By Jeremy Kinser
Originally published on Advocate.com February 17 2012 6:55 PM ET
10. DVD: Black Briefs
The darker side of sexuality is explored in this scintillating compilation of six short erotic films, including standout Video Night from director Jim Hansen, best known for helming the brilliant series of “Chloe” videos. Out actor Jack Plotnick stars in this tale that looks at a group of friends who spend an evening making videos that takes a horrific turn when they discover something unexpected in the raw footage.
9. BOOK: Female Force: Cher
With a career that spans half a century, Cher has already exhibited superhuman traits, so it's no wonder that her colorful life has been transformed into a 32-page comic book (Bluewater Productions, $3.99). The latest in the series of comic biographies of famous females features text by Marc Shapiro, illustrations by Zach Basset, and a cover by DC Comics artist Joe Phillips.
8. DVD J. Edgar
Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer star as FBI head J. Edgar Hoover and his protégé Clyde Tolson in this thrilling and ultimately touching biopic, now on DVD. Director Clint Eastwood has said that Hoover’s sexuality is open to interpretation, but gay audiences will appreciate out screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s take on the men’s intimate relationship — and Judi Dench as Hoover’s mom, who’d “rather have a dead son than a daffodil for a son.”
7. DVD: Bad Actress
Out-of-touch celebs like Lindsay Lohan are mercilessly mocked in this dark comedy, now on DVD, from Robert Lee King, director of Psycho Beach Party,
and screenwriter David Michael Barrett. Alyssa Rampart-Pillage, a
washed-up star who sees comeback opportunity as she overcomes traumas such as
eating disorders, the death of her daughter in a horrifying golf ball
accident, and her husband giving away their fortune.
6. THEATER: My Tawny Valentine
Award-winning actor-playwright David Drake, who eternally endeared himself to theatergoers two decades ago with The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, takes center stage as fictitious showbiz survivor Tawny Heatherton, niece of '60s icon Joey. Tawny will relive her glory days spent traveling the world performing her disco "hit" as well as her short-lived stint as a "Hee-Haw Honey." February 17 and 24 and March 2 at New York's Laurie Beechman Theatre.
5. DVD: Sons of Tennessee Williams
Filmmaker Tim Wolff looks at the
rise of Mardi Gras drag balls against the turbulent backdrop of the
civil rights era in New Orleans in this spellbinding 2011 documentary, now on DVD. The film spans five decades (or the length of Cher's career), and many of the interviews with the LGBT pioneers (the titular sons) are absolutely
heartbreaking as they recall the indignities they survived. There’s glorious archival footage as well as more recent
clips from the 2008 anniversary ball.
4. TV: Celebrity Apprentice
Out entertainer (and outspoken
marriage equality advocate) Clay Aiken and original Star Trek cast
member George Takei will vie with raunchy comic Lisa Lampanelli,
pioneering supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, former talk show host Arsenio Hall, '80s pop princess Deborah Gibson, and others for the title of Celebrity Apprentice. Season 5 of Donald Trump's compulsively watchable competition series premieres on NBC February 19.
3. TV: Pop Shop
Learn how to transform thrift-shop throwaways into designer-worthy furnishings as Alexis Hadjopulos and L.A. nightlife impresario and activist Tom Whitman (pictured) launch a new home makeover series. The duo will incorporate all the tricks they've picked up as owners of one of the city's most unusual shops, TINI. Premieres tonight on HGTV. Watch a promo here.
2. EVENT: Hollywood Rush
Lance Bass and George Kotsiopoulos cohost what promises to be a memorable evening of chaos and comedy as some of the entertainment industry’s most versatile actors, directors, and writers scramble to put on a series of plays within 24 hours. The event will benefit the Baby Dragon Fund, which helps raise money for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center's programs for youth, mental health, and crystal meth recovery and prevention. According to Kotsiopoulos, the best place to meet single men in L.A. will be at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre February 19.
1. TV: It Gets Better
Encouraging video messages from Adam Levine, Zachary Quinto, Margaret Cho, Chaz Bono, Sia, Jake Shears, and others highlight this hour-long version of Dan Savage's groundbreaking campaign to combat antigay bullying and teen suicide. It focuses on the stories of three young people at a crossroads in their lives: a young man struggling to tell his family and friends that he is gay; a lesbian fighting for parental acceptance; and a transgender man preparing to get married. Premieres on Logo and MTV February 21.