By Brandon Voss
Originally published on Advocate.com October 28 2011 11:17 AM ET
10. MUSIC: The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life, Michael Feinstein
On the ’60s-focused sequel to 2008’s The Sinatra Project, which earned Feinstein his fifth Grammy nomination, the gay crooner puts his signature spin on songs first made famous by Sinatra and his friends, including Rosemary Clooney, Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, and Nancy Wilson. Highlights include “For Once in My Life,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and “C’est Comme Ça” from the 1966 Broadway flop Pousse Café.
9. TV: The Graham Norton Show
Hosted by flamboyant gay actor Graham Norton, the tenth season of this racy, cheeky BBC comedy chat show premieres October 29 on BBC America. The premiere episode welcomes Kate Winslet and Jamie Bell, and future guests include Johnny Depp, James McAvoy, and Ricky Gervais. Beginning November 5, Norton will also weigh and ponder wacky predicaments with celebrity panelists on his newest show, Would You Rather?
8. FILM: Reeling 30
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Chicago’s LGBT film festival opens November 3 and includes Stephen Cone’s coming-of-age drama The Wise Kids; Vamperifica, Bruce Ornstein’s fun horror-comedy about a show queen with a vampire king’s soul; Madeleine Olnek’s sci-fi B-movie spoof Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same; and Cho Dependent, Margaret Cho’s latest standup film. For schedule visit reelingfilmfestival.org.
7. ART: Bruce of Los Angeles: Beefcakes and Boundaries
Better known as Bruce of Los Angeles, photographer Bruce Bellas pushed the boundaries between art and obscenity with his homoerotic pin-up images of California bodybuilders in the ’50s and ’60s. Opening October 28 at Pop tART Gallery in L.A., an exhibit of his work includes issues of The Male Figure, his self-published physique magazine, and the work of contemporary artists inspired by Bruce’s style. For more info visit lapoptart.com.
6. MUSIC: Secret Codes and Battle Ships, Darren Hayes
The fourth solo album from Hayes is a fantastic throwback to the epic pop sound of the out Australian singer-songwriter’s Savage Garden success. Anchored by infectious lead single “Talk Talk Talk,” power ballad “Bloodstained Heart,” and lost-love lament “Black Out the Sun,” this easily relatable relationship-oriented collection floats on shamelessly catchy melodies, gorgeous string-heavy instrumentation, and intensely emotional lyrics.
5. THEATER: Next Fall
Making its West Coast premiere with a revised script, this terrific 2010 Tony nominee for Best Play opens November 2 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Out playwright Geoffrey Nauffts (pictured) also stars as a charmingly neurotic atheist embroiled in a faith-clashing confrontation when an accident lands his semi-closeted Christian boyfriend (Lone Star’s James Wolk) in the hospital. For more info visit geffenplayhouse.com.
4. BOOK: John Waters: Interviews and Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies with John Waters
Edited by filmmaker and professor James Egan, John Waters: Interviews assembles the best articles about the Baltimorean cult auteur from the last 45 years, including a new interview by Egan. Just as revealing, Robert Maier’s dishy, name-dropping memoir Low Budget Hell goes behind the scenes of early Waters classics. Fun fact: Egan and Maier both met and befriended Waters when they worked with him on 1974’s Female Trouble.
3. TV: Allen Gregory
Co-created by Jonah Hill, this new comedy series premieres October 30 as part of Fox’s Sunday-night animation lineup. Hill also voices Allen, a precocious, hyper-intelligent 7-year-old who’s forced to attend public school due to the recession. Allen lives in a fabulous loft with his gay dad Richard and his life-partner Jeremy — voiced by 3rd Rock from the Sun’s French Stewart and Nat Faxon — and Julie, his adopted Cambodian sister.
2. THEATER: Sons of the Prophet
Roundabout Theatre Company's phenomenal New York premiere of out playwright Stephen Karam's poignant dark comedy explores human suffering through January 1 at the Laura Pels Theatre. Santino Fontana and Chris Perfetti have touching chemistry as gay Lebanese-American brothers coping with their dad’s death, and Charles Socarides plays a cute gay journalist covering the story. For more info visit roundabouttheatre.org.
1. DVD: Judas Kiss, Unhappy Birthday, Eating Out: Drama Camp, and Gigola
Take home these LGBT film fest faves: In J.T. Tepnapa’s bewitching Judas Kiss, out Dante’s Cove star Charlie David plays a filmmaker sucked into a weird love quadrangle with gay stars Timo Descamps and Brent Corrigan; a gay couple gets a scary surprise in the British Unhappy Birthday; Q. Allan Brocka’s fourth Eating Out gets campier; and Laure Charpentier’s French-language Gigola plumbs the lesbian underbelly of ’60s Paris.