¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.? is America’s first bilingual situation comedy, which ran from 1977-1980 and the first sitcom to be produced for PBS.. The program explored the trials and tribulations faced by the Peñas, a Cuban-American family living in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, as they struggled to cope with a new country. Along the way the sitcom tackled pressing social issues such as homophobia, addiction, women’s liberation, and sexual freedom.
The “Is Joe Gay?” episode was filmed in 1980 and is as relevant today as it was then.
This virtual edition of Broadway Backwards 2021 will explore how the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic has specifically affected the LGBT community. The show will feature Jay Armstrong Johnson as an isolated New Yorker who dreams a fantastical journey guided by a late night television host, portrayed by Jenn Colella.
This year’s production includes a special opening number with Stephanie J. Block, Deborah Cox and Lea Salonga. And the star-studded finale includes new performances by Amy Adams, James Monroe Iglehart, Cheyenne Jackson, L Morgan Lee, Raymond J. Lee, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Ruthie Ann Miles, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Kelli O’Hara, Karen Olivo, Bernadette Peters, Sis and Elizabeth Stanley. The finale also includes special appearances by Debbie Allen, Matt Bomer, Brenda Braxton, Len Cariou, Glenn Close, Loretta Devine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Cherry Jones, Aasif Mandvi, Michael McElroy, Javier Muñoz, Jim Parsons, Eve Plumb, Roslyn Ruff and Tony Yazbeck.
Other special guests include: Chasten Buttigieg, Anderson Cooper, Ariana DeBose, Don Lemon, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Robin Roberts, Tony Shalhoub and Ben Vereen.
Broadway Backwards is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and benefits Broadway Cares and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City. The free online event, can be viewed at here through 11:59 pm Saturday, April 3.
In 1993, Sam Mendes directed a new production of Cabaret for the Donmar Warehouse in London’s West End. It starred Jane Horrocks as Sally, Adam Godley as Cliff, Alan Cumming as the Emcee and Sara Kestelman as Fräulein Schneider. Cumming received an Olivier Award nomination for his performance and Kestelman won the Olivier for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical. Mendes’s conception was very different from either the original production or the conventional first revival.
Vapors, a black & white 16mm short was released in 1965 and is one of the earliest commercially released films to deal explicitly with the lifestyles of gay men.
During the early 1960s, Andy Milligan, the films director became involved in the nascent off-off-Broadway theatre movement, mounting productions of plays by Lord Dunsany and Jean Genet at the Caffe Cino as well as directing productions at Cafe La Mama La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. During the same period, he operated and designed for a clothing boutique named Ad Lib and used his dressmaking skills to costume many theatrical productions.
The film,set in a gay bathhouse, (The Saint Marks Baths) portrays the emotionally awkward and unconsummated meeting between two strangers Both Thomas (Gerald Jacuzzo) and Mr. Jaffe (Robert Dahdah) are first-time visitors to the baths and feel a little uneasy, but they find comfort with each other A Greek chorus of catty queens wander in and out of the scenes, sometimes swishing, sometimes dishing, and sometimes explaining the ropes to new arrivals.
The film transcends the gay aesthetic it represents and is really a meditation on loneliness–gay, straight, or whatever. While the room-tone echo on the recorded sound takes a little getting used to, it should not diminish the quality of the acting, which is quite moving in the case of the two leads. While the late Mr. Milligan was a unique filmmaker, Warhol always seemed to be his main-man artistically, and that’s clearer here than anywhere else in Milligan’s work. Milligan obviously knew what it meant to be lonely, to be afraid, and to reach out. This beautiful but raw film captures that as well as, for example, any Bergman film or Saul Bellow novel.
Its truly worth the watch for a glimpse into a world long forgotten and never known by many and truly missed by some.
You’ve made it through Halloween, now try to survive Christmas
Released to in 1984 with the hopes of becoming the next “Halloween” Silent was quickly yanked from theaters after only two weeks (not even giving it a chance to play on Christmas) due to the protests of many angry parents. Protesters actually lined up outside theaters with signs that read “Santa Does Not Slay” and “Deck the Halls with Holly, Not Bodies“. Apparently the ad campaign for the movie, which depicted Santa heading down the chimney with a big shiny axe, was giving children nightmares and made them terrified of ol’ Saint Nick. So TriStar caved in to all the pressure from the PTA, the ads were pulled from TV and the movie was removed from theaters shortly after
A young boy watches his parents killed by a thief in a Santa suit. He spends his youth in an orphanage, staying quietly to his self, but his mind is further bent by an iron-handed sadistic Mother Superior. When he turns 18 he finally leaves the orphanage after years of abuse and gets a job at a local store, where he finally snaps when he is required to wear a Santa suit, and goes on a killing spree that leads him slowly back to the orphanage.
For you gay geeks out there. Iron Man 3 will be based on the “Extremis” story arc by Warren Ellis.
Robert Downey, Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark, with Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Favreau reprising their roles as Pepper Potts, James Rhodes and Happy Hogan, respectively. Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale and Ben Kingsley round out the film’s principal cast.
The documentary Florent: Queen Of The Meat Market, directed by David Sigal follows the rise and fall of openly gay and openly HIV+ Florent Morellet’s namesake Meatpacking District restaurant which was long the post-clubbing meeting place for a spectacular mix of NYC’s nightlife in an area that was once populated in NYC’s meatpacking district which at night was filled with leather bars, sex clubs, and disco’s before it became a “trendy” neighborhood
Florent’s restaurant was forced out of business last year due the neighborhood’s rampant gentrification
Now that we are only two weeks for its third season, AMC and The Walking Dead producers have released an online-only undead appetizer in the form of a four-part series of webisodes titled “Cold Storage.”
The new series features actors Josh Stewart and Daniel Roebuck as a couple of survivors in a cold storage facility. And one of them is harboring quite a dark secret.
Enjoy and get ready for the Season 3 Premier all you GayGeeks out there.