Dish And Divas

There is something almost saintly about Armistead Maupin, whose book, “The Night Listener,” has been made into a film. He is a centered, generous soul, a total dream of an interview. Comment

Human Rights in Iran

For the past 27 years, close to 70 million Iranians have been living under an oppressive theocracy which, among other things, limits the access of its citizens to the international community, subjects them to harsh punishments for the most venial offenses, and deprives them of their basic social and political rights. Gay men and lesbians are particularly vulnerable, since the regime considers homosexuality among the most serious crimes, on a par with murder, armed robbery, and rape. Comment

Glimmerglass Scores Two Hits

Festival excels with Hartke premiere and Janácek’s “Jenufa” This summer Glimmerglass premiered Stephen Hartke’s new “The Greater Good” to Philip Littell’s […] Comment

FURTHER EVIDENCE OF GAY MURDERS IN IRAQ

In reports in the U.K. Observer and on Britain’s Channel 4, reporter Jennifer Copestake has provided further documentation of the wave of anti-gay executions being carried out by Shiite militias in Iraq. These murders were first reported by Doug Ireland in a Gay City News cover story in March, available at gaycitynews.com/gcn_511/iraq.html. Comment

FringeNYC 10th Anniversary—Gay City Picks

For tickets and theater locations, visit FringeNYC.org. Comment

Fringe Benefits

If anyone had suggested to Elena K. Holy, when she co-founded FringeNYC, that she’d be celebrating the 10th anniversary of what is now the largest theater festival in North America, she would have shaken her head in abject disbelief. Comment

Don’t Ask Survives Another Challenge

Another federal court has rejected a constitutional challenge to the statutory ban on military service by gay people. In a decision announced on July 26, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton in Tacoma, Washington, dismissed Major Margaret Witt’s challenge to her discharge proceedings, finding that Congress had a rational basis to mandate dismissal of military members discovered to be gay, regardless of the quality of their service records. Comment

Crackdown on Turkey’s Gays

This past week has seen Turkish gays the target of multiple attacks, by both the government and an organized homophobic mob. Comment

Contagious Itch For Pleasure

The 2002 “Rio Seco” (Dry River) is set in the elevated air of the Argentine pampas. Bucolic it is not. At the Queens Theatre in the Park on August 2 as part of this year’s Latino Cultural Festival, Grupo Krapp presented two works rooted in Beckett, Bausch and maybe “Modern Times.” The troupe of six wear sneakers but it’s more like boot camp. Comment

A Message from Iran

The following statement was distributed on August 6 by the editors of MAHA, the clandestine gay ‘zine in Iran. MAHA means “we” or “us” in Persian. Originally begun in 2004 as a newspaper after a crackdown on Iranian gay Web sites by the Tehran regime, MAHA is now distributed in PDF format to its subscribers. MAHA’s editors have been sources for Doug Ireland’s reporting on repression of LGBT people in that nation which has appeared in Gay City News. Comment

Agreement on Christopher Street Pier

The Bloomberg administration and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn have brokered a deal that will bring more social services and more police to the West Village, a neighborhood where residents and queer youth who hang out in the Hudson River Park have been at odds over late night noise and crowds. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Hawaiian Rebellion Comment

World Pride

Vigil Disrupted by Gay Anti-War Groups Comment

Classifieds

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