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Hot Sheet: Week of May

Hot Sheet: Week of May


This week's round of what's hot in entertainment includes Catholic conspiracies, some good old girl-punk, and a ton of theatrical events across the country.

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- Angels & Demons: Before he and Amelie solved whatever Scooby mystery they were on the trail of in The Da Vinci Code (look, it was a long time ago and we can't be expected to remember everything), Tom Hanks thwarted a terrorist attack in this prequel. He's a very busy and heroic puzzle-solver, that Tom Hanks. If you're one that likes to read the book before seeing the movie, hit up your local library or get it on .

- The Brothers Bloom : Con men Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo want to bilk Rachel Weisz. Because that's what con men do. It's the next feature from acclaimed Brick director Rian Johnson, and Rinko Kikuchi is also in it, and just like in Babel , her character is silent. Talk about taking the easiest gigs ever. Peruse this memorable -- and even slightly controversial -- Advocate interview with Adrien Brody from December.

- Management : Weepy dog movies aside, we like Jennifer Aniston best when she ditches the sweetheart routine and jumps on board tiny indie films playing deadpan characters who are annoyed and/or disgruntled. Here she gets to be both as Steve Zahn sort of stalks her after their one-night stand.

- Big Man Japan (pictured): A pathetic middle-aged Japanese slacker finds himself having to battle his country's never-ending supply of giant monsters. It could happen. To prepare, check out this list of the top giant movie monsters:

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- Go! Pop! Bang! by Rye Rye (N.E.E.T.): Although it seems like just yesterday that M.I.A. burst onto the scene -- launching into the mainstream consciousness with the help of Pineapple Express, Slumdog Millionaire , and a pregnant performance at the Grammys -- the multi-disciplined Tamil had been a superstar in the indie world for years. She's so seasoned, in fact, that she's got herself a prodigy: Rye Rye, a baby-faced, sharp-mouthed Baltimore rapper whose debut album is about to drop at the tender age of 18. After scoring an infectiously danceable club hit with 2007's Blaqstarr-produced "Shake It to the Ground," Rye Rye's second major single, "Bang," is an equally delicious serving of multilayered genius featuring M.I.A.'s exhilarating vocals. With a surplus of confidence and lyrics as sassy as they are smart, Rye Rye might just be the best new female rapper to hit the scene since Lil' Kim. Follow Rye Rye on Twitter to read her ALL CAPS updates.

- We Be Xuxa by Mika Miko (pictured) (Post Present Medium): Miles away from the fleet of glossy pop-punk bands oversaturating the airwaves to the point where the word "punk" had seemed to collapse under the weight of its own insincerity, Mika Miko is a (mostly) all-girl group that's helped redefine the very notion of contemporary punk rock. Alongside critical darlings No Age, queer-fronted group Abe Vigoda, and dozens of other passionate kids regularly performing at the downtown Los Angeles club the Smell, Mika Miko has embraced the ethics of do-it-yourself culture and helped create an organic, thriving local music scene.

Their noisy, lo-fi sound shows off a keen appreciation for punk history, cultivating the spirit of bands from Bad Brains to X-Ray Spex, but there's a youthful, exciting energy present in Mika Miko's music that's all their own. On We Be Xuxa , the band has reigned in their gleefully august cacophony ever so slightly, unveiling the technical skills and songwriting flair that's served as a formidable foundation for a punk revolution. Watch them perform their song "Too Cute to Puke":

- Entertainment by Fischerspooner (FS Studios): Electroclash group Fischerspooner is an art-pop dream duo that balances out the ostentatiousness of gay visual/performance artist Casey Spooner with the pragmatic brilliance of classically trained musician Warren Fischer. After making a big splash in the early 2000s with a pair of tap-happy albums as well suited for a workout session as the dance floor, Fischerspooner took four years to tour and work on various personal projects. Now the pair's back together, as clever as ever, with a set of irresistible songs about moon landings, economics, and revenge. The duo kicks off their tour on May 8 in New York. Find out when they come by a venue near you at .

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- Of Time and the City: Essential queer director Terence Davies ( The Long Day Closes ) returns with a personal history of his hometown of Liverpool that weaves together popular and classical music, voices, radio clips, and narration by the filmmaker. Critics have raved about this one-of-a-kind documentary. Read an Advocateinterview with Davies shortly following the premiere of this film.

- Unspoken Passion (pictured) : This love story from the Philippines tells the story of two teen boys in love who split apart when one of them marries. Years later, one of them enters the Manila sex trade, and one night gets a surprising costar for a live sex show. Now we know what happens when you cross Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Macho Dancer . For more gay films featuring Asian actors and story lines, check out the aptly named website Asian Gay Films . It hasn't been updated in a few months, but there is a decent backlog of films, broken down by region, that you may find interesting.

- Kingdom: The ever-dry (and openly gay) Stephen Fry stars in this British TV series as small-town solicitor Peter Kingdom, who takes on any number of oddball clients, from nudists to adults suing toddlers. In between eccentric court hearings, Peter tries to track down his brother, who has mysteriously disappeared. And for the super fans, peruse this log of filming locations of the show, like Wells-next-the-Sea and Swaffham.

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- Tim Miller at Highways (Santa Monica, Calif.): All puns are intended in legendary queer performance artist Tim Miller's new solo show, Lay of the Land . Politics, humor, sex, and storytelling collide as Miller shares his latest tales of sleeping his way across the country, being called for jury duty, showing up for No on Prop. 8 protests, and dealing with the feeling of being perpetually on trial. Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica hosts the show May 15-16 and 22-23.

- Kushner Celebration in Minneapolis: The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, one of the country's oldest and most prestigious regional theaters, has mounted a lavish 10-week celebration of Pulitzer Prize-winning gay playwright Tony Kushner (author of Angels in America ). While simultaneously running his musical Caroline, or Change and a program of five short one-acts titled Tiny Kushner , the Guthrie presents the world premiere of The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and SocialismWith aKey to the Scriptures . A retired longshoreman and philosopher, confused by life in the 21st century, convenes a reunion in Brooklyn with his wife and three kids (two of whom are gay) and their various spouses, partners, and plus-ones. The cast includes Kathleen Chalfant, Stephen Spinella, and Linda Emond, and the show is directed by Michael Greif. Performances begin May 15, with an official press opening on May 22, and continue through June 28. A lavish array of classes, seminars, panel discussions, and speaking engagements are scheduled throughout the Kushner Celebration. Watch a preview of the 2007 PBS special, Wrestling With Angels .

- You, Nero (Berkeley, Calif.): Amy Freed's You, Nero, a cautionary tale for the American Idol age, juxtaposes ancient Rome and reality TV in an exploration of popular spectacles and what they say about a civilization. Half burlesque, half historical epic, the show centers on the beyond-nelly performance of Danny Scheie, who struts the title role in leopard-skin boxer shorts. After a world premiere in Southern California, the revamped production reopens May 15 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and runs through June 28.

- Three on a Party (pictured) (San Francisco): The trio of one-acts collectively mounted by Theatre Rhinoceros as Three on a Party surveys 20th-century queerdom and the evolution of same-sex marriage. Gertrude Stein's dadaesque tale of two lesbians in 1910, Miss Furr and Miss Skeene , and Tennessee Williams's Two on a Party , a poetic fantasy of unbridled sex in the straitlaced 1950s, are rarely seen works by two of the great gay writers of the century. And Armistead Maupin brings the timeline up-to-date with Suddenly Home , set in the familiar milieu of an extended gay family in San Francisco. The production starts May 13 and plays through June 7.

- The Golden Legend (New York): Saints, puppets, choruses galore -- Christopher Williams's The Golden Legend is one of those shows that could be a fabulous extravaganzaaEUR|or something that was more impressive as a fantasy (or grant proposal) than a reality. Inspired by a 13th-century compendium by Jacobus de Voragine known as the Legenda Aurea Sanctorum (or Golden Legend of the Saints ), choreographer and puppeteer Williams has created a series of 17 dance portraits of obscure medieval male saints. And he's talked a whole boatload of fellow dancers and choreographers into performing them, including the likes of John Kelly, Nicky Paraiso, Gus Solomons, David Neumann, and Jonah Bokaer. The music will be performed live by select members of Lionheart, Anonymous 4, and the New York Consort of Viols. The whole thing takes place at Dance Theater Workshop , in the heart of Chelsea, for five performances only, May 12-16.

- The Brother/Sister Plays (Princeton, N.J.): While Minneapolis's Guthrie Theater celebrates the already-renowned gay playwright Tony Kushner, another prestigious regional theater -- Princeton's McCarter Theater -- salutes up-and-coming 28-year-old gay playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney with a trio of his plays: In TheRed and Brown Water , staged by lesbian director Tina Landau, and a double bill of The Brothers Size (previously seen to acclaim in New York and London) and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet ("sweet" being Southern black slang for "gay"), staged by gay playwright-director Robert O'Hara. The characters in the plays are connected familially and spiritually through the influence of Yoruban mythological spirits (orishas). The brothers plays open May 14 and run in repertory with the sisters play through June 21. McCraney was one of The Advocate 's "Forty under 40" artists to watch in the June/July issue .

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