By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com May 13 2011 4:50 PM ET
10. MUSIC: Matthew Morrison, Matthew Morrison
Morrison’s adult-pop debut is just what one might expect from a straight Broadway vet on Glee, the gayest show on TV. Highlights include his stirring duet with Elton John on “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters/Rocket Man,” a ukulele-strumming spin on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with Gwyneth Paltrow recalling Kamakawiwo'ole’s classic version, and somber album-closer “It’s Over,” which he cowrote with Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman.
9. BOOK: Donovan’s Big Day, Lesléa Newman
The latest children’s book from the writer of Heather Has Two Mommies is the perfect gift for gay parents, especially those readying to tie the knot. In this beautifully illustrated story, little Donovan’s two moms are getting married — though the gay angle is actually a surprise twist at the end — and he’s so excited to be the ringbearer at the wedding. What changes for Donovan after the ceremony? Nothing, and that’s exactly the point.
8. DVD: No Strings Attached, The Other Woman, The Roommate, The Mechanic
Check out the gay characters in these new mainstream releases: No Strings Attached has gay dads and Chelsea Lately’s Guy Branum as a gay pal; Rent’s Anthony Rapp plays Natalie Portman’s gay confidante in out filmmaker Don Roos’s The Other Woman; Leighton Meester kisses Danneel Harris’s lesbian fashionista in The Roommate; and The Mechanic has a killer fight scene between Ben Foster and Jeff Chase as a gay hit man.
7. MUSIC: Queen 40
To commemorate Queen’s 40th anniversary — and the 20th anniversary of frontman Freddie Mercury’s death — this limited-edition collector’s box set, an Amazon.com exclusive, includes the iconic British band’s first five studio albums (Queen, Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack, A Night At the Opera, and A Day At the Races) each remastered in deluxe two-CD reissues with rare bonus material like previously unreleased demos.
6. DVD: Fest Selects: Best Gay and Lesbian Shorts, Vol. 1
Out May 17, these two essential collections showcase an impressive variety of the best LGBT short films culled from the past few years of the international festival circuit. For boys, highlights include Jonathan Lisecki’s Gayby, Eldar Rapaport’s Steam, and Alain Hain’s Curious Thing. Ladies get Kate Brandt’s Tools 4 Fools, Gina Hirsch’s You Move Me, and Chris Russo’s 25 Random Things I Did During My Big Fat Lesbian Depression.
5. FILM: L’Amour Fou
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé met at Christian Dior’s funeral in 1957, and the rest is history that director Pierre Thoretton lovingly details in this intimate French-language documentary, which opens May 13. With home movies and archival footage of runway shows, the film focuses on the French-Algerian couturier’s 50-year relationship with Bergé, who prepares to auction off their enviable art collection after YSL’s 2008 death.
4. FILM: The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
Allow Leanne Pooley’s immensely entertaining documentary, which opens May 13, to introduce you to lesbian twin sisters Jools and Lynda Topp, a yodeling comedy duo from New Zealand. “On paper they should be commercial death,” says comedy writer Paul Horan, “but they totally deliver to the audience.” The progressive political activists, who live together with their girlfriends, have male alter egos and often sing about being gay.
3. CABARET: Miss Coco Peru: There Comes a Time
Miss Coco’s latest evening of story and song opens May 13 at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Renberg Theatre. Anyone who saw Miss Coco Peru is Still Alive! knows that Coco — né Clinton Leupp — has overcome tragedies, but this new show, which benefits the Center, promises to be all light and fun, featuring anecdotes about her appearance at friend Bea Arthur’s memorial and playing “Angel” in the backers’ audition for Rent.
2. THEATER: WTC View
Brian Sloan’s drama, which premiered at the 2003 FringeNYC and was made into a 2005 film starring Michael Urie, will finally bow off-Broadway. Directed by Andrew Volkoff, the limited engagement begins May 19 at 59E59 Theaters as part of its “Americas Off-Broadway” series. Nick Lewis stars as Eric, a gay photographer who must interview potential roommates for his SoHo apartment after placing an ad on September 10, 2001.
1. EVENT: The Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour
Rugby superstar and bear icon Ben Cohen, a longtime opponent of homophobia in sports, will continue to promote equality on a personal appearance tour that reaches the U.S. on May 19 in Atlanta before hitting New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., later this month. The tour, which will team Cohen up with local gay and gay-friendly rugby clubs, will raise awareness and funds for the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.