Hot Sheet: Waiting for Spartacus

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 24 2013 4:36 PM ET

10.) THEATER: Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land
Sir Ian McKellen is perhaps the greatest living actor who is openly gay, and definitely one of the greatest of any stripe. He and friend, straight ally, fellow great actor, and X-Men costar Patrick Stewart begin performances on Broadway Saturday in two plays in repertory: Samuel Beckett’s absurdist classic Waiting for Godot and Harold Pinter’s acclaimed No Man’s Land. McKellen and Stewart had a well-received pre-Broadway run in the plays at Berkeley Rep in California this summer, along with costars Billy Crudup and Shuler Hensley, who will join them on Broadway as well. Sean Mathias, McKellen’s former partner, directs. Through March 2 at the Cort Theatre; Find more info here. Trudy Ring

9.) EVENT: 10 Years After The Primetime Closet, October 28
In a decade, television has gotten better about LGBT characters, but there's still a long way to go. There's nowhere better to discuss the strides and figure out what's next than at the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences (yeah, the people who put together the Emmys — that Academy), in North Hollywood, Calif. A panel discussion includes out Emmy-winner Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal), Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), Amber Tamblyn, (Two and a Half Men), and Paul Colichman, the CEO of The Advocate's parent company, Here Media. Emmys.com Michelle Garcia


8.) BOOK: Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind
Today, River Phoenix would be 43 years old. October 31 will mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the actor whose iconic role as a troubled gay hustler in Gus Van Sant's 1991 film My Own Private Idaho helped bring the New Queer Cinema movement into a wider, mainstream audience. Phoenix, whose famous siblings Joaquin and Rain are still Hollywood fixtures today, is documented thoughtfully in this new minute-by-minute account of how he died, from bestselling author Gavin Edwards. But Last Night at the Viper Room also looks at Phoenix’s childhood, growing up in the Children of God religious cult, his star turns in classics like Stand By Me and Running on Empty, and explores some of the film roles that went to other actors after he died (including that of gay activist Cleve Jones in Milk, which went to Emile Hirsch), and films that died with him (like Gus Van Sant’s Andy Warhol biopic). Even more importantly, Edwards examines why Phoenix, once considered the vegan James Dean, has faded from memory, despite his extraordinary impact on Hollywood. — Diane Anderson-Minshall

7.) TV: The Spartacus Saga — Uncut
Beginning October 26 at 10 p.m., the Starz network will air the entire Spartacus saga in one epic marathon. Hosted by series star Liam McIntyre, the marathon will feature uncut episodes and behind-the-scenes footage of the sword and sandals series that quickly gained a loyal LGBT fan base thanks to the show’s inclusion of sexually fluid characters, gay action heroes, and an army of scantily clad, gorgeous gladiators. Relive the heroic tale of power, honor, vengeance, and romance as it was originally intended to be seen — uncut. Jase Peeples

MUSIC: Where’s Vivian? by LastO
Out rapper LastO (as in Last Offense) released his first full-length album, Where’s Vivian?, this week. The 16-track opus is much-anticipated; critics really took to the St. Louis-bred artist’s 2008 and 2009 EPs. Now based in New York, LastO is ready to prove Frank Ocean wasn’t a fluke. Watch a video below of LastO giving an interview in bed. — Neal Broverman

EVENT: HighBall in Columbus, Ohio, October 25-26
There will be Halloween celebrations for the next week all over the country, but Columbus, Ohio's HighBall is certainly a highlight. The festivities of the ball promise to be so extravagant that they'll need two days to contain it all: dancing in the street, bands, stilt walkers, a costume contest, a couture costume fashion showdown, a pet costume parade, and cash prizes are on the schedule. Michelle Garcia

WEB: Headshots and Breakdowns
(Photo by Hunter Canning)
Headshots and Breakdowns — the hilarious new web series from director/cocreator Dave Snyder — follows the adventures John (John Graham), who quickly discovers being a gay, 20-something, aspiring actor in New York isn’t as fabulous as he thought it would be. Six 5-minute episodes will make up the web series’ first season, with new installments premiering every two weeks. Take a look at the latest episode below, and watch what happens when John decides to wing it when a director asks him to improvise an erotic story from the POV of a heterosexual Casanova.  For more Headshots and Breakdowns visit the web series’ website. Jase Peeples

DANCE: Keigwin and Company 10th Anniversary Season
Gay choreographer Larry Keigwin celebrates the 10th anniversary of his modern-dance company with performances Tuesday through November 3 at the Joyce Theatre in New York City. On the program are the New York premieres of two dances — Canvas, with opening night guests from the New York City Ballet, and Girls, set to tunes made famous by Frank Sinatra — plus Keigwin’s sexy signature piece, Mattress Suite, and the Darwin-inspired Natural Selection. After the opening night performance there will be a gala 10th anniversary party at Dream Downtown, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dancing. Find tickets and information here. Trudy Ring

2.) FILM: I Am Divine
Jeffrey Schwarz is no stranger to the art of the LGBT biopic. The Los Angeles-based filmmaker created Vito (2011), a stellar portrayal of the gay rights activist Vito Russo. This year, he returns with another portrait of a gay legend, I Am Divine, which chronicles the life and times of one of America’s most famous and controversial drag queens. Divine is perhaps best known as John Waters’ muse — the drag queen who, in his quest to become the filthiest person in the world, ate dog feces in the cult classic Pink Flamingos. But Schwarz literally cuts the crap, providing a candid portrait of the man behind the makeup — Harris Glenn Milstead — and his rise from an overweight and effeminate child in the Baltimore suburbs to “Drag Queen of the Century,” as dubbed by People magazine. The documentary includes interviews with John Waters, Ricki Lake, Bruce Vilanch, Tab Hunter, Michael Musto, and many more of Divine’s friends and contemporaries. Daniel Reynolds

I Am Divine comes out Friday in Manhattan theaters. Watch the teaser below: 

1.) TV: Oprah’s Next Chapter: Gay Hollywood
Oprah Winfrey will host an in-depth conversation about the being gay in America with three out Hollywood heavy-hitters on Oprah’s Next Chapter: Gay Hollywood. Airing Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on OWN, the program will feature actress-comic Wanda Sykes, Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Scandal Emmy award-winner Dan Bucatinsky as they open up about the moment they realized they were gay, their coming-out processes, and the reactions of their family members when they learned of their sexuality. The actors also discuss the current state of LGBT visibility on television, the importance of role models, and how being gay has affected their careers in Hollywood. Jase Peeples