10. DVD: 1313: Nightmare Mansion
Don’t act like there’s not a special place in your heart and pants for David DeCoteau’s shamelessly homoerotic films like the Brotherhood series. Available April 26 on DVD, DeCoteau’s latest flick stars sexy Survivor: Nicaragua winner Jud “Fabio” Birza as one of many attractive young men — all stripped down to their briefs, of course — lured to a party by a demonic classmate who must sacrifice them to raise his mother from the dead.
9. EVENT: The 25th annual Easter Bonnet Competition
The culmination of six weeks of fund-raising by the New York theater community, this Broadway spectacular, which rises again April 25 and 26 at the Minskoff Theatre, boasts outrageous, bonnet-centric original performances from more than 20 shows. If the 24 previous editions — which raised over $42 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS — are any indication, expect skin and drag. Visit BroadwayCares.org for tickets.
8. TV: Animals Distract Me
Green Porno’s Isabella Rossellini continues her imaginative exploration of her strange fascination with animals in her fantastical new film, which airs April 23 on Planet Green. Eyelash mites, subway rats, and Charles Darwin visions distractingly intrigue the actress-model as she’s photographed by Fabrizio Ferri, eats lunch with Mario Batali, and pores over the wardrobe of her mother, Ingrid Bergman, with Vogue’s André Leon Talley.
7. DVD: I Want What I Want
Based on Geoff Brown’s 1966 novel, John Dexter’s controversial 1972 film about a transgender woman is now available on DVD. Acclaimed British actress Anne Heywood won raves for her portrayal of Roy, a young English bloke who works in real estate and lives with his widowed father. Roy starts overcoming his loneliness and depression when he adopts a new identity as a woman named Wendy and soon falls in love with a man.
6. BOOKS: Tenn at One Hundred: The Reputation of Tennessee Williams; Dinner with Tennessee Williams: Recipes and Stories Inspired by America’s Southern Playwright; Tennessee Williams and Company: His Essential Screen Actors; and The World of Tennessee Williams: Revised and Updated
Recently released in honor of what would have been the 100th birthday of Tennessee Williams, these four books compile essays on how the great gay playwright’s reputation was made and manipulated; materialize the piquant flavor in his writing; examine his work through the performances and careers of collaborators like Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando; and freshen up his essential 1978 hardcover biography in paperback.
5. FILM: 2011 Tribeca Film Festival
The downtown New York fest, which runs through May 1, features many LGBT-interest films this year: Emily Deschanel stars as the lesbian daughter of Kathleen Turner’s Catholic mother in The Perfect Family; The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye documents the quest of performance artist Genesis P-Orridge and his wife to literally become one; and the “year in the life” doc The Bully Project puts faces on America’s bullying crisis.
4. DVD: The Stonewall Uprising
Based on David Carter’s book Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution and produced for the PBS American Experience series, this deft documentary by Emmy-winning filmmakers David Heilbroner and Kate Davis stresses the importance of June 28, 1969, through amazing archival footage and inspiring interviews with riot participants and Stonewall Inn patrons. The film airs on PBS April 25, one day before its DVD release.
3. FILM: Beautiful Darling
In limited release April 22, James Rasin’s stylishly sentimental documentary spotlights late trans starlet Candy Darling, a fixture of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene. We hear about Lou Reed’s muse through interviews with folks like Fran Leibowitz and John Waters, but we really get to know her through telling anecdotes from Jeremiah Newton, Darling’s close friend and roommate, and from hearing Darling’s diaries read by Chloë Sevigny.
2. TV: Cinema Verite
Premiering April 23, this HBO film pries deeper behind the scenes of the landmark 1973 PBS series An American Family, which is widely considered the first example of reality television. Kaboom’s Thomas Dekker stars as the exposed family’s son Lance Loud, a flamboyant rebel who later fronted the Mumps and wrote an Advocate column. Though he never actually came out on camera, he’s often credited as the first gay man on TV.
1. THEATER: The Normal Heart
Larry Kramer’s 1985 play about the dawn of the AIDS crisis is finally beating on Broadway. Directed by Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, the production, which opens April 27 at the John Golden Theatre, stars actor-director Joe Mantello as activist Ned Weeks, leading a stellar cast that includes Ellen Barkin, John Benjamin Hickey, Lee Pace, Jim Parsons, and Luke Macfarlane. Grab a copy of Kramer’s letter after the show.