Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Hottest Ticket on Broadway

Literally. And this theater critic can be bought for the price of a backstage ménage a trois.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Outing the Outers

“Roy Cohn is not a homosexual. Roy Cohn is a heterosexual who fucks around with guys!" So proclaims Al Pacino as the notoriously ruthless McCarthyite in a clip from Mike Nichols' film version of Tony Kushner's “Angels in America.” While the lines are meant to play for camp laughs, the words astonishingly morph into something absolutely revelatory in Kirby Dick's latest documentary about the outing of gay Republicans, “Outrage.” Kushner penned the lines in an effort to understand Cohn's way of thinking, to humbly step inside the head of someone whose life experience was so foreign from his own. Which is something the self-righteous, outing bloggers and journalists profiled in Dick's documentary never even attempt to do. For what Cohn is really saying is just an extreme version of what the Republicans who "fuck around with guys" are really thinking. Which is, "I am not your definition of homosexual. I have a right to decide my own identity, and I will not be pigeonholed to fit your narrow-minded, simplistic point-of-view."

To read the rest visit my Sex Beat column at Carnal Nation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Soderbergh Experience: The Girlfriend Experience

According to IMDb’s plot synopsis, Steven Soderbergh’s latest indie tryst, “The Girlfriend Experience,” starring porn star Sasha Grey, is a "revealing look at the world of prostitution from an elite call girl's point of view." While it’s true that Ms. Grey plays high-priced hooker Chelsea (a.k.a. Christine), the film is less a "revealing look at the world of prostitution" than it is a narcissistic indictment of the director’s own world. Rather than bravely and avidly explore lusty new territory, Soderbergh merely grafts the wheeler-dealer movie industry he knows so well onto the sex biz and calls it a day.

To read the rest of my review visit The House Next Door.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sasha Grey Interview

“I have to say that the adult films have been a total pleasure. They were like getting paid to live out my greatest fantasies. The rest of the stuff … sometimes got to be a real grind.”

So sayeth the late, great Marilyn Chambers. And though porn star Sasha Grey, who makes her “mainstream” debut as a high-end call girl in Steven Soderbergh’s "The Girlfriend Experience," would most likely disagree with the latter part of that sentiment, I couldn’t help but think of Chambers’ often wasted talent as Grey and I sat down to chat. This self-proclaimed “performance artist” is every bit as intelligent and articulate as Soderbergh’s latest HD fling is tedious and condescending. Here’s hoping Grey’s next experience is worthy of her wonderful lust for life.

To read my interview visit Spout.

Love in the Time of Terror

Though the press notes cite Brecht, Beckett, Ionesco and Lynch as inspirations for “Love in the Time of Terror” there’s a Dada feel to this WOW Café Theater production. Right from the start three characters, at turns sexy and bedraggled, announce to the audience that the play may not necessarily make sense to us. To offer a plot summary of a show that includes a Rubenesque diva in a sequined, aqua blue number straight out of “The Little Mermaid” (belting out sultry tunes in a dynamic voice that seems to weigh more than she does), bickering lesbian couples, and a blind woman whose family and cat were murdered in a genocide is to merely fall down a rabbit hole.

To read the rest of my review visit Theater Online.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We're Here! We're queer! So what?

What do the monolithic letters “LGBT” truly stand for nowadays?

The LGBT community that once served to fight for the very survival of its people (and that still does in certain cultures and parts of the world) is a nostalgic vestige of the past for the majority of 21st century America, as unnecessary as saving the Big Three in Detroit. The reason that most young Americans support gay marriage isn’t because they’ve accepted the queers – but because the “other” no longer exists when it has been integrated into your own community! And beyond irrelevancy, the LGBT label has become downright stifling for most of its wearers. The number of gay men and lesbian women met with disapproval from a homo community, hypocritically preaching diversity while commanding conformity, when they’ve found themselves attracted to the opposite sex is certainly equal to those straights sick and tired of having to pretend they’re 100% hetero.

Indeed, this identity labeling has reached a menacing tipping point, wreaking more havoc than it is saving souls. When someone recently referred to me as a “gay male trapped in a biologically female body” I took offense. I’m not “trapped” – I’m perfectly content that my insides don’t match my outsides. It’s only the LGBT community that perpetuates such nonsense, thereby encouraging sex change operations and chemical enhancements to align with society’s expectations, over the choice of acceptance of the gloriously imperfect bodies we’re all born into.

From Stonewall to the gender revolution, “Come out of the closet!” has been replaced by the new rallying cry of “Jump out of the box!” (Or as my heroine and favorite transvestite comedian Eddie Izzard so clearly puts it, “I didn’t jump out of a not-wearing-dress box into a have-to-wear-dress box.”)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Little Ashes review

“Little Ashes” examines a love affair between renowned poet Federico García Lorca and surrealist genius Salvador Dalí during their college days in Madrid in 1922, where the legendary Luis Buñuel formed the husky hetero point to their bizarre triangle. But you won't buy any of this while watching British director Paul Morrison's predictable flick, whose characters bear absolutely no resemblance, physical or otherwise, to their real-life namesakes. We get no inkling that these amigos would go on to become three of the greatest masters in their respective crafts since they've been reduced to a stereotypical sensitive poet, a goth Johnny Depp type, and a raging homophobe. The movie stars exactly one actual male Spaniard, Javier Beltran as the doomed writer, and two of Morrison's fellow Englishmen, Robert Pattinson as Dalí and James Dean lookalike Matthew McNulty as Buñuel. Indeed, beginning with the ridiculous casting, “Little Ashes” is less a film than just a series of bad ideas piled on top of one another, many courtesy of first-time screenwriter Philippa Goslett.

To read the rest of my review visit Slant.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Wink and a Smile Review

The ten brave students at Seattle’s Academy of Burlesque, who shimmy in pasties and heels, unexpectedly and touchingly reveal themselves in more ways than one in Deidre Timmons’ “A Wink and a Smile.” The film combines talking head interviews with the mostly average Jills and their anything-but-average headmistress Indigo Blue (who also serves as an enlightening guide and narrator through the burlesque scene of both today and yesteryear) with actual performances courtesy of the exhibitionist men and women of Seattle’s vibrant scene. But the biggest revelation of all is that this breathtaking doc just might be the sexy feel-good flick of the year.

To read the rest of my review visit Spout.