ART: “Fairoaks Project: Photographs by Frank Melleno” Melleno’s Polaroid images provide a rare look inside a San Francisco gay bathhouse, the Fairoaks Hotel, in the pre-AIDS era of the late 1970s. Melleno was part owner and night manager of the Fairoaks, which was run by a gay commune in counterculture style and hosted monthly theme parties. The photos, previously shown in Los Angeles, now make a Pride Month appearance in San Francisco at the Center for Sex and Culture in a show curated by Gary Freeman, and they portray “social and sexual behavior with celebration and no apology,” according to the gallery. There will be an opening reception tonight from 7 to 10 p.m., featuring the Boyfriend, a singing trio tracing its origin to performance artist Vaginal Davis. There will also be a closing reception from 1 to 4 p.m. on Pride Sunday, June 30. See a previous AdvocateArtist Spotlight feature on the photos here.
VOD: White Frog Director Quentin Lee’s White Frog, a coming-of-age story about a neglected teen with mild Asperger’s syndrome who struggles to deal with the death of his brother, is now available to view on VOD, with a DVD release scheduled for July 16. The film was one of the highlights of Outfest 2012 and stars Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga), Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), and Harry Shum Jr. (Glee). Watch the official trailer for the film below.
ART: “AIDS in New York: The First Five Years” From 1981 through 1985, New York City was an epicenter of both the AIDS pandemic and the activism that challenged the political and medical establishments to respond to the disease. The New York Historical Society seeks to assure this era won’t be forgotten by mounting this exhibit of posters, photographs, and artifacts drawn from the New York Public Library, New York University, and the National Archive of LGBT History. It opens today and continues through September 15, and there’ll be a gallery tour led by curator Jean Ashton Monday.
THEATER: The Pride Chicago’s LGBT-focused About Face Theatre kicks off Pride season with the Windy City premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s award-winning British drama with two storylines, 50 years apart, showing the shifts in gay life. In 1958 a man named Philip is married to Sylvia but in love with Oliver; in 2008, Oliver’s addiction to public sex with strangers causes Philip to leave him, and Sylvia picks up the pieces. Now through July 13 at the Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater.
MUSIC: CSS: Planta The cheeky Brazilian female quartet CSS is back with Planta, its fourth album, out Tuesday. Written in and inspired by Los Angeles, Planta follows the girls' bouncy, electro-inspired formula with tunes like "Honey" and the very fun "Frankie Goes to North Hollywood." A U.S. tour starts June 14 in Orange County. See the video below:
THEATER: Frankenstein Upstairs Sophie and Marisol live together, love together, and run their business together, all out of one DUMBO loft. But their relationship is about to be tested beyond all imaginable limits when they meet their upstairs neighbor — a strange, reclusive woman named Victoria Frankenstein. Through June 30 at the Secret Theatre in New York.
DVD: House of Cards: The Complete First Season There’s a moment in House of Cards, the groundbreaking Netflix series starring Kevin Spacey, when LGBT viewers will say “aha” and “oh, no” within moments of each other. It comes halfway through the series, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Sony Tuesday, and suddenly everything makes more sense and yet is murkier still. That’s the brilliance of Spacey’s story of political revenge, which also stars Robin Wright and Kate Mara. The perfect Father’s Day gift, this DVD set lets viewers who don’t have Netflix watch it the way everyone else did: in one weekend binge.
EVENT: June 12-15: Nike’s LGBT Sports Summit in Portland Advocates, athletes, coaches, political figures, and media professionals will descend on Portland, Ore., next week to tackle the fight against homophobia in sports, in the second annual LGBT Sports Summit summit sponsored by Nike. Over the course of the three-day summit. attendees will examine best practices, troubleshoot common problems, and develop projects to address anti-LGBT bias in kindergarten through professional sports. The summit was founded by Outsports.com’s Cyd Zeigler, National Center for Lesbian Rights Sports Project director Helen Carroll, and LGBT sports pioneer Pat Griffin. More info here.
TELEVISION: Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads on Here TV It’s campy, it’s witty, it’s fabulous! The feature-length film Varla and the Mushroomheads is a guaranteed laugh-out-loud experience. After years of performing in dive bars and bathhouses around New Orleans, semicelebrity and loose chanteuse Varla Jean Merman decides to make a career move by creating her own kids’ show. Along the way, she runs into the likes of Emmy nominee Donna Drake and famed music mirector Seth Rudetsky to create a hilarious comedy full of zany characters and unexpected situations. The film stars Jeffery Roberson as Varla Jean and was directed by Michael Schiralli in the latest of their many Varla Jean collaborations. Roberson has taken his famous alter ego around the country and national television on such shows as Project Runway. With the timing of Dame Edna and the silliness of Carol Burnett, he delivers such candid comedy that only legends can boast of. Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads premieres today only on Here TV. Also premiering on Here TV are the 30-minute comedy Half Share and the new series The Gayest Show Ever.