Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Look Out! Here Comes the Spider-Man!"

This is one of three shirts that I wore to Pride this past Sunday. Yes, three shirts.

I figured, since Cher (the REAL Cher!) was not attending the festivities, SOMEONE needed to represent with multiple wardrobe changes.

So, I changed shirts. Three times. That may not seem very "Cher" to you, but considering I'm a redneck, I'm not friends with Bob Mackie, and I was all out of netting, monkey fur and ball fringe, I think three shirts should count.

And out of those three shirts, two were silk-screen with the words, "I'M A HOMOSEXUAL YOU KNOW." I think this one is my favorite.

It's a mix of "Spidey Sense" and "Gaydar." Trust me, to be 39 & gay, you need both.

It also draws attention to this simple fact...

Any man who designs and constructs, not only web-shooters, but also a FABULOUS red and blue, hooded body suit with a web-inspired pinstripe and oversized, high-arched and severely angled, white eye holes is... well...

Let's just say that Peter Parker can quote every single line from the movie, Beaches. Even the Lainie Kazan lines.

Who am I kidding? ESPECIALLY the Lainie Kazan lines!!!

Of course, we knew this already.

We've all seen Spidey's handball pic, right?

Monday, June 29, 2009

"I'm a Homosexual You Know"

Yesterday was great.

A fun parade, beautiful weather...

Philip and Eric and Dan silk-screened and gave away HUNDREDS of shirts and shorts with the words I'M A HOMOSEXUAL YOU KNOW...

My friend Alexandra Billings looked and was amazing as the parade's Grand Marshall...

Hanging out all day with Ryan and Michael was THE BEST...

And Ernie and Michael's post-parade party was filled with good food, strong liquor and the cutest boys around.

But I think this comment that I had on my "Day Before Pride" post just made my weekend, yesterday's Pride and this day one the best...

"thanks, guys. it it makes me feel great that this stuff still stirs somebody! who knows, maybe one of these days someone will come along and make the movie! happy pride! larry kramer"

When Larry Kramer, one of my heroes, reads my little blog, makes a comment and wishes me a Happy Pride...

Well, as my grandmother used to say...

"It just don't get no better than that, now does it?"

Hope everyone had a wonderful Pride weekend.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Death of a Legend, Birth of a Movement"

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.

Somewhere in New York City in the middle of the march commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots...

...Dear Lord, that 15 years ago! Fifteen years. And yet, I've only aged 2 and a half years. Interesting... interesting...

...I saw a sign with a picture of Judy Garland the simply said...

"Death of a Legend, Birth of a Movement."

And while some people say that there is no connection to the beginning of the gay civil rights movement and the death a few days earlier of one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th (or any) century, I think Garland's death changed something.

That may sound queer, but you know it? It is. And I am. And I adore this woman. And I imagine, so did the drag queens and bull dykes who rioted against police 40 years ago today.

And don't forget that it WAS drag queens and bull dykes. They were the ones to take a stand. They are the ones to thank for all that we have achieved. Remember that when someone makes a comment about how topless bull dykes or overly-bedazzled drag queens send the wrong message to the straight people who watch our parade.

Drag queens and bull dykes shouldn't be criticized, they should be celebrated. They're more than just a part of us, they are the reason we're here.

Happy Pride, everyone!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"These Are Not Invisible Men"

It's been a long day. And sort of a sad day. For several reasons. So, it took me awhile to write this "Day Before Pride" post.

My mood probably influenced the content for this post as well. Well, maybe not...

This past Thursday, before we saw La Cage Aux Folles, (and loved it!) my friend Michael Ryczek and I had a quick dinner.

We talked about the show we are going to co-direct at the beginning of next year, and that must have reminded me of the first time Michael and I worked together.

It was a production of The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer - - a play about the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, the confusion about why friends and lovers were dying, the gay community's anger, the political power struggles, and the creation of a grass roots organization that would come to be known as Gay Men's Health Crisis.

Larry was leading the fight against AIDS during those years (and he still is today), so the play is basically his story, told through the central character of Ned Weeks.

I directed the play and Michael Ryczek played Ned. So, maybe that's why the speech that Ned gives the end of the second act has been playing over and over in my mind.

Maybe it was hanging out with Michael or maybe it was the confusion I feel watching Obama as he takes a few steps on the path created by Clinton. Once again, Dems court us for votes but abandon us once in office.

Maybe it's Philip and Eric's I'M A HOMO YOU KNOW campaign that begins tomorrow morning pre-parade.

Whatever the reason, the speech below is what I will have in mind tomorrow as I enjoy the parade, laugh with friends and scream at all the hot go-go boys.

Because while tomorrow is about having pride in who we are, it's also about coming together and seeing just how large our tribe truly is, so that we understand our power, as well as the potential that our power has to change our future.

And most importantly to me, tomorrow is not just about remembering the gays and lesbians who came before us, because, frankly, a good deal of our history has been stolen from us. And only recently have we begun to reclaim it. It's time - - PAST time!!! - - to acknowledge the gays and lesbians from our past AS gays and lesbians. We must tell the world about them, honor their accomplishments and give thanks to them for bringing us to where we are now.

So, enough of the soap box.

Here's the speech from Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart.

Just before this, Ned has been informed that he has been removed from the board of directors of Gay Men's Health Crisis, an organization formed in his living room and created, fought for and built by him. His anger fueled it.

Which is exactly why I've always been a Larry Kramer fan. That anger is something we share.

P.S. To see the speech a little bigger and a little clearer, double click on it.

Or have a double vodka stinger.

Either way.

tomato / toMAHto...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fratboy Friday

Fratboy Friday: Pride Edition (with Wings!)...

Getting ready for the parade...


Package? Check.



Wrestling singlet under shorts? Check.



Ready to salute the politicians? Check.



Trick with an open mouth and good ol' Number 7? Check.

We're ready, girls! Happy Pride!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Now They See Me, Now They Don't. I've Come & Gone"

Good ol' South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Caught with his pants down. In Argentina.

And even though his pants were down and we all could see that his package looks like a golf pencil hanging between two Planters peanuts, he has the balls to act surprised when we wonder where the fuck he was for 5 days and why he wasn't at work.

But that's Sanford. He's a staunch conservative who opposes gay civil unions, meaning he's not JUST opposed to gay marriage, but civil unions, too.

As a Senator in the 90's, he voted AGAINST a bill that preserved sites linked to the Underground Railroad.

And I found this on Pandagon...

"When South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford learned that his state was being advertised as a gay tourism destination, he ordered a Cabinet-level department head 'to do the right thing personnel-wise or process-wise to ensure this does not happen again'"

I think Jon Stewart said it best last night on The Daily Show when he described Governor Sanford as...
"Just another politician with a conservative mind and a liberal penis."

"I'm on My Way to Meet Peter in the Peh-rk"

My brother Jeff just sent me this video on Facebook...

...and by the by, I've been spending more and more time on the Facebook. I think I've been brainwashed...

"I'm gonna sit at the welcome table. Sing about it! I'm gonna sit at the welcome table
one of these days. Hallelujah!"

...Anyone?... Anyone?...

...If I stop posting for more than a few days, come to my apartment and check for pods...

...so, I had to share it with you.

Hysterically funny? Yes.

Incredibly disturbing?
You better believe it.

And that's just her hair.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Instant Gratification Takes Too Long"

Once again, I find myself in the middle of a day where I feel like a plate spinner on the Carson show. Or Sisyphus pushing his rock.

It's the feeling you have when you're giving head to a guy who has NEVER been able to climax when someone is blowing him. This is, of course, something he tells you AFTER 45 minutes of breathing through your nose, unhinging your jaw and talking with your mouth full to assure him that it's the biggest you've ever had.

Still, I wanted to share a few new quotes I found while reading through Carrie Fisher's blog...

"Someone just told me to fuck off.
My difficulty is that I don't know where off is;
if I did I would fuck there."

"Things were getting worse
faster than we could lower our standards. "

"If you cut a celebrity's prick, does it not bleed?
If a celebrity SEEMS like a prick,
how can he be otherwise?"

I love this woman and I am in love with her writing. I was a little worried about that "endless blowjob" segue into her quotes, but it's almost a logical introduction for when discussing fucking off and celebrity pricks, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Wait a Second Now. Wait for the Flash"

I took a few days off from blogging - - I was prepping for my 2nd Story story, which was a big success!!! - - so, forgive me for diving back in. Hard. I'm sure more than a few gay folk aren't going to like what I have to say.

I'm a little annoyed at how much I'm seeing Dustin Lance Black.

Not that I was "annoyed" when I saw the naked pictures of Dustin getting plowed on Perez Hilton's site. Those were hot.

But for Dustin, like every other hot gay man who is literally caught with his pants down, the gay community is rallying behind him. Pun not intended.

I wonder what the response in the gay community would be if an over-weight, uber-hairy, bald, 55 year old gay, black man won an Oscar, talked to gay youth about the importance of safer sex practices and then was found getting cornholed bareback by a man named "Doobie."

If that were the case, I doubt seriously if we'd even know his name.

Because, like straight people, gays tend to only care about the cute and the young and the white. God forbid an 8 year old blonde, white girl is lost. The entire nation goes berzerk. An 8 year old black girl on the South Side of Chicago? Not so much.

But Dustin Lance Black is now on the cover of the Advocate. He was just honored by the UN. The fucking United Nations! And tons of gay men and lesbians are calling for a ban of Perez Hilton after Perez showed the world Dustin's dirty pictures.

Of course, they're banning Perez's site AFTER they've checked out and downloaded the naked pictures of Mr. Black.

Perez Hilton is a gossip columnist. If nobody wanted to read his site or see those pictures, he wouldn't be in business. But he is in business. Because we read and we want to see.

So, ban Perez if what he's done to your cute, blonde, young (and as the pictures prove, nicely hung) friend, Dustin Lance Black, bothers you, but don't kid yourself that you're doing it for gay rights or any other such bullshit. Because a few months ago, it was Perez who started the whole bruhaha with Miss California by asking her a question about gay marriage. A question you praised.

So, either be for Perez or against him. You can't have it both ways.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"You Ask Me the Time, But I Sense Something More"

Words to live by, eh?

Not that I mind.

Keep your watch on or take it off. I'm easy either way.

I'm just afraid it might slip off your wrist and be lost forever down in there.

They never found Jimmy Hoffa.

"Dive Right In, Baby. The Water Is Fine!"

I can't seem to remember why.

Why did I decide not to renew my subscription to Entertainment Weekly a few months ago?

It's on the tip of my tongue.

Oh, that's right. I remember now.

Something about the combination of "my tongue" and a shirtless Ryan Reynolds just jogged my memory.

I wanted to use that money buy more porn. Silly and stupid, but true.

I'm half a verse in a friggin' Alanis Morissette song.

But that's not going to stop me from claiming Ryan as My New Imaginary Boyfriend.

Damn. Anybody up for a Sandra Bullock movie?

(I can't believe I just typed that last sentence...)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fratboy Friday


Oh, Mr. Right?... Mr. Right?...



A man pitching a tent in the woods
is always fun to watch, isn't it?



What a treat it would be if I woke up to these four.

"It's a wake up call, it's a buffet!
It's a wake up call, it's a buffet!..."



Drinking alone is a bad sign, but drinking alone when you're naked
and standing in front of an open door is a lovely invitation.

My kind of Welcome Wagon.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"I Feel Twitchy and Bitchy and Manic..."

My friend John just sent this to me and I think this should be required viewing in EVERY first year acting class.

Which, of course, means that it will replace Lauren Bacall croaking the song, "Welcome to the Theatre" from Applause.

Sorry, Betty. Hitler's On the Waterfront is just a killer. I mean...

"What Have You Learned, Dorothy?"

I learned so much from comic books. For instance, these panels tell me...

1) Cap introduced Bucky to a game he called "Grab the Stick."

2) Bucky is now an adult and his left arm is completely bionic.

3) Never play "Grab the Stick" with Bruce Banner.


1) The Dark Knight LOVES getting hosed down.

2) The Boy Wonder is REALLY GOOD at hosing people down.

3) If you want the sounds of "SHHOOOSH" filling your cave,
always choose a ward named Dick.


1) Superman can already see through Jimmy's clothes and if he wanted Jimmy naked,
he could strip him at super speed, but instead, Clark sets up some intricate plan
that ends with Jimmy stripping in front of Lois.
Superman is a total perv.

2) Jimmy loves proving that the carpet matches the drapes.
Especially in public.

3) Lois gasps and stutters, but she hasn't taken her eyes off of
Jimmy's strip show for a second. 'Atta girl!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Your Once Upon a Time Is Up"

I've been visiting Carrie Fisher's blog every now and then, and every time I read a post, I discover a little gem.

This is a poem that Carrie says she wrote decades ago.

And once again, with the day I'm having today, I'm feeling this poem. I'm feelin' it hard...

"Your once upon a time is up,
Prince charming’s been abducted,

Tinkerbell’s on angel’s dust,

The Matterhorn’s erupted

Your once upon a time is up,
Tammy’s talking dirty,
Dumbo has a PHD,
Leia’s WAAAAAAAAAAAY past thirty... ... ."

- The always brilliant Carrie Fisher

"Hey Larry, Do You Still Have That Tickle in Your Anus?"

I don't know about you guys, but I'm sort of having one of these days.

Are you?

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Oh, Tell the One About That Boy!"

I casually mentioned this yesterday, but I think the time has come for me to give myself a little plug.

Go ahead. Say it. Say, "Won't a little one just get lost up in there?"

Sure it will. But you're forgetting that it's going to bounce and rub up against all the high school rings, tchotchkes and wayward sailors already lodged up there. Fun.

It's like a pinball game in the privacy of my own body, and I'm screaming...

"Tilt! Tilt me, damn it! TILT ME!"

Which brings me back to the show I'm going to plug, because what better way to promote my talent as a storyteller than me talking about the things that can be found inside my ass.

I probably won't have any friends in the audience this Sunday after talking about all that, but Richard Gere just purchased a front row seat for this Sunday's Pride edition of the 2nd Story Series at @mosphere.

What is 2nd Story? Well...

"2nd Story is a hybrid performance event
combining storytelling, wine, and music
that is produced by the Serendipity Theater Collective as both a Monthly Performance Series and an Annual Festival."

These events are like nothing else in the city. They're fun, interactive, and the performance style is incredibly engaging. I think of it as part monologue, part drunken friend telling you a story for the first time.

And since they've asked me to be a "Guest Storyteller" this Sunday, my 10 minutes are going to probably lean more towards the "drunken friend" side of the equation.

I've hosted this Pride edition of 2nd Story for the past two years, because Serendipity graciously donates the proceeds from this event to Season of Concern. But this is my first time storytelling. And I'm a little nervous. Because the form might sound simple, but it is radically different than anything I have ever done before. Which is why I love it!

So come see me this Sunday at @mosphere. The $10 goes to Season of Concern (and we very are in need of funds right now), the show starts at 7pm and I'll be telling a story about someone I used to know. Intimately.

That should scare tons of people into coming.

And if that's not enough of a reason to attend, the boy in this picture is Byron. He's reading a story on Sunday, too.

Even if my performance sucks and my story is horrible, you'll still get to look at Byron. Up close. For $10. And let's face it, we've all paid a lot more and received a lot less when it comes to boys as cute as that. Okay?

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Spicy or Mild?"

A recent post at Seduced by the New... turned me on to Blunt Card and I think I'm in love with it.

No, I KNOW I'm in love with it! This one just screamed my name.

I've been known to cut a bitch for just THINKING about taking any piece of my deluxe meal from Popeyes.

And my answer when I order is always, "Mild? Bitch, please..."

"Mildred to Go"

That was me in 1989.

As if you couldn't tell from the wannabe Cosby sweater I'm wearing that I purchased at Chess King.

I was 19 (19 in 1989 - - do the math for my age, it's easy) and I had a gig singing on Monday nights at a little jazz club in Knoxville's Old City named Annie's.

Yep, I was a cabaret singer before I could legally drink. Two steps out of the closet and I managed to put myself in front of a piano, down center. Fondling a mic stand

It was in the summer of '89 that I would meet the man who would become my theatre mentor, Lemmie, and through him, I auditioned for and was cast in my first show, Godspell. I wouldn't be in the theatre if I hadn't met Lemmie. I wouldn't be an actor, I wouldn't be a director, I wouldn't run a not-for-profit organization. My entire life seems to hinge on meeting that man.

But the Stephen in '89 was much more concerned with his artistic career than I am. What I mean is, after I started working in the theatre, nothing was more important than working on a play. Nothing. It cost me the one man I truly loved with all my heart. I put my love of plays ahead of my love for him. And he left. And he should have.

Luckily, I hit my head against enough brick walls to realize that people are more important than plays. Not that plays aren't important. Art is important, but as I've said many times before, at my funeral, I don't want people to look down at my cold body in the casket and say, "Wow, he had a great resume, didn't he?" I hope that they will say, "When I needed him, when I was in need, he was there. Always." That, to me, is a much greater legacy to leave behind.

So these days, as I run from work at Season of Concern to rehearsals for Karen's SOC cabaret benefit, to rehearsals for my first storytelling gig in the 2nd Story Series, I try to keep myself grounded by watching this clip of Lily Tomlin accepting her 1977 Tony Award. It's a hysterical piece of comedy and I think that what Mildred says to Lily cuts to the core of what all performers... no, all people should strive to achieve...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fratboy Friday

I usually joke that Chicagoans only get three days of what anyone else on the planet would consider summer weather. And that might actually be slightly funny in any other year.

But this year, predicting three days of summer weather in Chicago would be wishful thinking. Three hours of summer weather in Chicago? Possibly. But not in a row.

Which is why I will be standing outside of my apartment spraying a dozen or so cans of Aqua Net into the air to give global warming my own private push. I need a few...


Summer days at the beach...



Summer days at the lake...



Summer days climbing a tree...



Because summer days lead to...

I wonder which one is Danny and which one is Sandy...

They're probably Rizzo and Kenickie...

They're probably too drunk to care...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Who Are You? Perry Mason?!?"

Not to make light of David Carradine's tragic death, but do we really need to wait two more weeks for some CSI: Miami, Horatio Caine-wannabe to to slowly put on his sunglasses and let us know what caused David's death?

This Fox News article about the investigation into Mr. Carradine's death is both obvious and ridiculous. Sure, "ridiculous" is a given for any Fox News story, but this... it's special...

Here's the story with my comments in bold...

"An independent autopsy conducted on David Carradine’s body concluded that the actor did not commit suicide."

Now, when a hanging is not considered suicide, only two things come to mind - - foul play and/or Michael Hutchence.

Let's read on...

"Dr. Michael Baden, who performed the autopsy, said that the final results of the cause of death would likely be available 'within a week or two.'

Two weeks... Damn! Why so long, doc?

"'In any death, before arriving at a final cause, one has to gather not only the autopsy results, but also the findings at the scene of the death, the crime lab information and the toxicology results. In this situation, some of those investigations have not been completed yet,' Baden said. 'But the information we now have does rule out a suicide.'"

Okay. That's murky. What exactly is the "information" you have now?

"Last Friday, police said the actor may have died from accidental suffocation or heart failure after revealing that he was found with a rope tied around his neck and penis — leading to speculation that Carradine may have engaged in a dangerous form of sex play known as auto-erotic asphyxiation."

Wait a minute, wait a minute...

This man was found dead, naked & hanging with a rope not only around his neck but also around his cock & you're saying he MAY have died from accidental suffocation?!?

MAY have?!?

That's like saying that Catharine the Great MAY have died from extensive internal bleeding after her horse fucked her, rode her hard and put her up wet.

"Pornthip Rojanasunand, director of Thailand's Central Institute of Forensic Science, said the circumstances under which Carradine died suggest the 72-year-old actor may have indeed been performing auto-erotic asphyxiation. The practice involves temporarily cutting off the supply of oxygen to the brain to heighten the effects of a sexual climax."

I'm sorry to revert back to my middle school-self, but the "circumstances... suggest" he was "performing auto-erotic asphyxiation"?!?

Ummm... No duh! Ya think?!?

"'In some cases it can suggest murder, too. But sometimes when the victim is naked and in bondage, it can suggest that the victim is doing it to himself,' said Pornthip, considered the country's top criminal forensics expert. She did not take part in the autopsy.

You find me naked with a rope around my neck and my cock and that "suggests" murder?!? Sweetie...

If a man intending to murder me strips me naked, puts a rope around my neck and cock and starts jerking me off while cutting off my air, I only hope that he will give me a little time to put everything I own in his name, because a man like that is a keeper.

I mean.... for as long as I'm breathing, that is...

Or finding me like that "suggests" that I did it to myself? Quick question...

If I'm found dead with my own fist up my ass, will that "suggest" that I did it to myself?

Or will it "suggest" that I was looking for my car keys?

"'If you hang yourself by the neck, you don't need so much pressure to kill yourself,' she said. 'Those who get highly sexually aroused tend to forget this fact.'"

As I've written before, there have been times when I've been so "highly sexually aroused" that I not only saw Jesus, but I also had lunch with him. And we split a chocolate crème brûlée for dessert. But even then, even when I was in the center of ultimate, mind-numbing, soul-stretching pleasure, I never forgot the importance of breathing.

Because without a clear air passage and deep breaths taken from the mouth, that ultimate pleasure could turn painful and ugly very fast. With someone screaming at me, "Relax. Damn it, relax! I can't get my fucking hand out! RELAX!!!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"To the Bat-Poles!"

Okay... What exactly are Bruce and Dick up to in this panel?

Are those sun lamps?

Can billionaire Bruce Wayne not afford drapes?

And most importantly, unless you're a big time pole-smoking pickle kisser, why are you and your youthful ward lounging around Wayne Manor in little white towels like it's a friggin' bathhouse?

Where is Alfred while all this is going on?

Probably fetching the evening's cocktails. Wearing just a towel as well.

Nah. They probably hire some hunky muscle boy for that. I'm thinking Conner Kent.

"If You're Crackin' Up From Havin' Lack of Shackin' Up..."

After watching The Divine Miss M on the season premiere of Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List last night, I've been in a Midler mood.

I started rambling through clips and Sophe jokes on YouTube and came across this quote from Bette's Kiss My Brass show at Radio City Music Hall...

"It's a gay marriage frenzy!
I knew something had to replace disco,
but I never dreamed..."

Amen, girl. Amen!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"I'll Bet More People See That Than the Phone Book!"

Like any other well-raised, Southern boy who learned about sex by taking a night class taught by his cousin behind the barn, I have a HUGE sexual attraction to anything that my parents told me I couldn't do because it was "trashy."

Tattoos, for instance.

I don't have a tattoo, but I find guys with tats incredibly sexy. The more ink on their body, the hotter they are to me.

And like most people who want to get their first tattoo, I can't decide what I want.

Not that this is a new idea. I've been thinking about this for years now.

For awhile, I thought of getting a panther tat on my torso after I saw this Calvin Klein hottie, but then I remembered that the panther is my high school mascot and that would be just... bad karma, I think.

Then, I thought about going full on comic book geek and getting the Robin "R" on my left pec. But as much as I love the Boy Wonder (even the Damien Wayne version), I think I might lose my mind if too many people assumed the "R" was for Rader & not Robin.

I had one more tattoo idea, but this story from Food Network Humor has convinced me that I need to come up with some new ideas for tats. Something simpler, more traditional.

You see, you might think that Lindsey Mitchell tattooing "butter y'all" on her arm to show the world her love for Paula Deen is funny or ridiculous, but consider this...

Consider how ridiculous it would be if, to show the world my love for the movie Mommie Dearest, I got a tattoo on my ass that says...

"Property of MGM."

For those who haven't seen the movie (a.k.a. "straight people"), it references the scene in the movie after Joan has been forced to sit at Mr. Mayer's table at Perrino's and she screams, "I ought to have Property of MGM tattooed on my backside!"

Now, since so many gay men know that movie, consider this...

In the heat of the moment, the hot guy I'm with looks down...

Sees that tattoo and not only gets the reference...

But laughs a little...

Probably losing his wood in the process.

With that much at stake, a Paula Deen "butter y'all" tattoo seems almost charming. Almost.

Monday, June 08, 2009

"This Show Could Not Be Any Gayer If Liza Was Named Mayor"

Okay. The Tony Awards. Where to start...

Well, let's get the big shocker from the opening number out of the way. This is Bret Michaels singing in a number from Rock of Ages, and as the those nutty kids with their rock and roll say today, he gets "PWNED" by the set. And by "PWNED" I mean, "knocked on his ass"...

Alex, Eric and I watched that about 87,000 times last night and laughed our asses off. Tony host Neil Patrick Harris later informed the audience that Bret was alright and said...

"His number gave head-banging
a whole new meaning."


And while we're on the subject, critics need to lay off Neil Patrick Harris. He looked like a million bucks, he was cute, witty, smart, succinct and did what he was supposed to do - - he kept the show going and kept us entertained. He didn't do a mediocre job, he did a sensational job as host.

Stockard Channing somehow looked younger than she did in Grease. She looked like a 46 year old high school student in Grease (Jerri Blank anyone?) and last night she looked 39 and fabulous.

I now really want to see Next to Normal (Why exactly did Chicago's Goodman Theatre turn this musical DOWN?!?), Billy Elliot (Were those three boys accepting their Tony adorable or what?) and (I can't believe I'm typing this...) Shrek: The Musical (Tell me that Christopher Sieber is not doing Paul Lynde as Lord Farquaad? Paul Lynde with a side of Liberace!)...

And, as you can hear in that clip, whoever was in charge of the sound for last night's ceremony should be forced to listen to the touring company of Mamma Mia sing "Dancing Queen" for all eternity. Those singers and the sound throughout the night SUCKED.

Angela Lansbury won her 5th Tony and looked sensational. "The Dance at the Gym" from West Side Story still knocks you to the back wall. And I never want to hear "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" ever again. With or without a stage hand running on stage and handing the lead singer a mic, after said stagehand has spent a full minute off stage saying...

...saying this INTO THE LIVE MICROPHONE! Oy...

Finally, what's not to love about a crazy-assed Liza acceptance speech? Or Neil Patrick Harris walking on stage with a plate full of sushi, saying...

"This stuff is great! I have, like, so much energy. Like, if I ate this all the time, I could do show after show, night after night..."

That little bit said more about the Jeremy Piven idiocy of sushi making him unable to perform than anything that has been written. Period.

But my favorite part of the night was Gregory Jbara, winning for Billy Elliot and bringing his wife on stage with him for his acceptance speech, saying that she had been a single parent for a year so that he could do this show and win this award. Classy, heartfelt and so touching.

Now, not a word about how Carrie Fisher looked. Not a word!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

"It's Showtime, Folks"

Tonight is the night. The 2009 Tony Awards are here.

This is the night that separates the leather men from the nancy boys.

What I mean is, this is the gayest night on television and if you're gay and you're NOT watching the Tony Awards, then you're truly not a homosexual. You're just a cocksucker. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

As Karen Walker once said in an episode of Will and Grace...

"Honey, you're gayer than a clutch purse on Tony night."

And what better way to celebrate such a festive, queer occasion than to watch the awards with a fellow queen, Eric McCool, and the 2009 Grand Marshall of the Chicago Pride Parade, Alexandra Billings?

If only Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was once again on the red carpet of the Tony Awards this year, as he was two years ago in the video below. I love my showtunes, but making fun of my idol, Donna Murphy - - priceless...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

"I Want an Oompa-Loompa NOW!"

A couple of weeks ago, my brother, Jeff, called me while I was at work.

Actually, his cell phone called me. Jeff had nothing to do with it.

Somehow, he unknowingly hit what I'm guessing is the Stephen speed dial button on his cell phone, and the timing was perfect.

It gave me a sort of "reality radio" glimpse into the work my brother does every day.

Jeff is a social worker. Since high school, Jeff has always loved working with and helping young people. Children living with learning or physical disabilities, those who have been physically or sexually abused, any and all kids. He spends his own money to buy them snacks, games, crafts. He takes them out for meals at their favorite restaurants when they're well behaved.

As a friend of his once said to me when Jeff was out of the room, "Your brother has a huge heart. He takes care of so many people and we all love him very much."

But I knew that. I knew how much he cares for the young people he works with, but I didn't quite understand how incredibly gifted he is as a social worker.

When I picked up the phone, I heard this student of Jeff's screaming. Then immediately, I heard my brother speak to him; he talked through the child's tantrum. Calmly, but firmly, he convinced the boy to lower his voice, think about his outburst and realize the possible consequences of that behavior if it continued.

I was stunned at Jeff's skill. I mean, the child seemed to go from spoiled, snotty Veruca Salt to sweet, loving Charlie Bucket after just a few words from my brother. Very few words.

The whole exchange happened in less than a minute.

Smooth and skillfull, fast and efficient - - that's the Rader boys. Well, Jeff anyway...

I was, and still am, amazed by my brother.

Happy Birthday, Jeff.