By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com April 08 2011 5:50 PM ET
10. DVD/CD: Tough Love, Lisa Lampanelli
No surprise that gays — or “semen demons” — are among the first people that the insult comic lovingly teases in her latest Comedy Central special, which just got a CD and DVD release including bonus content. The roast queen, who tells homophobes they aren’t allowed to be her fans, applauds gays because “not one gay guy has ever got mad at me about a joke, and you’d think if there was any group who’d have a stick up their ass ... ”
9. THEATER: Burn This
A fine de facto tribute to the recently deceased Pulitzer Prize–winning gay playwright, Lanford Wilson’s drama just opened — with gay director Nicholas Martin at the helm — at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A., where it premiered in 1987. Among the group assembled after the death of Robbie, a young gay dancer, Brooks Ashmanskas stars as Robbie’s witty gay roommate, Larry, who flirts with another roomie’s straight lover, Ken Barnett’s Burton.
8. MUSIC: Too Young to Be in Love, Hunx and His Punx
As the Oakland quintet’s flamboyant frontman “Hunx,” Seth Bogart has toned down the graphic homoeroticism from the group’s Gay Singles compilation on its nostalgic new bubblegum tribute to ’60s girl groups, but he still croons nasally about other boys on doo-wop tracks like “Lover’s Lane” and “My Boyfriend’s Coming Back.” “Too Young to Be in Love” details the campy tragedy that befalls “Hunx” when he takes a bad boy to prom.
7. DVD: Alex and Leo, The Taqwacores, XX: Where the Heart Should Be, Straightman
Four sexy indies are worth a look this week: Alex and Leo, a sweet German-language gay rom-com, stars hot model-porn star Marcel Schlutt; The Taqwacores peeks into Buffalo’s Muslim punk scene, which includes “queer punks”; Frisk’s Todd Verow returns with XX, 20 edgy shorts about gays screwing in the apocalypse’s shadow; and Ben Berkowitz’s gritty straight-gay buddy comedy Straightman gets a remastered 10th anniversary edition.
6. MUSIC: Love Boutique, Keo Nozari
“If you’re shopping for a good time, you’ve got the right address,” Nozari sings on his stylishly playful new sophomore album. But the out singer-songwriter-DJ complements shamelessly superficial dance-pop like “Private Party” with the upbeat self-empowerment of “Acceptable 2 U.” “House of Mirrors,” with its chorus of “I think you best look at yourself before you’re hatin’ on me,” may just be the fiercest antibullying anthem ever.
5. MUSIC: Priscilla Queen of the Desert
The sequined exuberance shines through on this new original cast recording, which is perfect for fans who can’t score tickets to the Broadway jukebox musical — or for those who prefer their drag shows without corny sight gags and raunchy double entendre. Highlights include “True Colors,” “We Belong,” “Go West,” Nick Adams on “Material Girl,” and a sappy father-son mash-up of “Say a Little Prayer" and “Always on My Mind.”
4. THEATER: Gay Plays for Straight People (And Also Gay People)
Purple Rep artistic directors and playwrights Mariah MacCarthy and Larry Kunofsky present two hetero-friendly pro-gay plays running in rep starting April 8 at New York’s Paradise Factory. The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret explores sexual identity and the limitations of gender norms among a group of 20-somethings, and The Un-Marrying Project focuses on married straight couples who get divorced in support of gay marriage.
3. BOOK: The Complete Wendel, Howard Cruse
Originally published in The Advocate throughout the 1980s, Cruse’s groundbreaking gay comic strip series “Wendel,” which found humor in gay sex during the AIDS era, was a reality-rooted chronicle of an average gay man’s journey through the rocky Reagan-Bush years. Collecting every strip, this essential edition includes a foreword by Cruse, an intro by Dykes to Watch Out For’s Alison Bechdel, and a fun “where are they now?” section.
2. TV: Happy Endings
Premiering April 13 on ABC, this new single-camera comedy focuses on how friends cope when a couple within their circle breaks up on their wedding day. Upright Citizens Brigade vet Adam Pally plays Max, the group’s schlubby gay friend who’s still sensitive about his parents’ divorce and his weight problems in college. Elisha Cuthbert and SNL alum Casey Wilson costar in the series, which also includes an interracial couple.
1. TV: 2011 NewNowNext Awards
The categories are silly and nominees seem chosen based on who might actually show up, but Logo’s little awards show is gaining national attention — a full-page scorecard in EW for starters — in its fourth year. Hosted by Dawson’s Creek “DILF” James Van Der Beek, the April 11 airing includes appearances by Paula Abdul and Adam Lambert. Lady Gaga, who gave her first TV performance at the event in 2008, receives a special honor.