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Hot Sheet: Week of June

Hot Sheet: Week of June


This week's installment of what's hot in books, music, DVDs, film, and theater includes Maya Rudolph, a controversial film from Singapore, and a smart look at barebacking.

Check for Showtimes...

- Land of the Lost: Because the original Saturday morning version took itself so seriously, this one decidedly does not. And it's got Danny McBride in it. That's how you know that at least some of it's going to be funny. Are you watching Eastbound and Down yet? Because you should be.

- Away We Go: Maya Rudolph and John Krasisnki take a road trip in search of a home where they can raise their baby. And because Dave Eggers and his domestic partner, Vendela Vida, wrote it, you have to figure they sourced their own lives.

-The Hangover: (Pictured) These dudes in Vegas have hangovers, see. And then wacky stuff happens. Zack Galifianakis does a lot of vomiting, we hear. Hope someone holds his beard back for him. Prime yourself with an interview with Bradley Cooper.

- My Life in Ruins: This just in: post-Big Fat Wedding, Nia Vardalos is still really, really Greek. Will she find love with a foxy Greek man in Greece? Will there be a lot of jokes about Greek things? Will Zack Galifianakis make a cameo? He's Greek, obviously. Just be aware -- says this flick's homophobic .

- Herb and Dorothy: A postal worker and a librarian walked into an art gallery in the early 1960s and bought a piece of art. Then they bought a few thousand more pieces over the years, living on one income and collecting with the other. Now everything they picked up is in the National Gallery. And what have you done with your life?

- The Country Teacher: You know what would suck? To be a gay grammar school teacher in a rural Czech village, secretly fall in love with a 17-year-old student, then have your jerk of an ex-boyfriend show up and threaten to out you. That's what would suck. And here's the movie version.

Get these tickets...

-S/He, New York, June 8: The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group hosts weekly readings of new works by exceptionally talented up-and-coming playwrights. On Monday, June 8, you can check out Tanzanian-born Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko's S/He, in which Sam, an African-American anatomical female, undergoes gender-reassignment surgery only to find that the world won't transition with him. There are two performances, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and admission is free. For reservations call 212-967-7555.

- The Andersen Project, Philadelphia, June 11-13: The great queer Quebecois writer-director Robert Lepage has created everything from sweeping epics ( Seven Streams of the River Ota ) to intimate solo outings ( The Far Side of the Moon, with music by Laurie Anderson) for his company Ex Machina, not mention staging Ka in Las Vegas for Cirque du Soleil. In recent years, Lepage has been touring the globe with The Andersen Project, a one-man puppet/video adaptation of two Hans Christian Andersen tales ("The Dryad" and "The Shadow"), set at the intersection of contemporary pop and classical music worlds. This weekend the show touches down at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for three performances. When it played in London a few years ago, one critic suggested, "If you have to borrow the cash, or sleep with someone to get a ticket, do it." Given Lepage's track record, we'd tend to agree.

-At Home at The Zoo, San Francisco, June 10: Two years ago Edward Albee wrote Homelife, a prequel to his first famous one-act play, the comic-tragic crypto-homo two-hander The Zoo Story, and premiered it at New York's Second Stage Theatre on a double bill called Peter and Jerry. Now retitled At Home at the Zoo, the play makes its West Coast debut at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater, which scored a big hit last year with Albee's The Goat , or Who Is Sylvia? It opens officially June 10 and runs through July 5.

- The Temperamental, off-Broadway, June 10: The Temperamentals , Jon Marans 's gay-history drama about pioneering activist Harry Hay, had great reviews and sold-out houses when it played at a tiny theater off-off-Broadway in April. Now it's moved to a somewhat larger off-Broadway house for a four-week run that begins June 10. Thomas Jay Ryan heads the cast as Harry Hay (cofounder of the Mattachine Society as well as the Radical Faeries), and Ugly Betty 's Michael Urie costars as Rudi Gernreich, the fashion designer who was Harry Hay's lover and fellow gladiator in the early fight for gay civil rights.

- A Night With Walt Whitman (pictured) , New York, through June 7: Puppet theater stopped being kid stuff years ago -- nowadays it's one of the arenas where some of the coolest experimental theater happens. Case in point: Basil Twist's Dream Music Puppetry Program at Here in New York City, which this weekend presents two new pieces related to Walt Whitman. Bart Buch's Ode to Walt Whitman has the great gay American poet meeting Federico Garcia Lorca (his Spanish counterpart) online in a gay chat room and having a string of surreal adventures. Brian Selznick's Live Oak, With Moss traces the gigantic arc of a love affair on a miniature set the size of an index card.

Get Cozy on the Couch ...

- Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog: Neil Patrick Harris won our hearts anew with his portrayal of a love-struck supervillain who loses the woman he loves to an obnoxious hero (Nathan Fillion) in this charming musical from Buffy- meister Joss Whedon. What started as an online project for TV people cooling their heels during the writers' strike has blossomed into a full-blown phenomenon both online and now on DVD.

- Solos: Shot in Singapore, this wordless but visually compelling film explores the relationship between two men and the inability of one man's mother to cope with her son's sexuality. The DVD includes an interview with writer-director-performer Zihan Loo conducted by John Cameron Mitchell and Sir Ian McKellen.

- 24: The Complete Seventh Season: Some argue that Jack Bauer can only save the world so many times. But if he keeps offering bang up action and drama like this -- questionably the strongest season of 24 -- he can keep going. For anyone still lamenting Hillary Clinton not going all the way, out Tony winner Cherry Jones fills the shoes of female president quite nicely. And Jon Voight is superb in a recurring role as the CEO of a private military gone bad.

- Spring Breakdown: (Pictured) The fact that this movie went from being a somewhat touted Sundance premiere to a direct-to-DVD release is some cause for concern, although plenty of worthwhile movies seem to be bypassing theatrical release these days. Parker Posey, Amy Poehler , and Rachel Dratch star as three former nerds who finally get to go wild on spring break when they travel to hard-partying South Padre Island as middle-aged chaperones. (Warner Home Video)

Put on Your Headphones...

- The E.N.D. byBlack Eyed Peas: After going on hiatus for Fergie to develop her hugely success solo career, and for to dabble in holographic commentary for CNN, the Black Eyed Peas are back with an album that reminds us why we cared about these people in the first place. Alternately described by the band as "electric static funk" and "melodic soulful electronic," one thing is clear: The E.N.D. is BEP's most dance-friendly record yet. They've gone all out, aiming for U2-level ubiquity (and self-aggrandizing social commentary), and it's paid off with their first ever #1 single, the irrepressibly infectious "Boom Boom Pow." For those of you worried that the album's title might refer to a curtain closing on the band, fear not-according to, it stands for The Energy Never Dies.

- The Bachelor by Patrick Wolf (Bloody Chamber Music): Queer Irish troubadour Patrick Wolf is a waifish dandy savant with a voice that could fill the Grand Canyon. Having discovered his love of music early on, Wolf precociously embarked on an odyssey that would find him performing with Leigh Bowery's group Minty at 14, panhandling in a traveling string quartet at 16, and releasing his first album to great critical acclaim by 20. Fluent in more than a dozen instruments, Wolf combines his own skillful folk orchestration with electronic production, at times layering furious violins under a rococo barrage of samples. On his fifth album, Wolf has lost none of his youthful steam-his themes have become even more epic, with songs waxing poetic about love, revolution, and depression. Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton lends her vocal talents as "The Voice of Hope" when things are looking grim, and who better to lift a queer boy's spirits than Derek Jarman's muse? Check out the campily sexy S&M-themed video for The Bachelor's first single, "Vulture," below:

- The Loving Kind by Nanci Griffith : For Austin-based "folkabilly" pioneer Nanci Griffith, music isn't just a career, it's her life. Since she started songwriting at the age of six (with tunes about Timothy Leary), the weathered voice of Nanci Griffith has crooned out 18 hauntingly beautiful albums, performed all over the world, and picked up a "Best Contemporary folk Album" Grammy along the way. A survivor of both breast and thyroid cancer, Griffith at 55 isn't letting anything stop her from tackling life head on. On The Loving Kind, she boldly addresses issues of social injustice like the death penalty and marriage equality. Employing her vivid storytelling skills to put those political beliefs into sharp relief, Griffith's title track is about Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple behind the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case in 1967 that lifted the ban on mixed-race marriages. "Just before she passed away, [Mildred Loving] expressed hope that their case would eventually be the open door to the legalization of same sex marriage," says Griffith, of her inspiration for writing the song. These are the kind of folk heroes that Griffith salutes in her music-men and women of warmth and admirable character who've flown under the radar for too long. Not far off from Griffith herself.

Head to the Bookstore...

-My Father & I: The Marais & The Queerness of Community By David Caron (Cornell University Press): Part autobiography, party history lesson, part analysis of social theory, Caron's book is about life in the Marais, one of the most culturally diverse and tolerant neighborhoods of Paris where he grew up. Caron's father, a Hungarian Jew and a survivor of the Holocaust, made his home in the Marais where he and eventually Caron, who is gay, found that they both felt safe. Caron eloquently captures their unique relationship and what it means to be a part of a community.

- The Passing Game: Queering Jewish American Culture By Warren Hoffman (Syracuse University Press): Hoffman examines queer Jewish identity in twentieth-century American literature, drama, and film. A teacher of literature at Temple University, Hoffman works primarily on Jewish American literature and musical theater and in Passing Game he looks at both Yiddish and English narratives including such seminal works as Angels In America and God Of Vengeance the 1907 Yiddish play by Sholem Asch. An academic but interesting work of a rarely explored area of our queer artistic history.

- Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections On The Subculture of Barekbacking By Tim Dean (University of Chicago Press): An academic but insightful look at the evolution and meaning of barebacking in gay culture. Dean -- a professor of English and director of the Humanities Institute at the University of Buffalo -- does not make any social arguments about barebacking but rather looks at the surrounding subculture from an anthropological standpoint, attempting to unravel the point of view, motivations, and interests of its inhabitants. A smart unbiased read for anyone seeking greater understanding of the phenomenon.

- Waiting To Land: A (Mostly) Political Memoir, 1985-2008 By Martin Duberman (The New Press): In Martin Duberman's third autobiography he looks at the disconnect between the Left and the LGBT movement, the AIDS epidemic and its increasing effect on his own friends and loved ones, the struggles involved in building political organizations from the ground up, and the disillusion of gay left-wingers and national LGBT organization. His disillusion leads him to the founding of of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at CUNY, and to server as an original board member of Queers for Economic Justice, all of which is chronicled in his most recent work which compiles his diary entries and letters from the late '80s to the present.

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