10. TV: Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden
If you learn nothing else from this new concert documentary, know that Lady Gaga will not be destroyed — not even by those who will call the special, which airs May 7 on HBO, a rip-off of Madonna’s Truth or Dare with its scandalous performances and black-and-white backstage footage of tears, prayers, and gay backup dancers. “It’s crazy ’cause we’re at the Garden,” she sobs, “but I still sometimes feel like a loser kid in high school.”
9. BOOKS: The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated, Uncensored Edition, Oscar Wilde; From Here to Eternity: The Restored Edition, James Jones
Editor Nicholas Frankel uncovers Wilde’s original typescript as it was submitted in 1890 for publication in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, reintroducing excised homoerotic lines like “It is quite true I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man should ever give to a friend.” Likewise, a new e-book of Jones’s 1951 novel reinstates the author’s more realistic depictions of military life, including two scenes with gay content.
8. MUSIC: LOVE? Jennifer Lopez; Crazy Little Things, Lynda Carter; The Ultimate Collection, Sade; In Your Dreams, Stevie Nicks
Divas alert: No “Louboutins” on J.Lo’s latest, but Lady Gaga collaborations “Hypnotico” and “Invading My Mind” will get you on the floor; Miss Carter puts a smooth, jazzy spin on eccentric classics like “The Loco-motion”; the first Nicks album in a decade features resurrected Rumours demo “Secret Love” and a track inspired by Twilight: New Moon; and Sade’s two-disc retrospective includes a new “Moon and the Sky” remix with Jay-Z.
7. BOOK: Tell Secrets – Tell No Lies: Confessions of a Closetless Queen, Bruce Headrick
Headrick, a former adult entertainer known as Blake McDonald, lets it all hang out in his candid, conversational new memoir, a juicy paperback perfect for summer beach-reading. Headrick details his journey from preacher’s son to gay-porn star and escort — Richard Simmons and Neil Sedaka were allegedly clients — thanks in part to an encounter with Wayland Flowers. A portion of the book’s sales benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
6. MUSIC: Glamazon, RuPaul
Hallelu! More than two years after the release of Ru’s last record, Champion, the competing gurls on RuPaul’s Drag Race will finally have some new material with which to lip-synch for their lives. Ru has definitely not fucked it up on his fifth studio album — again produced by RevoLucian’s Lucian Piane — which features sassy party and runway tracks like “Reprositrannity,” “Click Clack (Make Dat Money),” and single “Superstar.”
5. CABARET: Ryan O’Connor Eats His Feelings
A YouTube funnyman and a Your OWN Show competitor recently honored in our Forty Under 40 issue, Ryan O’Connor literally turns food addiction into an art form in his scrumptious solo act, which plays Mondays at New York’s Laurie Beechman Theatre through May 23. Whether he’s spoofing A Chorus Line in “At the Buffet,” interviewing a special guest, or reliving his coming out to his dying father, you’ll want to eat him up.
4. THEATER: Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays
A rotating cast of celebrities shows support for marriage equality in this popular evening of short gay-themed plays by respected playwrights like Moisés Kaufmann, Neil LaBute, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright. The latest incarnation opens May 9 at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center with Peri Gilpin (pictured), Julie Hagerty, Rachael Harris, John Rubinstein, and Jon Tenney. Future performances are scheduled for May 23, June 6, June 20, and June 27.
3. BOOK: Celluloid Activist: The Life and Times of Vito Russo, Michael Schiavi
A pioneer of gay media and activism who cofounded GLAAD and ACT UP, Vito Russo famously wrote The Celluloid Closet, a gay film bible. Out May 10, Schiavi’s detailed tribute, which chronicles the Advocate reporter’s journey from his Harlem childhood to his AIDS-related death in 1990, draws on archival material, unpublished letters and journals, and more than 150 interviews with the likes of Lily Tomlin and Larry Kramer.
2. TV/BOOK: Becoming Chaz and Transition, Chaz Bono
A sensation at Sundance, Becoming Chaz misses no chance to educate in chronicling the gender transition of Chastity into Chaz Bono, even when it comes to sharing intimate details about his breast removal, his painkiller addiction, and his relationship with girlfriend Jennifer Elia. Featuring Bono’s mom Cher, the World of Wonder–produced documentary debuts on OWN May 10, the same day his memoir, Transition, is available.
1. THEATER: The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures
Nicknamed iHo, Tony Kushner’s powerful epic, which just opened at off-Broadway’s Public Theater under Michael Greif’s direction, isn’t as pretentious as its title suggests; at its heart, it’s a heady, fervid drama about a family’s response to its patriarch’s decision to kill himself. The brood includes gay siblings (Stephen Spinella and Linda Emond), their partners (K. Todd Freeman and Danielle Skraastad), and a gay escort (Michael Esper).