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.

Question: I’d been dating someone for a couple of months, and it was intense enough at first that we both quickly changed our Facebook status to “in a relationship” without ever talking about it together. After about a year things cooled down a bit, but we were still going out — or at least I thought we were, until he changed his status back to “single.”  I didn’t even see it until a friend offered me condolences for the breakup. (Talk about embarrassing!) Well, now we’re broken up, that’s for sure! I have a phone full of photos that would sure embarrass him, which he deserves.

October 31 2011 4:00 AM

Gibbons's controlled, monochromatic renderings think outside the box.

October 29 2011 4:00 AM


 10. MUSIC: The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life, Michael Feinstein
On the ’60s-focused sequel to 2008’s The Sinatra Project, which earned Feinstein his fifth Grammy nomination, the gay crooner puts his signature spin on songs first made famous by Sinatra and his friends, including Rosemary Clooney, Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, and Nancy Wilson. Highlights include “For Once in My Life,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and “C’est Comme Ça” from the 1966 Broadway flop Pousse Café.


 9. TV: The Graham Norton Show
Hosted by flamboyant gay actor Graham Norton, the tenth season of this racy, cheeky BBC comedy chat show premieres October 29 on BBC America. The premiere episode welcomes Kate Winslet and Jamie Bell, and future guests include Johnny Depp, James McAvoy, and Ricky Gervais. Beginning November 5, Norton will also weigh and ponder wacky predicaments with celebrity panelists on his newest show, Would You Rather? 


 8. FILM: Reeling 30
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Chicago’s LGBT film festival opens November 3 and includes Stephen Cone’s coming-of-age drama The Wise Kids; Vamperifica, Bruce Ornstein’s fun horror-comedy about a show queen with a vampire king’s soul; Madeleine Olnek’s sci-fi B-movie spoof Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same; and Cho Dependent, Margaret Cho’s latest standup film. For schedule visit

October 28 2011 11:17 AM

Television writer Jane Espenson isn't gay, she just writes that way. As sweet and funny as she is prolific, Espenson has put her highly individual stamp on shows known as touchstones to LGBT audiences: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, The O.C., Gilmore Girls, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Game of Thrones, and Torchwood: Miracle Day.

October 27 2011 3:05 PM

The months of speculation are over: Amy Winehouse’s death was the result of too much alcohol, according to a report by Suzanne Greenway, a British coroner, which was released yesterday. According to The New York Times, an investigation determined the singer had more than five times the legal driving limit of alcohol in her body at the time of her death.

October 26 2011 5:50 PM

Mystery author Cheryl Crane’s
new novel, The Bad Always Die Twice,
is already garnering rave reviews, even from the likes of crime writer James
Ellroy who called it asuperb mystery...a
veritable primer on why people read and love crime fiction.” But at book
signings this fall, Crane, the daughter of Hollywood legend Lana Turner, is
most likely to get asked about what she and her mother called “the paragraph”
of their lives: the stabbing death of Johnny Stompanato when Crane was just a

That frightening accident (Crane ran to defend
her mother, Stompanato ran into her knife — a story she’s never wavered from)
has been much debated in Hollywood, with some conspiracy theorists suggesting
Turner was the real knife-wielder (“Do you think that I, as an adult, with my
mother and father gone, that I would continue to perpetrate a lie if I didn’t
do it?” Crane asked Midnight Palace host Gary Sweeney in 2008).

That moment was one part of an illustrious
childhood that began with Crane and her mother, the star of The Postman
Always Rings Twice
, living on Beverly
Hills’ star-studded Mapleton Drive (Liza Minnelli was her playmate) and ending
in juvenile hall (fun fact: many of California’s rules for dealing with
juvenile offenders were written in reaction to the Crane case). None of that
interests Crane now.

After authoring two books — a memoir called Detour:
A Hollywood Story
and a biography of her
mother entitled Lana: The Memories, The Myths, The Movies — the lesbian author continues juggling her two careers: in real estate
and mystery writing. Oh, and a marriage, to former model Joyce “Josh” LeRoy,
which has lasted four decades. She talks to The Advocate about her new novel, and why her protagonist, the smart, tenacious
redheaded realtor turned amateur sleuth Nikki Harper, feels a little bit

The Advocate: There’s a lot of Hollywood insider stuff in your
novel. Rex March’s TV series sounds a lot like Gilligan’s Island
, for example. How careful were you to make sure
you didn’t get too real with your details?

Cheryl Crane: I was very careful
when it came to real living people, however it was very important to me to use
real places and streets, and real people in the background for color. As to Gilligan’s’
, it is a classic example of
stars who were so identified with their roles that they had trouble working

I love that In-N-Out, the famous California
burger joint, becomes a plot point in the novel. Did you wonder if In-N-Out
fans would figure it out before you had exposed the connection?

Well it is a clue, and that is part of a good mystery story to see if one
connects the dots. Also, I love In-N-Out. In fact I was at the opening of
the very first one in the San Fernando Valley. 

What made you want to become a mystery novelist?

It has always been my favorite style of reading and in some ways I have been a
mystery to people.

Nikki has a complicated relationship with her
mother. How much of yourself did you put into the character?

Nikki is the best of what I could wish to be, and the relationship with her
mother is based on the relationship I had with mine. 

Being the daughter of a star affords your main
character some access and privilege as a wannabe P.I. 

That’s true in my novel and true in real life.  Mother could get anything she wanted and knew how to use it
to her advantage.  She was very
generous in letting me do the same.

The story feels very old Hollywood noir. Nikki’s
mother is more Gloria Swanson than Angelina Jolie. Was that intentional? Did
you want to root the book in any particular time frame? 

The story is contemporary Hollywood, but the character of Victoria is based on
Lana Turner, who was larger than life and glamorous until the day she died.

October 26 2011 2:38 PM

Jason Dudey, a comedian based in Los Angeles, has appeared
on Logo’s Wisecrack and can be seen at
the Boston Comedy Festival from November 5 to 13. He is on tour with comic
legend, Kathleen Madigan. Dudey talks to The Advocate about turning into his mother, producing his own
show, and why he can’t tell dirty jokes on stage.

The Advocate:
You’ve worked with some big names in LBGT comedy – Judy Gold, Sandra Bernhard,
Suzanne Westenhoefer. What have you learned so far?

Jason Dudey: I think Suzanne is a big
example: just be yourself. Sandra Berhard, when I opened for her, she never mentioned
sexuality at all. It was great because no one cares. She just did her comedy
and it was brilliant. Funny is funny. It’s not gay-funny or straight-funny.
Funny is funny.

Who would win in a bare-knuckled fight?

I think Suzanne Westenhoefer could take someone down.

Even against Sandra?
Sandra Bernhard is in a league of her own.
She would be in a ring by herself. When I opened for her, we first met in the
green room. I was so nervous that I didn’t say much.  She went on stage and her first joke was, “I don’t know who
the fuck that Jason Dudey is but I don’t like him. He’s the first fag I ever
met that wasn’t impressed to meet me.” And it wasn’t that I wasn’t impressed. I
was so nervous. I could not do small talk. I was sitting there like, “Oh my
God, I’m sitting next to Sandra Bernhard.” It didn’t occur to me that maybe I
should say, “Hello, my name is Jason.” I forgot. It was all in good fun, but I
can’t believe I forgot to say hello.

Your set is more about your personal  experiences than your sexuality.
I do personal, observational, and lots of
family stuff but I couldn’t do anything sexual onstage. I would be mortified. I
have one joke that has a slightly dirty punch line and I have to be in the mood
to do it. Sometimes I’m too shy and bail on the joke. I think if my mother sees
it, she would be mortified. I can’t do it. I’m by no means a prude, I just can’t
talk dirty on stage. Get me alone and it’s another story.

Speaking of your family, you said that coming out to your
family was “uneventful.” Did that disappoint the drama queen inside you?

I would’ve liked a little something. My mother cried and that was helpful. Come
to find out later on that she didn’t cry because I was gay. She cried because
of the guy I was with. She was totally right. He made me cry, too. My dad, I
told him and he was like, “pass the salt.” I lived in New York and went to
visit him in his office. I sat down with him and told him and he was like, “OK.”
Whoa whoa, wait a minute Dad. All of those dreams you had of me having a wife,
kids, a station wagon, the white picket fence in suburban America. None of that
is happening. He said, “Oh I didn’t have any dreams for you.”  

You talk about your parents a lot onstage. They’ve been
together for a long time. Do you want to get married?

I love it when I say that my parents have been married for 47 years and people
always clap. I didn’t say they were happy. They’ve just been together a long
time. I used to lie in junior high because all of my friends’ parents were
divorced so they all had second homes. So I would lie and say, “I’m going to my
father’s house this weekend.” But it was the same house. I was just trying to
fit in. I just didn’t have any friends whose parents were still together. Now,
it’s so awesome. They’re buddies. They have jokes that go back over 15 years.
It’s cool to see now. But growing up, I was like, why are they still
together? They can both do better.  I want two bedrooms.

Having seen them together, is it something you want for

I have a partner that I’ve been with a year-and-half and yeah, I would love to
be with Brian 20 years down the road because it’s easy to start something
fresh. That’s what I respect about my parents. They’ve never thrown in the
towel even when things got hard. I think, people love the drama of the break up.  And who doesn’t love the newness of
dating? That shit is fun. But to stay no matter what — that’s what I got from
my parents. It wasn’t a perfect marriage, but now they get to reap the
benefits. I totally hope that happens to me. This is the first time in my life
that I’ve been with a partner where I don’t have days where I think, I’m
gonna throw in the towel
. I don’t know what the future holds, but
when we have a disagreement, we never say, “let’s break up.”  It’s always like, “we should work this
shit out.”  Plus, I am so annoying
that I don’t know if there is another one out there.

Would you make him take your last name?

I can’t take someone else’s last name. I make a living off the name Dudey. His
name is McConnell. That’s not funny.

October 26 2011 5:00 AM

Q: My partner and I have been together for 11 years now and have been in the same cozy one bedroom apartment for most of them. As you can imagine, space is tight and we’ve got just about everything we need since we weren’t going to wait till we could get legally married to buy our silver or dinner service. Of course, we’ve got the requisite blender, Cuisinart, waffle iron, quesadilla maker — not to mention Champagne flutes and crystal vases!

October 24 2011 6:00 AM

Mr. Gay Hong Kong 2011 was crowned on October 15 at the Bisous nightclub.

October 24 2011 4:00 AM