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.

Alec Baldwin appears in a new video for Fight Back New York, the PAC dedicated to unseating state senators who voted against marriage equality last year, to discuss the only reason why he cannot marry Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

October 20 2010 8:30 AM

The Advocate’s man on the New York theater scene ushers in a bloody bloody good season with T.R. Knight, Cherry Jones, Charles Busch, Anthony Rapp, and the return migration of Matthew Bourne’s shirtless gay swans.

October 19 2010 10:10 AM

Generally, opening nights tend to be a great time. This one is no exception for our acting company. The mood backstage is nervous, of course, but warm and elevated. After having been stuck amid the picayune details of technical rehearsal, it is liberating to reconnect to the reason we are here. We are sharing Matthew Shepard’s story with an audience eager to hear it.

Generally, opening night audiences tend to feel pretty great too. They’re happy to be the lucky first few. Knowing it is opening night seems to put audiences in a celebratory and forgiving mood. This is even more the case for our first audience because Emerson College has had the brilliant idea of inviting anyone in the Boston area who has ever been involved in a production of our play to come as its guest. So the 1,800-seat house is packed, in good part with young people who have a deep personal connection with the plays, the characters, and our company. You couldn’t ask for a better house, even though, as Jeremy Bobb points out, they will all know when we screw up our lines. We are greeted with entrance applause and ushered out with a standing ovation, and the attention during the show is rapt.

It’s a fantastic first night and a great reminder that the work we are doing is important and continues to have tremendous meaning for many around the country, and particularly for the younger generation. The fist weekend of performances alternating between The Laramie Project and 10 Years Later is naturally a little bumpy — we have had no previews — but by the last shows we are getting our stride as a company and audiences seem to be loving both shows. There are standing ovations every night.

October 18 2010 7:45 PM

Teen idol Justin Bieber plans to take a public stand against bullying after he was targeted with an antigay slur during a game of laser tag.

According to TMZ, which first reported on the incident, “We're told Bieber will be going public -- probably within the next week -- to lend his support to the anti-bullying campaign.”

October 18 2010 10:55 AM

COMMENTARY: The Pentagon needs more time and is not ready to follow the decision of a federal judge who ordered the military to suspend all investigations and discharges relating to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law. That is the view of the Honorable Clifford Stanley, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. In this capacity Stanley is the senior most civilian in charge of all personnel matters across the military.

Earlier this week Stanley submitted a declaration to U.S. district judge Virginia Phillips in response to her ruling ordering the Pentagon to halt all activities related to DADT. This followed Phillips's decision last month in the Log Cabin Republicans trial, where she struck down the policy as a violation of gay and lesbian service members’ free speech and due process rights. The Justice Department has appealed the case, and Phillips will consider the government’s request for a stay of the injunction during a Monday afternoon court hearing in Riverside, Calif.

In his declaration, Stanley argues, “During the pendency of that appeal, the military should not be required to suddenly and immediately restructure a major personnel policy that has been in place for years, particularly during a time when the Nation is involved in combat operations overseas. The magnitude of repealing the DADT law and policy is demonstrated by the Department's ongoing efforts to study the implications of repealing DADT[.]”

Stanley seems to forget that the military, and everyone else for that matter, does not have the luxury of deciding when to follow a judge’s orders. In asking for a stay of this decision, the military must demonstrate that the harm of repeal implementation is greater than the harm posed to gay and lesbian service members living under DADT, who must lie about their identity every day and live under the constant fear of being discharged.

Simply stating that this policy has been in place for years boils down to the inertia of “we’ve always done it that way.” And the urgency of our nation being in the midst of two major conflicts highlights the fact that our military needs every capable, patriotic American willing to put themselves in harm’s way. Adm. Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, alluded to this fact during his February testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, when he expressed his opinion that DADT should become history. If Stanley had his way, our military would continue to discharge Arabic linguists, pilots, doctors, nurses, infantrymen, and many others, simply because he feels we’re not ready yet and need more time to study the issue.

The Pentagon will release the results of its nine-month study to Congress on December 1. The purpose of this study is to address how the Pentagon will implement a repeal of DADT. Even by that deadline, the Pentagon will not be ready, but will in fact need much more time, according to Stanley. He writes: “December 1 is by no means, however, the date on which the Department may be prepared to implement a change to DADT in the event the DADT law is repealed or eliminated. Additional steps that must occur after December 1 include review, assessment, and approval of the Working Groups' report and recommendations by the leadership of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines; the Secretary of Defense; and by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

President Barack Obama must certify that repeal will not be detrimental to the military, according to the repeal legislation that is pending in Congress. There is no reason this cannot be done on December 2, immediately following the release of the Pentagon’s study.  

October 16 2010 1:55 PM

New York–based artist Mark Beard has devoted the last two decades to exploring and amassing the work of Bruce Sargeant (1898–1938), a painter whose work idealized and celebrated the beauty of the male form. Had Sargeant not met a tragic and unexpected end in a wrestling accident, he may have gone on to the heights now enjoyed by artists such as James McNeill Whistler; instead, his oeuvre remained hidden for years and is only now being brought to light, with works still being discovered.

 Prized in elite gallery circles and salons in Europe and the United States, Sargeant’s work has never been featured in a major art-historical survey until now. His subtly toned oil paintings of young men engaged in sports and other leisure activities are reminiscent of classic figure painting, highlighting his beaux arts training, yet their gentle elegance continues to speak to contemporary audiences through Abercrombie & Fitch’s installations of Sargeant’s work in its flagship stores worldwide.

An exhibition at ClampArt in New York City coincides with the release of Beard’s book Bruce Sargeant and His Circle. In addition to essays and plates showcasing Sargeant’s breadth of interests, both in his artistic studies and in the men he painted, the book examines his artistic circle — his teacher, Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon; his friend and colleague Edith Cromwell; archrival Brechtholdt Streeruwitz; and Peter Coulter, one of the many artists indirectly influenced by this salon.

 A foreword by Thomas Sokolowski, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, appropriately places Sargeant in the pantheon of 20th-century figure painters, and the afterword by W.M. Hunt draws favorable parallels between Sargeant’s glorification of the male body and the work of photographers Herb Ritts and Bruce Weber, among others. Further, various texts by dealers, museum trustees, and art aficionados offer insights and remembrances about this prolific circle.

"Bruce Sargeant and His Circle" Exhibition:
ClampArt, 521-531 25th St., New York, NY, through October 30 

October 16 2010 4:00 AM

Rocker Gavin Rossdale has finally spoken out about a long rumored gay fling with the British pop star Marilyn (born Peter Robinson).

According to Access Hollywood, Rossdale talked with Details magazine for the November issue.

October 14 2010 9:35 AM

Neil Patrick Harris will make his feature directing debut with Aaron and Sarah, a romantic comedy starring Emma Roberts and Josh Hutcherson.

October 14 2010 8:30 AM

 Michael Cunningham’s home in Provincetown, Mass., hews to the classic Cape Cod style. The shingles of his modest two-story condo along the water on the far east end of town are graying from the salty sea air. The house that The Hours built—or at least bought (“It cost almost exactly what [movie producer] Scott Rudin paid me for The Hours,” Cunningham casually reveals)—has the kind of sparkling bay views and voluptuous breezes that inspire you to take a deep breath and sink into vacation relaxation.

Which is why the author’s studio is the room without the view. “I need to detach from that,” he says, gesturing at the bay from the couch of his Ralph Lauren–perfect living room–cum–kitchen on an afternoon in early September. “I need to really focus and not be sitting there at 10 in the morning thinking, God, why aren’t I walking on the beach? Why am I sitting here like some latter-day Emily Dickinson, with life passing me by?

Self-pitying drama and geography—Dickinson lived in landlocked Amherst, Mass.—aside, Cunningham isn’t likely to become much like the reclusive 19th-century poet, whose work was unappreciated until after her death. Not only did The Hours buy Cunningham and his partner, Ken Corbett, a summer house (they spend the rest of the year in New York City), the 1998 book became a 2002 movie starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep, which won Kidman an Oscar for Best Actress. The novel also earned Cunningham perhaps the most coveted award of all, the Pulitzer Prize.

The Hours had another, less tangible effect: It elevated the gay male cultural conversation. For a time, talk of Virginia Woolf and Mrs. Dalloway—the inspiration for Cunningham’s a-day-in-three-lives novel—supplanted lots of chatter about Titanic and Teletubbies (hey, it was 1998). It revealed a collective yearning and latent capacity for literary discussion among gay people. “In my wildest dreams, I hope that’s true,” Cunningham says.

Now the dean of the gay literati has turned his gaze to the contemporary art world. Cunningham’s new book, By Nightfall, is tidier and less lofty than The Hours and his Walt Whitman–inspired 2005 follow-up, Specimen Days. Nevertheless it delivers sharp cultural and emotional insights. The novel follows Peter, a New York City gallery owner who launches into a midlife reexamination of his marriage (to a woman), his parenting (to an estranged college-age daughter), and his work (hawking less-than-substantial contemporary art to wealthy socialites) after a visit from his much younger brother-in-law.

October 13 2010 4:00 AM

 Holiday spirit can be in short supply when arguing with relatives over the dinner table, fighting over Macy’s last discounted sweater, or stuck in an awkward conversation at a badly lit office party. But there are simple ways to make these months sweeter. These 11 gay overachievers offer up their suggestions for a healthier, less stressful, and more socially conscious season. (And tofurkey is mentioned only once!)

Conquering the holiday blues
Exercise is a great way to beat holiday depression! However, suggesting exercise to a friend who is down doesn’t necessarily mean he or she will be motivated enough to follow through. So be proactive and ask friends to join you for runs, hikes, lifting—whatever your choice. A holiday workout buddy makes a big difference for the down-and-out person forging through it alone. Eat healthily and drink moderately—feeling down and drinking are not a fun mix. Overeating and eating the wrong things (think of sugar highs and lows) are a major cause of those holiday blues. Limit the temptation to one cheat meal the night of the holiday. Also, have one thing at a holiday party that’s usually on the naughty list—you can indulge and keep your eating in check at the same time. If you’re single (like me!), don’t isolate! Spend time with friends, throw a party, and say yes to invitations!

BARRY JAY X390 | ADVOCATE.COMBarry Jay, director of curriculum and founder of Barry’s Bootcamp exercise regime (

October 13 2010 4:00 AM