Arts & Entertainment

In the Arts & Entertainment section, The Advocate brings readers all the latest news on Hollywood, Broadway, and beyond. From New York to Los Angeles, The Advocate shines a spotlight on the stars of the screen who are lending their voices to support the LGBT community, as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals who are moving the cultural needle. Discover A-list interviews, the best gay movies and reviews of theater, music, books and television. Learn how Arts & Entertainment can shape national dialogue and can work to advance equality.


10. DVD: Dangerous
Bette Davis gets a workout in this 1935 melodrama (now on DVD from Warner Archives) about an alcoholic actress on a downward spiral which won the great film star her first Academy Award for best actress. However, most Davis devotees know it was really a consolation prize for missing out on a nomination the year before for her torrid career-making performance as a slatternly waitress in Of Human Bondage.


9. BOOK: J. Edgar Hoover & Clyde Tolson, Darwin Porter
If you thought last year's film bio J. Edgar was too gingerly a treatment of the personal life of the notorious FBI founder, you'll likely learn more than you ever wanted in this gossipy exposé (Blood Moon Productions, $19.95). Prolific author Darwin Porter throws caution to the wind and speculates on every rumor and scandal ever associated with Hoover and his decade-spanning love affair with right-hand man Tolson.


8. MUSIC: “Man Areas,” Jonny McGovern
In the follow-up to “Dickmatized,” self-proclaimed Gay Pimp McGovern unleashes another raunchy musical ode to his favorite anatomical parts. Check out the twink-filled and possibly NSFW video filmed at New York’s naughty watering hole, the Cock, here.

February 24 2012 6:40 PM

All over the nation, people are getting ready for Oscar-night parties. But not everyone is expecting 900 guests, like gay Los Angeles chef and caterer Wayne Elias.

Elias is in his eighth year of catering the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Academy Awards Viewing Party, one of the most stellar events of the season and one that raises much-needed funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, plus efforts to fight stigma and discrimination associated with the disease.

For Elias, executive chef of Crumble Catering and the restaurants Vermont and Rockwell Vt. (all co-owned with Chris Diamond), the gig is an opportunity to work for a cause that’s extremely important to him. “I have lost friends and lovers to the disease and have been passionate about the cause for 25 years,” he says.

Sir Elton has become one of the cause’s major benefactors. His U.S. foundation, established in 1992, and its U.K. counterpart, set up in 1993, have raised more than $225 million for projects in 55 countries to date. The Oscar party, a major source of those funds, draws a crowd that includes many top celebrities to enjoy fabulous food in a sumptuous setting.

February 24 2012 3:10 PM

Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies by Mikey Walsh
Ever wonder what it’s like growing up gay in England’s Romany Gypsy community? Mikey Walsh’s Gypsy Boy tells the poignant story of a boy living in an unusual and secretive environment of shoplifting, boxing, and virtual illiteracy, a boy who desperately wants to please his abusive father but all the while grapples with his own clandestine issues. This extraordinary memoir about resilience and the human spirit is a rare glimpse into a world few of us can imagine. (St. Martin’s Press, $25) — Winston Gieseke 

February 24 2012 4:00 AM

In her new book, Life As I Blow It,
comedian Sarah Colonna chronicles what happens as she searches for a balance between
growing up and having fun.

Colonna, a standup comic and roundtable regular on Chelsea Lately, started looking for her balance while growing up in
two very different worlds: a traditional, southern life with her mother in
Farmington, Ark., and a life of parties with her father in Los Angeles.

“I developed a kind of dry sense of humor at a pretty young age,” she says
about being with her father. “I think I also developed in general from being in
a smaller town and having a sarcastic outlook on life.”

While with her father for the summers, she was surrounded by adults. Then
with her mother for the school year, Colonna dealt with people who always knew
everyone else’s business.

“My mom has even always said that I was going to be an actress and do
standup,” she said. While Colonna’s comedic ways may have started when she was
a child, it’s something she’s never stopped working at. “I never really wanted
to do anything else.”

Happy Madison and Sony have picked up the book in hopes of producing a sitcom
loosely based on its stories. The show’s storyline will be shot as if Colonna
had never left Arkansas. Her character, in
her thirties and never married, will encounter the inevitably awkward situations created when someone has never left their small town.

“I think you see a lot of small-town-girl-in-the-big-city, or
moves-to-the-big-city-and-then-moves-back-home,” Colonna said. “But I really
like the idea of someone who just never left.”

See why people love Sarah Colonna in some of her best moments on the following pages. 

February 24 2012 3:00 AM

The Advocate's man on the New York theater scene checks out the latest projects of Cynthia Nixon, Matthew Rhys, Janeane Garofalo, Audra McDonald, and more.

February 23 2012 4:00 AM

It’s official: Adam Lambert will perform with Queen at the Sonisphere festival this summer in England, and Brian May says Freddie Mercury would approve.

February 21 2012 6:15 PM


For comedian Dana Goldberg, the toughest act she’s ever had
to follow was President Obama.

Voted one of the top five lesbian comedians by Curve magazine, Goldberg is keeping her comedy dance card
full these days. She performs regularly at Human Rights Campaign events and
with Olivia Cruises and produces her own show, which brings some of the biggest
names in female comedy to New Mexico every year.  

She spoke with The Advocate about giving back to the LGBT community, why government should stay
out of our bedrooms, and her brush with the president.


The Advocate:
What was it like being raised in a Jewish household where two out of the three
children were gay?
Dana Goldberg: It was insane.
We kind of raised each other. We had moments of complete sibling abuse followed
by tearing all of the cushions off of the couch, stripping down to our
underwear, and dancing to Funky Town
in the living room. My mom is a brilliant woman, someone who I would choose as
a friend, who worked three jobs to raise us.

It sounds like it was an easy choice to be a comedian.

It was either that or years or psychotherapy! I thought I could make a little
money instead of paying someone else to sort out my bullshit. I think for a lot
of comics, it’s a very public process. We have the ability to go and work out
our own shit in front of an audience and let them laugh at us and for us to
laugh at ourselves. My kindergarten teacher told my mother that I was the
funniest 5-year-old that she had ever met. I don’t know how that translates but
apparently this is how I’ve always been. When you mix in the lesbianism with
the Judaism, I’ve worked out a lot of stuff on stage.

You work a lot of cruises. It’s the one comedy venue
where your audience still surrounds you long after the show is over. Any good

I’ve been with Olivia Cruises since 2006 and have had some amazing trips, but
it’s true that you are with your audience all week, so you are always on. I
actually enjoy talking to the guests. I want people to feel like they have
access to me. Some of my best friends now, I’ve met on these trips. I did have
one bad experience once. In my act, I have a joke about vegetarians not having
a lot of energy, which I know is not true. It’s a comedy show. I come back from
work that night, and it is work. It’s my job. This guest who was a doctor felt
the need to write me a letter about how I don’t support or don’t promote a
healthy lifestyle. He just tore me apart. I was so upset that someone felt the
need — and the right, after I had a long day — to write me a letter, not hand
it to me but give it to the front desk and have them place it on my bed. I
can’t imagine that doctor would’ve liked to have come home with a message from
the medical board saying we want to talk to you about your work. There’s a
patient who complained.

Let’s talk about the Southwest FunnyFest. You’re attracting some of
the best female comics (Erin Foley, Jessica Kirson, Fortune Feimster) to
Albuquerque.  What got you
interested in producing your own show?
I went to audition for this show that I
had seen come through Albuquerque called Funny Lesbians For a Change,
which raised higher education scholarships for women. When I was younger,
Suzanne Westenhoefer headlined the show and I remember sitting there thinking,
“I would love to do this.” She was so funny. The show later went defunct and I
wanted to start another show. I thought, what if I could bring four female
comics who don’t get the stage time together normally because women don’t get
nationally booked on a bill together? 
My colleagues have all come down to perform, at a fraction of what they
normally make, to help me raise money for the AIDS Foundation in New Mexico.
Over the last five years, we’ve raised over $15,000 for the organization.
Olivia Cruises came on as a sponsor and we raffle off free trips. This year,
it’ll be Alaska. I’ve been very fortunate that it’s had a lot of success. 

You do a lot of shows to benefit HRC and AIDS awareness.
Do you do it for the food?
The food is amazing. It’s better than
Jewish food. I decided to come out at the beginning of my career so the
community has always supported me. Why would I not want to give back to the
community that supported my dream? When I got involved with HRC, it was kind of
an accident. I had been asked to do an L Word premiere in Austin by
a friend who was involved in HRC. I did a comedy set in front of a packed house
before the last episode of the last season. There was someone there from San
Francisco and they asked me to do a black-tie event. They needed a live
auctioneer. Any comic will tell you that a live auction is one of the worst
possible things you can do. No one is listening. You don’t get a chance to show
your craft. But I did it pro bono. So I fly to San Francisco and I’m in a dress
and I’m the Belle of the Ball and I walked on the stage and started channeling
a live auctioneer. I ripped through five items in a matter of minutes telling
jokes. I was in some crazy zone. There was a cruise from Olivia being given
away and I was like, “Lesbians, if you’re on a first date, now’s a perfect time
to plan a vacation together!” I get offstage and people are high-fiving me in
the audience. At the end of the dinner, [HRC president] Joe Solmonese came up
to me and said I want you in Washington, D.C. for the National Dinner.

The Obama, Lady Gaga National Dinner?
Yes! Obama spoke and of course you are
blown away. And then yeah, I get called up and step onstage afterwards and was
like umm…

The president is a tough act to follow. 

My mother was like, “so Obama opened for you.” Um, I wouldn’t go that far. But if
you want to say that I opened for Lady Gaga, that’s fine.

It’s been a huge month for marriage equality in several
states. What would you say to Chris Christie to change his mind about vetoing marriage
equality in New Jersey

I think it’s so strange that someone is taking so much time out of their lives
to intentionally keep two people who love each other from getting married. The
energy being put into hate shocks me. These are people who want to fight for
less government but who want the government to be in our bedrooms. On an
economic note, all of these states that are broke, for them as a capitalistic
society to not realize how powerful the gay dollar is and what it can actually
do for the community blows my mind. It’s all about people’s fear driving their
political decisions. It kills me too that, God rest her soul, but they are
lowering flags at half-mast for Whitney Houston while fighting against civil
rights for another group. It’s hypocritical and makes no sense. This is all
happening the same week. In a state that is going to lower a flag for a citizen
of that state and then tell another citizen that they can’t have equal rights,
trips me out.


Catch Dana Goldberg at the Long Beach Laugh
Factory in California on February 29 and in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 10 for
the HRC Greater Cincinnati's "Laugh Out Loud" show at the Below Zero
Lounge. Follow Dana on Twitter @dgcomedy.
And watch a bonus Dana Goldberg clip on the next page.


February 21 2012 4:00 AM

When MTV premiers a one-hour special tonight called It
Gets Better
, host Dan Savage will yet again
become the face of the LGBT adult world as it delivers a message to young
people. This time, he’s sending them three, documentary-style coming out
stories instead of the thousands of YouTube videos from adults promising a
better future.

Viewers on MTV and Logo tonight at 11 p.m. ET will meet
Greg, Vanessa and Aydian — a closeted student body president, a lesbian
fighting for her family’s acceptance, plus a trans man trying to get married.

And while Savage has often called himself an imperfect
messenger for the movement, it was during the taping of the special and his
upcoming MTV sex advice show, called Savage U, that some tried again to question whether the outspoken, nationally
syndicated sex columnist really represents them. It was during a taping of Savage
in Vancouver that he was glitter-bombed
by trans activists for what they say is a history of transphobia.

In a wide-ranging interview with the controversial civil
rights activist, the lead Google bomber admits he finds Rick Santorum’s chances
of beating Mitt Romney “terrifying.” He wonders aloud whether their antigay
views are contributing to the suicide epidemic. And Savage responds to his
trans critics, accusing them of opposing marriage equality.

But amid all of that, as is always the case with Savage, he
has a deadly serious mission for helping youth survive.

The Advocate:
When it happened, you sent us your reaction to Rick Santorum winning in Iowa,
saying that you thought it was going to be good for the LGBT movement as people
realized he’s outside the mainstream. Are you surprised that he’s been surging
instead. He’s the front runner in a lot of polls.

Dan Savage: You could
knock me over with a drop of Santorum. I am completely blown away by this. I do
think that the clock ran out. Everybody else had their surge and he had a surge
at just the right time for Iowa. But now it’s something different. Some people
are saying that because the economy is improving, Mitt’s rationale for running
is kind of deflated and his selling point is deflated and the GOP base is now
looking to run against birth control?
And Santorum is benefiting from a shift to social issues. Whatever it is, it’s

So you are less enthusiastic about his benefit to LGBT
people now than you were after Iowa?

Yes, I am actually. Because after Iowa I thought he was
going to tank. I thought he was going to have his little Iowa moment like Mike
Huckabee and then go nowhere and just prove again that the Iowa base is too
conservative. But this is now crazy. We are reaching a point that is actually
little scary.

February 21 2012 4:00 AM

Comedian Bill Maher says that when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed same-sex marriage on Friday, it took the already bad reputation that his home state has and made it worse.

February 18 2012 4:05 PM

In this new series, we ask LGBT-identified authors to talk one-on-one about their work and their worlds. In this first one, Malaysia-born, Singapore-raised, California-based writer Justin Chin — the award-winning author of seven books, including the recently released 98 Wounds (Manic D) — talks with his fellow San Franciscan Daphne Gottlieb, the woman known for stitching together the ivory tower and the gutter just using her tongue. Gottlieb is the author and editor of nine books, most recently the poetry collection 15 Ways to Stay Alive (Manic D), as well as co-editor (with Lisa Kester) of the forthcoming Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in Her Own Words (Soft Skull). The duo gets existential chatting about queer poetry, manga, failure, and tiny alphabet revolutions.

Justin Chin: So, how's the whole writing thing treating you these days?
Daphne Gottlieb:15 Ways to Stay Alive, my newest book of poetry, came out last April, so I’m happily coasting on my laurels. And Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in her own Words, which I co-edited with Lisa Kester, should be out this spring.

Chin: After nine books, what's changed? Does it get better?
Gottlieb: What's changed after all this? I think that I have less conviction than ever that poetry matters — that poetry changes or saves anything or anyone. But, in fact, that's tremendously freeing. If it doesn't matter much, the stakes are lower and you can't really fail. It's insurrection. It's a tiny alphabet revolution. A secret. A psalm.

Chin: But if it doesn't matter much, if it's failed before it begins, why keep doing it? Why continue? I've been tussling with that question myself. I have such a small readership that whether I do it or not, the sum difference is probably the same. But like you said, it is freeing, I can do whatever the heck I want, no one expects anything. It never is about getting the biggest audience, but getting the audience that you want. Good lord, what happened to us? We used to be so full of zesty optimism, piping over with something like hope.
Gottlieb: I think that hope is the act of continuing in the face of the truth. So despite what your words might say, Justin, your actions are quite hopeful.
Chin: Hmmm. Hope sounds a hell of a lot like foolishness or bullheadedness or petulant rebelliousness. And yeah, I suppose my actions are a mush of all that.

Gottlieb: So tell me about your new book.
Chin: The new book is called 98 Wounds. It's a collection of short fiction. I say fiction, but it's more like “fiction-adjacent.” After all the poetry, and essays and memoir, fiction seemed like the next logical progression. But it's the sort of fiction with roots and tendrils in poetics and in the essay.
Gottlieb: I'm excited to read your new one and a little embarrassed that I haven't yet.
Chin: A lot of people haven't. Hence, small readership, ta-dah! So, what’s on your desk?
Gottlieb: A motorcycle half-helmet. Some cardboard. A pair of sunglasses. Not much writing. I go through periods of not writing. Until there’s something I can’t find in the world that I need, so I write. That’s point of writing: building what you need, right? Until I’m writing again, I’ll be running away from tear gas and working with the homeless. Maybe that's the difference that you were asking about before. When I was younger, I went around yelling that the sky was falling. Now I’m still yelling, but I have some scotch tape, too. It’s not that strong, but it’s something. What's happened for you?

February 18 2012 12:23 PM