Op-ed: Why Provincetown for a Bear Pilgrimage
When it came time to decide where the boys of BearCity would spend a wedding celebration, producer Jim Lande pitched Provincetown to director Doug Langway as the BearCity 2 pilgrimage over San Francisco — albeit another great city. Capturing this fishing village in a film, I think, is going to make waves.
In late August of 2011, a torrential rainfall hit NYC as Hurricane Irene shut down lower Manhattan. Following Irene came another relentless tropical storm and, in between the two, I had a few days to become acquainted with Provincetown and get accustomed to its indelible uniqueness. As I’m on board for BearCity 2: The Proposal as an actor and co-executive producer, I wanted a few days to introduce myself to some of the local businesses and sweet talk my way into a few perks for the cast and crew while we’re in town.
The heart of P-Town is Commercial Street. A one-way lane lined with aesthetic beach houses, art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, boutiques and salons. The ubiquitous chains that seem to line every town across America are nowhere to be seen. No large banks or 7-Elevens. No Gap. No TGI Friday’s or Waffle House. (And you know I love me some scattered, smothered, and covered. Jus’ sayin’.) The street runs parallel to the Cape Cod Bay and is more of a pedestrian passageway than a driver-friendly road.
Straight young couples push strollers, heterosexual newlyweds hold hands, non-LGBT families and tourists of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities wander and mix with gay families, leather daddies, drag queens and every infinitesimal aspect of each letter in L, G, B, T.. Bikes weave in and out of the crowds as guys in towels, local musicians, restaurant employees, female impersonators and a few gay icons bark out advertisements. To wander Commercial Street is a singular experience.
The people are as impressive. I met Michael Cunningham, the exceptional local author, the moment I stepped onto Commercial Street from the beach house that we called home for two weeks of our shoot. I brazenly picked a sleepy from the corner of his eye, and an instant friendship developed.
I met the local florist to have small arrangements delivered to our amazing ladies who have joined the cast – Kathy Najimy and Susie Mosher. And I introduced myself to the owner of the local eatery Relish, which provided many of our on-set meals thanks to the work of producer Jim Lande, who is also a local resident. Then I went gaga over the strapping owner of P-Town Massage and Bodyworks while weaseling a sweet rate for our cast and crew. And graciously I accepted a discount offer while flirting it up with the sexy gym rats who run the local gym, Mussel Beach.
I find myself on the inside path with those who leave their lives behind to come work or reside here for the season. And I think I might fall in love with this Cape Cod town in Massachusetts. (NYC is gonna bitch slap me if you repeat that, so keep it quiet y’all.)
See more photos from the movie and P-Town on the following pages.
Aaron Tone as "Nate"
Gregory Gunter as "Michael" and James Martinez as "Carlos."
Seated in back are actors Stephen Guarino as "Brent" and Brian Keane as "Fred."