10. MUSIC: BeBe Zahara Benet, "Face"
The original queen with the most "charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent" -- RuPaul's Drag Race season 1 winner Bebe Zahara Benet -- is finally back with a new single and video, both out now. The song has an irresistible drum beat throughoutm and the video is sickening: There must two dozen looks shoved into the three-minute clip. We're getting Grace Jones, Chaka Khan, Toni Braxton, Mahogany realness. Gagging. A star is reborn. -- Neal Broverman
9. FILM: Secrets and Toys
Quentin Lee directs a whimsical romp dealing with the balance of family expectations and sexual liberation, starring Dalila Ali Rajah, Shelli Boone, Darryl Stephens, and Diane Sellers. The short film will screen at March 15 at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles as part of Outfest Fusion (tickets here
), then April 6 in Palm Springs, Calif., in the Dinah Film Festival (tickets here
). And there's a free kickoff party Thursday at Chakra Beverly Hills. Visit the official site
and the Facebook page
for more info, and watch a trailer below. -- Trudy Ring
8. ART: "In His Own Likeness"
It's the last week to see "In His Own Likeness," the ArtCenter/South Florida show of works by four Latin American artists exploring eroticized masculinity and its relationship with power and divinity, given the tradition of defining God as masculine. Within that week comes what sounds like a fascinating gallery talk on sex, eroticism, and gender, Wednesday at 7 p.m. It will feature art historian and curator Marivi Velez, University of Miami professor and queer theory expert Gema Perez-Sanchez, and ArtCenter resident artist Othon Castaneda. The exhibit, which runs through March 16, offers the work of Castaneda, Eny Roland, Rocio Garcia, and Mario Santizo. Both the show and the discussion are at the center's Richard Shack Gallery, 800 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. More info here.-- Trudy Ring7. BOOK: Bitter Eden
Published in the United States for the first time, South African author Tatamkhulu Afrika's Bitter Eden
is a compelling, profound, and unforgettable autobiographical novel about Afrika's experience as a prisoner of war during World War II, and it explores, quite beautifully, the intimacy (both emotional and physical) that develops between men trying to survive in these male-only prison camps. Few novels look at what life is like inside a prison camp, the impact on one's emotions, sexuality, and self-determination, and the ways in which these men are inexorably changed long after war has ended. Bitter Eden
is a love story wrapped up in brutality and chaos. (An interesting side note on the author: Born of an Egyptian father and Turkish mother, he was technically white but when his district in South Africa was declared "whites only" in the 1960s he changed his designation to "colored" to stand alongside blacks during apartheid. He was later banned from writing and public speaking and spent 11 years in the same prison as Nelson Mandela.) Order your copy now.-- Diane Anderson-Minshall6. THEATER/MUSIC: Joan Ryan
Entertainer Joan Ryan, who was voted Broadway World
's Top Female Cabaret Artist of 2013, is taking her musical act to Hollywood next weekend at the Catalina Jazz Club. Known to television audiences as the zany arts teacher on Saved by the Bell
, Ryan has gone on to give acclaimed performances in musical theater, including lead parts in Little Shop of Horrors
, Les Miserables
, and Ruthless!
in which she originated the starring role. Her show this weekend boasts musical direction by John McDaniel and a special guest appearance by Will & Grace
's Eric McCormack. Joan Ryan Live!
takes place March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Catalina Jazz Club, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Buy tickets here
. -- Daniel Reynolds5. FILM: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fans of Wes Anderson will rejoice this weekend with the release of his latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Set in a fictional European hotel in the early 20th century, the film follows its head concierge (Ralph Fiennes), who collaborates with his employee Zero (Tony Revolori) in a caper that involves the search for a lost priceless painting and a quest to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder. Other guests of this madcap hotel adventure include Anderson favorites like Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman, as well as Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, and Blue Is the Warmest Color
's Lea Seydoux. -- Daniel Reynolds
4. EVENT: Gotham City KaraokeLeague
There are some people who go out to a karaoke bar once a year, have a few too many drinks, croon every feeling they've had that week out to a room full of strangers, and call it karaoke. There's no shame in that. But if you want to feel a little more legit about the process, consider the Gotham City Karaoke League -- that's right, a competitive karaoke league, where costumes and choreography are highly encouraged. For those of us who were less likely to be picked first for gym class soccer but most likely to play the lead in the spring musical (and anyone in between, really), this LGBT-friendly league is for you. Sign ups begin Monday
, and competition begins in May, so New Yorkers should start rallying their friends ASAP, since team slots run out very quickly. -- Michelle Garcia3. MUSIC: Matt Goss, "I Do"
This British crooner, who can be seen most nights at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, just released the video for his new song, "I Do." Goss describes the song, featured on his upcoming album, Life You Imagine,
as inclusive as it is romantic. Feel free to fantasize about Goss singing this to you. -- Neal Broverman
2. TV: Lena Dunham on Saturday Night Live
I generally enjoy Saturday Night Live,
but I am really excited that Girls
creator and actress Lena Dunham is hosting this week's installment of the show. Just watching this promo with Dunham and out featured player Kate McKinnon puts a smile on my face. -- Michelle Garcia
1. FILM: 300: Rise of an Empire
300, the 2006 hit action film, is debuting its next chapter: 300: Rise of an Empire. Based on the graphic novel series by Frank Miller that brought Greek history to life, Rise of an Empire follows Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) as he unites his people to battle invading Persian forces led by the vengeful god Xerxes and the war leader Artemisia, played by a delightful Eva Green. Directed by Noam Murro and showcased last week at L.A. Italia for the work of Italian producer Gianni Nunnari, 300: Rise of an Empire is sure to follow its predecessor in its celebration of the male torso amid the war-torn landscape of the ancient world. 300: Rise of an Empire opens in theaters today. Watch the trailer below. -- Daniel Reynolds