The top 10 entertainment highlights on our gaydar this week: John Waters throws a Christmas party in your town, film gets Young & Wild, plus artists Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and Keith Haring are new again.
10. MUSIC: Paloma Faith: Fall to Grace In the vein of Amy Winehouse and Duffy, but with a Björk-influenced style, Paloma is a blue-eyed Brit soul singer with some serious pipes. Her first album was a critical hit in the United Kingdom and she has her sights sets on American dominance with her follow-up collection, Fall to Grace (out Tuesday). The first single is "Pick Up the Pieces"; watch its beautifully-shot video below.
9. BOOKS: Sex Changes: A Memoir of Marriage, Gender, and Moving On by Christine Benvenuto Sex Changes is not for the faint of heart. Not because it's absolutely shocking, but because Christine Benvenuto pulls no punches when it comes to telling the story of the end of her marriage. One evening her husband, Tracy, turned to her and said he was constantly thinking about his gender identity. Two years later Tracy was living as a woman and moving out of their home. Christine's memoir is full of honesty, anguish, and humor as she retells how she navigated those years. Amazon.com
8. DVD: Deathtrap on Blu-ray At the height of his fame as Superman, Christopher Reeve took on Sidney Lumet's stage to film adaptation of Ira Levin's wickedly funny and hugely popular Broadway hit to test his mettle as an actor. His on-screen counterpart in this comedy-thriller was Michael Caine, the hugely talented British actor probably most recognizable as Alfred in the Batman films. The story revolves around a Broadway playwright who plans to murder someone to take credit for a script. Most notably, it features a kiss between Reeve and Caine — at the time something so controversial that preview audiences booed, and according to Time magazine, it cost the movie about $10 million in box office receipts. Caine vowed to never do another gay scene, and Reeve told reporters, "We kiss on the mouth. We handle it straight on. But I hope that audiences will not overfocus on the homosexual aspects of a thriller." Thankfully, you can find out what all the fuss was about now that the Warner Archive Collection is releasing the DVD and Blu-ray via MOD (Manufacturing on Demand) at WarnerArchive.com or WBShop.com
7. THEATER: The Killing of Sister George The iconic lesbian play, the basis for an equally iconic film, gets a new treatment at New Haven, Conn.’s Long Wharf Theatre with Kathleen Turner in the starring role of June Buckridge, a gin-swilling, cigar-smoking lesbian actress who plays the saintly Sister George on a British radio show. When the good sister is set to be written off the show, June refuses to go quietly. Long Wharf’s team says the late Frank Marcus’s play, considered shocking when it premiered in the 1960s, has been rewritten substantially “to emphasize character relationships,” but we still expect Turner, who also directs, to shock and awe the audience. Performances began this week and continue through December 23.
6. FILM: Young & Wild Chilean director Marialy Rivas’s debut feature is a provocative and playful (and very NC-17) story that reminds us of how entwined teenage sexual awakening and political coming of age is. The movie, in theaters today, centers on attractive 17-year-old Daniela, who finds that she wants more out of life (and her loins) than her evangelical family will allow. So she taps into a network of horny teens with her racy blog (which lends the film its title) while working at her family’s Christian TV station (as punishment for getting booted from school). Played expertly by Alicia Rodriguez, Daniela has a series of encounters while realizing that she refuses to limit her pleasures. In one of the hottest scenes, Daniel has sex with a woman named Sailor (played by the sexy Maria Gracia Omegna), a moment that makes the entire film worth viewing for many. Young & Wild (Sundance Selects) will release in New York at IFC Center and on video-on-demand nationwide today.
5. DVD: Inspired: The Voices Against Prop. 8 In the wake of President Obama’s reelection and historic marriage equality wins in four states, director Charlie Gage’s DVD release of Inspired: The Voices Against Prop. 8 couldn’t come at a better time. Hitting stores Tuesday, this compelling documentary chronicles nearly 30 diverse lives changed forever by the passage of Proposition 8, which revoked marriage equality in California by popular vote in 2008. Inspired goes beyond the sound bites, introducing the audience to the real people behind the movement for equality, along with a healthy dose of celebrity voices, including Lady Gaga, Drew Barrymore, Cynthia Nixon, Cleve Jones, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and more. Watch the trailer below:
4. BOOKS: Frida Kahlo/Andy Warhol/Keith Haring Graphic Novels German artist Willi Bloess's 40-page graphic biographies on artistic heavyweights Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Frida Kahlo are among the first six books that he has chosen to release in the United States. Bloess's series has been featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Today and chronicles the lives of not only these artists but also Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, and Salvador Dalí. Blue Water Productions
3. THEATER: We Three Lizas In what’s described as “a dark, sexy holiday musical for a queer new world,” a man named Conrad Ticklebottom seeks to conjure the Great Queen of Wishes, who can grant him youth, wealth, and beauty. Instead, Liza Minnelli appears at his door, and chaos ensues. A world premiere production of Chicago’s LGBT-focused About Face Theatre, it opens tonight and runs through December 23 at the Steppenwolf Garage in the Windy City. There’s also a 45-minute cocktail party with guest artists in “Liza’s Lounge” before each performance.
2. MUSIC: Ke$ha: Warrior The New York Times gave a lot of ink to Ke$ha recently, and it felt like the Gray Lady was working overtime to give the raunchy star some legitimacy. The jury's still out on whether Ke$ha is actually a musician, though we know she's a big gay rights supporter, and her collaborations with producer Dr. Luke are undeniably catchy (though indistinguishable). Her second album, Warrior, is out Tuesday, and first single, "Die Young," is pure ear crack — the nonsensical video is below.
1. THEATER: A John Waters Christmas If your taste in holiday entertainment leans more toward the naughty than nice, there’s good news — John Waters is coming to town! Several towns, at least. The filmmaker, raconteur, and connoisseur of all things filthy is touring with his 10th annual edition of A John Waters Christmas, a one-man show for those who have a love-hate relationship with the holiday. He has December dates scheduled in upstate New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, Boise, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit, and other locations. Find a full list of shows and venues here; tickets for some locations are on Ticketmaster.