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Hot Sheet: Spiders and Mobsters and Pop Stars (Oh My!)

Hot Sheet: Spiders and Mobsters and Pop Stars (Oh My!)


Our top 10 entertainment and events highlights this week include Robin Roberts, the New Jersey Symphony, Cam Gigandet, the Swedish siren Robyn, and that 'amazing' superhero who does whatever a spider can.

Hs20140502_10_010. EVENT: Trevor Nextgen Prom 2014
Halleloo! Shangela has recently been announced as one of the performers of Trevor Nextgen Prom 2014, an upcoming fundraiser for the Trevor Project and its lifesaving work for LGBT youth. The RuPaul's Drag Race comedian will join singer Eli Lieb as well as YouTube stars Jessica and Hunter, who will host the prom-themed event set to occur on the rooftop of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 31. For more details about under-the-stars soiree, visit - Daniel Reynolds

Hs20140502_9_09. FILM: Bad Johnson
In his review in Variety, Andrew Barker said Bad Johnson is what "It's a Wonderful Life [would] look like if Clarence the angel were replaced by the human personification of George Bailey's sentient penis." It's a fairly accurate comparison of this surprisingly touching comedy about a man who seems incapable of maintaining a relationship and whose member takes on a life of its own, teaching both parties lessons about life and love. Written by Jeff Tetreault, a bespectacled writer who moonlights as a go-go boy at various West Hollywood gay clubs, Bad Johnson is sure to attract some attention from gay audiences and beyond. Bad Johnson opens today in select theaters. Watch the trailer below. - Daniel Reynolds

Hs20140502_8_08. MUSIC: "Teardrops,"Matt Palmer
This out artist samples Taylor Swift for his heartfelt new R&B single, "Teardrops." The video features Palmer lusting after an attractive artist who happens to be his neighbor. "Teardrops" is off Palmer's seven-song, crowd-sourced EP, Stranger Than Fiction.- Neal Broverman

Hs20140502_7_07. THEATER: Gay Play Weekend
A murder mystery in which everyone's dressed as Joan Crawford and a musical drama about the tragic 1973 UpStairs Lounge fire in New Orleans are among the offerings in Chicago-based Pride Films and Plays' festival, which presents readings of the five finalists in its 2014 Gay Play and Musical Contest. The others: a tale of Michelangelo's affair with a Roman nobleman, a look at gay dating today, and a drama about abuse and healing. Performances are scheduled May 9-11 at the Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theatre, with a short discussion after each, and the winner will be announced at the close of the May 11 show. Find more information here. - Trudy Ring

Hs20140502_6_06. BOOK: Everybody's Got Something, Robin Roberts
"Everybody's got something." That's was Roberts's mother would often say to her, to remind her that everyone has struggles - and it resonated with Roberts through her own struggles with breast cancer, a rare blood disorder, and, eventually, her mother's death, all of which she recounts in this memoir, written with Veronica Chambers. The Good Morning America anchor, now in good health, also details the love and care she's received from her partner, Amber Laign. Everybody's Got Something is available now; buy at your local bookstore or order here. - Trudy Ring

Hs20140502_5_05. MUSIC: Saturday Night Out
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra promises great music and great company with Saturday Night Out, a concert of both venerable and recent works followed by a champagne and dessert reception especially for LGBT folks and friends. The program includes the overture from Beethoven's opera Leonore, Brahms's Symphony No. 1, and a 21st-century clarinet concerto by Richard Danielpour, inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and featuring clarinetist Anthony McGill, known for his performances with New York's Metropolitan Opera and at President Obama's first inauguration. The festivities begin at 8 p.m. Saturday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Order tickets here. - Trudy Ring

Hs20140502_4_04. BOOK: The Mob and the City: The Hidden History of How the Mafia Captured New York, C. Alexander Hortis
Anyone who reflects fondly on New York City's seedy but beloved past simply must give due credit to the Italian mobsters who basically ran the Big Apple between the 1930s and the 1950s. In his revealing, exhaustive, and fascinating report, author and journalist C. Alexander Hortis uncovers never-before-seen documents that shed a new light on just how involved the infamous Cosa Nostra syndicate was in all things shady in the city, inciting violence, managing the drug trade, and yes, even backing numerous gay bars. Available in hardcover and as an e-book Tuesday; preorder at Amazon. --Sunnivie Brydum

Hs20140502_3_03. MUSIC: "Do It Again," Royksopp & Robyn
The dynamic Norwegian duo Royskopp joins forces once again with Swedish artist Robyn for a mini-album that combines their abilities at producing soulful electronica. The five-track mini-album, Do It Again, isn't out until May 26, but the album's eponymous single is. "Do It Again" doesn't elicit the same excitement as "With Every Heartbeat" or "Dancing on My Own" did, but we hope it's a grower. R&R will be touring in support of Do It Again this summer, taking them to Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, D.C., and Boston. - Neal Broverman

Hs20140502_2_02. TV: Small Town Security
Nominated for a GLAAD award two years in a row now, the unorthodox and LGBT-friendly reality show Small Town Security is back Tuesday as part of AMC's new "strangest night on TV" (it's followed by the cult hit Freakshow). In Small Town, viewers go inside JJK Security - a small, family-run security and private investigation company in Ringgold, Ga., and follow the life of Dennis Starr, a transgender man who came out on the show and began transitioning in real time, educating his chosen family and viewers along the way to life as an FTM in rural America. Toward the end of last season, Dennis received his court-ordered name change, which included changing his last name from Croft to Starr, and in the second season finale, Joan and Irwin from JJK Security accompanied Dennis as he had chest reconstruction surgery. In the new season, Chief Joan Koplan, Dennis, Irwin, Christa, Brian, and Joan's beloved dog Lambchop must contend with a series of unexpected shocks and developments -- from dwindling business and serious health issues to Dennis's continued gender transformation and Joan's "speecy spicy meatball" musical performance. It's a must-watch. Tuesday at 10 p.m. - Diane Anderson-Minshall

Hs20140502_1_01. FILM: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Andrew Garfield reprises his role as Spidey in order to battle a host of villains threatening the lives of New Yorkers, including Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Spider-Man's old pal Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan). And he still manages to spend time with his girlfriend, Gwen (Emma Stone), which is truly the "amazing" part, eh? The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens Friday in wide release. Watch the trailer below. - Daniel Reynolds

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