Hot Sheet: Sighs Matter
10. BOOK: DJ: The Dog Who Rescued Me by David Toussaint, with photos by Piero Ribelli
This coffee-table book will resonate with any pet owner, but especially gay animal lovers who've seen their dog, cat, or pet grizzly bear nurse them back to mental health. Best-selling author David Toussaint found himself single and jobless as he began entering his 40s. Things looked bleak until the love of his life entered the picture — a pug named DJ. —Neal Broverman
9. THEATER: A John Waters Christmas
Get ready to have yourself a filthy little Christmas (or winter holiday of your choice) when the master of all things divinely decadent takes his one-man holiday show on the road again. The filmmaker and raconteur opens his tour in Chicago December 1, with appearances to follow in Seattle; Portland, Ore.; New Orleans; Nashville; Atlanta; New York City; Boston; and Alexandria,Va., then winding up in his hometown of Baltimore. The show promises to address, among other things, Waters’s “passion for lunatic exploitation Christmas movies and the unhealthy urge to remake all his own films into seasonal children’s classics.” —Trudy Ring
8. EVENT: Don't Tell My Mother
Los Angeles's storytellers are back at Fais Do-Do December 5 to help you laugh, cry, and cringe at this month's Don't Tell My Mother, just in time for the holidays. Spend an evening listening to actor Moshe Kasher, comedian Timothy Omundson, the hilarious out comic Fortune Feimster, and show producer Nikki Levy. —Michelle Garcia
7. DVD: Unhung Hero
When Patrick Moot’s girlfriend turned down his marriage proposal — in front of one of those sports arena kiss-cams and later millions of YouTube viewers — he was crushed. But when she later told him it was because his penis was too small, it was the gut punch that inspired him to go in search of the many things that make this riveting and hilarious documentary a must-see. I watched it with a room full of queer guys, and it inspired more than an hour of debate and discussion about whether size matters. In director Brian Spitz’s deft hands, this cockumentary explores a lot of different arenas: Moot goes around the globe to determine whether size matters. He talks to porn stars and queer sexperts including Dan Savage and Annie Sprinkle; he goes to Asia, where penis size is statistically smaller, to see what men do to increase theirs; he experiments on himself with pumps, injections, and a lengthening program in which men attach weights to their junk (yes, shudder now); he talks with women, gay men, and doctors. The film plays the Arena Cinema in Los Angeles beginning December 6 and will be released on DVD (with bonus features) December 10. Michael Moore loves the film, and whether you’re male or female or hanging slightly to the left or right, you likely will too. —Diane Anderson-Minshall
6. THEATER: We Three Lizas
This über-gay holiday musical was a big hit for Chicago’s LGBT-focused About Face Theatre last year, and now it’s back with a with a revamped book and expanded score. Conrad Ticklebottom, once a trendsetter in art and design, finds himself alone and forgotten at the holidays, but hope arrives in the form of three Liza Minnellis, who “escort him on a fabulous journey through what-was, what-could-be and what-the-f*?!” according to the troupe’s website. Written by Scott Bradley and Alan Schmuckler, and directed by Scott Ferguson, it opens Wednesday at Stage 773 and runs through January 5. Visit AboutFaceTheatre.com for info and tickets. —Trudy Ring
5. TV: Listening Is an Act of Love: A StoryCorps Special
You know how when you're driving and listening to NPR and a StoryCorps entry comes on, and you're tearing up in your car on the freeway before you even get to work? This Thanksgiving, a handful of the stories get animated for a PBS special. Here's a guarantee to feel the love this Turkey Day. Thursday at 9 p.m. on PBS. —Michelle Garcia
4. FILM: Philomena
Judi Dench stars in the title role of Philomena Lee, a woman determined to recover a son she was forced to give up for adoption in the 1950s, when she bore the child out of wedlock within a conservative Irish Catholic community. With the assistance of a reporter from the BBC (Steve Coogan), Philomena embarks on her quest for reunion and redemption with a grown son, who, as she discovers, is a gay politician. Based on a true story, the film has garnered acclaim from critics (91 percent on review aggregate website RottenTomatoes.com), who hail Dench’s performance as well as the screenplay, written by Coogan, which moves the audience to both laughter and tears. —Daniel Reynolds
Philomena premieres this weekend in New York and Los Angeles. Watch the trailer below.
3. BOOK: Between Here and the Lint Trap
Desmond Miller and Gene Guilmette have produced an imaginative new children’s picture book Between Here and the Lint Trap. The story depicts the tale of little Jay J, the son of same-sex parents, who embarks on an adventure after he wakes up one morning and discovers his lucky left sock Boonie and his best mate Koonie have gone missing. Jay J soon finds himself in lands beyond the dryer in search of his lost friends. —Jase Peeples
Copies are now available for $15 from RLT Press.
2. MUSIC: The Voice of Christmas by Branden James
This handsome finalist on the eighth season of America's Got Talent released his first album, The Voice of Christmas, this week. The singer, who's performed with the Metropolitan Opera and Los Angeles Opera, sings standards like "O Holy Night," Jingle Bells," and "Hallelujah." —Neal Broverman
1. FILM: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
In the second film based on Suzanne Collins’s novels, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) embarks on a victory tour after surviving a vicious round of the Hunger Games, in which she had fought other young people to the death for the entertainment of the people of Panem, a fictional world marked by extremes of wealthy excess and abject poverty. The friction between the haves and have-nots has reached a crucial point in this enviroment, set in post-apocalyptic North America, and Katniss, as a symbol of hope and potential rebellion for the repressed citizens of the districts, must walk a precarious line or else risk her life yet again. Along the way, she must also publicly claim love for her battle mate Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) for political reasons, while fanning sparks from an old flame, Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). As the saying goes, may the odds be ever in her favor. —Daniel Reynolds
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire premieres opens today. Watch the trailer below.