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.

“It will go on for years from now, long after we’re gone,” says actress Margaret O’Brien. The 74-year-old, who reigned as Hollywood’s most popular child star of the World War II era, is talking about 1944 musical Meet Me in St. Louis (out on Blu-ray today), in which she played the comically morbid Tootie Smith. It's a genuinely beloved film, and O'Brien's is a still-impressive performance that would win the 7-year-old a special Academy Award as outstanding juvenile actress of 1944.

Although the film developed a reputation as required viewing each December, the story about a close-knit family whose happiness is upended by the father’s decision to move to New York City, isn’t technically a holiday film. It is, however, one of the undisputed crown jewels among the many classics MGM and its legendary Arthur Freed unit produced during its fabled golden age. While it might be unfair to say the colorful movie is permeated with a gay sensibility, as its director, Vincente Minnelli, didn’t identify as gay, it’s certainly a film that continues to resonate with LGBT audiences.

Part of the appeal is obviously its star Judy Garland, emotional and winsome in one of her most popular roles as love-struck teen Esther Smith. Garland, photographed lovingly by future husband Minnelli, here originated several songs with which she would become synonymous, including the melancholy holiday standard “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Despite Garland’s reputation as an off-screen tragedienne, O’Brien remembers the actress as particularly lighthearted during filming. “When we weren’t working, Judy would get down and play games and joke with me,” O’Brien recalls. “She was really a happy person. What happened to Judy through the years was money problems and tax problems and marriage problems and things that brought on depression. And, of course, the studio overworked her, but not on Meet Me in St. Louis. Vincente Minnelli wouldn’t allow that. That’s why she said it was one of her happiest movies and she was always on time to be on the set."

December 13 2011 4:00 AM

Robyn was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this weekend, which led the show's prolific writing team to record an homage to the pop star's video for "Call Your Girlfriend."

The original video, which uses just a single camera shot as Robyn dances alone (and which is amazing), is re-enacted by comedian Teran Killam in an office instead of a warehouse. And maybe there are a few other differences, too. See for yourself below.

December 13 2011 1:30 AM

Winners of the 2011 Rainbow Awards, which honor books by, for, or about LGBT individuals, have been announced. A group of 100 judges worldwide participated in choosing the winners from over 300 entries.

"This year was really huge," says Rainbow coordinator Elise Rolle, who adds that submissions came from "indie publishers, from mainstream publishers. and a lot of self-published authors. I loved it, and I know the judges loved it too."

December 12 2011 1:20 PM

 Rosie O'Donnell has fired back at fellow comedian-talk show host David Letterman's jokes about her engagement, commenting on his recent sex scandal and suggesting he might be antigay.

Last Tuesday night, following the announcement of O'Donnell's engagement to Michelle Rounds, Letterman joked, "The woman she is marrying, her fiancee, was driving ... and her car broke down. And guess what happened? Rosie pulls up right behind her in her tow truck."

December 12 2011 12:45 PM

Question: I really hate being single at this time of year — going to the office party alone, doing all these Christmas-y things by my lonesome.   So I placed an online ad about two weeks ago with the headline: “Desperately seeking a holiday girlfriend,” and said:  “Single lesbian looking for a temp girlfriend for the Christmas holidays.

December 12 2011 8:59 AM

After a decade of playing backup to some of the country’s biggest stars, musician Chris Willis is stepping into the limelight all on his own.

December 12 2011 8:35 AM

Every week, The Advocate's Jami Smith brings you the top 10 tweets from LGBT comedians — and our favorite gay jokes from straight comedians, or just whatever made us laugh. Follow @gaysayer on Twitter now if you want your funny more frequently.

To kick us off, a post from your host:



Number 10:



Number 9:



Number 8:


Number 7:



December 10 2011 12:00 PM


 10. DVD: Buffering
Never before has a fast broadband connection been so important. Enterprising gay couple Aaron (Conner Mckenzy) and Seb (Alex Anthony) find their love life getting increasingly more, ahem, progressive when they begin filming their sex sessions for an Internet pay-per-view site in an effort to erase their heavy debt in this flesh-filled British comedy. 


 9. THEATER: Fela!
From the genius of out director-choreographer Bill T. Jones comes this exhilarating musical that pays tribute to the legendary musician, who used his extraordinary music to rebel against the military regimes in his native Nigeria. The Tony Award–winning hit settles into Los Angeles's Ahmanson Theatre for a five-week run beginning December 14. For tickets visit


 8. FILM: Young Adult
Charlize Theron, in her most challenging role since lesbian serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, stars as Mavis, a reckless writer who returns to her hometown intent on stealing her former boyfriend (Patrick Wilson) away from his wife and newborn. Instead, she forms an unlikely bond with fellow misfit Matt (Patton Oswalt), who, although straight, was the victim of a gay bashing at their high school. Diablo Cody’s script is a consistently surprising, twisted delight, which as directed by Juno’s Jason Reitman results in the year’s squirmiest comedy.

December 09 2011 2:43 PM

Do you ever wish you could hear all the holiday classics without the gay stuff? Now you can, courtesy of a comedy video created by Conan O'Brien.

The staff of O'Brien's TBS series has created a collection of your favorite seasonal songs, minus "the sissy lyrics." Included on the CD are "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, as God Intended," "Deck the Halls, and Any of You Nancy-Boys Checking Out My Ass," and "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer That Was Sent by God to Punish Her for Attending a Gay Wedding."

December 09 2011 2:05 PM

Comedian Stephen Colbert ripped Rick Perry's new antigay ad on his show Thursday night.

"It is still anybody's game here," Colbert warned front-runner Newt Gingrich before mocking Perry for his "great new ad."
The ad
, which is being run in Iowa, claims it's unfair that gays can come out in the military while Christians supposedly must hide their beliefs during Christmas.

December 09 2011 12:15 PM