By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com February 11 2011 1:30 PM ET
10. CONCERT: Wyoming and Parts of Kansas
Todd Almond, the out composer-lyricist-playwright who adapted Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend into a gay love story, will premiere a collection of songs based on his travels on February 16 at St. Mark’s Church in New York. Largely inspired by an artistic retreat on which he adapted a chapter from Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, Almond’s thoughtful musical travelogue will feature special guest Amy Ryan from The Office.
9. BOOK: And Furthermore, Judi Dench
In this charming and captivating memoir, out February 15, Dame Judi Dench candidly fills in the gaps of her 2005 photo book Scenes from My Life and John Miller’s in-depth 1998 biography, which means that her fans can now enjoy casual anecdotes about her work with lesbian filmmaker Sally Potter on Rage, plus the arguments she raised over the gray bras and panties her lesbian schoolteacher character wore in Notes on a Scandal.
8. THEATER: The Sonneteer
Homophobia and gay acceptance are major themes in out playwright Nick Salamone’s latest play, which has its world premiere February 11 and runs through March 6 at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre under Jon Lawrence Rivera’s direction. Focused on a young professor’s look at his Italian-American family history through the discovery of his late mother’s secret sonnets, the play features a gay affair in the 1950s.
7. FILM: Rise
What would Brian Boitano do? He’d join figure skating luminaries Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, and Michelle Kwan as storytellers in this inspiring docu-tribute commemorating the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that killed the 1961 U.S. World Team. On February 17, the film will be broadcast to 500 theaters nationwide along with a special live event hosted by Matt Lauer at Times Square’s Best Buy Theater.
6. BOOK: Queer (In)Justice
In this comprehensive resource for queer studies scholars and laymen, which is available February 15, the authors draw on years of research, activism, and legal advocacy to examine queer criminal archetypes — “gleeful gay killers,” “lethal lesbians,” and “disease spreaders,” oh my! — and to go beyond Stonewall in exposing a long tradition of police discrimination and blind punishment of queer expression, regardless of crime.
5. FILM: Vidal Sassoon: The Movie
Co-produced by Bumble and bumble founder Michael Gordon, this stylishly fawning documentary — opening February 11 in New York and February 18 in Los Angeles — celebrates the iconic hairdresser behind the five-point cut, the graduated bob, and the Mia Farrow pixie. Sassoon, who was once mistakenly given Gore Vidal’s enema at a health spa, also plays tribute to his own flamboyant mentor, Raymond “Teasy-Weasy” Bessone.
4. EVENT: Fortitude Weekend
Kicking off February 17 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, this first annual LGBT Presidents' Day weekend celebration benefits amFAR AIDS Research, the Pride Center at Equality Park, and Fort Lauderdale-Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals. In addition to out headliners Judy Gold and Alec Mapa, DJs like Randy Bettis and Chus + Ceballos will set the tone for performances by Martha Wash, Taylor Dayne, Ari Gold, Julie Goldman, and more.
3. FILM: The Eagle
Based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s book Eagle of the Ninth and fittingly renamed after gay leather bars across the globe, this popcorn flick might contain mainstream cinema’s most homoerotic display of eye candy since White Squall. Ex-stripper Channing Tatum stars as a Roman centurion and Billy Elliot’s Jamie Bell stars as his hot slave, but — as with any good S&M role-playing — the studs must flip-flop their master-slave status to survive. Denis O'Hare costars.
2. TV: The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards
Album of the Year nominee Lady Gaga is set to perform her new pro-gay anthem “Born This Way” when the music industry ceremony airs February 13 on CBS, but there’s a lot more gayness to get behind: Elton John, Adam Lambert, Vampire Weekend — which features out member Rostam Batmanglij — and even the Glee gang are up for top prizes. Meanwhile, Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin will battle it out for Best Comedy Album.
1. THEATER: La Cage Aux Folles
The best of times are now at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre, where the Tony-winning revival welcomes a new gay couple starting February 15. Replacing Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge, Arrested Development’s Jeffrey Tambor tackles Georges while Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the musical’s book, lends his gravely baritone to drag diva Albin. Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Rent’s original Angel, also steps in as Jacob the sassy maid.