By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com June 24 2011 1:50 PM ET
10. DVD: Elektra Luxx
A sequel to Women in Trouble, Sebastian Gutiérrez’s fluffy indie comedy stars Carla Gugino as Elektra Luxx, a retired porn star on the road to reinvention. Friday Night Lights alum Adrianne Palicki — TV’s would-be Wonder Woman — plays Holly Rocket, a dim-witted porn pal with a major crush on an escort played by Entourage’s Emmanuelle Chriqui. Look for a sensual lap dance dream sequence and a label-shunning confession.
9. MUSIC: We Dreamed These Days, Michael Feinstein
Recorded with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, the latest solo album from five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein features the gay crooner’s cool spin on Peter Allen’s “I’d Rather Leave While I’m in Love,” Neil Sedaka’s “The Hungry Years,” and the title track, which sets Maya Angelou’s words to Feinstein’s original melody. All proceeds will benefit the Feinstein Foundation and the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind.
8. TV: Visionaries: Tom Ford
Premiering June 24 on OWN, this documentary covers Tom Ford's debut women's wear show in New York last fall, his guest editorship of Vogue Paris, and the opening of the Tom Ford flagship store in Beverly Hills. It’s an unprecedented look behind the seams of the private designer and A Single Man director — “I've never let anyone film me like this before,” he says — who explains his penchant for open shirts and up to five baths a day.
7. EVENT: Jackie Beat: Pray the Gay Away and I ... Amanda Lepore in Concert
Love the parade, but it’s just not Gay Pride in New York until Jackie Beat’s annual pride show of filthy comedy and irreverent pop song parodies: The drag diva debuts Pray the Gay Away June 24 and 25 at the Gramercy Theater. Meanwhile, trans superstar Amanda Lepore premieres her album, I ... Amanda Lepore, with a concert June 25 at Highline Ballroom featuring Cazwell, Joey Arias, David LaChapelle, Ana Matronic, and more.
6. DVD: Christopher and His Kind
Available June 28 on DVD, this terrific BBC adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s 1976 autobiography stars Doctor Who's Matt Smith as Isherwood, seen here as the young writer escapes his repressive life and suffocating mother in England to move to Germany. Isherwood gets sucked into the hedonistic cabaret scene and decadent gay subculture — sexy hustlers at the Cosy Corner! — in politically unstable 1930s Berlin.
5. MUSIC: 4, Beyoncé; With the Music I Die, Wynter Gordon; The Light of the Sun, Jill Scott; Show Me Your Tan Lines, Jessie and the Toy Boys
Who run the world? Girls! Tempering bangers with many ballads, Mrs. Jay-Z’s fourth solo album is her most mature yet; Wynter Gordon, a staple of gay pride events, includes hot single “Til Death” on her peppy new EP; Jill Scott’s sultry fifth album features single “So in Love” and “Shame” with Eve; and the debut EP by Britney’s tour mates Jessie and the Toy Boys — Jessie Malakouti and mannequins! — has the standout “Push It.”
4. MUSIC: Something in the Moonlight, Steven Grossman
The moody, loungey posthumous sophomore release of pioneering gay singer-songwriter Steven Grossman coincides with the 20th anniversary of his AIDS-related death on June 23, 1991. A follow-up to 1974’s Caravan Tonight — considered the first candidly gay-themed album by an out artist issued on a major label — Moonlight is playful and frank: “Buena Vista” captures the cruisy San Fran gay scene, and “Step” is about “the big A.”
3. THEATER: The 20th Annual HOT! Festival
New York City’s “celebration of queer culture,” which features original performances by more than 100 LGBT artists, kicks off June 24 and runs through August 6 at Dixon Place. Highlights include The Tom Judson Show; Marga Gomez in Not Getting Any Younger; Night Mother, a top 40 and YouTube tribute by Erin Markey and Cole Escola; and From the Front Porch: An Evening with David Mixner. For a full schedule, visit HotFestival.org.
2. TV: Carson Nation
After cohosting Your OWN Show, Queer Eye’s Carson Kressley returns to OWN June 25 with his own reality series. With a vintage Airstream and his assistant in tow, Kressley trucks his fabulous sense of style, his fashion know-how, and his outrageous personality across the country, making over — he calls them “make-betters” — small towns one deserving person at a time. Each town promises fun, adventure, and inspirational change.
1: TV: True Blood
It’s all about witches and fairies when Alan Ball’s Southern gothic hit returns for a fourth season June 26 on HBO. Look for more sparks and spells to fly between Kevin Alejandro as Jesus and a newly mohawked Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette, and expect even more sass — and heart? — from Kristin Bauer van Straten as bisexual vampire Pam. Best of all, a beloved character previously presumed to be straight will resurface in a gay relationship.