Tuesday, June 16, 2009

London Calling

Yet another reason to move to Europe.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Be Like Others

It's rare when a documentary comes along that truly shines a light on a virtually unexplored issue, and Iranian-American director Tanaz Eshaghian's “Be Like Others” is gripping drama because it does exactly that. Sure, taking a camera to Tehran to follow the lives of several young men awaiting sex change operations in a country which punishes homosexuality by death would be intriguing in and of itself. But that the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa two decades ago allowing for these "diagnosed transsexuals" to legally undergo gender reassignment is nothing short of astonishing.

To read the rest of my review visit Slant.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shiny Happy Unclassified People: Why “Hair” Matters

Free love is in the air—and “Hair.” Forty years after the summer of ’69, the greatest tribal love-rock musical ever sung just won Best Revival of a Musical at the Tony Awards, while Pola Rapaport and Wolfgang Held’s documentary “Hair: Let the Sun Shine In” recently made the micro-cinema rounds.

The film’s clips from recent rehearsals notwithstanding, I’ve yet to see the musical in any of its incarnations (as I developed an aversion to peacenik shit during my punk rock youth). But after watching “Hair: Let the Sun Shine In” which mixes archival footage from the era and the production (along with its surrounding hype) with present-day interviews with the original cast and creative team, I feel like at least I’ve gotten the hippie Cliff’s notes version.

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

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Burning Bush!

Like the very best preachers Tracey Erin Smith in her one-woman dynamo show “The Burning Bush!”, which follows a rabbinical school dropout named Barbara who discovers the true meaning of spirituality at the Tit for Tat strip club – and takes both miraculous message and exotic dancers on tour to spread the holy word – doesn’t actually preach to her congregation. Instead the exuberant and passionate Smith actively listens to her audience, connecting, engaging and adjusting as she segues effortlessly from embodying the uptight Barbara to becoming a variety of diverse characters. There’s Christie, a Marilyn clone who worships Madonna, Sammy the homegirl stripper, a southern Jewish Martha Stewart, a Texas handyman who’s a dead ringer for Matthew McConaughey – and even the nebbish Jackie Mason himself who serves as Barbara’s guide and inner compass. Smith has taken Barbara’s revelation that strippers “listen” to their customers while giving lap dances to heart.

To read the rest of my review visit Theater Online.



with “Half price tickets: The Burning Bush!” in the subject line.