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Hot Sheet: Week of May

Hot Sheet: Week of May


This week Hugh Jackman slashes his way into our hearts as Wolverine and Peaches unleashes her fourth raunchy installment.

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- The Escape Artist, May 1 and 2 (New York City): Performance artist John Kelly has created a series of shows based on the lives and work of artists -- most famously Joni Mitchell, whom he impersonated in the widely toured Paved Paradise, but also Egon Schiele, Maria Callas, and the drag trapeze artist Barbette. Now he's taking on queer baroque painter Michelangelo Caravaggio (the subject of a film by the late, great Derek Jarman). Inspired by the paintings of Caravaggio, The Escape Artist uses contemporary art-song and interactive video to trace the parallels between himself and the unbridled creative urban artist of the 17th century. You can see sneak previews of this solo performance May 1 and 2 at MTG10Jay in Brooklyn. Here's video of John Kelly performing as Joni Mitchell:

- The Temperamentals, opens May 4 (New York City): "Temperamental" was a euphemism for "homosexual" in the early 1950s. Jon Marans's play The Temperamentals dramatizes the love story of two men who helped create the first gay rights organization in the United States. Harry Hay was an actor and political organizer active in the Communist Party in Los Angeles when he met clothing designer Rudi Gernreich (most famous for creating the topless swimsuit) in 1950. With several other associates, they formed the Mattachine Society to agitate for gay rights. The play covers a chapter in early gay American history that fans of Milk might want to check out. It opens off-Broadway May 4 and plays through May 18.

- Coraline, opens May 7 (New York City): Neil Gaiman's creepy comic kids' novel has been turned into a comic book, an animated film, and even a video game. Now it's a musical, created by the curious queer collaboration of singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields), writer-performer David Greenspan, and director Leigh Silverman. In their fiendishly perverse way, they have cast the large, fantastic Jayne Houdyshell as the 9-year-old title character, a girl who steps through a secret door in her house and finds herself trapped in a parallel universe dominated by a mean Other Mother (played by Greenspan). The musical begins performances May 7 and runs through June 20. Listen to an excerpt of the novel , read by Gaiman.

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- Outrage: Guess who gets the most outraged over gays? That's right, conservative Republicans. And guess who keeps getting outed over and over in gay sex scandals? That's right, conservative Republicans. You know it's a trend if they're making documentaries about it. Here's one from acclaimed director Kirby Dick ( This Film Is Not Yet Rated , Sick ). Take a right-winger you love to torment.

- Battle for Terra : A peaceful planet is invaded by aliens. Except the aliens are human beings searching for a new place to live now that they've ruined Earth. And they're not taking no for an answer. Bring your kids to this bummer of an environmentally themed animated feature -- it'll be like teaching them to enjoy spinach -- after downloading an uber-educational, eco-conscious activity guide on the film's website ; click on "downloads."

- Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: Just what you were waiting for: A Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy that borrows the plot of A Christmas Carol and tames his wild sex-monkey persona in the process. Sure to satisfy people who like their movies "cute." Watch an interview with the adorable Jennifer Garner.

- X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Attention, all fans of elaborate facial hair! It's not simply that Hugh Jackman is smoking-hot as Wolverine. You know that already. But in this movie there's the added bonus of Liev Schreiber's muttonchops. When Wolverine whips out his big metal claws and Schreiber says, "Ooh, shiny," gay hearts will melt. Watch Jackman and comic Icon talk about Wolverine at last year's San Diego ComicCon:

- The Limits of Control : Mysterious people and their mysterious comings and goings populate all of Jim Jarmusch's films, and this one is no different. It stars Bill Murray and the great creation that is Tilda Swinton, featuring music by doom-metal cult bands Earth, Boris, and Sunn 0))). Theaters showing this one are going to be ground zero for hipster sightings.

Here's the official trailer:

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- I Feel Cream by Peaches * (XL Recordings): Peaches is the undisputed heavyweight champion of salaciously sexy, caustically confrontational electronic rock. At 40, the former Canadian schoolteacher is as nasty as ever, laying down comically scandalous rhymes on hard-hitting tracks like "Billionaire," in which she multitasks effortlessly between demanding cunnilingus and boasting about having the "best health care."

But the gender-bending bisexual provocateur isn't just rehashing her winning formula from early hits like "Fuck the Pain Away." With help from producers Digitalism and Simian Mobile Disco, Peaches manages to expand her sound into more sensual, bewitching arenas on her fourth album, channeling the pulsating glamour of italo-disco acts like Glass Candy and Chromatics. As soothing and seductive as her singing voice turns out to be, even when Peaches is being soft she's still hard -- you get the feeling that you'll still end up sore in the morning, despite the lulling, caressing come-ons. Watch an odd yet entertaining mashup of Miss Piggy and the Muppets performing "Fuck the Pain Away."

- A Ways Away by Tara Jane O'Neil * (K Records): Elegant is too blunt a word to describe Portland-based lesbian songstress Tara Jane O'Neil. The spectral lullabies on her carefully crafted fifth album are exquisite in their deceptively delicate strength. Combining the folksy depth of Cat Power and Beach House with the expansive vocal vistas of singer-songwriter champions like Ani DiFranco and Sarah McLachlan, O'Neil finds the best of both worlds in the soothing, hypnotic tunes on her fifth album. Unafraid of meandering into canyons of drone-inspired echo, O'Neil never hesitates to allow her haunting instrumentation (including some gorgeous string sections) to overwhelm the subtle vocals. The result is a truly shimmering sense of profound melancholy that seems to invite the listener into O'Neil's intimate, cosmic cocoon. Check her website for tour dates.

- Wooden Arms by Patrick Watson * (Secret City Records): With a Polaris Prize under his belt, as well as frequent comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Jeff Buckley, and Andrew Bird -- and a song on the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack (isn't that the ultimate measure of broad appeal these days?) -- orchestral pop mastermind Patrick Watson is poised to hit the big time. After taking a break from his own varied projects to record a soundtrack for a French-Canadian film, Watson went back to work -- this time with the band for which his new album is named, the Wooden Arms, an ensemble that has toured with artists as varied as James Brown and Feist. Together they've put together a stunning record with a "stripped-down sound" accented by improvisational noises recorded in the style of Hollywood foley artists, using bicycle parts and wine bottles as percussion instruments.

*Links open to iTunes.

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-Will & Grace: Best of Love & Marriage and Best of Friends & Foes : Each of these two-disc sets contain 16 beloved episodes from the groundbreaking sitcom. If your favorite ones involved celebrity guests, pick up Friends & Foe s, which features visits from Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears , Kevin Bacon, Glenn Close, and Matt Damon, among others. And because we all love it when things go wrong, here's a blooper reel from Season 8:

- TCM Greatest Films Collection: American Musicals and Broadway Musicals : The release of these box sets is probably linked to Mother's Day, but surely you or another gay you know would totally love these. The former includes vintage Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, and Gene Kelly toe-tappers, while the latter has old-school goodies like Annie Get Your Gun and Kiss Me, Kate . Watch the "Anything You Can Do" scene from Annie Get Your Gun:

- The Red Piano: Now you don't have to go all the way to Vegas to watch Elton John play his biggest hits on a crazy stage designed by David LaChapelle; this new DVD allows you to crank up the surround sound and warble "Levon" as off-key as you please in the privacy of your own home. Watch Elton sing "Your Song" at The Red Piano.

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