Hot Sheet: The Passion of Joe Orton

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 30 2014 3:05 PM ET

10. TV: And the Oscar Goes to…

Yes, we know there’s a big football game this weekend, but let’s be honest: The Oscars ceremony is our Super Bowl. It’s still a month off, but you can start building the excitement with this terrific new documentary by directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Celluloid Closet, Lovelace) for TCM. This history of the Oscars features plenty of classic onstage moments along with previously unseen backstage footage from ceremonies past, plus interviews with stars, directors, writers, designers, and more. Among the highlights: Cher on playing an “adorable lesbian” in Silkwood, which resulted in her first Oscar nomination and respect for her acting talent; writer Bruce Vilanch on making the host funny; Helen Mirren being brilliant about pretty much everything; and chats with Liza Minnelli, George Clooney, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, and many, many others. It premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern and will have several encore showings throughout the month. Also, Saturday marks the start of TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar, with every film on the schedule having been a winner or nominee in some category. You’ll see more stars than there are in the heavens! Find more about the documentary here. — Trudy Ring

9. MUSIC: Michelle Malone, Acoustic Winter
Michelle Malone's upcoming album, Acoustic Winter, lends itself to so much introspection, you should expect to have a flash of genius while listenting to it. Her cover of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" is a great stripped-down tribute to the original. Malone's album is raw, and a perfect soundtrack to winter. — Michelle Garcia

8. DVD: Cutie and the Boxer

Directed by Zachary Heizerling, Cutie and the Boxer is a compelling documentary on love and aging that was shortlisted for the Academy Awards. The film portrays the marriage of artists Noriko, 59, and Ushio, 80, who married 40 years ago, an act that put the professional life of then-19-year-old Noriko on hold at the time of their vows. Decades later, she is finally finding her own voice as an artist through a series of drawings titled “Cutie and Bullie,” which depict her oft-tumultuous relationship with her older husband. Ushio, meanwhile, is embarking on his own series of paintings, which he crafts with an unlikely technique — a rain of punches from boxing gloves. Cutie and the Boxer is released Tuesday on Blu-ray and DVD. A streaming version is currently available to rent or buy on Amazon.com. Watch the trailer below, or purchase from Amazon. — Daniel Reynolds

7. MUSIC: Betty Who, “Somebody Loves You”

Fresh pop voice Betty Who broke out late last year when her song "Somebody Loves You" was used in a viral video of a cute gay proposal at a Home Depot. If you're looking for more Who as she preps her new album for RCA Records, there's nothing better than her new video for "Somebody Loves You." It's a slice of '80s nostalgia, complete with big hair, neon spandex, shot through a Vaseline-smeared lens. It's the perfect blast of retro you need this weekend. — Neal Broverman

6. FILM: Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo

Funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo is a one-of-a-kind documentary that sheds light on the community tied to the International Gay Rodeo Association. The film, which premieres at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this weekend, traces the 30-year-history of this unique organization, in which LGBT cowboys — and cowgirls — buck all stereotypes through 15 rodeos in their quest to become champion of the new west. Strap on your spurs — it’s going to be a bumpy night in Santa Barbara.
 
Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo premieres Friday at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, with an additional screening Saturday at 1 p.m. Watch the trailer below, and find more info about the Santa Barbara Film Festival here. — Daniel Reynolds

5. EVENT: Desert AIDS Project's Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards

The Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs, Calif., has a spectacular annual benefit that brings together amazing entertainment (Charo? Patti LaBelle? Heck yes!) and an amazing cause. The gala not only recognizes the work of researchers and pioneers in the medical field who have a passion for treating and ending HIV and AIDS, but also honors those who prove activism reflects in art. The award ceremony kicks off February 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Find more information here. — Michelle Garcia

4. THEATER: Joe Orton's Crimes of Passion and Loot

New York’s Red Bull Theater presents works by the late, great (and gay) dramatist Joe Orton, showcasing his flair for butchering every sacred cow. Crimes of Passion consists of  “two outrageous one-act plays that make religion, sex, and death the hilarious topics they should be,” according to Red Bull’s website. It gets a staged reading Monday night, and the rest of the week provides the final opportunities to see Red Bull’s full-on production of Orton’s Loot, billed as “a merciless satire of religious hypocrisy, middle-class British morality, and blind faith in authority,” involving a couple of young thieves, a missing body, a naughty nurse, and more in a “wicked stew of Oscar Wilde and Kafka.” It runs through February 9. All performances are at the Lucille Lortel Theatre; find out more here. — Trudy Ring

3. TV: Oprah: Where Are They Now?

While you might think you already know where Olympic skater Brian Boitano is now — out of the closet, that is — Friday’s episode of OWN’s Where Are They Now? will get a closer look at the Olympian’s post-coming-out life. Promising a view of Boitano’s life at home, it’s his first major TV interview since being named to the U.S. delegation to Sochi in December and his concurrent public acknowledgement that he’s gay. The appearance will also serve as a reminder of Boitano’s new HGTV series, The Brian Boitano Project, in which he learns more about his Italian ancestry. As a bonus in this episode of Where Are They Now? Oprah is apparently addressing the question of when she’s going to get married. Fingers crossed that Macklemore and Queen Latifah make a surprise appearance to wed her and Gayle. — Kevin O'Keeffe

2. MUSIC: Toni Braxton, Love, Marriage, & Divorce

Love, Marriage, & Divorce is a collaboration between longtime friends Toni Braxton and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, who dueted on Toni's 1992 debut album. Out Tuesday, the album features 11 tracks focusing on the nuances of adult relationships, with both R&B stars in top form. The always-endearing Toni, who hopes to play gay on Orange Is the New Black, said this about the new record: “Twenty years ago I was just singing about having my heart broken, and now I'm dealing with my heart being broken — and possibly having to start over and look for love again.” — Neal Broverman

1. TV: Blue Bloods, featuring Jinkx Monsoon

Drag Race season 5 winner Jinkx Monsoon will make her TV drama debut tonight on CBS’s crime procedural Blue Bloods. Titled “Manhattan Queens,” the episode will also mark the directorial debut of the show's star (and New Kids on the Block member) Donnie Wahlberg. The official episode synopsis reads: “Danny and Baez investigate the murder of Tiffany Lamp, a popular drag queen from a reality television show who was found murdered in a local park. Meanwhile, Erin re-examines a drug case scheduled for trial after she is abducted by the accused man’s mother.” Blue Bloods airs Friday night at 10 on CBS. — Jase Peeples