By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com January 16 2014 8:44 PM ET
10. MUSIC: The Song Is You, Jennifer Holliday
Dreamgirls' original Effie White releases her first pop album in 23 years, The Song Is You, on Tuesday. The Broadway and TV star fills the collection with standards like "At Last" and the title track as well as original R&B- and gospel-tinged tunes. Keep an eye out for "The One You Used to Be," a song Holliday originally wrote for Whitney Houston. — Neal Broverman
9. THEATER: A Word or Two
Christopher Plummer endeared himself to LGBT audiences with his Oscar-winning performance as a gay man coming out late in life in Beginners, and who among us hasn’t sung along with him as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music? Now the distinguished actor reflects on his career and the writings that have inspired him in the one-man show A Word or Two, making its U.S. debut at Los Angeles’s Ahmanson Theatre (Plummer premiered it at the Stratford Festival in Canada in 2012). Directed by Des McAnuff, the show opens Sunday and runs through February 9. Grab what promises to be a very hot ticket here.
8. WEB: Gay Nerds
The team behind the hilarious Web series Gay Nerds has returned for a second season. Writer-director JP Larocque continues the geeky misadventures of adorkable Ralphie (Robert Keller) and Sam (Ryan Kerr), along with their gal pal Lana (Alexandra Wylie).The show's distinctive blend of film and television parody and sharp view of gay geek culture is sure to put a smile on your face. In its Kubrick-influenced season premiere, Ralphie tries to maintain his composure before a presentation at a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers convention, but roommate Sam interrupts his concentration with a constant stream of boys and parties. New episodes will be released soon, and catch up on previous chapters at GayNerds.tv. — Patrick Yacco
7. EVENT: Belinda Carlisle Yoga Chant Show
Go-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle and internationally acclaimed chant artist Simrit Kaur are joining forces for a one-of-a-kind concert Saturday at Golden Bridge Yoga in Los Angeles. This unforgettable mantra music experience kicks off at 7:30 p.m., with tickets beginning at $35. For more information visit www.goldenbridgeyoga.com. — Jase Peeples
6. THEATER: The Paris Letter
Acclaimed playwright Jon Robin Baitz (Other Desert Cities, A Fair Country, TV’s Brothers & Sisters) explores the disastrous effects of the closet in this play centering on a powerful, duplicitous Wall Street executive. Its first Bay Area production opens tonight at San Francisco’s New Conservatory Theatre Center and continues through February 23. After the February 2 matinee, director George Maguire and the cast will discuss the play and take questions from the audience. Tickets and info here.
5. SHORT FILM: Natives
In this gorgeous new short film Natives, a young lesbian Manhattan couple head to a Seneca Indian reservation to visit one of their families. It's their first venture there as a couple, and it proves to be tumultuous. As Anita grapples with both her racial and sexual identities, Rachel tries to dive in deep to learn about where her partner came from. Now that the short, starring Kendra Mylnechuk and Emily Young, has made the rounds on the festival circuit (it's played at Frameline, Newfest, Outfest, and SXSW), the filmmakers are releasing it free on Vimeo. Check it out here. — Michelle Garcia
4. DVD: The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbourne
Pink always entertains, but as a live performer she's simply electrifying. Whether belting her guts out or swinging from a high wire, she gives it her amazing all. If you haven't seen her live, catch this concert DVD, out Tuesday. Nearly two hours long, the show spans her seven albums and includes "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)," "So What," and the Grammy-nominated "Just Give Me a Reason," featuring Nate Ruess. — Neal Broverman
3. FILM: G.B.F.
For popular teenagers Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse), Caprice (Xosha Roquemore), and ’Shley (Andrea Bowen), this season’s must-have accessory — and golden ticket to becoming prom queen — is a G.B.F., or a gay best friend. The only problem? There are no gay men at their school — who are out, at least. But a Grindr-like app allows the girls to identify the closeted Tanner (Michael J. Willett) and adopt him as their own, transforming him from a shy social outcast to the high school’s hottest commodity. But not everyone is pleased with Tanner’s sudden rise to stardom. Mormon extremists and homophobic ex-boyfriends lurk around every corner, not to mention Tanner’s old friend Brent, whose jealousy of and attraction to Tanner is a zesty recipe for drama. (Brent’s mother, played by Megan Mullally, has a few hilarious scenes where she tries to ease her son out of the closet.) Directed by Darren Stein (Jawbreaker) and written by George Northy, G.B.F. is a fun and frothy romp through high school with nods to Pygmalion, Mean Girls, Glee, and John Hughes. — Daniel Reynolds
G.B.F. opens Friday in Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, where the cast and crew will give a Q&A after the screening. The film will open in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego January 24. It is also now available on video on demand. Check out the official trailer below.
2. EVENT: Sundance Film Festival
Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected to attend this year's Sundance Film Festival, which opened yesterday and runs through January 26 in Park City, Utah. One of the nation's largest independent film festivals, Sundance boasts about 200 movies from a variety of genres, with many featuring LGBT themes, characters, directors, and writers from around the world. Such entries include The Case Against 8, a behind-the-scenes look at the first marriage equality case to reach the Supreme Court, and The Foxy Merkins, a lesbian "prostitute buddy comedy." For a more in-depth look at the LGBT films of Sundance, check out The Advocate’s festival guide or the complete schedule at Sundance.org. — Daniel Reynolds
1. TV: Looking
Is it gays' answer to Girls? Or maybe more like a gender-flipped L Word? Many a hefty think piece has been written about Looking in the weeks leading up to its premiere, Sunday at 10:30 p.m., so expectations are naturally huge. HBO is pairing this San Francisco-set dramedy about three gay men looking for love with Girls, amping up the pressure for it to be a cultural sensation like the Lena Dunham comedy. Working in the show's favor: newly bulked-up musical theater favorite Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) in the lead as Patrick, a 29-year-old video game designer with relationship issues -- namely, that he can't find or keep one. Also a positive: the involvement of creator Andrew Haigh, whose 2011 film Weekend was a critical sensation. Working against it? Well, the enormous expectations of LGBT audiences, who hope the show will be neither afraid of its characters' sexuality nor fall into stereotypes, which means the program will be walking a tightrope. Even the show's tagline, "Find Something Real," seems to be taunting us with a different kind of gaycentric TV show. Here's hoping it manages to be everything we could ever want and more. — Kevin O'Keeffe