Tag: television

Cabaret Review: Sharon Needles

sharon-needles

A song about Candy Darling by Lou Reed, and a Rocky Horror song delivered with a dash of Bette Davis and a whole lot of Alice Cooper – these were perhaps the most deliciously telling things about Sharon Needles’s Halloween-themed cabaret act. Needles keeps referring to her shtick as “stupid,” which I chalk up to a knee-jerk – and praise-worthy – punk need to puncture any and all kinds of self-importance. But don’t you believe it: This is one smart poison cookie!

The question I had going into this act was: “how well does this witch sing?” Because, like Bianca Del Rio, I don’t pay much attention to singles and albums released by drag queens. These are people who are meant to be seen live. And the answer? Sharon sings very well indeed, in a glam punk kind of way – the Alice Cooper reference above captures it, with an added dash of Marilyn Manson aggression.

The majority of the songs are from her campy horror albums. On those, the songs are done in a gothy version of the electropop style that is de rigeur for Drag Race graduates (I took a listen after I’d seen the act). Done live with only a piano, their hard rock roots are definitely showing, which makes me very happy. Makes me wonder what they would sound like played balls-to-the-wall Iggy & the Stooges style.

The above-mentioned cover versions are highlights of the evening. To hear the Velvet Undergound’s 1968 classic “Candy Says” sung with great sincerity and emotion by a man in a beautiful wig and dress is quite moving. And Sharon’s hilariously re-lyricized version of “Sweet Transvestite” gives new life to that midnight movie chestnut.

It’s a good thing this act is consistently high quality, cuz it’s a bit of a butt-buster with its nearly hour and a half length. That said, I didn’t really lose patience that whole time. Recommended.

For tickets, click here.

To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see jonathanwarman.com.

Cabaret Review: BenDeLaCreme

Bendelacreme Inferno2_JasonRusso

“What the Hell?” That’s the question posed by innovative drag performance artist BenDeLaCreme in her latest show, Inferno-A-Go-Go. BenDeLaCreme’s shows are truly unique, not just in drag performance, but in theatre as a whole. Sure, she includes the goofy song parodies and wisecracking comedy so common in drag. However, she’s after something far more sophisticated – her seductive strangeness creeps up on you.

The queen otherwise known as Ben Putnam is playing less of a ditz this time around, wryly joking about the fact that’s she’s chosen to do a drag cabaret based on Dante Alighieri’s 14th Century Italian epic poem Inferno. She’s more confident this time out, less coy about being more profound than the most chin-strokingly serious straight play, while rarely being less than belly-laugh hilarious.

BenDeLa forever rebukes the notion that arts of clowning, drag, circus, burlesque and ventriloquism are somehow less than other performance forms, somehow stupid. Putnam takes the best of all those forms and whips them into something new, fascinating and intensely intelligent. Not only that, BenDeLa uses these popular forms to probe the very biggest questions, switching from deep existential angst to spiritual lightness in the space of a minute – in between double entendres about sex and booze.

BenDeLaCreme is all about fantastic and ridiculous artifice, but also ultimately really about what that artifice can communicate and express about deeper things, like ethics and how to take care of ourselves and each other. She delivers a show that’s equal parts cheeky fun and insightful art, no small feat. Highly recommended.

For tickets, click here.

To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see jonathanwarman.com.

Caitlyn Jenner’s first Talk Show interview with Ellen [video]

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

caitlyn jenner ellen interview

Caitlyn Jenner sat down with Ellen Degeneres on Tuesday in her first talk show interview since her transition. In case you missed it, Jenner reiterated that she is a Republican and also said that she only agree with gay marriage in”some cases.”

Ellen challenged Caitlyn on supporting Republicans who might not support women’s and trans issues and said:

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blockquote>”It’s funny because you’re still a little not on board with it,” Ellen pointed out.

“No, I’m on board,” Caitlyn insisted. “It’s going to be pretty much the law of the land. So I still feel like yea, I’m ok with it. I don’t want to stand in front of somebodies happiness.”

You can watch some of Ellen’s interview with Caitlyn in the video below.

Caitlyn also talked about her struggle to transition and her family in the sit down.

Jenner was Ellen’s guest as she kicked off the 13th season of her talk show this week.

Gay Britcom “Vicious” premieres Season 2 tomorrow night

vicious mezzanine_910Freddie and Stuart are back! Gay “Sir” actors Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi return as the bitchy but loving old queens of Vicious for a new season of misadventures, involving family, the gym, weddings and such. Also returning are Frances de la Tour as their old friend Violet and Iwan Rheon as their neighbor Ash. More at PBS.org.

Big Brother Round Table- Weeks 3 and 4

Big Brother Round Table

It is that time of week again, folks!  I’ve once gathered GaySocialites.com’s Big Brother super fans to discuss our thoughts on the third and fourth weeks of Big Brother 17 on CBS.  A lot has happened since Charles Winters and Cody White last joined me to weigh in on the season, so we’re mixing up the format a little bit.

Let’s eavesdrop on our panelists as they discuss Big Brother 17. (Okay, so it’s a transcript you’ll be reading, but I couldn’t pass up on a chance to poke fun at Julie Chen!

Get more…

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