By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com May 20 2011 5:10 PM ET
10. MUSIC/EVENT: Glee: The Music, Volume 6 and Glee Live! In Concert!
Out May 23, the final official album of Glee’s second season includes 15 of the best numbers from the last six episodes, plus new original tracks “Pretending,” “As Long As You’re There” with Charice, and “Light Up The World,” a New Directions showcase cowritten by hit-maker Max Martin. The disc coincides with the gang’s second North American summer tour, Glee Live! In Concert!, which kicks off May 21 in Las Vegas.
9. FILM: Children of God
Kareem Mortimer’s impressive feature debut stars Johnny Ferro and Stephen Tyrone Williams as interracial lovers, an artist and a closeted musician, on a rural, extremely religious Bahamian island. The exquisitely shot romantic drama opens May 20 in New York — with Out’s deputy editor Bill Keith presenting the opening night screening at Quad Cinema —before airing June 2 on Showtime and being released June 7 on DVD.
8. TV: Hometown Renovation
“This show is a major departure for HGTV,” celebrity makeup artist Billy B tells us of his six-hour World of Wonder-produced docudrama miniseries, which debuts May 20. Like “the hillbilly version of Jeff Lewis from Flipping Out,” the RuPaul’s Drag Race judge returns home to Aberdeen, Miss., to transform dilapidated properties into enviable treasures. You’ll love meeting Billy’s mom and cute handyman sidekick John Dudley.
7. EVENT: OutMusic Awards
The seventh annual OutMusic Awards — the LGBT music industry’s Grammys — will be presented May 23 at Live Nation’s Irving Plaza in New York with Kalup Linzy, Lori Michaels, Justin Utley, and Rachael Sage among this year’s nominees. Out country crooner Chely Wright and Marsha Ambrosius, whose “Far Away” video addressed gay suicide, will receive special awards. For tickets and more info, visit outmusicawards.com.
6. FILM: Florent: Queen of the Meat Market
David Sigal serves up a starry, spicy slice of LGBT history in this bittersweet tribute, which opens May 20 in New York. By interviewing its most famous patrons, the out filmmaker documents the final months of Florent, an iconic Manhattan diner ruled by charismatic gay owner Florent Morellet, an HIV-positive equal rights and AIDS activist with a sweet tooth for drag parties and posting his T-cell count above the daily special.
5. THEATER: Lucky Guy
Why don’t Leslie Jordan and Varla Jean Merman star in every musical comedy? Lucky for those who can get to off-Broadway’s Little Shubert Theatre, the Will & Grace pixie and drag giant are a campy hoot in Willard Beckham’s tuner about a car salesman and a country diva who try to steal a hit song from a Nashville newbie played by out actor Kyle Dean Massey, whose fine voice, effortless charm, and tight jeans almost steal the show.
4. BOOK: Gulliver Travels, Justin Luke Zirilli
Zirilli’s vibrant and vernal debut novel is the gayest book you’ll see on the beach — or on the back of a club-trash trick’s toilet — this summer. Glittered with familiar nightlife characters you want to pork and punch in the face, this edgy cumming-of-age tale follows the adventures of a PYT named Gulliver, a boozy, boy-crazy New York newbie whose X-rated exploits made this reader both nostalgic and ultimately glad to be all grown up.
3. MUSIC: Between the Spirit & the Flesh, Sir Ari Gold
Available May 24, the latest album from sexy out artist Ari Gold (the “Sir” was bestowed upon him by the Imperial Court of NY for his HIV/AIDS charity work) will make your body work overtime as he worships the electro gods. Highlights of this dark and moody party record include pro-clubbing groove “Out Dancing,” the drag-assisted “If I Steal Your Boyfriend,” and “Sparkle,” a self-empowerment anthem with sassy diva shout-outs.
2. FILM: Spork
Gay filmmaker J.B. Ghuman Jr.’s wonderfully weird feature debut, which opens May 20 in limited release, is shameless tonal mishmash that pays homage to ’80s fashions, ’90s party jams, and beloved teen movie clichés. The terrific Savannah Stehlin stars as young hermaphrodite “Spork,” an awkward misfit and mean-girl magnet who, recalling Dawn in Welcome to the Dollhouse, proves that every problem can be solved with a hot dance-off.
1. MUSIC: Born This Way, Lady Gaga
Forget those leaks, because Mother Monster will know if you don’t buy her third album — “about what keeps us up at night and what makes us afraid,” she says — which is out and proud May 23. Get the two-CD, 22-track special edition, which includes three bonus songs and five remixes. Proof of purchase also grants you admittance to official Born This Way Haus Parties in Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Las Vegas.