10. THEATER: Upstairs This new musical drama is based on one of the worst tragedies in LGBT history — an arson fire at the Upstairs Lounge, a New Orleans gay bar, that claimed 32 lives June 24, 1973. Forty years later, writer-composer Wayne Self and director Zach McCallum give voice to those who perished. The show opened last night and continues through Sunday at Café Istanbul in New Orleans. Go here for an interview with the creators.
9. DVD: Body of Proof: The Complete Final Season When news hit that this year would signal the end of Body of Proof, one of the few crime shows anchored around a woman, lesbian fans were devastated. That’s because while it never caught on with the general public as much as CSI or other forensic-based prime-time series, Body of Proof inspired plenty of queer girl adoration and a whole genre of Kate and Megan videos on YouTube (see below). In the series, now on DVD, medical examiner Megan Hunt is smart, funny, and a bit arrogant, and she’s played by Dana Delany, the never-married feminist powerhouse who also played a lesbian senator on The L Word and went a bit lez with Julie Benz on Desperate Housewives. (Once again, see the Internet examples.) And Kate is the glorious Jeri Ryan (who nobody remembers as the lesbian soap star in the beard marriage on Melrose Place, but everyone remembers as the geek object de lust Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager). So lesbian cred here, even if the show isn’t LGBT-specific. This three-disc set has interviews and featurettes (one on turning the Disney Studios lot into the streets of Philly is great) and a blooper reel called “Body of Goofs.”
8. MUSIC: Dominique Pruitt, To Win Your Love We love the look and sound of Dominique Pruitt, an L.A. girl releasing her first EP, To Win Your Love, on Tuesday. Her sunny, country-influenced sound — think Bonnie Raitt or Sheryl Crow — contrasts with her fuchsia hair and tattoos.
7. THEATER: Hairspray with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Seattle The musical version of Hairspray returns to its home theater in Seattle, the 5th Avenue Theatre, for six performances through Sunday with the Seattle Gay Men's Chorus. Ten seasons after leaving the Northwest for Broadway, the production will be accompanied by a full orchestra, starring Jerick Hoffer, a.k.a. Jinkx Monsoon, as Velma Von Tussle, as well as Kirsten DeLohr Helland, Aaron Finley, Allen Fitzpatrick, Louis Hobson, Bobbi Kotula, Jessica Skerritt, and Kat Ramsburg as Tracy Turnblad. For more information: 5thAvenue.org. Tickets start at $23.
6. THEATER: The Judy Show: My Life as a Sitcom Lesbian comic Judy Gold brings her latest show to Los Angeles for its West Coast premiere after a successful run in New York. Gold recounts how, growing up as an awkward kid in New Jersey, she coped with the help of TV, which gave her fantasies of running away to the Brady Bunch’s house or hopping on the Partridge family’s bus, and eventually a dream of having her own series. Now through July 28 at the Geffen Playhouse’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater.
5. PHOTOGRAPHY: John Palatinus, Mid-Century Male Physique Photography John Palatinus is perhaps one of the last living male physique photographers of the 1950s. He was one of a handful of photographers who documented the male body through photography of seminude, body-proud weightlifters of the time. His first shoot was done in 1951 in his living room in Indiana. In 1958, Palatinus's studio was raided. He recalls the judge saying, "By today's standards this work is considered pornography, but who knows? In 50 years' time it may be considered art." Hurry and catch the end of this show at Drkrm through June 29 in Los Angeles.
4. BOOK: The Beauty of Men Never Dies David Leddick's semiautobiographical novel explores gay male sexuality in the senior years with a tenderness, wit, and frankness not often found in nonfiction. The Beauty of MenNever Dies features short sketches and memories of the 83-year-old out author's exploits living, loving, and aging with grace, style, and an unyielding sense of joy. Leddick's narration recounts a career that's spanned from the U.S. Navy to dance to advertising, his many lovers, and how he's managed to maintain such an upbeat attitude at an age when many believe the adventure is over. Now available through the University of Wisconsin Press, The Beauty of Men Never Dies offers a compelling perspective from the prolific author, who's published 23 books in the two decades he's been writing.
3. FILM: Palm Springs ShortFest If you're headed to Palm Springs, Calif., this weekend, you can catch the tail end of the city's annual ShortFest (through Monday), celebrating all things short and to the point. Dozens of shorts will hit the big screen, including several comedy, romance, dramatic, sci-fi, action, crime, mystery, and erotic LGBT-themed films. The full slate of confirmed LGBT-related shorts is Alaska Is a Drag, The American, Atoms, Authentic, Barbie Boy, The Blue Dress, Cleaner, Dream Girl, A Family Like Mine, The First Date, Gay 4 Pay, Gorilla, Hazel, Headlong, I'm Not Gay, It's Consuming Me, Last Time We Checked, A Matter of Sex, The Naturalist, No Comment, On Suffocation, The Pride of Palm Springs, Sabbatical, The Son, StandUp, Stay, Sufferin' Till You're Straight, The Swimming Trunks, Toeing rhe Line, Wannabe, and A World for Raul. For more information: PSFilmFest.org.
2. MUSIC: Sylvester, Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits A quarter-century after his death, disco legend Sylvester gets the remix treatment. The CD version of Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits features 10 previously issued Sylvester tracks plus the brand-new dub remix of "Mighty Real" by Ralphi Rosario. The Double Pink Vinyl edition features all 11 tracks on two 12-inch pink vinyl LPs. A portion of the proceeds of Mighty Real goes to the AIDS Emergency Fund and Project Open Hand.
1. TV:The Out List Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’s The Out List, airing Thursday at 9:30 p.m. on HBO, is a humorous and poignant documentary featuring a diverse cross section of high-profile LGBT folks sharing personal stories from childhood as well as their experiences as an out people in the spotlight. Those featured in the documentary include Dustin Lance Black, Lady Bunny, Wade Davis, Ellen DeGeneres, Twiggy Pucci Garcon, Neil Patrick Harris, Cynthia Nixon, Jake Shears, Janet Mock, and Wanda Sykes.