10. EVENT: Out of the Past If you'll be in one of LGBT America's flagship cities, San Francisco, head to Out of the Past, which takes a look at the city's queer history and culture Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m. There will be a lineup of important speakers (Zoe Dunning, Stuart Milk) and performances, but we're really excited about seeing Cheer SF blast those tired high school routines out of the water. Proceeds from the evening will benefit FlipSide, an arm of the S.F. Museum and Historical Society dedicated to engaging youth, as well as Project Open Hand, a nonprofit that provides meals to seniors and ill people. For more information visit OutOfThePast.Eventbrite.com
9. ART: Art Deco Festival Immerse yourself in 1920s and ’30s glamour this weekend with the ninth annual Art Deco Festival, presented by the luxury liner Queen Mary, in association with the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. The ship, now operating as a hotel and moored off Long Beach, Calif. (just outside L.A.), itself a great example of deco design, will host lectures on many aspects of deco, including its influence on Broadway, Hollywood, and even comic books. There also will be walking tours highlighting the ship’s beautiful deco interiors, plus double-decker bus tours showcasing the deco architecture on land in Long Beach. Add to that onboard cocktail parties, a vintage movie screening under the stars, and a gala ball that will make you feel like you’re at Gatsby’s mansion. Events run today through Monday, and more info is at QueenMary.com.
8. EVENTS: Film Festivals on Each Coast There's just something in the air at an LGBT film festival that makes you feel smart and comfortable. All of it just feels right — seeing new, interesting films about LGBT life with like-minded people. One of New York's big film festivals, NewFest, kicks off September 6, just as Long Beach's Qfilms celebrates its 20th anniversary the same day. Filmlinc.com/films/series/2013-newfest (NewFest) and QFilmsLongBeach.com. Above: A still from the film Free Fall, on the program at NewFest.
7. EVENT: FUN. With Tegan and Sara at the Greek in Los Angeles You're almost certainly familiar with Grammy-winning pop-rock trio FUN.'s summer anthem "We Are Young," with its infectiously catchy hook and we-don't-care-what-you-say-we'll-enjoy-our-reckless-youth message. Or maybe you're familiar with the band's equally anthemic track of perseverance, "Carry On." What you might not know is that even though all three band members identify as straight, they're serious, committed allies to the LGBT community. Guitarist Jack Antonoff and girlfriend Lena Dunham have promised they won't get married until everyone can, and the band teamed up with Antonoff's sister to found the Ally Coalition, a nonprofit that works with people the music, fashion, and entertainment industries to raise awareness, funds, and support for LGBTQ people. Yes, the Ally Coalition is strict about including the Q at the end of the inclusive acronym. The Ally Coalition and other pro-LGBT organizations will be tabling at each concert this summer in what the band calls its Equality Village.
In case that wasn't enough to sell you on this energetic band with a killer reputation for putting on raucous shows that are nothing short of, well, fun, the band's Most Nights summer tour features none other than former Advocate cover girls and chart-topping out twin sisters Tegan and Sara. The all-star pairing takes to the stage at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles for a two-night set Tuesday and Wednesday, and then continues its nationwide tour through October. Find the full list of tour dates here.
6. THEATER: Chicago Fringe Festival This Windy City fest offers nearly 50 shows by boundary-pushing performing artists. Titles of particular LGBT interest include Daniel Wolfsbauer Productions’ Surviving Love, which chronicles a gay youth’s journey from Vienna, Ill., to Vienna, Austria, and features music by Michael John LaChiusa, Brian Lasser, and others; and Rebecca Kling’s Get Ready for the Vagina Fairy, about a transgender woman who deals with oddball conversations, penis-scanning lasers, and, yes, the Vagina Fairy. The festival opened last night and continues through September 8; to see the full schedule and order tickets, click here. Above: Get Ready for the Vagina Fairy
5. DVD: Criminal Minds:The Eighth Season We’ll go to the ends of the earth to watch queer actress Kirsten Vangsness as Criminal Minds tech guru Penelope Garcia, which is why rumors that she may not return next season are all the more distressing. But we’ll console ourselves with the new DVD set Criminal Minds: The Eighth Season, which hits stores Tuesday. First, there’s the hottest team fighting crime on TV (in addition to Vangsness, the cast includes — in order of sexiness — Shemar Moore, A.J. Cook, Matthew Gray Gubler, Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, and Jeanne Tripplehorn) as well as the strangest criminals (just Google “the Replicator”). In addition to all 23 episodes of the eighth season, the six-disc DVD collection boasts 10 exclusive featurettes, including a look back at the last season and the Replicator arc (which Vangsness and Cook host), several Profiler’s Handbooks (vignettes where guest stars such as Mackenzie Phillips and Meshach Taylor, series stars, filmmakers, and experts weigh in on particular issues, crimes, or killers), and more.
4. FILM: Afternoon Delight A favorite of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, director Jill Soloway’s comedy Afternoon Delight hits theatres today. Starring Jane Lynch, Josh Radnor, Juno Temple, and Kathryn Hahn as Rachel, a quick-witted and lovable yet tightly coiled 30-something whose life is turned upside down when she visits a strip club to spice up her marriage and meets McKenna (Temple), a stripper whom she becomes obsessed with saving and hires as her live-in nanny.
3. DVD: I Do It's amazing what a difference a court case makes. Glenn Gaylord's tender, touching drama I Do, about the heart-wrenching restrictions the so-called Defense of Marriage Act placed on loving gay couples, takes on a newly poignant tone in today's post-DOMA world. Writer and star David W. Ross turns in a nuanced, relatable performance as Jack, a gay Brit living in New York and helping to raise his niece with his sister-in-law Mya (Alicia Witt) after his brother — Mya's husband — is killed in an accident. After Jack has been in the States nearly a decade, his visa is unexpectedly denied, but he's unwilling to leave his family — and his newfound love interest, Spanish-born U.S. citizen Mano (Maurice Compte). Although Mano is eager to make Jack an honest man and get legally married in New York, Jack's immigration attorney sadly explains that even if the men were married, the federal government won't recognize them as such, thanks to DOMA. That's when Jack's best friend, a lesbian free spirit named Ali (played to perfection by Jamie Lynn Sigler), steps in and agrees to marry Jack to secure him a green card. But as too many couples know all too well, navigating the immigration system is fraught with peril, confusion, and heartache. Will Jack be able to stay near the family he's helped build? Will his marriage of convenience to Ali hold up, and will their friendship survive? And finally, what will become of Jack and Mano, who are so clearly, painfully in love the viewer's heart breaks each time they say goodbye? Find out for yourself when I Do comes to DVD Tuesday from Breaking Glass Pictures. Watch the trailer below:
2. CD: Run Fast, the Julie Ruin Fourteen years ago, legendary riot grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna (best known for her place in the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre) released a solo album under the name “Julie Ruin” with the intention of forming a band to perform the songs live. When Le Tigre went on hiatus in 2010 the only good thing to come out of it was the formation of Hanna’s dream team band, the Julie Ruin. On Tuesday, when the band releases Run Fast, its debut album, we’ll get to see if Hanna and her bandmates (Bikini Kill’s Kathi Wilcox on bass, Kiki and Herb’s Kenny Mellman on keyboard, actor-filmmaker Carmine Covelli on drums, and Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls’ Sara Landeau on guitar) can bring back the fierce lyrics, whirling guitars, and queer good time that Hanna is known for. Even better: The band is hitting the road, although its shows are already sold out in several key cities (including Los Angeles, New York, and Austin).
1. TV: James Franco Roast Academy Award-nominated actor, author, poet, gay icon — what hasn’t James Franco accomplished in his 35 years on earth? Being the subject of a roast on Comedy Central! Thankfully, this oversight will finally be addressed on Labor Day, when a coterie of comedians will verbally skewer the Milk star and aspiring Renaissance man. A sampling of some of the quotes already released reveals that there are, naturally, gay jokes aplenty.
Seth Rogen, who recently costarred with Franco in This Is the End, will be the “Roast Master” in the proceedings, which will also feature the comic talents of Sarah Silverman, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Natasha Leggero, Nick Kroll, and Jeff Ross.
Comedy Central will be airing its Roast of James Franco Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific. Beginning at 9:45 p.m., Comedy Central will also have a livestream of the show on its website, CC.com, prefaced by a 15-minute red carpet show hosted by Franco’s grandmother and comedian Jonah Ray. Live tweeting is encouraged (#FrancoRoast), and fans can see their tweets online and during the rebroadcast Monday night at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.