(Russia) Gay and Lesbian Film Festival “Bok o Bok” which was supposed to take place in Saint Petersburg from today and last until Sunday finally did not open after Fire Department Inspectors closed the place due to problems with fire security. In a phone interview to Project GayRussia.Ru, Organiser of the festival Irina Sergeeva said that the clubs “The Place” and “Sochi” where the screenings of the films were supposed to take place, were closed due to fire security reasons. Read more...
(India) - An Indian all-male group is set to stage a Bollywood musical at the Mardi Gras stage show in Sydney. The musical, Butterflies Of The Mughal Garden, based on a Gay theme, will premiere at Petersham's Metropolitan Community Church, Sydney on Feb 15. Group leader Raj Ayappan says that since there's no mention of the Gay undertones in the advertising, many Bollywood fans might get a bit of a shock after seeing the musical. "Some people might get a bit of a shock. Because often in the Indian subcontinent region, being Gay is taboo. You can be arrested and jailed," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ayappan, as saying. The musical travels from the 16th-century Mughal empire to 21st-century Sydney, describing two parallel tales of 'forbidden love.'
Note: Read more on Daily India
(Canada) - Before our story begins, a shout-out to Ralph Klein. The former Alberta premier is not exactly what you'd call a Gay icon, but he has inspired the queerest theatrical project to come out of Western Canada ever. Bash'd, a two-person Gay hip-hop opera, written and performed by Edmonton's Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow, grew out of a spike in Gay bashings in the province in 2005 that coincided with Klein's last-ditch battle to stop Gay marriage in Alberta. Klein's reign is one for the history books now, the bashings are mere statistics in the hate-crime folder and same-sex marriages have been legal in Alberta since July, 2005, but ever since it premiered in Edmonton in October, 2006, Bash'd has been unstoppable.
Note: Read more on Globe & Mail
Saint Petersburg, Russia (PRWEB) November 30, 2007 -- In Fall 2008, Russia will host Side by Side ("Bok o Bok"), its first international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival. Taking place in Saint Petersburg, the festival will run from 2-5 October, 2008, with films and events at the historic Dom Kino House of Cinema, one of Europe's premier venues for quality world cinema. The event, which is expected to draw visitors from over 30 countries as well as major international sponsors, will give film enthusiasts of all persuasions the opportunity to enjoy the very best in contemporary lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cinema. Over 4 days, Side by Side will showcase work from around the world including feature films, innovative independent films, documentaries, experimental and short films. Read more...
Novelist Jane Rule, whose life and work were a combined statement in support of social equality and personal generosity, died last night of liver cancer at her home on Galiano Island, B.C.
She was 76.
Rule was equally known for her fiction and for her status as a lesbian role model.
"She was the first Canadian woman writer to write about being gay as if it was part of the normal life," Toronto novelist Susan Swan said last night from her Toronto home.
"There was no self-consciousness about it. There didn't seem to be any need for her to wave a political flag. This female character as a lesbian – you picked that up by reading the story. You weren't reading the story to find out what it was like to be a lesbian."
Note: Read more at The Star
(Canada) - Edmonton's Queer Arts and Culture Festival runs from Nov. 23 to Dec. 1. It will feature music, photography, theatre, literature and films by Gays and Lesbians from across Canada. Organizers were able to secure $60,000 in funding and in-kind donations from a variety of groups, including the city and the University of Alberta. Events will take place at venues throughout the city, including the Art Gallery of Alberta, Latitude 53 Gallery, the University of Alberta and Metro Cinema.
Note: Read more on Edmonton Sun
(UK) - A nude stage show from the producers of the sell-out New York revue Naked Boys Singing! is shocking audiences in this country ... or at least the posters for the show are. Several English local authorities are asking for the full-frontal images on the billboards advertising the show to be covered up with modesty stickers. Get Naked: The Boys are Back in Town is an all-male, all-singing, all-nude ensemble cabaret piece inspired by the hit off-Broadway show that has become a cult international franchise in the last six years. The posters, which feature the cast covered by nothing but the glow of the spotlight, have already drawn complaints at the start of a UK tour this month.
Note: Read more on Guardian
(USA) - A love song to Hollywood's "it takes one of every kind" platoon flicks and to 1940s Broadway, Yank! tells the story of a war reporter named Stu and an army private named Mitch who fall in love and struggle to survive in a time and place where the odds are stacked against them. Suffused with songs in period style (swing, big band, boogie-woogie) Yank! explores what stories don't get told in wartime, and how WWII became the great catalyst in bringing Gay men and women together. With the hot-button topics of "don't ask, don't tell" military policy and Gay marriage currently poised to be at the forefront of US politics for the November 2008 presidential election, The Gallery Players' mounting of Yank! is timely indeed. The show features book and lyrics by David Zellnik and music by Joseph Zellnik.
Note: Read more on Theater Mania
As undefined as visual art can sometimes be there is still a measured structure to it which can resonate with a viewer so much so that it “pops” from the canvass into the psyche of a mesmerized admirer. Termed as pop impressionism, this style of artistic expression has been perfected by San Francisco artist, David Derosa, whose recent “Catachismic” series takes on a distinctly spiritual theme while using opposing shades of light and dark, positive and negative shapes with text that contain dual meanings of his subjects in everyday poses. Read more...
(UK) - The Ugandan writer who won the Caine Prize for African Writing with a story about lesbianism, often a taboo topic in Africa, says she is "very excited". Monica Arac de Nyeko beat four other finalists to get the $20,000 (£10,000) prize for her story Jambula Tree. It is about a relationship between young girls in a country where homosexuality is illegal. Jambula Tree was described as "witty and mischievous" by the judges. Her publisher Becky Ayebia Clarke said when she first read the story she thought "how brave" Ms Arac de Nyeko was to take on the subject. "In Africa these are not the kind of stories we're allowed to tell. She's taking on a theme that Africans have been in denial about - a theme about same-sex love."
Note: Read full article on BBC
It's hard not to love Owen Pallett. It's the music that gets you first. There is a fiercely compelling quality to the songs penned by the Toronto violinist. And once drawn in, small tastes of Pallett's personality - during live performances or radio broadcasts - has most listeners hooked. Deeply personable and amusingly self-effacing, the young musician is quite willing to spill his guts on all the biggies - whether music, sex, religion, cooking, pop culture and social theories. Pallett's solo project Final Fantasy (a tribute to the Japanese videogame series of which he is a fan) eases in and out of melodramatic baroque pop. Amidst the swells of evocative strings, the lyrics are intimate, sometimes confessional and always part of a bigger concept.
Note: Read full article on www.xtra.ca
When the decadent Kit Kat Club featured in the musical “Cabaret” roars back to life next week, it does so in a most unlikely location: Atlanta’s Shakespeare Tavern. Gay actor Jeff McKerley stars as the Emcee, a character he says he always liked. McKerley’s Emcee leads us through the action set at a Berlin nightclub in the ‘20s, where outside the Nazi Party is rising into power. “The Emcee is a Greek Chorus kind of person,” McKerley says. “Sometimes he speaks for the others in the cast. He is an omnisexual kind of person. I like to think of him as the honest Everyman underdog.” McKerley also choreographs the musical.
Note: Read full article on Sothern Voice
(Beirut/London) - Organisers of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) have announced the winners of two poster competitions, one of them based in Lebanon. The anonymous winner of the competition organised by the Beiruy-based Helem (the Arabic acronym of "Lebanese Protection for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) produced a striking poster in Arabic using the “rainbow colours” and barbed wire (see above). Read more...
Fifteen years have passed since Tony Kushner completed Angels in America, his devastating, Pulitzer prize-winning epic about the Aids explosion of the 1980s. The world may have progressed from regarding Aids as a gay plague, but many of the other complex issues raised – racism, homophobia, drug addiction and religious oppression – are as pertinent as ever. Just witness last year’s gleefully documented downfall of the closeted congressman (and sometime Scientology fan) Mark Foley, or the recent free-speech debate triggered by the sacking of the racist radio host Don Imus.
Note: Read full article on Times Online
The creator of Coronation Street has spoken out about the prejudice he faced as a gay man writing the soap in the Sixties. Tony Warren, who wrote the original episodes back in 1960, was openly gay before decriminalisation in 1967 - and says he lived in fear of what was going to happen to him. He said: "I never went past Strangeways jail without thinking, `Is that where I'm going to end up?' "Although I was out to other gay people at Granada, it was almost unwise to let people know." Tony said that although `a lot of creative people at Granada didn't care', he did face a barrage of homophobic remarks from some staff.
Note: Read full article on www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk
(Baltimore, USA) - Cherry Jones is either a disarming, self-effacing woman with an easy smile and a warm, down-home charm, or she's a dark and fearsome dreadnought, a monolith of cold, congealed, righteous wrath. The difference lies in whether she's herself, the 50-year-old, two-time Tony award-winning actress from Paris, Tenn., or Sister Aloysius, principal of a Catholic school in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1964 in John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer-winning play, Doubt, which opens tonight at the Hippodrome.
Note: Read full article on Baltimore Sun
(Trinidad and Tobago) - After weeks of gay-bashing by some pastors who were against his performance, which left an air of unease in the sister-isle, international pop icon Sir Elton John conquered Tobago at the Plymouth Jazz Festival on Sunday, in a 90-minute performance that left some in tears and others dancing in gay abandon to his music. Sir Elton’s performance brought the curtain down on the three-day festival which saw some of pop and rhythm and blues’ hottest international acts performing before thousands.
Note: Read full article on News Day
(USA) - On the surface, an openly gay actor, one who majored in musical theater in college, may not run against the grain. But Eric Millegan is not one to be summed up and dismissed. The baby-faced 32-year-old - New Jersey native by birth, Oregonian by rearing - is full of surprises. Though Millegan is maintaining a pace that's allowed him no time off for the past two years, he's adding some support for the community into the mix. When the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund holds its seventh annual champagne brunch on Sunday, April 22, Millegan will serve as emcee.
Note: Read full article on www.metroweekly.com
The world seemed very young when Armistead Maupin wrote "Tales of the City" in 1976. To thousands of lesbians and gays, newly arrived in San Francisco to revel in queer liberation, pension plans and grandchildren seemed utterly irrelevant. "I think a lot of people back then -- myself included -- didn't really think too hard about what it was going to be like to get older," Maupin recalls.
Note: Read full article on Planet Out
The contradictions at the heart of the spider's symbolism fascinated the Argentinian writer Manuel Puig (1932-90), who placed it at the centre of his most famous work, Kiss of the Spider Woman. This story of the unlikely friendship between two cellmates - Valentin, a Marxist revolutionary, and Molina, a gay man who sees himself as a woman - has gone through several incarnations. The novel was published in Spain in 1974, having first been banned in the author's homeland. In 1985 the film version, starring William Hurt and Raul Julia, earned Hurt an Oscar and brought the tale to a wider audience.
Note: Read ful article on Guardian
(Georgia) - R. Tim Brady, a senior at Emory University, wrote an opera based on the hanging of two young teen boys in Iran in 2005 as part of an activist approach to global anti-gay sentiment. Since the 1979 islamic revolution in Iran, an estimated 4,000 people have been executed for the crime of lavaat, or sex between two men. One particular execution captured the attention of R. Timothy Brady, a 21-year old music composition major at Emory University, while he was studying abroad in Italy during the summer of 2005. It was the case of Mahmoud Asgari, 17, and Ayaz Marhoni, 16, who were publicly hanged in Edalat Square on July 19, 2005, after they were accused of being lovers. "I'm gay - that could happen to me," Brady says. "It doesn’t matter that they’re Iranian or they’re half way across the world, it still really hit home."
Note: Read full article on Southern Voice
(USA) - Ever on the cutting edge of cultural criticism, the venerable Utne Reader has uncovered a phenomenon: gay hip hop. Startling but true, the Reader has actually managed to track down one or two of these elusive creatures in the wild and devotes all of 250 words to an exploration of their mad, topsy-turvy world.
Note: The crazy, improbable truth is in the Utne Reader
(Sydney) - Australian pop singer and former Australian Idol contestant Anthony Callea has come out of the closet, after being accidentally outed by a Sydney radio host earlier this month. “Yes, I am gay,” Callea told News Limited on Monday. His sexuality has been the subject of much speculation, especially since he denied being gay in 2004 and insisted, “I'm not gay. I don't know why people say I am. A lot of people just make up rubbish.”
Note: Get the not-so-shocking detials at Gay.com
(Canada) - Like so many struggling, independent artists, Toronto-based Kids on TV can't live without this cyber-venue for the networking and freebie advertising it affords. But, as with any relationship, dependence has its downside: the Kids have become slaves to MySpace. They're at the mercy of its sensitive cyber censors and are nervous their setup could be yanked at any time. Band members are trying to triple their luck of staying alive on MySpace, after their flagship page was spontaneously deleted a couple of weeks ago.
Note: Read the rest in the Toronto Star
(USA) - Probably the most remarkable part of of Tobin Atkinson's great play, "The Alienation Effekt," is that it was written 10 years ago. If you didn't know better, you'd swear it was written yesterday. "The Alienation Effekt" is as relevant today as it was a decade ago during the height of the debate over allowing gay clubs in public schools. Fast forward to 2007, and the issue of gay clubs once again stirred heavy debate at Utah's Capitol. (Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. signed a bill earlier this month that gives schools the authority to reject a club application in order to "protect the physical, emotional and moral well-being of students" and would require parental permission for a student to join extracurricular clubs).
Note: Read full article on deseretnews.com
(UK) - TV's Little Britain star Matt Lucas wants to be the new Timelord if David Tennant quits Doctor Who. BBC chiefs have confirmed a fourth series will be made, but Tennant is tipped to go halfway through filming. Matt, 33 — famous for playing “only gay in the village” Daffyd — wants to replace him. His partner Kevin McGee said: “Matt would love to be in Doctor Who. I can see him playing the part.” Read more...
Behind Every Great Woman There's A Fabulous Gay Man, the title of Dave Singleton's latest self-help tome declares. Is there? Writer Rachel Charman, herself a great woman, took the book home for a little light reading. She was not happy. There is a paradox between the title of this book and the text; namely, that Singleton's presentation of straight women shows them to be weak, needy, irrational and pathetic, their only greatness a reflection of that emanating from their "Gay Boyfriend."
Note: Read the fulll book review at Pink News
Apparently after much back and forth over GLAAD’s refusal to allow the gay media to submit for its annual Media Awards, here! Networks has decided to pull its support from this year’s event. here! Networks, a national gay television network the features gay and lesbian programming 24/7 and which has in the past been a major sponsor of GLAAD’s Media Awards, sent out a notice via e-mail to their actors, writers, directors and producers stating that the network will no longer support the GLAAD Media Awards or GLAAD until their policy of excluding gay media is changed to be “fair and inclusive.”
Note: Read the rest at JasmyneCannick.com
The most curious aspect of Ian McKellen's long-awaited debut as King Lear this week, in a production directed by Trevor Nunn for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford, is how obvious a part it is for him. For decades, McKellen, 67, had not done the obvious. While contemporaries such as Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt and Michael Gambon made their lives before the cameras, McKellen stuck, for the most part, to the stage.
Note: Read full article on Observer
Alas, poor Juliet. Matthew Bourne, Britain’s most successful choreographer, is to give Romeo a male lover in a gay version of the romantic tragedy. Bourne, whose all-male Swan Lake has enthralled audiences for more than a decade, is again using an all-male cast for Romeo, Romeo - his version of Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, based on the Shakespeare play. Bourne’s Swan Lake, in which all the swans and cygnets are male, was first staged at Sadler’s Wells theatre in London in 1995, and became the longest-running ballet in London’s West End and on Broadway. But although it was critically celebrated, Bourne has long had concerns that it was short of being a true homosexual work of art, since many of the performers were not playing people.
Note: Read full article on Times Online
John Neumeier's "free adaptation" of Thomas Mann's novella Death in Venice for the marvelous dancers of the Hamburg Ballet walks a fine line between astute theatricality and melodrama, between brilliant passages of movement and banal gestures. The primary message is that the life of an artist - even a famous, successful one - can be hell unless he's in creative touch with his inner child; i.e., his emotions. Because Neumeier has transformed Mann's tragic hero from a writer into a choreographer, Gustav von Aschenbach's infatuation with the beautiful young Tadzio seems more about envying the spontaneity he doesn't find in the ballet studio than about craving gorgeous male flesh; there's plenty of that around.
Note: Read full article on www.villagevoice.com
(USA) - These days, Takei probably spends as much time talking about gay rights as he does about “Star Trek,” after deciding to open up about his personal life for the first time in 2005. “You know, I’ve been out, with, certainly family and friends, and my `Star Trek’ colleagues, for many, many years,” he said. “The only thing I had not done is talk to the press” about it, something that changed when California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a same-sex marriage bill. Until the veto, “I thought surely ... my partner and I were going to be able to get married,” he said. “When he played to the narrowest, most reactionary segment of his conservative base and vetoed, I felt I needed to speak out. And for me to do that, my voice needed to be authentic. And so I spoke to you guys for the first time.”
Note: Read full article on www.popmatters.com
"Coming out is a blessing, you know, it's one that straight people don't enjoy," actor Sir Ian McKellen told me some years ago. "They never have to come out! They don't know what it's all about and misunderstand it and get much more exercised about being outed than we do." Still, gay celebrities will almost always choose the closet over full disclosure because none of them want to take a hit in the pocketbook. For them, selling millions of records, books and movie tickets trumps telling the truth. But by doing so - enjoying the privileges of being straight from 9 to 5, and then expecting to be embraced by the gay community after hours - closet cases are living lies that affect us all.
Note: Read full article on www.hour.ca
(Key West, USA) - It isn't often that a startup local TV station makes the David Letterman show Top 10. Desperate Poolboys and The King of Queens -- these are two of the talk host's ideas for programming on Key West's upcoming WGAY-TV. Station owners and program providers say WGAY on UHF Channel 41 will be the first gay-oriented, over-the-air TV channel in the United States. The low-power station is scheduled to begin broadcasting from Big Coppitt Key in February. It will be seen throughout the Keys on Comcast Cable and throughout the world on the Internet.
Note: Read full article on Miamy Harald
As Matthew Bourne's acclaimed male Swan Lake returns to London, he talks about growing up gay in the East End, why his dancers aren't anorexic and why he's too busy to exercise.
Note: Read full article on www.timesonline.co.uk
So Michael Billington wonders why British playwrights aren't writing more gay farces, when the gay comedy of manners is proving so successful on Broadway. There are two answers to this. One, because British theatres aren't commissioning them, and most writers have a hard enough time making ends meet without writing work just for the hell of it. And two, if gay writers write gay stories, we're told we're "ghetto-ising" ourselves; if straight writers write about gay themes, they're told they don't know what they're talking about.
Note: Read full article on Guardian
(USA) - The moment Frieda Lee Mock was seduced into filming the life of Tony Kushner did not come about the way you or I probably first heard of this titanic queer culture maven: through exposure to his monumental Angels in America, a two-part, seven-hour play that, among other things, revolutionized gay theatre by totally transcending the category. No, for Mock, who copped an Oscar for her riveting portrait of Maya Lin, the architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the hook for her interest in arguably America's most important queer playwright came through a shared passion for a remote if historically ravaged corner of the world.
Note: Read full article on BayAreaReporter