You've likely heard the controversy involving this presentation of Julius Caesar at Shakespeare in the Park at New York's Delacorte Theater; the doomed Caesar is portrayed as a Trump-like figure, complete with a Melania-esque wife. With Caesar getting assassinated and all, some were peeved and a handful of sponsors pulled out. Aside from all the scandal, this presentation of the Shakespeare classic is actually good, according to critics. "The furor isn’t warranted: Anyone who reads the plays knows Shakespeare’s main message is that no matter how much you want to get rid of your current political leader, don’t kill him," writes Variety. More info on Julius Caesar here.
2017 Tony Award Season
Support the arts and enjoy Broadway’s best with 2017 Tony Award Season, the first-ever Tony Awards compilation album. Each Broadway musical from the 2016-2017 season was invited to contribute a song, including the Tony nominees, so you’ll get songs from both new musicals such as Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away, and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, and revivals that include Falsettos, Sunset Boulevard, and Cats. (Yes, the entry from the latter is “Memory.”) A portion of the proceeds will go to the American Theatre Wing and Broadway League’s arts educations initiatives. Order here.
"Pride Is Truly Outrageous" - Jem and the Holograms T-Shirt
Samantha Newark, the actress who voiced Jem in the original Jem and the Holograms, has released a rocking new T-shirt for Pride Month. Designed by Elizabeth Beals, this is the first Jem article of clothing dedicated to the monthlong LGBT celebration. A portion of the shirt's sales will benefit the True Colors Fund, Cyndi Lauper's nonprofit organization that supports LGBT youth. Learn more at SamanthaNewark.com.
Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me
Janet Mock tells her story of coming of age, navigating relationships and identity, surviving violence, and starting a media career in Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me. And since it’s the story of a transgender woman of color, it’s from a perspective not seen often enough. The memoir is “a defining chronicle of strength and spirit,” says Kirkus Reviews. Order from Amazon or visit your local bookstore.
Katy Perry's Witness
Pop diva Katy Perry has been all over the news lately, more for her back-and-forth feud with Taylor Swift than for the album she released, even if she did write "Swish, Swish" about it, but that’s showbiz. Witness is Perry’s first album since 2013’s Prism, which included the hits “Roar” and “Unconditionally,” but the singles that have been released from the new album are hardly indicative of her former glory or even of Witness as a whole. As pop stars often do, Perry appears to be publicly exploring her identity as an artist, a changemaker, and a political voice, as is evidenced with her politically infused “Chained to the Rhythm,” and in its way, Witness is her most introspective collection of songs to date. Reviews for the album have not been terribly kind, but it offers a range of upbeat to thoughtful pop licks and song topics so that there's a little something for everyone, and the whole point of witnessing is seeing for one's self anyway.
BakerDaily: Trump Takedown
Some folks in the media world may feel a little exasperated at times by the news cycle, which is dominated by headlines related to President Trump, his administration, and his family. Actor and comedian Christopher Baker spoofs this frustration in a new comedic web series, BakerDaily: Trump Takedown. In it, Baker portrays a greenhorn newscaster who finds himself thrown into an unlikely takedown of the commander in chief. The series also features Sara Paxton (Twin Peaks), porn star Colby Keller, Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries), and comedian Eddie Pepitone. Watch the first episode below.
L.A. Film Festival
California’s major LGBT film festivals, Frameline and Outfest, are right around the corner, but there are several queer-themed films screening at the L.A. Film Festival, which runs June 14-22 in and around Los Angeles. Among those to be screened is the highly anticipated documentary that investigates Whitney Houston’s rumored love affairs with women, a lesbian-themed indie with an original folk-rock soundtrack starring Tony winner Lena Hall, and the controversial Anything, which costars Matt Bomer as a trans woman. See our full list of LGBT picks at Advocate.com.