THEATER: Batt on a Hot Tin Roof
We were sad when his gay character Sal was written out of Mad Men (although faithful viewers know we have new representation on the series), but out actor-singer Bryan Batt is still performing in many venues, and this weekend he brings his tuneful cabaret act, Batt on a Hot Tin Roof, to New York City nightclub 54 Below. He’ll showcase the talents that made him a star on Broadway and off long before he joined Sterling Cooper. Saturday and Sunday only.
9. BOOK: Battle Axe by Carson Taite
Summer is made for sexy beach reads, and Carson Taite's latest novel, Battle Axe (Bold Strokes Books, $16.95), which follows lesbian bounty hunter Luca Bennett, is the perfect pick. Luca is contacted by a woman from her past asking for help, and always-chivalrous Luca decides to lend a hand, leading into the world of organized crime. There's more drama at home too: A sexy cop, an enigmatic mystery woman, and a family reunion all add to the suspense, especially when Luca's personal and professional lives collide. While paperback is for the purists, the book also comes in e-book formats.
8. MUSIC: Dave Koz and Friends, Summer Horns
The out jazz saxophonist and his colleagues offer plenty of “Hot Fun in the Summertime” — as a matter of fact, that’s one of the many delightful tracks on this CD, which celebrates the horn-heavy style that fueled much rock, R&B, soul, and funk music from the late 1960s through the ’70s. On the just-released Concord Records disc, Koz is joined by fellow sax players Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot, and Mindi Abair, with guest appearances by trumpeter-flugelhornist Rick Braun, trombonist Brian Culbertson, and singers Michael McDonald, Jeffrey Osborne, and Jonathan Butler. Their versions of “Rise,” “Take Five,” “25 or 6 to 4,” “God Bless the Child,” and others will put you in a mellow mood. Sample the disc at Koz’s website; also, he and the “friends” will be touring this summer.
7. DVD: The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg
Director Jerry Aronson (Chasing Ice, The Divided Trail) spent 30 years compiling footage of Allen Ginsberg, the gay poet who helped define American counterculture in the 20th century. The resulting documentary, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, is a revealing and authoritative portrait of one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation that spans 60 years of history. Originally released in 1997, the 84-minute film was expanded after Ginsberg’s death to include interviews with friends and contemporaries, including Paul McCartney, Norman Mailer, Johnny Depp, Andy Warhol, and William S. Burroughs.