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LGBT Center Bans Sarah Schulman 07 Wilde Lads Before Oscar 16 Obama Honors Jeanne Manford 13 Who Follows Ex-Benedict? 33




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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR A final wrap on Koch 32

36-37, 39


February 13, 2013 |


Can Quinn Build on RWDSU Endorsement?

Despite retail workers’ early nod, most unions likely to stay on sidelines for now BY PAUL SCHINDLER



Quinn with the West Side’s new state senator, Brad Hoylman, at the February 2 Human Right Campaign dinner, where the City Council speaker accepted the national LGBT rights group’s endorsement. She had previously been endorsed by the Empire State Pride Agenda and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.


hen the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) recently announced its endorsement of Christine Quinn f o r m a y o r, t h e m o v e p r o v i d e d bragging rights to a campaign looking to dispel any narrative that progressive forces in the city might be looking for an alternative to the C i t y C o u n c i l s p e a k e r, c r i t i c i z e d in some quarters for her close ties to three-ter m Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The endorsement was particularly significant given RWDSU’s high profile on questions of economic and social justice and its fierce opposition to the mayor’s reelection in 2009, a stance that angered top lieutenants in the Bloomberg campaign. “ We a r e a p r o g r e s s i v e , a c t i v i s t u n i o n t h a t r e p r e s e n t s a n d o rg a nizes the most vulnerable and mar ginalized workers in our city today,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of RWDSU, which has been particular ly active recently in efforts to unionize car wash operators. “We believe Chris Quinn will be a progressive, activist mayor for those workers and their families, a strong, deter mined mayor who will help make the American dream a reality for many New Yorkers struggling to survive. She has made city government more responsive and attuned to under served communities and to people who feel invisible and forgotten.” In an interview with the New York Times hours before the January 31 endorsement was announced, the speaker termed it “a huge Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” In rolling out its choice, RWDSU became only the second union to make an endorsement in the mayor’s race, where party primaries are likely to be held in September in advance of the November general election. Quinn snagged the other nod, as well — from grocery workers Local 1500 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which has frequently made early political endorsements. Whether Quinn will be able to quickly capitalize on the momentum from her Local 1500 and RWDSU endorsements, however, is unclear. Union sources have told Gay City News that other key labor players in the city — such as the United Feder -

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with leaders of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, including (to her immediate left, front row) its president Stuart Appelbaum.

ation of Teachers, building services workers affiliated with Local 32BJ of the Service Employees Inter national Union, SEIU’s Local 1999 representing health care workers, and District Council 37, the city’s largest municipal employees’ union — are likely to hold back from any early endorsement and may work to coalesce around a single candidate. That scenario was also spelled out in a February 11 story in Crain’s New York Business, which reported that 35 unions af filiated with the city’s Central Labor Council agreed to such a strategy last month. “It’s an effort to be more collabor ative and have a more coherent process,” one labor source told Crain’s. “The mayor’s race is full of candidates with deep ties to labor and the effort is to make sure [the CLC endorsement decision] is as democratic as possible.” Two of Quinn’s rivals — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu — were first elected to their current posts in 2009, both with strong labor support. In the immediate after math of that election, each man was seen as having potential to win major labor backing in a 2013 mayoral bid. Liu, however, has been hobbled by ongoing investigations of alleged improprieties surrounding his 2009 campaign financing. Though the comptroller has not been personally implicated, the federal corruption

trial of two leading figures from that campaign gets underway this month, with Liu’s former press secretary testifying after a grant of immunity. De Blasio, who formally announced his candidacy outside his Park Slope home on January 27, would be the logical beneficiary of Liu’s difficulties, and he has worked to highlight his differences with Quinn on labor concerns. Cynthia Nixon, the “Sex and the City” star who married her longtime partner Christine Marinon last year, was on hand at the Park Slope campaign roll-out to say that the speaker’s opposition to paid sick leave legislation — which would require most private employers in the city to provide between five and nine days off a year for illness — trumped any allegiance she might have to “identity politics.” On numerous occasions, Quinn has argued about the negative impact the measure would have on small businesses during continued softness in the economy. Last year, the bill’s chief sponsor, Upper West Side Councilwoman Gale Brewer, told Gay City News that the speaker “has kept her commitment to keep talking” about prospects for moving forward. Nixon is not alone in the LGBT community in pressing for action on paid sick leave. At the same time the newspaper heard from Brewer, Dr. Marjorie Hill, CEO of Gay Men’s

Health Crisis, Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Liz Margolies, executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network, and Melissa Goodman, the senior litigation and policy counsel for LGBT and reproductive rights at the New York Civil Liberties Union, also spoke up for the measure. In an interview with Gay City News, Appelbaum defended Quinn’s posture on paid sick leave, saying, “She has always said paid sick leave is a worthy goal. It’s always been a question of how and when.” The impact that Superstorm Sandy had on small businesses, he said, compounded concerns about the ongoing ef fects of a four -year recession. “We want to create true paid sick leave and not simply have a political football,” Appelbaum said, arguing that proposals to raise the size threshold for companies that would be covered under the law — in a bow toward anxiety over the economy — from five to “75 or 100 don’t accomplish anything.” Appelbaum worked with Quinn on the most visible piece of labor legislation in her speakership — the living wage law, which she highlighted in her State of the City address on February 11. The measure establishes a floor for total wages and benefits that must be paid to any private enterprise receiving more than a million dollars in city subsidies. The measure was largely aimed at developers, but in coming to an agreement with Quinn, the RWDSU


QUINN, continued on p.7


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LGBT Center Bars Sarah Schulman Reading Lesbian playwright, novelist, scholar’s book on Israel and Palestine runs afoul of “indefinite moratorium”


QUINN, from p.4

had to abandon its goal of having retail businesses renting space in such projects also meet the compensation minimum. Saying that subsidies approved since the law took ef fect have not gone to developers leasing to retail concer ns, Appelbaum argued that the net impact of his union’s concession has been zero, though he acknowledged other projects down the road could well include leased retail space. Appelbaum, who is gay, also praised the Council speaker for her advocacy work for the 2011 mar riage equality law and for her efforts to keep Walmart out of New York and to minimize the deportation of undocumented immigrants found guilty of minor crimes. These are all issues with strong appeal among progressive voters,


leading queer community author was barred from an appearance at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and T ransgender Community Center apparently because the book she was to discuss deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We requested space for me to do a presentation of my new book ‘Israel/ Palestine and the Queer Inter national,’ which has gotten a good review in the Lambda Literary Review,” wrote Sarah Schulman in a February 11 email. “It is amazing to me that after all my work in the community, I could be refused a platform to present a queer book.” Schulman has published 17 books and is a leading progressive voice in the queer community. She holds the title of distinguished professor in the City University of New York (CUNY) system and has received multiple awards and fellowships. On January 23, John Francis Mulligan, a member of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA), a group that opposes Israeli government policy on Palestine, applied to rent space for a March event featuring Schulman reading from her book. The reading was to coincide with Israeli Apartheid Week, a series of events that organizers say will discuss Israel’s “apartheid policies” toward Palestinians and promote the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. In a January 25 email, a Center staf fer told Mulligan “We are unable to accommodate your request.” In later emails, Mulligan twice asked for an explanation for the refusal and was referred to the Center’s published room rental policy. In 2010, the Center rented space to the Siege

Sarah Schulman has been a leading lesbian playwright, novelist, and scholar in New York for the past three decades.




Busters Working Group, an organization that was challenging the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. In early 2011, Siege Busters sought space at the Center for a party to coincide with that year’s Israeli Apartheid Week. The group was denied space for the party and banned from the Center following complaints. Siege Busters was banned because the party

but few paid sick leave advocates share Appelbaum’s optimistic statement that he’s “confident” Quinn would enact legislation addressing the issue as mayor. The Working Families Party, though not responding to a request for comment on its endorsement thinking, is not letting go of the issue. In a February 11 email, the gr oup cir culated a quote from Chris Hayes’ weekend public affairs program on MSNBC, in which he said, "If you're a New Yorker who's had the misfortune of contracting the norovirus, maybe you should send Christine Quinn a note of gratitude." Whether the speaker’s resistance to paid sick leave will ultimately pose a stumbling block for the city’s major labor unions, which take care of issues like this as part of their contract negotiations with management, is unknown. It may well be that political viability proves as

was “an incredibly controversial and contentious event” and “it was not LGBT -focused,” Glennda Testone, the Center’s executive director, said at a 2011 town hall meeting. Siege Busters and QAIA have members in common. Following that ban, the Center permitted QAIA to rent space for three meetings, but abruptly banned that group after the first of them. The Center also announced an “indefinite moratorium” on renting to groups that “organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The moratorium is still in effect. “We were particularly intent on inviting Sarah

important a factor. De Blasio, who has lagged Quinn by a big margin in polls to date, will likely need to show labor that his campaign has momentum before any major players move his way. Filings with the city Campaign Finance Board show that the public advocate has been the leading recipient of union contributions, with tens of thousands of dollars in donations, alone, from local chapters nationwide of UNITE, which represents needle trades and textile industry workers. There is no clear evidence, however, that the political problems hanging over Liu’s head have led labor to give up on his campaign. And, union giving shows a clear pattern of hedged bets. SEIU 1999 has made contributions to de Blasio, Liu, and Quinn, with its most recent donation, last month, going t o t h e s p e a k e r. M e a n w h i l e , t h e


SCHULMAN, continued on p.12

teachers have given to de Blasio, Liu, and former Comptroller William Thompson, the 2009 Democratic mayoral candidate who is also in this year’s race. Appelbaum, in talking to Gay City News and the Times, used a differ ent word for viability — “electability.” He made clear, however, that he was not talking about placing a bet on who is most likely to win the Democratic primary, but rather on which candidate can go into what he predicts will be a tough general election campaign best able to end 20 years of GOP mayors. “I don’t think my union has ever been accused of shopping for the winner,” he said, referring to RWDSU’s lonely stand against Bloomberg. The speaker, Appelbaum insisted, can win in November, because “she is a progressive and one who knows the levers of government.”


February 13, 2013 |


Ed Koch: 12 Years as Mayor, A Lifetime in the Closet Congressional progressive in ‘70s trims sails on gay rights, drops ball on AIDS as mayor d K o c h , N e w Yo r k ’ s mayor from 1978 through 1989, a period of enormous change for the LGBT movement, including the beginning and some of the worst years of the AIDS crisis, died on February 1 of congestive heart failure. He was 88 years old and died without ever publicly acknowledging his homosexuality. And his inaction during the crucial early years of the AIDS pandemic — which emerged in 1981 on his mayoral watch — has never been forgiven by large numbers of gay men and others who lost so many loved ones to the virus. His lif e a n d r e c o r d a s a pu bl i c official have been reported in great detail in the wake of his death, and he has drawn praise from many — including some for mer enemies — for embodying and even “saving” his city. However, his record on LGBT issues, which was mixed, and his r esponse to AIDS, which was deplorable, has received notably short shrift. While some in the gay community, including his friend Charles K a i s e r, a j o u r n a l i s t a n d a u t h o r, have offered a defense of Koch’s silence on his sexual orientation, the verdict among many AIDS activists about the former mayor’s record on addressing the epidemic has been decisive and harsh. “Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead,” wrote Larry Kramer, the cofounder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP, in an email. “He was not kind to us.” T h e 2 0 1 1 T o n y A wa r d- wi n n i n g revival of Kramer’s 1985 “The Nor mal Heart” about the terrifyin g ea r ly d a y s o f t h e A I D S c r i s i s reminded a new generation about Koch’s miserable record on the epidemic. Kramer recently wrote, “What is this evil man up to as he approaches his death? We must never forget that this man was an active participant in helping us to die, in mur dering us. Call it what you will, that is what Edward Koch was, a murderer of his very own people. There is no way to avoid knowing that now. The facts have long since been there staring us in the face. If we don’t see them, then we are as complicit as he.” A combative and divisive figure




Ed Koch with former Miss America Bess Myerson, his constant “companion” during his first race for mayor.

who won three terms as mayor a f t e r a c a r e e r i n t h e N e w Yo r k City Council and the US Congress representing the East Side, Koch began as a pioneering ally of the LGBT community; he was among the earliest vocal supporters of gay rights on the national scene and courted the increasingly assertive lesbian and gay electorate in his winning 1977 mayoral campaign. Thr ee years earlier, he had been one of the initial co-sponsors of the federal gay and lesbian rights bill in Congress, along with his Manhattan Democratic colleague Bella Abzug.

Rights Commission by Koch’s pred e c e s s o r, A b e B e a m e . A n d K o c h appointed a mayoral liaison to the gay community, Herb Rickman, an out gay man. Perversely, Rickman was also made liaison to the Orthodox Jewish community. But despite this start, Koch quickly fell into a fractious r elationship with LGBT activists, who were then part of a militant grassroots movement that had exploded after Stonewall and not yet drifted into the institutional, top-down politics of today. It soon became evident he was not going to deliver on pledges to use his political muscle to get the city gay rights bill passed, though he did testify for it at hearing after hearing in the City Council. Allen Roskof f, a Gay Activist Alliance member who came up with the idea of a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1971 — the first such ef fort in the nation — recalled, “In late 1977, when we believed we could have had the bill passed under the lame duck administration of Abe Beame, Ed Koch, through his surrogate John LoCicero, told us that Koch insisted that not happen and he guaranteed passage within

The verdict among many AIDS activists on Koch’s record on AIDS has been decisive and harsh. On his first day in office on January 1, 1978, Koch delivered on a campaign promise to issue an executive order banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in municipal employment. He appointed Henry Geldzahler as his commissioner of Cultural Affairs, only the second out gay city commissioner after Bob Livingston, named to the Human

the first six months of the Koch administration. “Koch called a meeting of gay leaders six months later and reneged on his commitment. He decided that any Council member who bas e d t he ir o bje c t io n t o t he bill on religious grounds had no personal obligation to him to vote for the bill. He and his administration declared as enemies any gay activist who tried to pressure him and his administration to secure passage of the bill. He belittled leaders of our community with his acid tongue and the bill languished until 1986. Like Roy Cohn, he was a self-serving, closeted homosexual who did a great deal of damage to the gay community and people with AIDS. Unlike Christine Quinn, I do not mourn his death.” The City Council speaker engineered the recent naming of the Queensborough Bridge for Koch and had his endorsement in her c u r r e n t r u n f o r m a y o r. I n h e r release after his death, Quinn, an out lesbian, made no mention of Koch’s record on LGBT or AIDS issues, but said, “I can remember seeing him on TV when I was a little girl and thinking to myself, ‘If I could ever meet him it would be a dream come true.’ Years later when I was working at the Anti-Violence Project, I was in the midst of a very public battle with City Hall. Mayor Koch called me out of the blue. I had never spoken to him in my life. He told me, ‘You’re doing the right thing. Don’t back down, and call me if I can do anything.’”

Koch and the AIDS Crisis

When the gay community, in 1981, called on Koch to do something about the emergence of what came to be called AIDS, they were stonewalled. It took 21 months for Gay Men’s Health Crisis to get a meeting with the mayor — a meeting for which Kramer agitated hardest, but from which he was excluded, at the same time being removed from GMHC’s board of directors. At one of the early G M H C A I D S Wa l k s i n t h e l a t e 1980s where Koch spoke, Kramer stood alone at the front of the cr owd with a big sign bearing an ugly picture of Koch that read: “Ed Koch: The Worst.” Koch — at the epicenter of the crisis — refused to deal with AIDS


A LIFETIME IN THE CLOSET, continued on p.10

| February 13, 2013



Koch Administration Memos Detail Foot-Dragging on AIDS Anxiety over new entitlements, political backlash hobbled city response BY DUNCAN OSBORNE


h e n M a y o r Ed Koch was running in the 1989 Democratic primary, speaking to voters at what is now called the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, he talked about the AIDS epidemic. “When the history of this era is written, I believe it will show that the eventual victory over AIDS was made possible by heroes in the gay and lesbian communities who led that battle,” Koch said, according to the text of his remarks archived at LaGuardia Community College. Implicit in his comments is that one person — Mayor Ed Koch — was not a leader in the fight against AIDS. As evidenced by AIDS activists’ attacks on his administratio when he was mayor and widespread denunciations of obituar ies written about him since his February 1 death that ignored his poor response to the epidemic, the “heroes in the gay and lesbian communities” as well as bisexual and t r a n s g e n d e r N e w Yo r k e r s w o u l d agree that Koch did not lead on AIDS. What is disputed is why Koch’s response to AIDS was tepid and ineffective. A common explanation is that the mayor was a closeted homosexual and feared that leading on AIDS would blow open his closet door. At best, that is an improbable account of his motivations. In 1974, then Congressman Koch co-sponsored legislation that would add sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While Bella Abzug, who also represented part of Manhattan, was the leader on that legislation, few members of Congress were willing to put their names on the bill. It was re-introduced in 1975 with just 23 co-sponsors, including Koch. As early as 1983, Koch was issuing pr oclamations declaring Gay Pride Week and he sold the West Village building that would become the LGBT Center to the community that year for $1.5 million. In 1986, Koch testified in favor of and signed legislation that added sexual orientation to the city’s anti-discrimination law. He also extended a few employee benefits to the domestic partners of

city employees. By 1981, when the first reports on AIDS appeared, Koch, who ran City Hall from 1978 through 1989, was already associated with the gay community and he continued that association. The LaGuardia archive records suggest that Koch was initially disinterested in AIDS. He later opposed action because he did not want to spend the money necessary for an adequate response and he was unwilling to expend the political capital to defend what he viewed as controversial actions. The first memos mentioning AIDS came from Dr. David Sencer, then New York City’s health commissioner, and were sent to Nathan Leventhal, the deputy mayor for operations. AIDS was discussed in two s u c h m em os i n 1 9 8 2 , b ut i t w as only one of several items. In May of 1983, Koch wrote to Sencer. “I am growing increasingly concer ned about the number of AIDS cases that are being reported,” the mayor wrote. “It seems we can expect a continual rise in the number of cases in the foreseeable future.” Koch asked Sencer to convene the Board of Health to consider whether the city should require HIV testing of all donated blood, to recommend precautions for medical personnel, and to weigh how to create “appropriate medical facilities” for people with AIDS. He asked Sencer to convene the meeting within two weeks and said he would then meet with the board. The records show that from 1985 thr ough 1989, the inter nal Koch administration discussions were as concerned with how to pay for any response to AIDS and how to navigate the politics of that response as they were with taking steps to combat the epidemic in the first place. Two 1985 memos to Koch fr om Victor Botnick, a mayoral special assistant, show City Hall implementing or planning initiatives, but Botnick also discusses funding mechanisms at length and notes where there is political opposition to a program. Botnick proposes solutions — such as giving an


KOCH ON AIDS, continued on p.11

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as the public health emergency that it was in the same way that Legionnaires’ Disease, for example, had been five years earlier when it struck members of the American Legion attending a convention in a Philadelphia hotel. To be sure, President Ronald Reagan’s federal response was e v e n w o r s e , a n d t h e N e w Yo r k T imes, after running one brief story in July 1981, ignored the crisis for more than a year after that. But Koch was in a position to do something as mayor and, for a variety of reasons, downplayed the crisis and did not do what was needed to inform the public and begin prevention efforts. All of those early ef forts had to be spearheaded by the gay community itself at a time when it was barely organized and had few resources. Early efforts at community selfhelp saved many lives, but the virus — not identified until late 1983 — spiraled out of control and resulted in the ongoing worldwide pandemic in which as many as 70 million people have been infected and almost 35 million have died. Needle exchange for injecting drug users was assiduously resisted by the Koch administration, leading to thousands of unnecessary HIV infections. Even Britain under conservative Maggie Thatcher embraced needle exchange early on and virtually contained that end of the epidemic. And public education commenced there almost immediately, with an informational brochure to every household about what was known. Hospital overcrowding was so a c u t e i n N e w Yo r k i n t h e m i d t o late ‘80s due to the decommissioning of beds that people with AIDS were often consigned to gur neys in hallways rather than getting the care they needed. Many people with HIV-related illnesses were shunned in city hospitals, their food left at the door by fearful health care workers. Reid Pillifant wrote on the Capital New York blog, “One of the few peeks into Koch’s psyche comes f r o m a f o r m e r a d v i s e r, w h o s a y s Koch was very worried someone would interrupt an AIDS forum (hosted by the New York Post, for the record), and accuse him of being gay. After the forum, Koch complains of a headache and suffers a stroke, making for just one of the many crises in his third term,” his final one, which ran from 1986 through ’89. After his earlier intransigence, Koch eventually responded in 1983 by starting an Office of Gay and

An ACT UP poster.

Lesbian Health Concerns within the city’s health department. While that unit did good work, it was not the kind of coordinated city response needed to control spread of the disease. AIDS education wasn’t begun in the schools until 1987, and it was minimal. It was not until 1991 under Mayor David Dinkins that the Board of Education adopted mandatory explicit AIDS education with condom availability, an effort on which this reporter was involved as director of education at the Hetrick-Martin Institute. Bill Dobbs, a veteran of ACT UP, of fers a dif ferent take on how the

several key moments in his career he pretended to be heterosexual, especially during his first campaign for mayor when he appeared publicly with for mer Miss America Bess Myerson and they feigned r o m a n t i c i n t e r e s t i n e a c h o t h e r, which was met with snickering from those who knew him. The play-acting was clearly something he felt compelled to do in order to distract attention from the whispers about his homosexuality. Myerson was rewarded when Koch made her commissioner of Cultural Affairs in his second term. Older members of the Village Independent Democrats, Koch’s home club that I later joined, would tell me stories about him bringing good-looking young men around whom he would introduce as his “nephews.” David Rothenberg, now 80 and founder of the Fortune Society (which provides assistance and support to ex-offenders), was appointed to the City Human Rights Commission by Koch. In the 2009 documentary “Outrage,” which probes closeted politicians, Rothenberg recounts his friendship with Koch and Richard Nathan, Koch’s lover in the 1970s. Nathan expected a mayor al appointment after Koch’s 1977 win, but was instead gradually frozen out of the new mayor’s life and New York. He left the city for California, where he later died of AIDS.

After becoming mayor in 1978, Koch quickly fell into a fractious relationship with LGBT activists. lack of any effective official response to the AIDS crisis influenced the course of events in New York. “Koch’s rotten leadership on AIDS got a lot of gay men mad, the gay rumors added more fuel,” he said. “That anger finally boiled over into a stunning wave of activism that saved lives — ACT UP/ N e w Yo r k . I r o n i c a l l y , t h e l a c k o f any openly gay or lesbian politicians back then pr obably helped the anger get even hotter.”

Koch’s Famous Closet

Ed Koch practically made a religion out of not coming out as homosexual — which he was. At

When confronted about this in the documentary, Koch snarled, “Fuck you” and ended the interview. Not long before he died of AIDS in 2009 at age 61, Dennis deLeon, pr esident of the Latino Commission on AIDS, told me that after being appointed by the mayor as senior assistant corporation counsel in the City’s Law Department, he was taken to Koch’s apartment by Herb Rickman. When they arrived, Rickman told de Leon to go see Koch in the bedroom. The mayor was sitting on the bed watching TV and when de Leon sat down, Koch put the moves on him, only to be rejected. When I asked Koch about this in 2011, he dismissed the story mockingly, saying, “He’s dead!” In that same interview, I asked Koch to respond to Queens out gay City Councilman Daniel Dromm calling him “a closet case” as he berated him for supporting the congressional candidacy of Republican Robert Tur ner, who, in Roskoff’s words, “does not support Ed Koch’s right to marry.” Koch’s reply: “Fuck those guys.” In an email to Gay City News for that story, the former mayor wrote, “I don’t discuss whether I am heterosexual or homosexual. I simply refuse to legitimatize any questions concerning my sexual orientation. For anyone to r espond to the question legitimizes its being asked. So that in the future politic a l o rg a n i z a t i o n s c o u l d n o t o n l y ask candidates to state their positions on public issues — which is legitimate — but also r equest an answer to the question ‘Are you straight or gay?’. To allow that to occur would drive many publicspirited citizens from running for office.” In a 2007 video interview with the New York T imes posted online in the hours after his death, Koch said that when asked about his sexuality, “My reaction was to say, ‘It’s none of your fucking business.’ Some who voted for me think I’m gay. Some think I’m straight. And most of them don’t care.” Andrew Sullivan, responding to Koch’s dictum that “there have t o be s o me mat t e rs le ft priv at e ,” wrote, “Of course they do. And I sure don’t want to know about Ed Koch’s sex life, if he had one. But the plain fact of your orientation is not the same as the details of your sex life. And when you are such a public figure and single and your city is grappling with an epic health crisis among gay men, it does become other people’s fuck ing business — especially if he


A LIFETIME IN THE CLOSET, continued on p.11


| February 13, 2013



was inhibited from a more aggressive response because of not wanting to seem gay.” In a 1989 radio interview, Koch said, “I happen to believe that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. It’s whatever God made you. It happens that I’m heterosexual, but I don’t care about that. I do care about protecting the rights of 10 percent of our population who are homosexual and who don’t have the ability to protect their rights.” When Newsday subsequently posted the preposterous declaration on its front page: “KOCH: I’m Heterosexual,” that cover was blown up on posters by ACT UP at its next demonstration against the mayor with the taglines: “And I’m Car men Miranda!” and “And I’m Marilyn Monroe.” Veteran gay activist John Magisano said his favorite ACT UP chant was, “AIDS funding is ineffectual. Blame Koch, the heterosexual.” When Koch went to the West Village in 1989 to re-name the street outside the Stonewall bar as Stonewall Place in honor of the 1969 rebellion, he was shouted down and chased away by hundreds of ACT UP members, who held up tombstones with the names of friends and lovers who had died of AIDS. In Tony Kushner’s 1993 “Angels in America,” the infamous Roy Cohn is admitted to the hospital and the gay nurse Belize calls his friend Prior, saying “The Killer Queen Herself. New Yo r k ’ s n u m b e r o n e c l o s e t e d q u e e r ” h a d j u s t checked in. When Prior responds, “Koch?,” it provided the show’s most explosive laugh. I later asked Koch about that line, and he walked away saying, “Oh. You’re trying to be funny.”

In Defense of Koch

Koch was not without gay friends and supp o r t e r s . C h a r l e s K a i s e r, a u t h o r o f “ T h e G a y Metr opolis,” wr ote in an email, “As you very well know, there are many politicians who have tried to keep their sexuality a secret who have had terrible records on gay rights issues. Ed Koch does not fit in this category. He actually has the longest pro-gay rights record of any successful New York politician I know of.” Kaiser cited his early 1960s support for sodomy law repeal, his leadership in Congress, and


KOCH ON AIDS, from p.9

AIDS housing site to a private group instead of having the city develop the housing — in instances where he notes that opposition exists. A number of obituaries said that Koch fought to reduce the city’s welfare rolls. One Botnick memo that discussed providing care for people with AIDS suggests the administration wanted to avoid establishing any new public benefits. “I know that we were careful not to cr eate a new entitlement pr ogram for home care since it would be very costly and we do not provide these services free of charge to any other group,” Botnick wrote. “However, the need for hospice services is unique to this group and would not be nearly as costly as home care

A 1989 headline.

his push for passage of the city’s gay rights bill, which the author said “was impossible as long as T om Cuite was the majority leader” of the Council. “So whatever his failures during the AIDS crisis,” Kaiser continued, “I have never believed that they were a result of his own discomfort with who he was. He does regret never meeting with Larry Kramer, but as you recall, when he finally agreed to meet with GMHC representatives, it was Larry’s GMHC colleagues who refused to let Larry attend the meeting. “Koch said this to me about Kramer for ‘The Gay Metropolis’: ‘I inquired and I was told that he had made a request for a meeting…. I was told he was not held in high regard because of

since the number of patients are far fewer.” City Hall was also aware of the criticism of its actions. New York City’s AIDS services were regularly compared to San Francisco’s, with New York always losing. An analysis by Botnick showed that the services and absolute dollars spent by each city were comparable; the caseloads were not. As of February 1985, San Francisco had 932 AIDS cases and New York City had 3,206. Koch’s struggle with needle exchange illustrates the degree to which his administration would not champion controversial actions even when his health commissioner was telling him they would work. In mid-1985, Sencer wrote Koch telling him that by “forcing addicts to use others’ needles and

his vehemence and I should just ignore it. I’m sorry I took their advice, frankly. He is a very important force in the AIDS movement…. He has caused people to give this matter a lot of attention.’ “None of this diminishes the truth of what Ethan Geto says in the new Koch documentary: it would have been a magnificent thing if Koch had come out of the closet at the height of the crisis. And I think ther e is no question that the city administration of San Francisco did a much better job, much earlier, than New York did, of taking care of its AIDS patients. “On the other hand, I do not believe that Koch could have said anything that would have made more people practice safe sex sooner. As I wrote in TGM: ‘…considering the degree of hostility that gay leaders encountered when they tried to make these points [about the need for safe sex practices], it’s unlikely that anything Koch could have said would have done much to influence the behavior of gay men. Dan William, a prominent gay New York doctor, was denounced as a ‘monogamist… stirring panic’ just for suggesting that bathhouses should be required to post warning signs about the epidemic and the dangers of promiscuous sex.’ “In 1982, according to Randy Shilts, ‘More gays were furious’ at William ‘than at anybody in the Koch administration.’ And when Koch finally did shut down the bathhouses, I think it did have useful shock value. In retrospect, he probably should have done it sooner — but if he had, he would have been attacked even more vehemently than Dan William was.” Some of what Kaiser wrote is disputed by Kramer in a 1998 New York magazine interview: “I was introduced to Koch at a party in 1982, specifically to talk about what was happening. And the minute he knew what I wanted to talk about, I was pulled away by police. He was a closeted gay man, and he did not want in any way to be associated with this.” Koch and Kramer lived in the same building at 2 Fifth Avenue at Washington Square. Kramer was known to curse at Koch when he saw him for his inaction on AIDS and was eventually ordered by the co-op board to stop. When

syringes, we are condemning large numbers of addicts to death from AIDS… Under these circumstances shouldn’t we attempt to practice preventive medicine and do something to interrupt the transmission of the virus? I think we should.” Instead, Koch took the advice of Kenneth Conboy, his criminal justice coordinator, and first asked the city’s five district attorneys for their views on this “sensitive public policy question.” Conboy recommended that Koch not yet appr oach the Legislature to change the state law requiring a prescription to possess a syringe. Conboy also wrote that since this was “principally a moral question, I think you should broach the matter privately with Cardinal O’Connor and other ranking spiritual leaders


A LIFETIME IN THE CLOSET, continued on p.12

in the City.” Faced with opposition that was intense in some quarters, Koch took no action until 1988 when the city’s health department opened a pilot needle exchange program that served just 200 drug injectors out of the estimated 200,000 in the city. In an email to Gay City News, Charles Kaiser, a friend of Koch’s, wrote, “[T]here are many politicians who have tried to keep their sexuality a secret who have had terrible r ecor ds on gay rights issues. Ed Koch does not fit in this category. He actually has the longest pro-gay rights record of any successful New York politician I know of… So whatever his failures during the AIDS crisis, I have never believed that they were a result of his own discomfort with who he was.”

12 c

February 13, 2013 |


Kramer next saw Koch, Kramer was walking his dog and said to her, “Molly, that’s the man who killed all of Daddy’s friends.” AIDS activist Walter Ar mstrong, deputy editor of and former editor of POZ magazine, wrote in an email, “During a Queer Nation demo in the early ‘90s, we were in front of [Koch’s] building and who should appear, stepping out of a black limo with bodyguards b u t E d K o c h , m e r e y a r d s a w a y f r o m u s . We encircled him and yelled murderer, etc., as he and his protectors hastened across the avenue. We pursued him into the lobby of the building, but he had already vanished in the elevator.”

A Political Evolution

Edward Irving Koch was bor n on December 12, 1924 in the Bronx and raised in Newark. A decorated World War II serviceman, he attended City College after his discharge and then

In the 2009 documentary “Outrage,” David Rothenberg recounts his friendship with Koch and Richard Nathan, Koch’s lover in the 1970s. NYU Law School. Working as a lawyer, he got involved in politics as a founder of the reformminded Village Independent Democrats, defeating T ammany Hall boss Car mine DeSapio for the post of district leader in 1963. Koch lost a campaign for the State Assembly, running on what he called the “S.A.D. platfor m” of sodomy law r epeal, abortion rights, and divorce refor m. He was elected to the City Council in 1967, but moved on to represent the Silk Stocking district in the US House in 1969. In 1977, Koch ran for mayor in a cr owded Democratic primary that included incumbent Mayor Abe Beame. Though Bella Abzug was initially seen as the frontrunner, no candidate got the necessary 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff for the nomination. The two top vote-getters — with about 20 percent each — were Koch and Mario Cuomo. It was in that runof f that a he avy- hand ed, h omophobic cam paig n was launched with signs along Queens Boulevard


SCHULMAN, from p.7

for a number of reasons,” said Pauline Park, a QAIA member. “She is a particularly well known author, activist, and academic in the community, a Jewish lesbian, and the Center’s refusal to rent room space to have her speak is not only an insult to Sarah Schulman, it is an insult to the community.” In a direct challenge to the ban, QAIA held unsanctioned meetings in the Center’s lobby for several months in 2011. The continuing ban

Larry Kramer’s response to Ed Koch.

that read: “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo.” It was never proven who was behind the antigay campaign. Koch blamed the Cuomo campaign, and rumors circulated for decades that now-Governor Andrew Cuomo, his father’s 19-year -old aide-de-camp at the time, was involved. In the 2007 Times video interview just released, Koch said, “It was shocking. I called Mario a weekend or two before the election. And I said, ‘Mario, this is happening.’ He said he didn’t know about it. I said, ‘Mario, you’ve got to do something.’ He said, ‘I’ll try. I’ll do.’ I don’t believe he did anything. That matter has affected our relationship from ’77 through this year. We get along. We got along as mayor and gover nor. But I always held it against him. I also held it against his son, Andy Cuomo. Even though social relationships when we meet in public are good, underneath he knows, I know, what I’m really thinking. ‘You [bleep].’” (It was the Times that bleeped the word; others, better than I at lip-reading, have reported the word used was “prick.”) Even though Abzug was seen as the favorite among LGBT voters, Koch did not cede the constituency. He met with a group of activists at a time when few politicians openly courted gay votes and gained their endorsement when he pledged full support for the city’s gay rights bill, telling the group, “Any mayor who can’t get that bill passed in six months isn’t worth his salt.” Koch later said that the promise was “naïve” on

is in marked contrast to a similar fight at Brooklyn College. February 7 appearances at the college, which is part of the CUNY system, by Judith Butler, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and activist Omar Barghouti to advance the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement drew protests and threats by some members of the City Council to cut the college’s funding. The school refused to back down and the event went forward. I n 2 0 1 1 , t h e C e n t e r, w h i c h

his part. Despite his testimony on its behalf at repeated raucous Council hearings, the measure did not pass until nine years later, in 1986. When in June 1977, Miami voters approved a referendum repealing their gay rights law, Koch showed up at a massive protest in the Village to condemn the vote, but could barely be heard amidst cries of “straights out of the Village!” I was impressed with Koch going into the vortex of that evening’s action and ended up voting for him, never to do so again as he shifted to the right, made excuses for those who opposed gay rights, and became one of the most racially divisive leaders in the city’s history. (Harlem’s Amsterdam News ran a front-page editorial every week for years headlined “Koch Must Resign.”) By the time Koch ran for governor in 1982, he was seen as the conservative and Mario Cuomo the liberal. Cuomo was endorsed by Koch’s home club, the Village Independent Democrats. Andrew Berman, head of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, wrote on the group’s blog, “the endorsement battle was so bitter that disaffected club members who supported Koch split off from VID to form their own new club, the Village Reform Democratic Club.” Berman also noted that when Deborah Glick, a Koch critic later elected to the State Assembly, became president of the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, the club’s pro-Koch faction defected and formed the Stonewall Democratic Club. In 1985, Koch supplemented his nondiscrimination policy in city hiring with an executive order banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by city contractors. But when Car dinal John O’Connor, New York’s Catholic archbishop, speaking at a press conference with Koch on another matter, said he would go to court rather than allow homosexuals to work with children in their social programs — a scandalously inflammatory statement — Koch blinked and agreed church officials should test the order in court. It was overturned. Ko c h w e nt o n to fo r m a c l os e r e l at ion s h ip with O’Connor, the city’s most visible anti-gay activist, writing a book together, “His Eminence and Hizzoner.” So, while we are hearing a lot from New Yorkers who mourn a man they saw as a feisty, color ful leader who tur ned the city around, there are many LGBT people who remember a power ful elected of ficial whose lack of leader ship at the time of the community’s direst need turned our lives upside down — and contributed mightily to the deaths of thousands, if not many more.

declined to comment on the Schulman matter beyond confirming that the moratorium remains in place, said that it instituted the ban because it was “forced to divert significant resources from its primary purpose of providing programming and services to instead navigating between opposing positions involving the Middle East conflict.” At the 2011 town hall, T estone said she initially heard from 50 to 60 people who either opposed or supported Siege Busters and that “hundreds” more have expressed

their views to the Center. The loudest voice opposing Siege Busters was Michael Lucas, the owner of Lucas Entertainment, a gay por n studio. He threatened to organize a boycott by Center donors if the party took place. Stuart Appelbaum, the openly gay president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, and Steven Goldstein, who chaired Gar den State Equality, New Jer sey’s gay lobbying group, until this year, also opposed the Siege Busters’ event.

| February 13, 2013



Jeanne Manford, Late PFLAG Co-Founder, Honored by Obama Queens mom recognized posthumously with Presidential Citizens Medal eanne Manford, the Queens mother of two gay sons who co-founded PFLAG — Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — has been named one of 13 recipients of the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second highest civilian honor. When Manford died last month at the age of 92, Jody Huckaby, PFLAG’s national executive director, said, “Jeanne Manford proved the power of a single person to transform the world. She paved the way for us to speak out for what is right, uniting the unique parent, family, and ally voice with the voice of LGBT people everywhere.” President Barack Obama will honor the Medal winners at a White House ceremony on February 15. The recipients were announced on February 8. Manford is only the second Citizens Medal recipient honored for her work on LGBT causes. A 2011 Medal went to Janice K. Langbehn, a lesbian who sued a Miami hospital after she and her three young children were denied the right to visit her partner of 18 years, Lisa Marie Pond, as she lay dying after suffering a brain aneurysm while on vacation there in 2007. Despite having been told that they were in “an anti-gay city and state” by a hospital official, Langbehn’s suit was dismissed. As Andy Humm reported in his remembrance of Manford in Gay City News, Jeanne and her husband Jules lost their first son, Charles, to suicide in 1966, and his parents understood that the suicide resulted from his difficulties in accept-

Manford is only the second Presidential Citizens Medal recipient honored for her work on LGBT causes. ing that he was gay. When their 15-year -old son Morty complained of depression, the Manfords worked with him to find a therapist who would help him embrace his homosexuality. After Morty got involved with the gay student group at Columbia University in 1968, participated in the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, and became a leader in the Gay Activist Alliance, his parents began providing a second home of sorts for many of his fellow activists — some who had faced rejection in their own homes. When Morty was kicked and stomped during a GAA zap aimed at the Inner Circle annual press dinner that attracts the city’s political establishment, Jeanne went public. She wrote a letter to the New York Post castigating the police for standing by and not doing anything about it. Manford told author Eric Marcus, “I’m very shy, by the way. But I wasn’t going to let anybody walk over Morty.” Morty’s attacker, Michael Maye, head of the




Jeanne Manford holds a photo of her son Morty, shortly after his 1992 death from AIDS.

Morty Manford with his mother, Jeanne, in the 1972 Christopher Street Liberation Day march.

firefighter’s union, was acquitted of criminal charges. In late 1972, the Manfords, Dick and Amy Ashworth, their gay son Tucker, and Bob and Elaine Benov met at the Metropolitan Community Church, then housed in the West Village, to begin discussions about a group for parents wishing to support their daughters and sons. Within several months, Parents of Gays, which later became PFLAG, was launched. Today, the group is an international organization with hundreds of local chapters. At the time of Manford’s death, Daniel Dromm, an out gay City Council member from Jackson Heights, Queens, said, “Her activism over the last 40 years and the founding of PFLAG have changed the way that parents and their LGBT children relate.” Morty Manford died of AIDS in 1992, a decade after his father Jules passed away. Jeanne is survived by her daughter Suzanne Swan, one granddaughter, and three great granddaughters. Manford’s fellow 2012 Medal recipients include former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford, the six women who died defending young children in the December Newtown, Connecticut school shootings, two military veterans, and activists and professionals working on issues of children’s health, poverty, Native American youth, veterans’ and women’s disabilities, and immigration. In 2001, the Presidential Citizens Medal went to two people engaged in the fight against AIDS — Dr. David N. Ho, who played a key role in the development of protease inhibitor treatments, a n d E l i z a b e t h T a y l o r, t h e f o u n d i n g c h a i r o f amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. The highest civilian honor in the nation is the

Presidential Medal of Freedom. Harvey Milk, the San Francisco gay rights pioneer and city supervisor murdered in his City Hall of fice in 1978, was recognized with that honor in 2009 by Obama. In prior years, other LGBT figures, with varying degrees of openness about their sexual orientation — including Jasper Johns, Lincoln Kirstein, Aaron Copland, and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan — were similarly honored. Over the past year, many in the LGBT community have waged a campaign to have Frank Kameny, a Washington, DC, gay activist who first challenged federal government employment discrimination after being fired from his job as an astronomer in 1957, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.



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Panetta Announces New Partnership Status, Benefits



n response to growing demands from advocates for gay and lesbian military service members, the Defense Department on February 11 announced a new list of benefits that will be made available to their samesex domestic partners and spouses. The list is comprised of more than 20 benefits, including the Dependent ID cards that allow access to military bases, commissary and exchange privileges, the availability of family support services, and joint duty assignment opportunities. The benefits, announced by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is departing the administration, builds on a more modest group made available in the 17 months since the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy came to an end. “Taking care of our service members and honoring the sacrifices of all military families are two core values of this nation,” Panetta said. “Extending these benefits is an appropriate next step under current law to ensure that all service members receive equal support for what they do to protect this nation.” At the same time, the Pentagon chief said that “legal limitations” imposed by the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) barred the provision of benefits directly tied in law to spousal status. Allyson Robinson, the executive director of OutServe-SLDN, the leading advocacy group for lesbian and gay

soldiers, praised Panetta for extending “nearly the full extent [of benefits”] per mitted under current law, but noted that certain rights — including burial rights at national cemeteries and some overseas travel for spouses — that could be made available while DOMA is still in place were not. Still, Robinson concluded that Panetta’s action was “substantive.” As former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel has moved through the confir mation process to replace Panetta, he has been pressed to agree to moving on partners’ rights and benefits, which he committed to do despite a record in Congress of voting against the LGBT community’s interests. In explaining the Pentagon’s failure to move on those questions — including, as well, on-base housing — the memorandum announcing the new benefits referred to “complex legal and policy challenges” and also “scarce resources.” The military is presumably concerned about the cost of providing new housing units and other benefits that require additional expenditures. Because of DOMA, the issue of partner benefits has been a continuing saga, with some of the most important and valuable benefits authorized by statutes that define eligibility in terms of spouses. For benefits not explicitly defined in that way, the Defense Department was able to work around existing limitations by establishing a new status of registered domestic partnership for same-sex couples, with no reference made to whether or not they are legally married. Unlike married


Same-sex spouses, partners of service members gain some, not all rights legally possible

The widow of US Army Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan (above), who died on February 10, is not eligible for military or Social Security death benefits.

heterosexual members of the military, a soldier in such a partnership must affirm that they live with their partner or would do so “but for the requirements of military service.” In tacit acknowledgement of the fact that DOMA is currently before the Supreme Court — several of the cases challenging its constitutionality have been filed against the Pentagon — the Defense memorandum states that should the 1996 law no longer apply to the military, same-sex couples married under state law would immediately be recognized and treated equally with different-sex married couples. The memorandum’s introduction

states, “Discrimination based on sexual orientation no longer has a place in the military” and that “equal dignity and respect” should be extended to all service members. Panetta’s announcement gets closer to that, but not all the way. One unanswered question is why the military has not adopted a formal policy banning sexual orientation discrimination, similar to the policy adopted during the Clinton administration gover ning civilian employment at the Defense Department. If such discrimination has no place, why not outlaw it? One possibility is that it would put the Pentagon in an awkward position when continuing to deny on-base housing for same-sex couples. The OutServe-SLDN press release noted that even with this “encouraging… step,” the family of US Army Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, who died February 10 after a two-year battle with breast cancer, has “needs in danger of going largely unmet because of” DOMA. Morgan’s surviving spouse, Karen, is barred from receiving military, Social Security, and other benefits to help her care for their five-year-old daughter Casey Elena. The Morgans joined the 2011 lawsuit filed by SLDN against DOMA. “I hope our Supreme Court justices are watching as these events unfold, and that they see that striking down DOMA is the only way this unjust and untenable situation can be rectified,” Robinson said. — Additional reporting by Paul Schindler


Appeals Court Finds Right to Inmate Sex Reassignment

District court erred in dismissing claim Virginia corrections officials “deliberately indifferent,” panel says BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


January 28 decision from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit may be the first by a federal appellate court to hold that an inmate may, under certain circumstances, have a right to gender reassignment surgery as a medically necessary procedure. A unanimous panel of that court ruled that District Judge James C. Turk should not have dismissed an Eighth Amendment complaint by Ophelia Azriel De’lonta, a Virginia state inmate denied gender reassign-

ment surgery by the state Department of Corrections. Named Michael A. Stokes at birth, De’lonta was convicted of bank robbery and sentenced in 1983 to 73 years in prison. According to Circuit Judge Albert Diaz’s opinion for the appellate panel, De’lonta is “a preoperative transsexual suffering from a diagnosed and severe form of a rare, medically recognized illness known as gender identity disorder (GID). GID is characterized by a feeling of being trapped in a body of the wrong gender. This belief has caused De’lonta to suffer ‘constant mental anguish’ and, on several occasions, has caused her to

attempt to castrate herself in efforts to ‘perform [her] own makeshift sex reassignment surgery.’ De’lonta has described these ongoing urges to perform self-surgery as ‘overwhelming.’” After her initial attempts to obtain treatment were rebuffed by prison authorities, De’lonta filed a 1999 lawsuit claiming her Eighth Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment was being violated. Prison authorities, the Supreme Court has held, must not be “deliberately indifferent” to the serious medical problem of inmates. If they know or should know about such a problem, they are required to provide treatment, though

it need not be of the inmate’s choosing. The federal district court dismissed De’lonta’s 1999 suit, saying she failed to state a valid constitutional claim. The court of appeals reversed that ruling in 2003, finding that De’lonta’s need for treatment was adequately presented. As a result, the Department of Corrections settled the case by agreeing to begin medical treatment. Prison officials consulted a GID specialist and since 2004 have provided De’lonta with psychological counseling and hormone treatment


SEX REASSIGNMENT, continued on p.15


| February 13, 2013



THREE GAY MURDERS HIGHLIGHT ONLINE HOOK-UP RISKS In the wake of three murders of middleaged gay men in separate incidents just two weeks apart, elected officials and anti-violence advocates are warning the community about the dangers of online hook-ups. David Rangle, 53, was found dead under the couch in his Jackson Heights, Queens, apartment on January 26, apparently the victim of choking. Two days later, the body of Charles Romo, 48, was found in his Hamilton Heights apartment in Upper Manhattan by his housekeeper. He had been tied up and a bag was placed over his head. On February 9, police found Joseph Benzinger, 54, also the apparent victim of strangulation, in a room at the Crown Motor Inn on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst. In each case, there were no signs of forced entry. "These recent tragic incidents show us that this is the time for our community to join together to recognize that we not only deserve safety but that we can create it,” said Ejeris Dixon, the deputy director of the New York City

Anti-Violence Project, at a February 12 press conference in front of the Queens Boulevard hotel. “We urge our community to call our hotline, use our safety tips, and attend our upcoming event ‘Real Talks! Staying Safe with Online Pick Ups’ to educate themselves on staying safe and getting support from violence. " City Councilman Daniel Dromm, an out gay Queens Democrat whose district includes the sites of two of the three murders, said, “It is an eerie coincidence that both of these murders took place within a week of each other and involved gay men.” He urged LGBT people to be cautious when meeting others for the first time. “Go to your favorite café and make sure the waiter sees who you are with,” he said. ”If you meet someone in a bar, let the bartender know who the person is.” A statement from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn urged anyone with information about the murders to contact the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577TIPS. — Paul Schindler

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and allowed her to groom and dress as female. De’lonta has found the treatment inadequate, saying she continues to have an overwhelming urge to castrate herself. Her desperation, she stated in a 2010 letter to prison officials, is even worse after her sessions with a prison psychologist. De’lonta has repeatedly requested sex reassignment surgery The chief psychologist at the Department of Corrections told De’lonta to continue working with her therapist and declined to call in another GID specialist. De’lonta filed her new lawsuit in 2011, charging prison officials with “deliberate indifference” to her “serious medical need.” Turk dismissed her complaint, agreeing with prison officials that providing counseling and hormone therapy proved they were not practicing deliberate indifference to De’lonta’s medical condition. Virginia was under no obligation, he concluded, to provide her with her preferred treatment. The court of appeals rejected this analysis. De’lonta alleges, the panel stated, “she has never been evaluated concerning her suitability for surgery.” Despite prison officials knowing that De’lonta’s therapy sessions “actually provoked her ‘overwhelming’ urges to self-castrate,” prison officials continue to require her to continue that treat-

ment. If true, the inmate would have a “a plausible claim that [prison officials] ‘actually knew of and disregarded’” her serious medical condition. “Just because [prison officials] have provided De’lonta with some treatment consistent with GID Standards of Care, it does not follow that they have necessarily provided her with constitutionally adequate treatment,” Diaz wrote. Though it is true “that a prisoner does not enjoy a constitutional right to the treatment of his or her choice, the treatment a prison facility does provide must nevertheless be adequate to address the prisoner’s serious medical need.” The court was not ruling that De’lonta is entitled to sex reassignment surgery, but rather that she can pursue her lawsuit, in which she continues to bear the burden of proving that the prison’s failure to consider her for sex reassignment surgery is inappropriate in the circumstances. Implicit in the court’s decision, however, is that were a GID specialist to determine De’lonta needs sex reassignment surgery, the prison would have to arrange to provide the procedure. Ber nadette Francoise Ar mand, of Victor M. Glasberg & Associates of Alexandria, Virginia, argued the appeal on De’lonta’s behalf, with amicus support from the DC Trans Coalition and the national and the Virginia ACLU.



February 13, 2013 |


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Wildely Ahead of their Times Neil McKenna probes the persecution, prosecution of two transgressive Victorian cross-dressers BY DOUG IRELAND


quarter of a century before Oscar Wilde was sent to Reading Gaol for “the love that dare not speak its name,” the trial of two young, 20-something cross-dressing lads whom the London press dubbed the “Funny He-She Ladies” created a

FANNY AND STELLA: THE YOUNG MEN WHO SHOCKED VICTORIAN ENGLAND By Neil McKenna Faber & Faber, London £12.99, 482 pages


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media firestorm. Er nest Boulton, 23, aka Stella, and Frederick Park, 27, aka Fanny, were arrested in full drag in 1870 at the Strand Theater, a popular venue for finding sexual companionship, and charged w i th "c o ns pirac y t o solicit, induce, procure and endeavour to persuade persons unknown to commit buggery" — a vague, Orwellian thought-crime. Now Boulton and Park have been brought to life again in a riveting new book published last week in London by the venerable publishing house of Faber and Faber. “Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England” is the work of the award-winning jour nalist Neil McKenna, who has written for the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer, and the New Statesman. He has also contributed extensively to the queer press since the birth, in the early 1970s, of the moder n British gay liberation movement, in which he was an active participant. The author of two important books on AIDS and men who have sex with men in the developing world, McKenna is best known for his mustread, eye-opening revisionist biography, “The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde,” published to critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic (see my August 2005 review, “Wilder Than We Knew”). With “Fanny and Stella,” McKenna has lifted the veil on the extensive homosexual subculture that existed in London at a time when Wilde was still a schoolboy.


Brooklyn • Staten Island • Long Island


Until 1861, just nine years before the arrest of Boulton and Park, buggery had carried the death penalty, and afterward it remained punishable by a prison sentence of penal servitude at hard labor for life. McKenna demonstrates how, as a reaction to the changing culture and morals that accompanied the industrial revolution, the purveyors of bourgeois Victorian values seized upon the sodomites as the scapegoat for the decline of family values, much as today’s American Taliban on the religious right continue their homophobic crusades. Thus, the “conspiracy” indictment of Boulton and Park “conjured up an image of a vast, ever -spreading sodomitical spider’s web with Fanny and Stella at its dark heart, controlling and directing, combining and confederating, to entrap and ensnare any and all men.” McKenna writes, “The arrest of ‘the Young Men Personating Women,’ ‘the Hermaphroditic Gang,’ ‘the Funny He-She Ladies,’ as they were called variously by the newspapers, had caused an unparalleled sensation. Every aspect of Fanny and Stella’s lives — their arrest, their appearance, their clothes, their backgrounds — had been lovingly and lasciviously dilated upon and


FANNY AND STELLA, continued on p.17

| February 13, 2013




speculated over and, where facts were in short supply, cheerfully invented.” The Daily Telegraph, then as now the favorite paper of the conservative middle classes, proclaimed: “It is suspected that there are others, besides those in custody, who have for some time past been personating females in London. In fact it is stated that an association exists which numbers nearly thirty of these foolish young men.” The trial of Boulton and Park made them household names, and they were celebrated and ridiculed in popular music hall songs and widely published limericks, like this one:

Frederick Park, aka Fanny.


“Almost every day, “ McKenna tells us, “the net seemed to widen and another young man — and sometimes more than one — was implicated.” A “steady stream of men and women from all stations and conditions of life” called in person at the Bow Street Police Station to denounce those suspected of the “crime against nature.” Boulton and Park were both from respectable, middle class families — indeed, Park’s father was a well-known and revered judge. The two youths had known from childhood that they were different from other boys and had for some time been dressing up and performing amateur theatricals for their families and friends. Cross-dressing in and of itself was not illegal at the time. In fact, men playing women’s parts were staples of the burlesques that packed audiences into the theaters and music halls for the entertainment of the general public. Fanny and Stella had enjoyed some success themselves on the stage, with the younger, prettier Stella, who was possessed of a beautiful soprano singing voice, making a convincing female ingénue, while the plainer Fanny took roles as a dowager. McKenna does a master ful job of recreating the lives of Fanny and Stella, who declared themselves “sisters” and lived together. When Stella began a liaison with Lord Arthur Clinton, a younger son of the duke of Norfolk and a member of Parliament, she had visiting cards printed with “Lady Arthur Clinton” inscribed upon them, and Clinton referred to Fanny as “my sister -inlaw.” Clinton also had sexual trysts with Fanny, and the trio became a menage-a-trois who shared lodgings and life. London was rife at that time with male prostitutes, although those who plied their trade in drag were in a distinct minority. But Stella had already been arrested at age 18 when, cruising for customers in the notorious Haymarket red light district, she had been set upon in a near riot by a crowd of female prostitutes who accused the convincing cross-dresser of stealing their customers. According to the medical authorities of the day, the signs of sodomy were easily detectable. A wearing away of the rugae around the anus, making it resemble the female labia. Elongation of the penis, caused by the "traction" of sodomy. And dilation. Dilation was the biggie. The way one tested for it was by the insertion of a professional finger. Repeatedly. If the sphincter failed to show


There was an old person of Sark Who buggered a pig in the dark. The swine in surprise Murmured ‘God bless your eyes, Do you take me for Boulton and Park?’

Fanny (standing) and Stella (front) with Lord Arthur Pelham-Clinton.

enough resistance to the learned finger -fucking, then you were dealing with a sodomite. Medicine at the time also denounced masturbation as the cause of a variety of human ills as well as for leading to sodomy. But when Fanny and Stella were examined by a team of six doctors, only the police surgeon found evidence of sodomy, while the other medical men averred to have found none. That is one reason why the cross-dressing duo were charged with “conspiracy” rather than buggery. But at their trial, the police surgeon was shown to have lied to the court on several occasions, while he and other prosecution witnesses, including policemen, were found to have been


paid by the Treasury for their testimony. As the charge of conspiracy melted away under the cross-examination by Fanny and Stella’s able defense attor ney, “a new and very dif fer ent conspiracy was emerging from the shadows. The steady stream of damaging revelations and admissions from other prosecution witnesses, taken together with [police surgeon] Dr. Paul’s transparent lies, strongly suggested that the police, the politicians, and the powers that be in the Treasury had conspired together in preparing the arrest and prosecution of Fanny and Stella.” Moreover, their paramour and purported coconspirator, Lord Arthur Clinton — whose godfather was Prime Minister William Gladstone — had disappeared and was thought to have fled the country before the trial. In the end, the jury took less than an hour to find Fanny and Stella “not guilty.” After the trial, Er nest Boulton, aka Stella, changed his last name to Byne, and with his brother Gerald as his onstage partner began performing comedies all over England. The duo moved to New York in 1874 where, taken up by one of the city’s most flamboyant and shrewdest agents and managers, Stella found success in its theaters. The New York Clipper, a popular daily, breathlessly confided to its readers, “The gentlemen who sat next to us discussed in audible tones the merits of Ernest Byne, believing him to be a woman. After enjoying their conversation, we took the liberty of informing them of the sex of the supposed lady, and handed them a programme to substantiate it, whereupon they were completely astonished and confused.” Fanny, who also moved to America, where she lived as a woman, died in 1881, probably of syphilis, and was buried in Rochester, New York. Meanwhile, by the early 1880s, Stella and her brother had returned to England and continued performing, with Ernest always in drag, for the next 22 years. “Cecil Graham,” the false name given by Stella on the night she was arrested, “reappeared in 1892 as the name of a character in Oscar Wilde’s first society comedy, “Lady Windermere’s Fan.” Like his investigative Wilde biography, which broke new ground in unraveling the blackmail of a closeted prime minister by the marquis of Queensbury that was behind the persecution of Wilde, Neil McKenna once again shows himself adept at meticulous research. He delivers a brilliant dissection of the plotting by authorities that led to the trial of Fanny and Stella. With his polished sense of narrative, McKenna’s new book is a page-turner, rendered in felicitous, witty prose that makes the tragicomic lives of the two cross-dressers an unforgettable tale. In telling it, he provides a panoramic picture of a stratum of underworld queer English life in pre-Wilde days that is an important contribution to gay historiography. It is to be ardently hoped that “Fanny and Stella” quickly finds an American publisher, as this fascinating account richly merits a place on your bookshelf. Excerpts from “Fanny and Stella” and a photo gallery of the two cross-dressers can be found on author Neil McKenna’s website at In the US, the book is available from Amazon or may be ordered directly from Faber and Faber at


February 13, 2013 |


Martha Graham’s Spirit Kindled, Expanded Iconic dancer maker’s company lovingly reinvents BY GUS SOLOMONS JR


ow does a dance company survive after the death of its founding choreographer? That’s the question companies like Ailey and Limón have wrestled with successfully — by expanding their repertoires with works by new choreographers who reflect consonant aesthetic points of view.

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s unprecedented solution was to close down and license some of his masterworks to companies that can do them justice both technically and expressively. When the company founder was a force of nature like Martha Graham, the impulse to keep her company alive is understandable, but maintaining its relevance is a challenge with no new dances coming from its founder. However, since 2005, under the artistic and executive direction of Janet Eilber and LaRue Allen, respectively, the once nearly moribund troupe has sprung to new life by emulating the best practices


Joyce Theater 175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St. Feb. 20 – Mar. 3 Tue.-Thu., Sun. at 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. at 2 p.m. $10-$59; Or 212-242-0800



Lloyd Mayor in Richard Move’s “The Show (Achilles Heels).”

Blakeley White-McGuire in Martha Graham’s 1946 classic, “Cave of the Heart.”

of art museums. Eilber’s vision is to design programs thematically, presenting groups of Graham’s repertory in ways that illuminate certain aspects of them — era, political content, emotion — in depth. This year’s 15-performance, two-week Joyce Theater season (February 20-March 3) continues this thematic approach with “Myth and Transformation,” which encompasses three different programs, crammed with Graham classics. The erotic 1962 “Phaedra” joins masterpieces from the ‘40s, “Cave of the Heart” (1946), Graham’s take on the

Medea legend; “Night Journey” (1947), the Oedipus tragedy embodied; “Errand into the Maze” (1947), based on the myth of Ariadne and the Minotaur, and the lovely, lyrical “Diversion of Angels” (1948). These ballets alone constitute a treasure trove of Graham, but there’s more… The company has also been commissioning new ballets, some directly in Graham’s tradition, like the “Lamentation Variations,” based on Graham’s famous 1930 solo. Recent commissions to be presented this season include ones by postmodernist Yvonne Rainer (2012), Taiwanese dance maker Bulareyaung Pagarlava (2009), and the

premiere of a piece by Doug Varone. The season also includes a reconstruction of Graham’s 1935 solo “Imperial Gesture,” as well as “The Show (Achilles Heels)” by Richard Move, who notoriously channels Graham in his own stage shows. Graham admirer Mikhail Baryshnikov originally commissioned this work for his White Oak Dance Project in 2002. At the February 21 Gala Performance, fashion icon Patricia Field will introduce “The Show,” and pop icon Deborah Harry of Blondie fame, who contributed original songs to Arto Lindsay’s score, will perform live. A n d a s i f a l l t h a t Graham wonderfulness weren’t enough, the company will also do a premiere by noted contemporary Italian choreographer Luca Viggetti, titled “From the Grammar of Dreams,” and give us a sneak peek at a new work by Spain’s Nacho Duato, which will premiere in April in North Carolina. The irony of the Graham Company taking over Merce Cunningham’s Westbeth facility is compounded by the sad fact that the Graham sets and costumes, stored in the building’s basement, fell victim to the flooding from apocalyptic Superstorm Sandy. So, the February 26 performance is dubbed “Fall and Recovery Benefit” and will feature a slate of guest artists who define their dance forms — ballet star Wendy Whelan, tap dancer Michelle Dorrance, and modern dance legend Desmond Richardson.

Motion is the Message Trisha Brown offers her final new dances at BAM BY GUS SOLOMONS JR



hen Merce Cunningham died in 2009, his company set a new precedent for what happens to a single choreographer company when its founder leaves the picture. They took a final tour, then closed down. Now, Trisha Brown, who is still very much alive, has decided she will make no more new dances. Because of ill health, she is stepping down as artistic director and, in a model similar to Cunningham’s, will license her works and archive her considerable notes and artwork. Brown is arguably the inventor of the postmodern style of moving, in which energy impulse generates shape, making

Trisha Brown Dance Company performs the premier “I’m going to toss my arms — if you catch them they’re yours.”

pure motion — rather than movements — the medium. Her innovation is called “release technique.” To kick off its final, three-year tour of theater performances, the Trisha Brown Dance Company presented New York premieres of her last two dances along with some of her classics in a program at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House January 30 through February 3. After this tour, the plan is for the company to perform only in alternative settings —museums, galleries, and site-specific locations. The program also included “Homemade,” one of her oldest dances, and — on January 31 only – “Set and Reset” (1983), one of her best-known dances.


BAM, continued on p.34

| February 13, 2013



February 13, 2013 |

What is STRIBILD? STRIBILD is a prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before. It combines 4 medicines into 1 pill to be taken once a day with food. STRIBILD is a complete single-tablet regimen and should not be used with other HIV-1 medicines. STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. To control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses you must keep taking STRIBILD. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to reduce the risk of passing HIV-1 to others. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD? STRIBILD can cause serious side effects: • Build-up of an acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include feeling very weak or tired, unusual (not normal) muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, feeling cold especially in your arms and legs, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or a fast or irregular heartbeat. • Serious liver problems. The liver may become large (hepatomegaly) and fatty (steatosis). Symptoms of liver problems include your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice), dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored bowel movements (stools), loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach pain. • You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking STRIBILD for a long time. In some cases, these serious conditions have led to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of these conditions.

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• Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you also have HBV and stop taking STRIBILD, your hepatitis may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking STRIBILD without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health. STRIBILD is not approved for the treatment of HBV. Who should not take STRIBILD? Do not take STRIBILD if you: • Take a medicine that contains: alfuzosin, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, methylergonovine, cisapride, lovastatin, simvastatin, pimozide, sildenafil when used for lung problems (Revatio®), triazolam, oral midazolam, rifampin or the herb St. John’s wort. • For a list of brand names for these medicines, please see the Brief Summary on the following pages. • Take any other medicines to treat HIV-1 infection, or the medicine adefovir (Hepsera®). What are the other possible side effects of STRIBILD? Serious side effects of STRIBILD may also include: • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do regular blood and urine tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with STRIBILD. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking STRIBILD. • Bone problems, including bone pain or bones getting soft or thin, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones. • Changes in body fat can happen in people taking HIV-1 medicines. • Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking STRIBILD. The most common side effects of STRIBILD include nausea and diarrhea. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking STRIBILD? • All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection. • All the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. STRIBILD may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how STRIBILD works. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. Do not start any new medicines while taking STRIBILD without first talking with your healthcare provider. • If you take hormone-based birth control (pills, patches, rings, shots, etc). • If you take antacids. Take antacids at least 2 hours before or after you take STRIBILD. • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if STRIBILD can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking STRIBILD. • If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk. Also, some medicines in STRIBILD can pass into breast milk, and it is not known if this can harm the baby. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see Brief Summary of full Prescribing Information with important warnings on the following pages.


| February 13, 2013

STRIBILD is a prescription medicine used as a complete single-tablet regimen to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before. STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS.

I started my personal revolution Talk to your healthcare provider about starting treatment. NEW STRIBILD is a complete HIV-1 treatment in 1 pill, once a day.

Ask if it’s right for you.

1/8/13 12:09 PM


February 13, 2013 |

Patient Information STRIBILDTM (STRY-bild) (elvitegravir 150 mg/cobicistat 150 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/ tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg) tablets Brief summary of full Prescribing Information. For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information. What is STRIBILD? • STRIBILD is a prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before. STRIBILD is a complete regimen and should not be used with other HIV-1 medicines. • STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. You must stay on continuous HIV-1 therapy to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. • Ask your healthcare provider about how to prevent passing HIV-1 to others. Do not share or reuse needles, injection equipment, or personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them. Do not have sex without protection. Always practice safer sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood.

• Do not stop taking STRIBILD without first talking to your healthcare provider • If you stop taking STRIBILD, your healthcare provider will need to check your health often and do blood tests regularly for several months to check your HBV infection. Tell your healthcare provider about any new or unusual symptoms you may have after you stop taking STRIBILD Who should not take STRIBILD? Do not take STRIBILD if you also take a medicine that contains: • adefovir (Hepsera®) • alfuzosin hydrochloride (Uroxatral®) • cisapride (Propulsid®, Propulsid Quicksolv®) • ergot-containing medicines, including: dihydroergotamine mesylate (D.H.E. 45®, Migranal®), ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot®, Migergot®, Ergostat®, Medihaler Ergotamine®, Wigraine®, Wigrettes®), and methylergonovine maleate (Ergotrate®, Methergine®) • lovastatin (Advicor®, Altoprev®, Mevacor®) • oral midazolam

What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD?

• pimozide (Orap®)

STRIBILD can cause serious side effects, including: 1. Build-up of lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis). Lactic acidosis can happen in some people who take STRIBILD or similar (nucleoside analogs) medicines. Lactic acidosis is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death. Lactic acidosis can be hard to identify early, because the symptoms could seem like symptoms of other health problems. Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms which could be signs of lactic acidosis: • feel very weak or tired • have unusual (not normal) muscle pain • have trouble breathing • have stomach pain with nausea or vomiting • feel cold, especially in your arms and legs • feel dizzy or lightheaded • have a fast or irregular heartbeat 2. Severe liver problems. Severe liver problems can happen in people who take STRIBILD. In some cases, these liver problems can lead to death. Your liver may become large (hepatomegaly) and you may develop fat in your liver (steatosis). Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms of liver problems: • your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice) • dark “tea-colored” urine • light-colored bowel movements (stools) • loss of appetite for several days or longer • nausea • stomach pain You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or severe liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking STRIBILD for a long time. 3. Worsening of Hepatitis B infection. If you have hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and take STRIBILD, your HBV may get worse (flare-up) if you stop taking STRIBILD. A “flare-up” is when your HBV infection suddenly returns in a worse way than before. • Do not run out of STRIBILD. Refill your prescription or talk to your healthcare provider before your STRIBILD is all gone

• sildenafil (Revatio®), when used for treating lung problems

2484_pgiqdp_Winston_GayCity_9.875x11.4_fi.indd 3-4

• rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®, Rimactane®) • simvastatin (Simcor®, Vytorin®, Zocor®) • triazolam (Halcion®) • the herb St. John’s wort Do not take STRIBILD if you also take any other HIV-1 medicines, including: • Other medicines that contain tenofovir (Atripla®, Complera®, Viread®, Truvada®) • Other medicines that contain emtricitabine, lamivudine, or ritonavir (Combivir®, Emtriva®, Epivir® or Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Kaletra®, Norvir®, Trizivir®) STRIBILD is not for use in people who are less than 18 years old. What are the possible side effects of STRIBILD? STRIBILD may cause the following serious side effects: • See “What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD?” • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys before you start and while you are taking STRIBILD. Your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking STRIBILD if you develop new or worse kidney problems. • Bone problems can happen in some people who take STRIBILD. Bone problems include bone pain, softening or thinning (which may lead to fractures). Your healthcare provider may need to do tests to check your bones. • Changes in body fat can happen in people who take HIV-1 medicine. These changes may include increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck (“buffalo hump”), breast, and around the middle of your body (trunk). Loss of fat from the legs, arms and face may also happen. The exact cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known. • Changes in your immune system (Immune Reconstitution Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV-1 medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you start having any new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine.


| February 13, 2013

The most common side effects of STRIBILD include: • Nausea • Diarrhea Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. • These are not all the possible side effects of STRIBILD. For more information, ask your healthcare provider. • Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking STRIBILD? Tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including: • If you have or had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis B infection • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if STRIBILD can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking STRIBILD. – There is a pregnancy registry for women who take antiviral medicines during pregnancy. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. Talk with your healthcare provider about how you can take part in this registry. • If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you take STRIBILD. - You should not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. - Two of the medicines in STRIBILD can pass to your baby in your breast milk. It is not known if the other medicines in STRIBILD can pass into your breast milk. - Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements: • STRIBILD may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how STRIBILD works. • Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you take any of the following medicines: - Hormone-based birth control (pills, patches, rings, shots, etc) - Antacid medicines that contains aluminum, magnesium hydroxide, or calcium carbonate. Take antacids at least 2 hours before or after you take STRIBILD - Medicines to treat depression, organ transplant rejection, or high blood pressure - amiodarone (Cordarone®, Pacerone®) - atorvastatin (Lipitor®, Caduet®) - bepridil hydrochloric (Vascor®, Bepadin®) - bosentan (Tracleer®) - buspirone - carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro®, Tegreto®) - clarithromycin (Biaxin®, Prevpac®) - clonazepam (Klonopin®) - clorazepate (Gen-xene®, Tranxene®) - colchicine (Colcrys®) - medicines that contain dexamethasone - diazepam (Valium®)

- digoxin (Lanoxin®) - disopyramide (Norpace®) - estazolam - ethosuximide (Zarontin®) - flecainide (Tambocor®) - flurazepam - fluticasone (Flovent®, Flonase®, Flovent® Diskus, Flovent® HFA, Veramyst®) - itraconazole (Sporanox®) - ketoconazole (Nizoral®) - lidocaine (Xylocaine®) - mexiletine - oxcarbazepine (Trileptal®) - perphenazine - phenobarbital (Luminal®) - phenytoin (Dilantin®, Phenytek®) - propafenone (Rythmol®) - quinidine (Neudexta®) - rifabutin (Mycobutin®) - rifapentine (Priftin®) - risperidone (Risperdal®, Risperdal Consta®) - salmeterol (Serevent®) or salmeterol when taken in combination with fluticasone (Advair Diskus®, Advair HFA®) - sildenafil (Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®) or vardenafil (Levitra®, Staxyn®), for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). If you get dizzy or faint (low blood pressure), have vision changes or have an erection that last longer than 4 hours, call your healthcare provider or get medical help right away. - tadalafil (Adcirca®), for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension - telithromycin (Ketek®) - thioridazine - voriconazole (Vfend®) - warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®) - zolpidem (Ambien®, Edlular®, Intermezzo®, Zolpimist®) Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. Do not start any new medicines while you are taking STRIBILD without first talking with your healthcare provider. Keep STRIBILD and all medicines out of reach of children. This Brief Summary summarizes the most important information about STRIBILD. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can also ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about STRIBILD that is written for health professionals, or call 1-800-445-3235 or go to Issued: August 2012

COMPLERA, EMTRIVA, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, GSI, HEPSERA, STRIBILD, the STRIBILD Logo, TRUVADA, and VIREAD are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. ATRIPLA is a trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb & Gilead Sciences, LLC. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. © 2013 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. QC15295 01/13

1/8/13 12:09 PM


February 13, 2013 |


Hotcha! Film Forum celebrates 27 delicious days of delectable dirt

The two fairly recently rediscovered essentials of Pre-Code, “Female” (Mar. 7) and

“Baby Face” (Feb. 15) are screened, the first starring the magnificent, cello-voiced Ruth Chatterton as a female auto industry magnate who runs her company the way Catherine the Great ran Russia, with a definite eye for the nubile, male eye candy on her staff. The second has Barbara Stanwyck at her most likably ruthless, clawing her way up the ladder of big business, man by man, via the use of her satin-swathed killer body and hypnotically direct appraisal of male frailty. It also features entrancing black actress Theresa Harris as Stanwyck’s highly independent sidekick/ maid who was given startlingly color-blind consideration by her. (Harris inspired Lynn Nottage’s wonderful recent play “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.”)

Willaim Gargan, Miriam Hopkins, and Jack LaRue in Stephen Roberts’ “The Story of Temple Drake.”

Clark Gable and Joan Crawford in Robert Z. Leonard’s “Dancing Lady.

Yes, black actors usually played servants in these films, but they were given wonder fully sassy lines and business, as well as their requisite uniforms. Mae West’s two best films, “She Done Him Wrong” and “I’m No Angel,” had this then 40-year -old, divinely liberated Goddess of Sex surrounded by such as Louise Beavers and Hattie McDaniel, who deal with their mistress’ whims and excesses with wry humor and soulful admiration. Indeed, one of the most joyous moments in all cinema is the song, “I’ve Found a New Way to Go to Town,” in “I’m No Angel,” which West performs with a whole platoon of maids funking out behind her.

“Bombshell” (Feb. 14): Jean Harlow’s best vehicle, this devastatingly witty send-up of the movie biz was based on the raucous life of Harlow’s sex bomb

predecessor, Clara Bow. Harlow plays a movie star beset with mooching family, gigolo suitors, stalker fans, and a pesky press agent played by Lee Tracy, a seminal Pre-Code figure with his nasal rat-a-tat delivery and always manically self-serving agenda. Beavers is her maid with the best comeback to an impossible boss ever: “Don’t scald me with your steam, woman. I know where the body’s buried!”

“ C h r i s t o p h e r S t ro n g ”

(Feb. 15): Katharine Hepburn’s second film posits her as a glum, Garbo-esque aviatrix, torn between career and a married man (marvelously neurotic Colin Clive). Directed and written by lesbians Dorothy Arzner and Zoe Akins, respectively, it’s a hauntingly gloomy, often strangely beautiful feminist tract, never more so than when Kate appears in Walter Plunkett’s spectacular



orget westerns, film noirs and horror, the movie genre of genres as far as I’m concerned is Pre-Code, those films made before the puritanically restrictive Hays Code took control of censorship in 1934. Film Forum is hosting a four-week celebration of films made in 1933, just before that dreary takeover, by which time, not only the genre, but Hollywood film itself had reached an apotheosis. Every technical limitation imposed on the medium by the introduction of sound in 1927 had been efficaciously dealt with by then, and American films positively glowed with eye-popping splendor and flowing movement, editorial crispness, and aural richness. In this current movie year of so many bloated epics with average runs of two-and-a-half grueling hours, how refreshing these films are with their running times of under 90 minutes, and often far less, and their suave ability to grab your interest with such thrilling immediacy. Pre-Code films had very little self-indulgent auteurial fat, one of their greatest strengths. And, adding even more visual magnificence was the fact that Art Deco design was then at its summit, something that studio art directors took full advantage of, with dazzling geometrics and the blinding high-key use of white. Also, the women — from Garbo to Harlow — with their softer hair and makeup and sinuous, bias-cut gowns often worn sans underwear were never more sensually appealing or as strong and independent, before or since. Herewith is a checklist of the festival’s essentials:

Katharine Hepburn in Dorothy Arzner’s “Christopher Strong.”




gleaming moth costume, in the greatest visual fillip of her career. 1933 was Hepburn’s greatest year; she also appeared in “Morning Glory” (Feb. 23), for which she won the Oscar, as a desperately ambitious actress (based on Ruth Gordon), and “Little Women” (Feb. 23), one of the year’s biggest hits, a true classic, magically directed by George Cukor, in which she definitively played that beloved butch Jo March. The former film is key, for it was here that the familiar Hepburn mannerisms — the deliriously intense line delivery, fluttery pretensions, and stark, singular body language – were established.

“ T h e S t o r y o f Te m p l e Drake” (Mar. 1): This adaptation of

William Faulkner’s “Sanctuary” helped to bring on the Code with its rape and perversions and is a compelling, artfully designed study of irrepressible sexual impulse, embodied in the brilliant performance by Miriam Hopkins, the greatest actress of the early sound era. Although Hepburn won the 1933 Oscar as Best Actr ess, Hopkins, who wasn’t even nominated, was the pre-eminent woman of the year. In Ernst Lubitsch’s “Design for Living”, she helped make this Noel Coward adaptation, which profligately used only one original line from the play, into the scintillating sex comedy it was, with her as self-proclaimed “Mother of the Arts” to simultaneous lovers Gary Cooper (a painter) and Fredric March (a writer), also shockingly besotted by one another. It’s a pity that Film Forum isn’t reviving her other 1933 masterpiece,


FILM FORUM, continued on p.30


| February 13, 2013


Anger Management Martin Moran’s


freighted journey into compassion

Not for the Timid

Martin Moran in his solo piece “All the Rage.”



artin Moran’s wonderful new solo piece “All the Rage” is an examination of anger, compassion, and how each of us can become conscious of the common threads between these seemingly disparate emotions. Moran, a writer and Broadway actor, previously examined the challenges of healing from sexual abuse and finding a kind of grace in “The Tricky Part.”

ALL THE RAGE Peter J. Sharp Theater 416 W. 42nd St. Through Feb. 24 Sun., Mon., Wed.-Sat. at 7 p.m. Sun. at 3 & 7 p.m. $55; Or 212-279-4200

The new piece is not linear in its narrative, though the through-line is Moran’s attempts to find compassion and connection in life’s chaos. Over the course of the play, we encounter characters who include his father’s wife (he refuses to say “stepmother”), a refugee he is trying to help, and others who illuminate his search. Thanks to Moran’s sensitive writing and exceptional performance, each of them vividly comes to life. In a conversation with him shortly before the play opened to enthusiastic reviews across the board, Moran discussed his process and the piece with Gay City News. “The only way I know how to possibly poke at things is through story,” he said. “It’s like what William Carlos Williams said: ‘There are no ideas but in things.’” In getting to the bottom of the rage he felt and, hopefully, healing from it, he explained, “All I could do was poke at these deep questions by being alive and

being human. Stories are the way we experience or uncover morality or reality or an idea or a sense of who we are.” He admitted that developing the piece — to say nothing of getting through life — has been a challenge. “Part of what’s been so terrifying has been circling and circling the unsayable,” he said. “It’s hard to articulate, on this deepest level, but what I think about a lot is how profoundly we really hurt each other. We bomb each other. We fly into buildings.” Still, he juxtaposed that grim assessment with what he views as the desire everyone shares for connection with others. When we understand our deeper connection to one another and appreciate that the divisions between us are illusions, new levels of compassion are possible. “We are called forth to find compassion,” Moran said. “I’m so fascinated. It’s hard to speak about, but we are clearly living out some spirit of separateness at the same time we want to love and hold one another. And sometimes I wonder if the purpose of consciousness is to understand separateness so that we can experience union, which is love, the deepest vibrating engine under everything — under war, under pain, and under beauty.” And so each of us is on a quest to find out whether we can understand and forgive. Just as he does in the play, Moran explained that his understanding of this search began with people asking him, “Where’s your anger?” While writing “All the Rage,” he acknowledged, he became obsessed with anger but also achieved insight. All this can seem esoteric, but Moran’s considerable gifts as both writer and performer translate into stories of his spiritual journey that touch the hearts of his audience. “Each pivot point in the play and in the stories are a kind of bubbling up of consciousness that’s larger than me or my story,” he said.



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February 13, 2013 |


Lulu and Pia “To Sir, with Love” girl and “The Lonely Lady” make NY debuts


t’s hard to believe that Lulu, who’s enjoyed a steady career that began several years before making her screen debut at 18 in 1967’s “To Sir With Love — for which she sang the hit title song — should only now be making her American club debut. But that she is, at B.B. King’s on February 16 (237 W. 42nd St., 8 p.m.; “I’m getting back to my roots,” she told me. “I’ve had a very long career, and when I was young I did some songs I didn’t really like but my producers would say, ‘This is gonna be a big hit.’ “I was really influenced by American gospel and soul, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, black American music. That rinky-dink pop stuff didn’t sit with me, but now I’m in control and will sing songs I love like ‘Oh Me Oh My’ and ‘Shout,’ which was my very first hit.” Lulu was cast in “To Sir, with Love” when her manager’s sister heard about a casting call for kids and her name was put forward. “I was on tour with the Beach Boys, and the director [James Clavell] came backstage. He had kind of an attitude, saying, ‘You’ll have to change the color of your hair. I don’t like red hair.’ “I didn’t really care about being an actress — music was my first love — and I said, ‘Well, sod you. If you’re gonna have me, you’re gonna have me the way I am. And I got the part. He was very smart, trying to get something out of me and that’s how we worked, him talking to me behind the camera to get a reaction from me. “My manager was very smart, insisting that I had to sing the title song. I was desperate, though, because they sent me all these rubbishy songs. Columbia, the releasing studio, also had a great publishing company with writers like Burt Bacharach, but they didn’t put any effort into it. So I sat down with a friend and we got the melody and then called Don Black, the lyricist of ‘Born Free,’ who wrote the marvelous lyrics which actually paint the picture. They said, ‘Go ahead and record it,’ but my producer didn’t like it much, gave me only four strings for the orchestra, and he refused to put it on the A side of my single. I was in tears, but the American deejays featured it on the radio, so it all was meant to be. “It’s not a song you can sing easily without any music, not an everyone-canjoin-in kind of song. It’s more of an art song, really, but perfect for the scenario. When I did it on ‘American Idol,’ I thought, ‘If I have to sing it the way I

Lulu appears at B.B. King’s, in her US club debut, on February 16.




Pia Zadora made her New York debut recently at the Metropolitan Room.

did at 15, I’m gonna shoot myself. It’s gotta be done differently.’ That season, Barry Manilow and Rod Stewart were so amazing, so I called Barry, whom I’d met maybe once. “He was so gracious. He said, ‘I’d love to rearrange it, but I’ll have to sit with it until something comes to me.’ ‘How quickly can you do that?’ I asked. ‘Well, I usually need some time. What, you want it yesterday, huh?’ ‘Yes.’ So he calls back the next day with it — a kickass arrangement. I love the note at the end and the key change, just perfect!” Lulu also sang the theme for the Bond film “The Man with the Golden Gun”: “I think that song is very camp now. ‘He

has a powerful weapon/ He charges a million a shot!’ I can’t sing that without laughing because of all my gay friends. Of course, I didn’t think about it when I was recording it but now it makes me laugh [cackles hysterically]. “I think I do have a large gay following. I’ve been called very camp myself, darling [laughs]. But really and truly, gay men are the leaders. We all get on the train later. Gay men set the style, create the fashion, make the music a success. That’s just how it is.” In 2000, Lulu was given the Order of the British Empire (OBE): “Prince Charles gave it to me, and I always felt a special connection to him, both born

in the same month and year. He was casual and extremely charming. As soon as I walked up, he said, ‘So it’s true. You do keep that picture in the attic,’ and he said this is long overdue. I was able to actually say to him, ‘Sir, I’m glad it was you today and your mother took the day off.’ “They all make you feel comfortable because it’s very daunting. They tell you a few things when you go in, but it’s so organized. Someone is always at your elbow to move you forward or give a look to turn left, very discreetly done. Versace lent me a beautiful coat. I don’t really borrow very much, I usually buy it if I like it. But Versace is one of the big companies that don’t rip it off your back, one of the most generous, which might be why they got into some financial trouble. Donatella was always extremely generous.” Lulu’s appearances on “Absolutely Fabulous” added much to the show’s camp hilarity: “Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French were fans of mine and would have me on their show, and when Jennifer did ‘Ab Fab,’ she gave me more. The best thing about it is being at the first reading, sitting around the table. It is hilarious and nothing is in stone with Jennifer until she’s gone onstage. They rethink every five minutes, and it’s hysterical. You know, when you wet yourself laughing and can’t stop? “Special moments? Well, the readthrough is the thrill for me, but, of course, the line that everybody says is ‘Champagne for Lulu!’ I can walk into a store on Madison Avenue and someone will say that behind my back!”

Pia Zadora just wrapped up her New York club debut

at the Metropolitan Room, giving her audience a sprightly touch of Vegas glitz with her song list of standards — and me a fun, juicy interview. She’s been something of a showbiz punch line ever since coming out of relative obscurity in 1981 to win a Golden Globe over Elizabeth McGovern, Howard Rollins, Rachel Ward, and Kathleen Turner. And yet, how many people could say they’ve acted on Broadway with Tallulah Bankhead (in “Midgie Purvis,” directed by Burgess Meredith) and Zero Mostel and Bette Midler (in “Fiddler on the Roof”) before they were ten years old? “When I found out I had been nominated for a Golden Globe, I didn’t even know what that was. My film ‘Butterfly’ had not yet been released, but the foreign press had come to see me in Vegas. I then realized what it was, and


IN THE NOH, continued on p.31

| February 13, 2013



Madison Avenue Liberation Front Gael García Bernal as an ad exec working to bring down Pinochet



n the early 1970s, debate raged about whether it sufficed to make films with political subject matter or if a filmmaker, to be truly progressive, also had to use unconventional form to challenge the spectator’s expectations — “making a film politically” it was dubbed.

Directed by Pablo Larrain Sony Pictures Classics In Spanish with English subtitles Opens Feb. 15 Angelika Film Center 18 W. Houston St. at Mercer St. Lincoln Plaza Cinema 1886 Broadway at 63rd St.

This discussion resonates in Olivier Assayas’ forthcoming “Something in the Air,” and it also comes to mind while watching Chilean director Pablo Larrain’s “No.” The final part of a trilogy about the Pinochet dictatorship, the film makes the case for advertising being a progressive political force in some circumstances, rather than simply a way to push the usual products we don’t need. Larrain’s storytelling is linear, but his visual style is odd. To match archival footage from the ‘80s, “No” was shot on a primitive U-Matic video camera from 1983. In 1988, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, under pressure from the US (which helped install him in the first place), agreed to a referendum on his presidency. Most liberal Chileans dismissed it as a farce that would only confirm his grip on power. In Larrain’s film, however, a group of 16 opposition political parties approaches advertising executive



Gael García Bernal in Pablo Larrain’s “No.”

René (Gael García Bernal) to design a marketing campaign against Pinochet. In essence, they’re trying to market democracy as if it were a new brand of soda. René’s first attempt at a commercial for the “No” vote makes this quite clear. While the opposition’s initial attempts at ads are filled with ugly images of corpses and tanks in the streets, René goes in the opposite direction, trying to sell the push to take down Pinochet as fun and sexy. Meanwhile, the opposition also produces nightly newscasts expressing their point of view, followed by a rebuttal from the government’s perspective. René’s ex-wife Veronica (Antonia Zegers) is a radical activist who’s cynical about the vote, and he wants to win her back and live with her and their young son. “No” uses an aspect ratio of 1.33, like an old-fashioned TV set. (We’ll have to see whether the city’s arthouses can honor this.) The primitive video camera with which it was shot gives it a unique look. I don’t know if cinematographer Sergio Armstrong used natural light, but the U-Matic doesn’t respond well to sunlight.

Periodically, the image is flooded with lens flares, coronas, and bleached-out areas of the screen. The colors are relatively pale and slightly distorted. There’s a term for the irony-laden fondness some East Germans have for communism: ostalgie. “No” runs the risk of fetishizing the ‘80s. Unlike “Argo,” set in 1980, it avoids decking out its cast in outlandish, ugly costumes and hairdos, but it can’t resist rubbing the audience’s face in the differences between 1988 and now. Microwaves are new, and René fears their potential dangers. Betamax and VHS machines hover in the background of many scenes. A clip of “We Are The World” is seen at one point, while the jingles used in the commercials draw on a dated ‘80s pop sound. Larrain had one very good reason to shoot on the U-Matic. He was able to cheaply integrate fictional images created today with news clips from the ‘80s. The newsman from the “No” broadcasts is briefly seen today in a cameo, but the film incorporates footage of his actual broadcasts. Were it shot on HD, the image quality would be

much slicker, but it would take a lot of expensive trickery to bridge the gap between past and present so seamlessly. The idea of juxtaposing agitprop TV broadcasts from competing points of view recalls Peter Watkins’ “La Commune,” although the ultra-leftist Watkins would probably be horrified at the thought of advertising as a progressive force. It’s worth pointing out that Larrain is hardly uncritical, at least in interviews, of his characters and their politics. Speaking about René, he said the character “is a son of the neoliberal system that Pinochet imposed in this country...To me, the NO campaign is the first step toward the consolidation of capitalism as the only viable system in Chile. It’s not a metaphor — it’s direct capitalism, a pure and true product of advertising, taken to politics.” “No” flirts with a Chilean form of ostalgie, especially since it takes place after the tortures and murders of Pinochet’s regime had largely ended. The first two films in Larrain’s trilogy, “Tony Manero “ and “Post Mortem,” were grim examinations of everyday fascism. With “No” he depicts people finally fighting back. There’s something provocative about using the huckster’s art to bring down a dictatorship, but the film is, in fact, largely based on a true story. “No” is Larrain’s first crowd-pleaser, which may be why it attracted the attention of Sony Pictures Classics and got an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. In the end, René sells the Chilean people on democracy, using the same means by which he embarks on a new campaign for a soap opera. “No” plays like a defense of populist filmmaking, which is somewhat ironic coming from the director of Larrain's previous films. But Larrain is sharp enough to recognize that advertising is also a way of making films politically.

The Pull of a Syrian Past A Damascus thriller is told, though often not in its native tongue BY STEVE ERICKSON


anadian director Ruba Nadda has made three features. Her Syrian heritage is crucial to two of them, including her latest, “Inescapable.” It’s set there, though for obvious reasons it had to be shot elsewhere. (Thoroughly convincing production design helps South Africa pass for Syria.) Nadda seems to be working with one eye on the worldwide Arab diaspora and the

other on the wider mainstream North American audience. Unfortunately, this results in major compromises.

INESCAPABLE Directed by Ruba Nadda IFC Films In English and Arabic with English subtitles Opens Feb. 22; IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St.

For instance, most of the Syrians in “Inescapable” speak English, rather than Arabic, to each other. For the second time in a row, she’s cast Alexander Siddig, one of the few Arab actors with a substantial following in the US (due in part to his work on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”), but he plays opposite Marisa Tomei. The Italian-American actress plays a Syrian woman, a role in which she visibly struggles to seem credible. Rather than an Arab, she seems to be channeling Italian actresses like Sophia Loren.

“Inescapable” begins in January 2011 in Toronto. Syrian immigrant Abid (Siddig) works in a bank and lives a happy middle-class existence with his wife and two daughters, one of whom is touring Europe and Israel. Suddenly, he learns she’s disappeared in Damascus. He decides to search for her himself. Twenty-five years earlier, Abid had been an officer in the Syrian military police with a fiancée, Fatima (Tomei), but


INESCAPABLE, continued on p.34


February 13, 2013 |


Barry, Brecht, and Bores German drama, a classic bit of showbiz dazzle, and a comedy revival whose time has passed BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE


The New Group At Theater Row 410 W. 42nd St. Mon.-Wed. at 7 p.m. Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sat. at 2 p.m. $60; Or 212-239-6200

The New Group’s production of “Clive,” an adaptation of the Brecht play by Jonathan Marc Sher man, successfully surmounts the major hurdles posed by the source material. Sherman has trimmed the play down to an hour and 40 minutes, consolidated the nearly 30 parts in the original for a company of nine, and maintained the soul of the play while giving it a contemporary electricity that’s consistently impressive and entertaining. Transplanted to the 1990s, Baal/ Clive is now a talented musician who throws away a potential career to follow his desires. He is id run rampant as he descends through addiction to murder and ultimately his own death. As in the original, Sherman’s adaptation avoids any kind of moral perspective. Judgment, if there is to be any, is left to the audience. Sherman is able to maintain the rhythms and tones of the original while making it accessible and relevant. Ethan Hawke gives a controlled and nuanced performance in the title role. As we watch Clive’s physical dissipation, we also watch him abandon his spirit and sink into a narcissistic nihilism. It’s a fascinating and subtle portrait of what happens to a person who lets go of everything tying him to a culture or community. Near the end as he looks at the body of a comrade dead of an overdose, Clive sees no difference between life and death; it’s all okay. For Clive, as they say, it’s all downhill from there. Though this may sound gloomy

Vincent D’Onofrio and Ethan Hawke in “Clive,” Jonathan Marc Sherman’s adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s “Baal.”

— and certainly the subject matter is dark — the pr oduction is comparatively light and always engaging. Hawke is charismatic even in dissolution, and he is aided by a fine performance from Vincent D’Onofrio as his closest friend, while Zoe Kazan, Brooks Ashmankis, and the rest of the company take on diverse roles to create the world around Clive. As director, Hawke misses some moments that could be tighter and clearer, and as truncated as this is from the original, there are scenes that would be more powerful if they were further simplified. That’s a minor complaint because the actors, Kazan especially, know how to do a lot in small moments, which is ironic given Clive’s grandiosity and also compelling in that it so clearly captures the Brechtian tone. The wonderful, spare set is by Derek McClane. The appropriate and wellconceived costumes are by Catherine Zuber, and the music and sound sculptures integrated into the set by GAINES create a strong atmosphere throughout. “Clive” is a stirring production that is smart, incisive, and provoking. Its intelligence lies in mining theatricality from what is intended to be antitheatrical, with that tension making for extraordinary theater.

the exception of the first piece, “Sure Thing,” about two people in a pick-up situation trying to say the right things, and “The Universal Language” about two shy people learning to communicate in a made-up language, the pieces wear out their jokes in the first couple of

ALL IN THE TIMING Primary Stages 59 E. 59th St. Tue.-Thu. at 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $70; Or 212-279-4200

minutes and then run on, looking for a conclusion. What laughs there are come from the solid but predictable staging by John Rando rather than the wit of the piece. The fine and talented company save the evening from being a total rout. Carson Elrod, Liv Rooth, Matthew Saldivar, and Jenn Harris are all charismatic with excellent comic timing, and when the script allows, they land their jokes every time. However, like the monkeys at the typewriters, despite theories to the contrary, the piece ends up thrashing about.

Not so satisfying is I am not a person who the revival of “All in the takes naturally to glow Timing” at Primary Stages, which sticks. So as I was handed one tries desperately to be both smart and funny. This 20-year-old play is a collection of six comedic vignettes about love, life, communication, buying bread, states of mind, monkeys at typewriters, and Trotsky. Playwright David Ives wants to prove how smart he is with references to Trotsky and Philip Glass, but with

as I took my seat at “Manilow on Broadway,” I had an inkling of what I was in for, though I could never have anticipated just how passionate a following Barry Manilow has, not being a “Fanilow” myself. Giving this serious consideration as a piece of theater would be ridiculous — this is a concert. Ultimately, a very good concert. You




ertolt Brecht’s first play, “Baal,” can be tough sledding for the unprepared. The story, of a man who throws away his talent and lives for pleasure, is sprawling, told in nearly two-dozen scenes. Deconstructing theatrical conventions, it is episodic and non-linear and, in a full production, it can run more than three hours. For those with a taste for intellectually complex theater, it is fascinating, but a lighthearted romp it ain’t.

Barry Manilow is a born performer.

won’t stay in your seat much if you want to see, as most songs provided the impetus for the majority of the audience to stand, sing along, take photos, and scream their love for Barry. All that aside, Manilow is a wonder ful per for mer whose gifts

MANILOW ON BROADWAY St. James Theater 264 W. 44th St. Tue.-Wed. at 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. $50-$350; Or 212-239-6200

include an ability to connect emotionally with a full theater. If his voice has mellowed and lost some of its youthful timbre, he can still put a song over with verve and precision. Returning from a bout with bronchitis, he found his voice after the first number and amped up the wattage, his undiminished star power never letting up for the rest of the evening. The concert is a revue loosely based around his growing up and his relationship with his grandfather. A nd , i f t he s o n g he d i d f r om h i s musical-in-the-works, “Har mony” is any indication of the rest of the score, Broadway fans have a treat in store. Manilow’s most popular songs are sentimental, but never cloying, and numbers like “Copacabana” got people up on their feet, waving those glow sticks. Thanks to Manilow, his band, and back-up singers, this is a fantastically entertaining show, the songs still finding a way to touch people’s hearts and get them singing and dancing. Nothing wrong with that.


| February 13, 2013


Sad and Sadder A twin bill from Alex

Law in the Service of Human needs

Karpovsky shows men falling away



2 Court Square, Long ISLand CIty

Alex Karpovsky in “Red Flag“ and ”Rubberneck.”



lex Karpovsky has a distinctively low-key screen presence. Lanky and gawky, almost like an overgrown teenager, this intriguing actor has appeared in mumblecore films including “Beeswax” and “Tiny Furniture.” He may be best recognized for his role as Ray Ploshansky on HBO’s “Girls.”

RUBBERNECK RED FLAG Directed by Alex Karpovsky Tribeca Films Open Feb. 22 Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center 144 W. 65th St.

Karpovsky is now proving himself to be a formidable writer and director. He has two new films now out in theaters that make for an interesting double feature. These dramas may seem like vanity projects — and in one case, it may be just that — but they also demonstrate Karpovsky’s interest in how people fail to function in society and grow unable to accept reality. “Rubberneck,” which he directed and co-wrote with Garth Donovan, is a compelling character study about Paul (Karpovsky), a lab scientist. The film monitors Paul like a lab rat himself, charting his routine and probing his behavior as he tests the boundaries of what he can do and how far he can go. There are quiet, introspective moments of him fishing but also sinister ones, as when

appLy now For Fall 2013

he eavesdrops on colleagues. “Rubberneck” can be engrossing as it slowly reveals Paul’s true nature, but it eventually gets far-fetched. The film pivots on a fling Paul has with Danielle (Jaime Ray Newman), a comely co-worker. After spending a weekend together, she dumps him and he is heartbroken. Eight months later, the lonely Paul is still angry and also suffers from anxiety, which creates problems for him with other women. We see him reject Kathy (Dakota Shepard) — a naked prostitute giving him a blowjob — because he is too “stressed out.” Paul’s sister (Amanda Good Hennessey) urges him to get over Danielle, but he becomes further consumed with jealousy when Danielle befriends a handsome married coworker, Chris (Dennis Staroselsky). Paul uncomfortably continues trying to ingratiate himself with Danielle, who is cautiously polite in response. Things get downright squirm-inducing when his tactics become manipulative and creepy in an ill-fated effort to win her back. It’s best not to spoil the big dramatic reveal in “Rubberneck,” which forces a reevaluation of who Paul is. Suddenly, the gentle man who pets the lab animals may not be such a nice, quiet guy. Karpovsky’s slow-burn storytelling mostly works, except when he introduces a childhood trauma meant to explain Paul’s abandonment issues. It is a facile psychological answer to his character and poorly foreshadowed. Still, Karpovsky is compelling in portraying the desperation of a scorned heart.


RUBBERNECK, continued on p.34

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February 13, 2013 |


Casino Verdi Michael Mayer’s Vegas reset of “Rigoletto” offers both inventiveness and misfires BY ELI JACOBSON


FILM FORUM, from p.24

“The Stranger’s Retur n,” the one forgotten American film most in need of reconsideration. It’s a bucolic King Vidor piece with her as a sophisticated urbanite coming home to her family farm roots, the culture clash of which is delineated with the rarest intelligence and warmly human observation.

Garbo, the biggest star of the era, whose presence illuminated



pdated opera productions may be a recent phenomenon at the Metropolitan Opera but have been the nor m worldwide for years. Michael Mayer (Broadway’s “Spring Awakening”) sets his new Met production of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” in “Oceans Eleven” Las Vegas circa 1960, where mob corruption and violence lurk behind the casino’s over-the-top showbiz glamour. If this seems a bit familiar, Jonathan Miller did something quite similar at the English National Opera 30 years ago with his English-language production that reset “Rigoletto” in Mafia-controlled Little Italy in the 1950s. (Miller’s production traveled to New York in 1984 and was televised on PBS). Instead of the Duke as Mafia capo and jester Rigoletto a bartender, the Duke is now a Sinatra-style popular entertainer and casino owner and Rigoletto is an insult comic in the Don Rickles or Joey Bishop mold. I have no problems with shifting the time and place of an opera as long as the director finds convincing contemporary analogues for the social mores and structures of the original story. In both Hugo’s original play and the Verdi/ Piave adaptation, the hunchback jester is a deformed lower class outsider in the aristocratic court. Both play and opera are about the abuses of power and how the lower classes can be used and then discarded by the rich and powerful. Making Rigoletto a Rat Pack insider and popular entertainer in his own right turns him into a near equal to the Duke — the social inequities central to the story are lost. This Rigoletto, dressed neatly in an argyle sweater and chinos with only a small hump and no limp or other deformity, is hardly repellent. Željko Lučić has an erect dignified posture and a glowering, introverted demeanor that further blurs the outline

Piotr Beczala and Željko Lucic in Verdi's "Rigoletto."

of the character. Hugo and Verdi also contrast the disparity between the artificial glitter of the royal court and the bleakness and squalor of Rigoletto’s suburban house and Sparafucile’s seedy inn. Las Vegas is an excellent moder n equivalent with urban decay and arid desert surrounding the neon glitz of the strip. Yet Mayer’s Rigoletto seems to have his own deluxe hotel suite with a private elevator (across the lobby from that of Count Ceprano, helping to facilitate Gilda’s abduction). Christine Jones’ sets, all acid colors and neon signs, create a world of surreal glamour that we never leave — even Sparafucile’s strip club in Act III is a neon dreamscape of “Showgirls” flashiness. Mayer alternates many brilliant theatrical coups with glaring misfires. I loved the staging of Rigoletto’s first encounter with Sparafucile, which now occurs as part of the first scene. Sparafucile watches Monterone curse Rigoletto on the main casino floor. As the casino clears, Sparafucile buttonholes Rigoletto at the bar and of fers his hit-man services while

having a smoke and a drink. However, Monterone is tur ned into an Arab sheik complete with burnoose, adding potentially inflammatory religious and racial undertones. Some of the business for the male chorus in Act I — miming shooting craps in unison — seemed mor e appropriate to “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” from “Guys and Dolls.” I like the stripper pole in Act III and the substitution of a vintage fintailed Chevy sedan’s trunk for the sack where Gilda’s corpse is dumped. The Met titles are updated as well — “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata!” becomes “You and your pals are a bunch of dirty, rotten rats!” The audience laughed at some of the contemporary shtick in the staging and titles, which cuts both ways. It distanced them from the story, but on the other hand they were entertained and paying attention. Mayer isn’t being clever at the expense of the story, but sometimes his inventions backfire. Musically, this is a high-level affair. Rising young Italian maestro Michele Mariotti led a propulsive, buoyant account of the score with clean

more bad pictures than good, had one of her best outings in “Queen Christina” (Feb. 13) as the Swedish monarch fond of cross-dressing and her ladies-in-waiting, both of which director Rouben Mamoulian touched on with his customary audacity and visual élan. Her silent “memorizing” of the room in which she has the schtup of her life with Spanish nobleman (and real life ex-lover) John Gilbert, is a coup de cinema only this rara avis could have pulled off, and she does so with a sensuality that is quite miraculous.

“Blood Money” (Feb. 26): Rowland Brown’s screwball underworld epic features George Bancroft as a bail bondsman torn between Judith Anderson as his statuesquely empathetic cabaret-owning mistress (her best screen performance, apart from “Rebecca”) and Frances Dee as a delectable nymphomaniac with a taste for SM. Dee herself told me she loved playing this unconventional role, such a departure from the bland sweethearts she was often given.

articulation of strings and inner voices. Piotr Beczala has the blue eyes and swagger of a young Sinatra and the silvery tonal sheen of a young Gedda or Wunderlich. Some brash oversinging in the first act gave way to more finished elegance in the second and third acts. “Parmi veder le lagrime” was a highlight. Diana Damrau, retur ning from mater nity leave, now has a more womanly figure, but also a lusher, fuller, more womanly tone. The new vocal warmth and weight suited her Act II confession, “Tutte le feste al tempio,” but caused fleeting uncertainty in the exposed high coloratura of “Caro Nome.” Her commitment never wavered and her high E-flats are firmly there. Štefan Kocán’s Sparafucile, looking like Willem Dafoe as Bobby Peru, had a dead-eyed look and hollow bass that worked brilliantly. Oksana Volkova, in her debut, offered a muddy-sounding Maddalena — here a stripper prostitute. Lučić’s Rigoletto remained distanced from the other characters and the distressing events of the story. His burly, imposing physique and voice didn’t connect fully with the heightened emotions — he evoked little pity, horror, disgust, or animal rage. It all seemed to be happening in his head but didn’t reach the audience. Lučić’s is a genuine dramatic Verdi baritone, but the tone too often turned foggy, gray, and opaque where it needed to slice and thrust. As for Mayer’s production, I found that the Vegas setting neither added nor detracted and the story and characters were recognizable in the new milieu. After it loses its novelty, however, I suspect audiences will lose interest. On the other hand, the Miller production celebrated its 12th revival at the ENO in 2009, so it’s all a roll of the dice. “Rigoletto” will be transmitted in HD worldwide on February 16 at 12:55 p.m. EST.

“Picture Snatcher” (Mar. 2): This is my favorite James Cagney film, in which he plays an unscrupulous tabloid photographer bent on getting a shot of a woman in the electric chair, among other unsavories. Breathlessly fast and funny, Cagney has a ball batting around forgotten flapper Alice White, a dizzy delight as his dippy inamorata (“I love being called pet names!”). c

FILM FORUM, continued on p.31


| February 13, 2013


IN THE NOH, from p.26

thought I’ll never win, I’m not going. But I did win it, and I grabbed it. I recently tweeted on Huffington Post: ‘Returned from LA, and it’s sitting right here in front of me — I’m admiring it and sipping a martini. They can’t take that away from me.’ “That gave me the guts to get out there again and say, ‘Hey, I’m Pia Zadora, and I started way back and didn’t just marry a rich guy [Meshulam Riklis] and win a Golden Globe. Another big misconception — the award was not Best Actress, it was Best Newcomer of the Year.” Wi t h R i k l i s , t h e f i r s t o f t h r e e husbands, Zadora moved into Pickfair, the legendary 56-acre Beverly Hills estate once owned by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks: “When we first got the house, I called John Waters [her director from “Hairspray”] and said, ‘What the hell?’ John said, ‘The first thing you gotta do is rename it. Call it Prickfair,’ and I thought, ‘Ok, now I can live there, ‘cause I’ve made it my own!’


FILM FORUM, from p.30

Cagney shows of f his fabulous virtuosity as well in “Footlight Parade” (Feb. 16) demonstrating his unusual, sprightly, and stiff-legged dancing talent, in this ingratiating musical with the tough, intensely likable Joan Blondell (who tells off a romantic rival, “Outside Countess! As long as they have sidewalks, you’ve got a job!,” before literally kicking her in the ass).

“Flying Down to Rio” (Mar. 6): This first pairing of Fred Astaire with Ginger Rogers is one of the most entertaining musicals, what with their snappy dancing, terrific Vincent Youmans-Gus Kahn songs, some ultrafunky choreography for the black dancers in the “Carioca” number, the matchless beauty of Dolores Del Rio paired with the contrastingly platinum blonde Gene Raymond, and that crazy airborne finale.

“It was like walking into the Four Seasons Hotel in Naples, the ornateness and grandiosity of the layout. I never really wanted to live there, but my ex said we have to move in and we ended up razing it because it was basically falling apart. Jerry Buss [owner of the Los Angeles Lakers] had been using it as a party house. “ We h a d t o r e d o i t , a l i t t l e overwhelming. Then I had the kids and was crazy, working all the time. I made the lobby into a softball field for my kids and upstairs into big play area, put swings outside, and made it work for us. We bit the bullet, yeah [laughs]! We had a disco with the crystal ball and sound equipment, and my girlfriends and I would be sitting at the bar at 4 in the afternoon, having wine, while the kids were dancing there. Oh, millions of rooms — Jesus, they never ended, I never even saw the whole place! It had guest buildings, with seven suites in them. “There was nothing left from the original owners, but Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., walked through it and told us what

happened where and how. I don’t know if you believe in celebrity ghost stories, but my kids said they were dancing around and heard some stuff. It seemed like there were spirits.” Although Zadora loves her films “Crybaby” and “Naked Gun 33 1/3,” like John Waters, I adore “The Lonely Lady” — a delectably trashy cult item, in which she plays an aspiring screenwriter who is raped by a garden hose at one point — and I told her so: “Have you been to therapy [laughs]? I see what you’re saying, that it works because I was so committed to that part, with all that shit around me like the dialogue, which makes it a cult film obviously. Making it, I knew it wasn’t going to be great.” Zadora now lives happily in Las Vegas: “Meshulam and I were married for 18 years. There was a 28-year age difference and we grew out of each other but remain friends. The second husband is always about trying to find yourself, coming out of a long marriage, on the rebound. I have a child with him and we still fight — but it’s all about the kid — but the third one is my soul

mate, a cop. I had a stalker and he was the detective on the case. I went down and filed my report, we went on a first date and two weeks later were engaged. Now together ten years and the best part is he’s my own age. I had no idea that was legal! “I have ADD and get stopped a lot for driving 95 miles an hour if the kids are late for school. The cop will say, ‘You’re going to jail,’ and I’ll say, ‘Ohmigod, I have to tell my husband!’ ‘Who’s your husband?’ And I pull out his badge and certificate. ‘Oh shit! You’re husband’s a cop? What’s his name?’ “And then I’ll run into the same cop three days later. ‘Oh, this is ridiculous!’ ‘Can I have one more chance?’ I’ll plead. ‘Okay, fine, because your husband loves you and you make him very happy.” What is he telling him? I have no makeup on, no coffee in me yet, who is he? I’d rather have the ticket!”

celebration of England’s traditional values and class system, starring the impossibly aristocratic — sometimes unintentionally hilarious, they’re so arch — and stoic Clive Brook and exquisite Diana Wynyard. Downstairs, the lower orders were represented by the treasurably raucous Una O’Connor and drunken Herbert Mundin. Notable for its haunting Titanic sequence, “20th Century Blues,” sung by Ursula Jeans in a stunning Deco montage, and its splendid costumes, designed by my late friend Earl Luick, who said their rare mention in the contemporary reviews of the film only pissed off its producer, Winfield Sheehan. “Downton” fans will dote on this one.

H.G. Wells’ “Dr. Moreau” novel, with homosexual Charles Laughton having a demonic field day with his creepy legions of half-ape men who will really give you nightmares. Rarities in the series I haven’t seen but am breathlessly anticipating include “Cradle Song” (Feb. 21), set in a convent, directed by the gay and always visually masterful Mitchell Leisen and starring Dorothea Wieck, from the lesbian classic “Maedchen in Uniform,” whom Paramount tried unsuccessfully to turn into a Garbo-esque star.

I can’t believe that Warner’s could allow “Convention City,” known as perhaps the dirtiest of all Pre-Codes — which star Joan Blondell said was once screened at stag parties — to be a lost film. At any event, there will be a dramatic reading of the original script (Feb. 18), at which you may close your eyes and imagine how the likes of Blondell, icy Mary Astor, oily Adolphe Menjou, and perennial juvenile Dick Powell once cavorted without the questionable benefit of bluestocking edits or revisions.

The sublimely pretty Loretta Young was never the

“Dancing Lady” (Mar. 6): This lavish Joan Crawford MGM musical gives her the chance to show off her terrific legs (in some rather wobbly dance routines with Astaire), her then trademark obsession with gardenias, her ubiquitous emotional anguish (torn between roughhouse director Clark Gable and epicene millionaire Franchot Tone), and, most of all, that incredibly gorgeous face — before it became a frozen, comical Joker-mask — with its architectural bone structure and huge, luscious features.

greatest actress, but is well represented by two of her best, playing adorable preAudrey Hepburn waifs in dire need of protection. “Zoo in Budapest” (Feb. 21) is a dream-like idyll set in the famous Hungarian menagerie, photographed by the great Lee Garmes and, yes, the animals are set free. The emotionally fecund “Man’s Castle” (Feb. 20) directed by romance specialist Frank Borzage, addresses the Depression head-on, set in a shanty town on the East River, with her reallife lover Spencer Tracy as her grubby savior. Wonderful Marjorie Rambeau, a powerhouse of a character actress, is especially vivid and raffish.

“ C a v a l c a d e ” (Feb. 24): The Oscar -winning best film of the year was this costly transferral of Noel Coward’s play, a shameless

“King Kong” (Mar. 3) needs no explanation, but a much rarer and far more horrifying entry is “Island of Lost Souls” (Feb. 28), a wild adaptation of

Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@aol. com and check out his blog at http://


February 13, 2013 |


Koch’s Legacy





Christopher Byrne (Theater), Susie Day, Doug Ireland (International), Brian McCormick (Dance), Dean P. Wrzeszcz

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Seth J. Bookey, Anthony M.Brown, Kelly Jean Cogswell, Andres Duque, Michael Ehrhardt, Steve Erickson, Erasmo Guerra, Frank Holliday, Andy Humm, Eli Jacobson, David Kennerley, Gary M. Kramer, Arthur S. Leonard, Michael T. Luongo, Lawrence D. Mass, Winnie McCroy, Eileen McDermott, Mick Meenan, Tim Miller, Gregory Montreuil, Christopher Murray, David Noh, Pauline Park, Nathan Riley, Chris Schmidt, Jason Victor Serinus, David Shengold, Yoav Sivan, Gus Solomons Jr., Kathleen Warnock, Benjamin Weinthal








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PUBLISHER EMERITUS JOHN W. SUTTER Gay City News, The Newspaper Serving Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender NYC, is published by NYC Community Media, LLC. Send all inquiries to: Gay City News, 515 Canal Street, Unit 1C, NYC 10013 Phone: 212.229.1890 Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this paper, in part or whole, can be reproduced or redistributed. All contents (c) 2012 Gay City News.

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© 2012 Gay City News. All rights reserved.

Even 23 years after Ed Koch’s departure from public office, journalists and commentators struggled over the past 10 days to neatly summarize and assess his 12 years at the helm of New York City government. Many written accounts chose to highlight, in either laudatory or nostalgic tones — or both — the frequent colorful moments in the career of a brash and at times omnipresent mayor. The most substantive praise for Koch came regarding his success in creating or rehabbing several hundred thousand units of affordable housing. He was credited, in far less specific terms, for b r i n g i n g N e w Yo r k b a c k from the mid-‘70s brink of bankruptcy — surely a vast oversimplification of a very complicated story. Many even cited his co-sponsorship, as a House member from Manhattan, of the earliest gay rights measure in Congress. Only the last of these f a c t o r s , h o w e v e r, w a s relevant to the specific job Gay City News faced in recounting and contextualizing the legacy of Ed Koch. In a pair of stories that begin on pages 8 and 9, Andy Humm and Duncan Osborne do what almost no other journalist could — they offer smart, well reported, and appropriately detailed accounts of Koch’s LGBT and AIDS records informed by a sophisticated knowledge and understanding of the gay community’s history in New York over the past 30 years. In the process, three principal questions emerge. How well did Koch follow up

on his early progressivism on gay rights as mayor? How adequate was his response to AIDS and where and why did he fail? And, finally, what was the impact of his continued closetedness as a gay man on his performance on LGBT and AIDS issues? It is that last question, of course, that has proved hardest to engage an intelligent and honest conversation about. For the most part, mainstream journalists deftly finesse the question — even when discussing at length the

mayor’s most ardent defender in the gay community, told Humm, “It would have been a magnificent thing if Koch had come out of the closet at the height of the [AIDS] crisis.” Mainstream journalists demonstrate a confounding reluctance to accept this sort of “proof” when it comes to the unacknowledged homosexuality of a public figure — a reticence found almost nowhere else in our media culture. Even the g e n e r a l l y f e a r l e s s Wa y n e Barrett, writing in his 2001 book “Rudy!” about the

What was the impact of his continued closetedness as a gay man on his performance on LGBT and AIDS issues? widespread speculation about Koch’s sexuality — by keeping grammatical constructions safely in the hypothetical. Noting that he w as “a bachel or,” the New York T imes wrote, “Perhaps inevitably there were rumors, some promoted by his enemies, that he was gay. But no proof was offered…” The Times almost sounds as though it were facing the sort of cultural unknowables encounter ed by anthropologist Margaret Mead in some far -of f Stone Age culture when it writes about lack of “proof.” Humm, in his piece, cites two named sources — one a longtime political leader in the gay community, David Rothenberg, who knew Koch and his lover of the time, Richard Nathan, in the 1970s, and the other a deceased executive director of the city’s leading Latino AIDS organization, Dennis deLeon, who found himself the object of the then-mayor’s romantic hopes. Just as telling, a longtime Koch friend, journalist and author Charles Kaiser, without doubt the late

simultaneous efforts of AIDS activists Larry Kramer and Rodger McFarlane and then US Attor ney Rudolph Giuliani to get to the bottom of Koch’s sexuality, just won’t go there… Despite the fac t Koc h’s e v ide nt panic , painstakingly chronicled by Barrett, over the threat that Nathan might r etur n fr om Califor nia to out him could only make sense if there had in fact been a romantic relationship. Once the conversation moves around to the inevitable conclusion that Koch was gay, a new line of defense against talking about it emerges: Why is that relevant? Did it really impact any policy or governing choices he made? Wasn’t he, after all, an early supporter of gay rights? He doesn’t belong in that group of closeted politicians who have hypocritically har med the LGBT community, does he? For me, there is no easy, definitive answer to the question of how the closet affected Koch’s public life. Thanks to Humm and

Osborne, this much we know: Along with Bella Abzug, another Manhattan House Democrat, Koch was at the forefront of the effort to introduce a federal gay civil rights law — one far bolder and br oader, in fact, than the pr oposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act currently under consideration. Widespread questions about his sexuality emerged as early as his 1977 run for mayor, when signs popped up in Queens reading “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo” — a scarring experience that haunted the for mer mayor m o r e t h a n 3 0 y e a r s l a t e r, as evidenced by a video interview with the T imes released when he died. In that same campaign, Koch often appeared on the stump with former Miss America Bess Myerson in a way calculated to invite speculation about a romance. Despite his commitment to enact a city gay rights law, the mayor -elect in the final months of 1977 scuttled efforts by outgoing Mayor Abe Beame to push the bill over the finish line. Six months after telling advocates the measure would be a lay-up, Koch was castigating them for their impatience. Despite frequent appearances to testify on behalf of the bill, the mayor hid behind the intransigence of the City Council majority leader in justifying why it took another nine years to get the job done. A year or so before the gay rights law’s enactment, Koch remained mute as C a r d i n a l J o h n O ’ C o n n o r, standing next to him at a press conference, warned that enforcing a nondiscrimination policy on city contractors would force Catholic charitable organizations to expose the youth they work with to homosexual men. On AIDS, the mayor held activists at arm’s length for nearly two years,


KOCH'S LEGACY, continued on p.33


| February 13, 2013


Putting the Pope Out to Pasture



t's finally curtains for the inauspicious reign of Pope Benedict the Whatever, who resigned Monday citing health concerns as the reason for breaking a 600-year -old tradition of serving until death. I suspect he was just sulking after his attempts to "protect" straight marriage in France were soundly defeated. Or maybe he was finally diagnosed with extreme irony deficiency. What else could you call it when a guy spends half his time trying to minimize man-on-boy sex abuse by priests and the other half using any platform at hand to condemn per fectly consensual adult homosexual relations and equality under the law? Or for attacking American nuns as radical feminists, just because they prioritized issues like poverty and social justice over homos at the altars and desperate girls in abortion clinics? I'd dance a little gay jig in the slush outside the door, but God knows who they'll slip in there next. There are predictions younger cardinals will go for a pope from a nation like Ghana or Honduras to court Catholics in developing nations. The outgoing pontiff doesn't get a vote, but in the past he's said choosing an African pope for the first time would "send a splendid signal to the world" about the universality of the Church. On the other hand, he didn't exactly stack the papal deck with likely candidates.


KOCH'S LEGACY, from p.32

declined to explore public housing opportunities or other targeted benefits for those critically ill from the HIV virus, ignored his health commissioner’s warning that needle exchange was needed to stave of f thousands of infections, and simultaneously minimized the scope of the epidemic and exaggerated the resources the city was devoting to combat it — particularly as he made misleading comparisons to what was being done in San Francisco. In the face of a public health emergency of unprecedented proportions, Koch dithered. Activists Allen Roskoff and Larry Kramer argue that his actions cannot be understood separate

Peter Turkson, though he's slipping in the odds. Turkson, a papal baby at 64, isn't particularly homo-friendly, but he does have other things on his mind. Bloody wars in Africa. Poverty. Currently president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he's been an outspoken critic of the global financial system. Against abortion and birth control, he does condone allowing married people with HIV to

use condoms, though he said African condoms are so bad they might not get the job done. On the other hand, he got into hot water last year, at the Vatican, when he screened an Islamophobic YouTube clip asserting, "In just 39 years, France will be an Islamic republic." A gr ow i ng fa vor i te in t he rac e , though probably not for queers, is the ultrawhite Cardinal Marc Ouellet, for mer archbishop of Quebec. Another youngster at 68, he condemns abortion even in the case of rape, calling it a "moral crime." And in 2005, Ouellet told the Canadian Senate that the Church would refuse to baptize the children of gay and lesbian parents, asserting that by marrying, same-sex couples demonstrated a public contempt for the Church. He seemed to soften in 2007, publishing a letter in Frenchlanguage newspapers in Quebec publicly apologizing on behalf of the Catholic Church for past "errors," including promoting "anti-Semitism, racism, indifference to First Nations [native Canadians], and discrimination against women and homosexuals." But this gesture was less about "repentance and reconciliation" than a bid to re-establish Quebec's attachment to its "Christian and missionary identity" at a moment when the traditionally Catholic Quebec

was getting ready to replace religious instruction with courses on ethics, morality, and world religions. There's not much hope for us on the Italian side, either. Car dinal Angelo Scola is head of the Milan archdiocese and has asserted that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy and other horrors. He has strong links with Communion and Liberation, the ultra-conservative, anti-science Catholic political lobbying group that is similar to Opus Dei. He also gets on unfortunately well with his ultraconservative Muslim counterparts and will be sure to continue the Vatican-Islamic block tradition that has emerged at the United Nations in response to demands from women and queers worldwide. Better for everybody is Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras, the president of the Church's confederation of relief and development agencies. He's considered a moderate, but he is anti-abortion and slammed Ricky Martin for using a surr ogate mother. In his favor, he actually believes in science and denounced global envir onmental policy as a kind of apartheid that sacrificed the needs of developing nations. There are plenty more, including Tarcisio Bertone, Benedict's number two and Vatican secretary of state, who actually blamed homosexual infiltration of the clergy for Catholic child sex scandals. We could count on him as a Benedict Redux, repeating the idiotic papal refrain that gay marriage is a bigger threat to the human race than disease, famine, and terrorism. If he wins, beware! I'll get gay-married for sure.

from his closetedness. In their view, his self-loathing had calamitous ramifications. Osborne’s story suggests that his administration’s lethal caution was based on more prosaic political calculations related to fear of creating costly new municipal entitlements and spawning political backlash from voters anxious not to return to the profligate ‘60s and ‘70s. Several years before his 2009 death, Rodger McFarlane made a similar argument to me. After the city’s long decline under his predecessors, Koch believed he had enabled New York to declare itself open for business again, McFarlane said. AIDS was an inconvenient truth that ran counter to that narrative. It is also undeniable that Koch’s political base shifted radically

between his time in Congress and his victory in the 1977 mayor’s race. Manhattan liberalism was no longer his brand. Instead, he per fected the ver nacular and gut instincts of the outer boroughs. How all these factors came together in shaping Koch’s dozen years in City Hall is difficult to pin down with absolute confidence. Had he come out, of course, the a r c h b i s h o p o f N e w Yo r k w o u l d never have dared hurl the most vile of blood libels at the gay community. Koch’s nearly perverse inability to have a constructive dialogue with gay and AIDS activists in the early years of the epidemic was almost certainly conditioned by his discomfort with a community that increasingly believed that if you were gay and

in public life yo u s ho uld s ay s o . And only by detaching himself from his gay identity could he r emain so publicly combative in response to the human tragedy unfolding around him. In time, we may know more to help us better sort out and pin down Ed Koch’s difficult legacy. One thing is for certain, though. If in 2016, the US economy has improved so that Americans feel better about their futures, but joblessness remains rampant in Harlem and Bed-Stuy and on Chicago’s South Side and in L A ’ s Wa t t s , n o j o u r n a l i s t w o u l d think twice about pursuing a story examining whether the first African-American president had failed his black constituents and if fatal caution was to blame.

Most of his cardinals are still mostly white of good old European stock. And, in Ireland and Britain, bookmakers have Italian candidates running neck and neck with African ones. There's also a Canadian up there with his nose not far from the wire. And a Honduran in the chase. Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze is definitely papabile, partly because nobody was ready for Ben's resignation, and at 80 Arinze will only stick around long enough for other eager candidates to get their maneuver ing done. Conservative in all things women and birth control, he's declared, "It is not progress [to support gay marriage], it is decadence." Probably the best hope for queers to be left alone is Ghanaian Cardinal

A growing favorite in the race, though probably not for queers, is the ultrawhite Cardinal Marc Ouellet, former archbishop of Quebec.

34 BAM, from p.18

Also like Cunningham, Brown collaborated with illustrious visual artists and music-makers who enhanced the impact of her dances. For “Set and Reset,” Laurie Anderson created the score “Long Time, No See,” a cacophony of distorted voices and chimes, and Robert Rauschenberg fashioned the visual presentation — black-and-white news film clips, projected on a trio of geometric solids that rise from the ground and hover above the dancers. “Set and Reset” is full of Brown’s playfulness, often based on holding a mirror to theatrical conventions. At the start, three dancers carry another one horizontally overhead, as she walks her feet along imaginary walls. The stage’s transparent side legs reveal how offstage helpers support the dancers as they lean in from the wings. Dancers purposely muss up the side legs or grab onto them, as a partner swings them like a gate from


and leotards underneath. Moment to moment, the dance looks less unconventional in structure than most of Brown’s work, perhaps indicating less hands-on management by Brown and more by Carolyn Lucas, her choreographic assistant, and the highly capable dancers themselves. Alvin Curran, planted unobtrusively at a grand piano upstage, plays his original score “Toss and Find.” Its changing sonic densities add variety to the insistently medium speed of the dancing. A special treat was original company member Vicky Shick’s performance of “Homemade,” Brown’s 1966 solo for herself. Shick has an 8mm projector strapped to her back, playing a film of her doing the dance. Filming of Shick is by Babette Mangolte, based on Robert Whitman’s original one of Brown. We see fleeting glimpses of the film, as it beams behind Shick. The darting, whipping film image amplifies her slightest changes of the angles of her torso.

dance, 2011’s “Les Yeux et l’âme” (“The Eyes and the Soul”), a suite from JeanPhilippe Rameau’s full-length opera “Pygmalion” with costumes by Elizabeth Cannon and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. The program ended with the whimsically titled premiere “I’m going to toss my arms — if you catch them they’re yours.” It’s another essay in Trisha’s language of swing, drop, wind, suspend, rebound, and collapse, all done at leisurely speed. Burt Barr’s visual presentation for “arms” is a dozen giant industrial fans, lined up along stage left. The eight dancers, wearing loose white shirts and pants by Kaye Voyce, are doing a phrase amidst the fans, in and out of sync with each other. Gradually, Neal Beasley travels toward center stage, and the fans blow his shirt off. This wind-blown undressing continues throughout the dance in trios and quartets of men, of women, of both. The gale blows off their whites, revealing the solid color shorts

When the film finally reaches its narrative and emotional climax, it feels as though it should continue for another five minutes to let the mood fully sink in. Nadda has made a thriller of sorts, yet the ratio of talk to action is about 20

to one. She’s said she intended the film as a tribute to her father. Siddig has a real charisma and toughness seldom seen from Arab men in Western cinema, when they’ve been depicted at all. His performance recalls Liam Neeson’s

middle-aged reinvention as an action star. Nadda, however, isn’t really suited to this type of film. It plays as though it were made for the macho equivalent of the Lifetime Channel. The direction and editing of action scenes are inept and amateurish. “Inescapable” isn’t really about the conflicts currently tearing up Syria. At most, it addresses their roots. Its narrative makes the casting of Israeli actor Oded Fehr as a Syrian bitterly ironic. And I’m not sure that a thriller is the best framework in which to explore Middle Eastern politics. As critical as I’ve been of Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” at least Bigelow didn’t feel the need to leaven her hero’s obsessive nature with sentiment and then give short shrift to those emotions. “Inescapable” offers a respectful treatment of its Arab characters’ struggles, set at a central position rare in North American cinema, but it waters itself down in its effort to make them palatable to a non-Arab audience.

present screenings of his film “Woodpecker,” which is playing to ever-smaller audiences. (The real Karpovsky made a film of the same name in 2008). His brother’s lover instructs him to tone down his anger by finding a substitute for the F-word, and this prompts the film’s funniest running joke. Alex’s loneliness and misfortunes are played for laughs, and audiences will either be amused or roll their eyes as Alex experiences back spasms at the worst possible moments and is repeatedly rebuffed trying to secure a late check-out time from the hotels where he stays. “Red Flag” plays on the idea of second chances, with its humor coming

from the ways in which Alex ruins first chances. As in “Rubberneck,” Karpovsky’s character lacks confidence but engenders little sympathy in part because he is also selfish. Alex is a true sad sack, struggling with all manner of emotional and physical discomfort, including a badly damaged toenail. The filmmaker, though, sometimes tries too hard, as when someone throws beads in Alex’s face in New Orleans. One awkwardly funny scene has Alex leaving a bar one night, only to be trapped in the parking lot because two guys are leaned up against his car making out. “Red Flag” includes several foils who test Alex’s patience. River (Jennifer Pre-

diger) compliments him at a screening and later that night has sex with him. He regrets it immediately and tells her as much when she tracks him down at his next screening. When River then hooks up with Alex’s friend Henry (Onur Tukel), who has joined him on his trip, Alex’s heartache flares up again and he refocuses on winning Rachel back. A scene where he purchases an engagement ring he hopes Rachel will accept is a highlight of the film. Alex’s efforts to keep his dalliance with River a secret from both Henry and Rachel generates some tension, though not enough for a big payoff. Still, Karpovsky ends his uneven comedy by giving audiences a sly smile.

INESCAPABLE, from p.27

he suddenly emigrated to Canada for mysterious reasons. Upon his return to Syria, he is greeted by Fatima at the border and meets up with Canadian diplomat Paul Ridge (Joshua Jackson) and an old friend, Sayid (Oded Fehr). With their help, which comes with plenty of strings attached, he tries to track down his daughter. A s a s c r e e n w r i t e r, N a d d a i s terribly clumsy. “Inescapable” seems simultaneously overloaded and prone to withholding. It’s full of complex backstory, yet most of it doesn’t emerge naturally from Abid’s interactions with Sayid and Fatima. Much of the time, she tells more than she shows. The true nature of Sayid and Abid’s friendship — the reasons for the tension between them, beneath a veneer of joie de vivre — is revealed through a piece of microfilm, not their interactions. Abid’s concern for his daughter is the motor behind the entire narrative, so why does it so often play like a plot device?


one wing to the next. The onstage traffic also reflects Brown’s witty infatuation with momentum, as an onrushing dancer collides with the outstretched arm of another, doubling herself over in midair. Or a dancer jumps into the arms of another, collapsing both of them to the floor. The structural conceit of the 1987 “Newark (Niweweorce)” is a continuous duet, done in uncanny unison by Nicholas Strafaccia and Stuart Shugg. Six women — Cecily Campbell, Tara Lorenzen, Megan Madorin, Leah Morrison, Tamara Riewe, and Jamie Scott — flit like passing thoughts through a mediating mind, but we never see more than four of them onstage at a time. Periodically, colored backdrops by Donald Judd slowly descend to the floor behind, in front of, or between the moving dancers. Paired with Ken Tabachnick’s sun-drenched lighting, they continually alter the space and our perception of it. I was sorry to miss the other “last”

RUBBERNECK, from p.29

Dashed love is also at the core of Karpovsky’s “Red Flag,” a frustration comedy

about a filmmaker named Alex Karpovsky who is, of course, played by Karpovsky. As the film opens, Alex is moving out of the house he shared with his girlfriend Rachel (Caroline White). The back pain he suffers in loading up the car complements the emotional hurt he feels as his four-and-a-half-year relationship ends. Alex heads over to his gay brother’s house before embarking on a two-week road trip to the South, where he will



February 13, 2013 |

Joshua Jackson and Alexander Siddig in Ruba Nadda’s “Inescapable.”


| February 13, 2013


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February 13, 2013 | a boy forging a bond with his young mother and later as a gay man looking for love in New York. On Feb. 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m., spiritworker Eva Yaa Asantewaa presents “Women Loving Women: Spirituality and Healthy Relationships,” an interactive talk for queer women and trans people. On Feb. 17, 8 p.m., there is a screening of “Mommy Is Coming,” Cheryl Dunye’s sassy, raunchy, romantic sex comedy set in the edgy underground of Berlin, where love and taboo affairs collide. BAAD, 841 Barretto St. btwn. Garrison & Lafayette Aves., Hunts Point (Hunts Point Ave. on #6 train). For more information, visit


THEATER The Laramie Project a Decade On: A Marathon Staging

February 20: Paul Hutcheson at the Frigid New York Festival.

PERFORMANCE A Bawdy Valentine’s Night

accompanied by a potluck dinner and a reading of Eve Enlser's new monologue, "Rising," presented by Bronx writer and actress Desi Moreno-Penson. Feb. 14, 7 p.m.. On Feb. 15, 8 p.m., Sheldon Larry’s “Leave It on the Floor,” about a black gay youth thrown out of his home who discovers the Los Angeles ball scene, is screened. On Feb. 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Dr. Alfredo Burnett, a social worker, leads an interactive workshop, “Men Loving Men,” for gay men and trans people on how to build successful relationships and communicate our needs — romantically, in friendships, and in other parts of our life. On Feb. 16, 8 p.m., there are screenings of filmmaker Terracino’s short, “Crush,” written by the Bronx’s Dominic Colon, about a young gay man coming out to his high school crush at the prom, and Gloria LaMorte’s “Elliot Loves,” about a Dominican American’s life — first as


In its “Get Tough, Get BAAD!” series of free events, the Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance celebrates Valentine’s Day with a dance, community discussions, and a series of films celebrating queer power, diversity, defiance, and visibility. The series, initiated in 2010 in the wake of heinous anti-gay attacks in the Bronx and elsewhere in the city, opens with “Rise Up and Dance: V-Day One Billion Rising,” a global event in which a billion women, including trans women, and those who love them demand an end to violence. A community love-in and dance will be

The World Famous *BOB* hosts a “Filthy Gorgeous Valentine’s Spectacular,” featuring the jazz and ragtime vaudeville duo Gelber & Manning and steamy burlesque performances by Ms Tickle, Gal Friday, Cherry Typhoon, Brewster, Gin Minsky & Dandy Wellington, Shelly the Singing Siren, and the NY City Burlesque Choir. DJ Momotaro provides the tunes. Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St. Feb. 14, 8 p.m. Doors open at 6. Admission is $25-$45 at; $30-$50 at the door.

DANCE Classics from Leichter, Bang Group & Elkins



COMMUNTIY Dance, Film & Empowerment at BAAD

The Brooklyn Academy of Music reunites the majority of the cast from the original 2000 production of “The Laramie Project,” the oral history of the aftermath of the 1998 anti-gay murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming created by Moisés Kaufman and members of his Tectonic Theater Project. The new production includes the original plus, plus the first fully staged New York production of “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.” Written by Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber, “Ten Years Later” is directed by Kaufman and Fondakowski. BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St. at Rockwell Pl. Feb. 12-24. The production is presented in consecutive weeknight evenings on Feb 14 & 15; Feb 19 & 20; Feb 21 & 22, 7:30 p.m. Weekend marathons are presented on Feb. 16, 17, 23 & 24, 2:30 p.m., with a dinner break btwn. Parts 1 & 2. Tickets are $20-$80 for each part at; packages to see both shows on weeknights must be purchased on consecutive evenings.

DanceNow at Joe’s Pub presents “Dorothy, Annie, Maria,” a program featuring excerpts from three acclaimed works it commissioned over the past decade — Nicholas Leichter Dance’s “The Whiz: Emerald City,” the Bang Group’s” ShowDown,” and Doug Elkins’ “Fräulein Maria.” “The Whiz: Emerald City” (2010) reimagines New York’s underground communities through song, dance, and “Prince-esque extravaganzardry.” “ShowDown” (2009) takes songs from Irving Berlin's “Annie Get Your Gun,” strips them of their original narrative context, and sets them in a contemporary choreographic world. A Bessie Award-winning production, “Fräulein Maria” (2006) is an irreverent, kinetic twist on “The Sound of Music,” set to selections from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s score. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Feb 14-16, 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 at; $20 at the door,

plus a $12 food & drink minimum for table seating. Call 212-967-7555 for a table reservation. Doors open at 6 p.m. for cocktails or dinner.


MUSIC Toshi Reagon PostValentine’s Sade Salute

Toshi Reagon presents “Good Folk Lovers Rock: A Post-Valentine’s Day Sade Love Fest.” The evening of R&B, hip hop, and blues includes performances by Reagon, Ganessa James, Allison Miller, Kimberly Nichole, Alex Nolan, Morley, and Sun Singleton. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Feb. 15, 9 p.m. Admission is $20 at, plus a $12 food & drink minimum for table seating. Call 212967-7555 for a table reservation.

COMMUNITY The State of the AfricanAmerican Gay Male Community

Men of All Colors Together/ New York — a multi-racial, multi-cultural organization of gay and bisexual men committed to combating racial discrimination in the LGBT community and providing a supportive environment for non-oppressive relating among gay men — welcomes Dr. Marjorie Hill, the CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, who will speak about current issues in the African-American community, including the future of AIDS/HIV care and services in this community and, specifically, the needs of gay and bi men of color as well as of women, who are often underserved. LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Feb. 15, 8-10 p.m. For more information on MACTNY, visit


GALLERY Jonathan Ned Katz — the Artist

Groundbreaking gay historian Jonathan Ned Katz, author of “Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A.” (1976) and “The Invention of Heterosexuality” (1995), has his first solo art show, “Making History, Making Art,” which demonstrates the importance of visual art over the course of his life, including samples of the art he produced as a child (Pop Art before Pop Art), teen, and young man. The show will focus on Katz’s recent paintings of men, praised by his curator — Jonathan David Katz (no relation), director of the Visual Culture Studies at SUNY Buffalo’s doctoral program — for their “passion, sensuality, and immediacy.” Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster St., btwn. Grand & Canal Sts. Feb. 15-Mar. 31. Tue.-Sun., noon-6 p.m. On Feb. 16, 4 p.m., the two Katzes join Steph Rogerson and Kelly McCray, curators of “Rare & Raw” — a Leslie-Lohman exhibition jointly presented with the College Art Association — and artists Nina Levitt and Ken Moffatt. On Feb. 26, 6-8 p.m., Jonathan Ned Katz reads from his memoir “Coming of Age in Greenwich Village: A Memoir with Paintings,” Susan Sherman reads her poems, and Carol Polcovar reads a memoir of growing up in the mid-20th century. For more information, visit


SAT.FEB.16, continued on p.37


| February 13, 2013


SAT.FEB.16, from p.36

PERFORMANCE Because of the Wonderful Things He Does

“The Wonderful Wizard Of Song” is a musical revue celebrating the compositions of Harold Arlen and featuring “Stormy Weather,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Paper Moon,” “Accentuate-The-Positive,” “Lets Fall in Love,” and the tunes from “The Wizard of Oz.” The show stars the Three Crooners — George Bugatti, Marcus Goldhaber, and Joe Shepherd — who are joined by Antoinette Henry. St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W. 46th St. Through Mar. 14; Mon., 7 p.m.; Wed., 2 p.m.; Thu., 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50-$69.50 at or 212239-6200. For more information, visit


NIGHTLIFE Daniel Nardicio at 1,000

Gay party promoter extraordinaire Daniel Nardicio celebrates his 1000th party with a President’s Day Weekend blowout, featuring his muse, nightlife celebrity Will Wikle of “Big Brother” fame, and Glammy-winning special guest host and drag kook Thorgy Thor. The evening includes visuals by Marco Ovando and Neddershred, DN’s signature Go Go boys, plus underwear giveaways by Undergear. Sammy Jo — the DJ for the Scissor Sisters tour — Nita Aviance, Jon Jon Battles, and Johnny Dynell will spin tunes. Rebel Nightclub, 251 W. 30th St. Feb. 17, 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 at


MUSIC Brel & Trénet in Concert

The New York Festival of Song continues its 25th anniversary season with a celebration of two of the 20th century’s greatest balladeers in “Jacques Brel & Charles Trénet: Fire and Fantasy.” Pianist and NYFOS artistic director Steven Blier is joined by tenor Philippe Pierce, making his company debut, mezzo-soprano Marie Lenormand, accordionist Bill Schimmel, and Broadway veteran Greg Utzig on banjo and guitar. Merkin Concert Hall at Kauffman Center, 129 W. 67th St. Feb. 19, 8 p.m. Tickets are $40-$55; $10 for students or 212.501.3330. A wine reception with the cast follows the performance.

pot comedy, comedians Rob Salerno and Christopher Sawchyn, and honorary Canucks Mike Albo, D’Yan Forrest, the Screw You Revue, Ben Lerman, and TheSwimmingPools. Wed.-Sat,. midnight; Feb. 20-Mar. 2. Under St. Mark’s, 94 St. Mark’s Place, btwn. First Ave. & Ave. A. Admission is $5. Kathleen Warnock’s "That's Her Way, directed by Vivian Meisner," is an elegant two-hander that takes place in the present and the past in a small Southern town, where the questions of half a lifetime ago still haven't been answered. Feb. 22, 6 p.m.; Feb. 24, 6:15 p.m.; Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Mar. 1, 6 p.m.; Mar. 3, noon. Red Room, 85 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Tickets are $10-$16. Brooklyn’s Estraña Theatre Company presents Jane Shepard’s “Commencing,” in which beautiful Kelli, eagerly anticipating a blind date, to her dismay meets one very disappointed lesbian, Arlin. Mutually appalled, yet appallingly intrigued, they proceed to pull the screws loose on both straight and gay women's culture. Christina Massie directs. Feb. 23, 2 p.m.; Feb. 24, 3:30 p.m.; Feb. 25, 7 p.m.; Feb. 28, 10:15 p.m.; Mar. 3, 12:30 p.m. The Kraine Theater, 85 E. Fourth St. , btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Tickets are $10-$16. John Grady's solo shot, “Little Pussy,” features true tales of being picked on, chased down, and beat up, from his youth to adulthood. Will he ever stand and fight? Feb. 22, 9:15 p.m.; Feb. 24, 1:30 p.m.; Feb. 28, 10:45 p.m.; Mar. 2, 9:30 p.m. Red Room, 85 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Tickets Are $10-$16. Lucas Brooks’ solo show, “VGL 5’4” Top,” directed by Matthew Klein,” follows Lucas, a sexually frustrated and vertically challenged young top. Armed with only a laptop and a quick wit against all the sick and tired short jokes and snobbery he finds among other gay men, he fights back. Feb. 22, 4:30 p.m.; Feb. 23, 4:45 p.m.; Feb. 24, 7:45 p.m.; Feb. 26, 10:45 p.m.; Mar. 1, 10:45 p.m. Red Room, 85 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Tickets are $7-10. For complete festival information and to buy tickets, visit

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

"Dear Charlie" features out singer Charlie Maffei offering a whirlwind tour through the ins and outs of love. Charlie brings his matchmaking secrets center stage, allowing love to carry the evening as he offers advice on communication, first dates, special moments, and achieving lifelong love. The musical director is David Andrew Rogers, who led national tours of “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cats,” and “Chicago.” Laurie Beechman Theater, 407 W. 42nd St. Feb. 20, Mar. 13, 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 at dearcharlie., and there is a $15 food & drink minimum.

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PERFORMANCE Frigid and Queer

The Frigid New York Festival, now in its seventh year and running for two weeks, is an open and uncensored venue for new works, including many LGBT-themed highlights. “Canuck Cabaret” presented by out comedian Paul Hutcheson, who welcomes some of Canada’s best underground comedians, musicians, and dancers, including sexy Saskatchewan burlesque performer Sharon Nowlan, Jillian Thomas, the undisputed queen of Canadian



WED.FEB.20, continued on p.39

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www. gaycitynews .com


| February 13, 2013

READING All About Christopher Street

The “Drunken! Careening! Writers!” series presents readings by three contributors to "Love, Christopher Street," an anthology of LGBT life in the five boroughs over the past 40 years edited by Thomas Keith. Mark Ameen is the author of the poetry collections “A Circle of Sirens” and “The Buried Body” and the writer and performer of the solo shows “Seven Pillars of WiccaDick: A Triumph” and “Soul Suspended.” Penny Arcade, aka Susana Ventura, was a Warhol Factory superstar at 19 and is an internationally known writer, poet, actress, director, and one of the handful of artists who created and continue to define performance art pioneered nearly 30 years ago. A recovered academic, Justine Saracen learned writing fiction was way more fun, and has now completed seven historical thrillers, where she has traveled from Ancient Egyptian theology (“The 100th Generation”) to the Crusades (2007’s Lammy-nominated “Vulture's Kiss”) to the Roman Renaissance (“Sistine Heresy”). KGB Bar, 85 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Feb. 21, 7 p.m. Free.


CABARET Mixed Bag O’ Laurence

In “Mixed Bag O’ Blues (and stuff),” Evan Laurence mixes it up with blues, originals, and a bit of improv in a soul-infused show, in which he is joined by Matty B on piano and Peter Sloan Lewis on percussion, with a special appearance by David Slone. Don’t Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St. Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. The cover charge is $15, with a two-drink minimum. Reservations at



FIERCE, the Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment, an group made up of LGBT youth of color working to win safety and dignity for their community, presents Luvin’ You FIERCE-ly, a celebration of those who have shown the group love through the years. The group’s community awards will honor allies and donors as well as members who have made a difference. 147 W. 24th St., sixth fl. Feb. 22, 6-8:30 p.m. This event is free, but RSVP to Dress is comfortable fabulous.

DANCE Harkness Festival Kickoff

The five-week 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival kicks off with a world premiere of Doug Varone and Dancers’ “Mouth Above Water,” set to ”Cruel Sister,“ a new composition by composer Julia Wolfe. Feb. 22-23, 8 p.m.; Feb. 24, 3 p.m. Faye Driscoll presents a work in progress on Mar. 1-2, 8 p.m.; Mar. 3, 3 p.m. Liz Gerring Company presents “She Dreams In Code” on Mar 8-9, 8 p.m.; Mar. 10, 4 p.m.; Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence

presents “Gatekeepers” on Mar. 15-16, 8 p.m.; Mar 17, 3 p.m. Kate Weare Company presents “Garden” on Mar 22-23, 8 p.m.; Mar. 24, 3 p.m. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. Tickets are $20 at or 212-415-5500.


through the medium of film. Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St. Feb. 27, 7 p.m. Admission is $20; $18 for members at

for $50 and share-seekers can purchase tickets for $10 at 208 W. 13th St. Feb.25, 6-8:30 p.m. Beverages will be served. Additional Share-A-Thon dates are Mar. 18 & Apr. 17.

Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov Premieres

THEATER Detective Lacey & Mama Rose

The Collegiate Chorale presents the New York premieres of works by two major composers — Philip Glass’ “Symphony No. 7: Toltec” and Osvaldo Golijov’s “Oceana.” “Toltec,” 2004, is Glass’ homage to the ancient traditions and beliefs of the peoples of Mesoamerica, circa 700-1100 B.C. Golijov wrote “Oceana “ in 1996 in the spirit of a Bach cantata but with a Latin American musical style that features a jazz/pop vocalist, percussion, and guitars. Jazz vocalist Biella Da Costa is the evening’s guest artist. Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Ave. at 57th St. Feb. 27, 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 at,, or 646-435-9465.

CABARET Remember Etta James

In “Echoes of Etta,” William Blake channels the radiant voice of the late singer who for decades bridged the gap between rock and rock and rhythm and blues. Band members for “Echoes” include Michael Thomas Murray on piano, Levondo Thomas on bass, Steve Kelly on drums, Oscar Bautista on guitar, and Jay Leslie on sax. The Peaches back-up singers are Shira Elias, Ashley Betton, and Stephany Mora. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Feb. 23, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 at, plus a $12 food & drink minimum for table seating. Call 212-967-7555 for a table reservation.

Judy & Liza

The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) named Tommy Femia and Rick Skye, the stars of "Judy and Liza Together Again” (directed by Ricky Ritzel as Mort Lindsey/ Pappy), this year’s best duo. Their dizzying hollers and whoops are not being wasted on the Loop — they’re right here in New York, at Don’t Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St. Feb. 23, 8:30 p.m. Cover charge is $25, with a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-757-0788.

READING Antiquarian Books in the Village

The Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair, celebrating its 34th year, offers both the serious bibliophile and the casual browser a delightful opportunity to peruse rare and vintage books spanning the 17th through 21st centuries, including children's series and illustrated books, modern first editions, art, photography and design, maps and prints, political flyers, unusual paper ephemera and memorabilia, Dickensiana, paleontology, architecture, autographs, African-American studies, film history, and comics. The event raises funds for the inspired enrichment programs at P.S. 3 in the West Village, where it is held. 490 Hudson St., btwn. Christopher & Grove Sts. Feb. 23, noon-8 p.m.; Feb. 24, noon-5 p.m. Admission is $10 on Sat., for a two-day pass; $5 on Sun. More information at

Tyne Daly appears in conversation with David Saint, artistic director of the George Street Playhouse, where she appeared last year in “It Shoulda Been You.” The star of the iconic TV series “Cagney and Lacey,” Tony winner for “Gypsy,” and Tony nominee for “Rabbit Hole,” Daly will talk about highlights of her career and take audience questions. George Street Playhouse, 9 Livington Ave. at George St., New Brunswick, NJ. Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $60; $100 for premium seats and post-discussion reception at


Justin Lance Black’s Brainwaves

Justin Lance Black, the Academy Awardwinning screenwriter of “Milk,” the bio pic about the slain San Francisco gay right leader, appears in discussion with neurobiologist Thomas J. Carew, who studies how the brain captures, stores, and retrieves memory. Together, they explore how a screenwriter can both relive and remake history


MUSIC Well-Strung Re-Strung

Well-Strung, dubbed a “mash-up of string quartet and boy band,” features classical musicians — Edmund Bagnell, Christopher Marchant, Daniel Shevlin, and Trevor Wadleigh, hunks all — who sing, putting their own spin on the music of Mozart, Vivaldi, Pink, Lady Gaga, Adele, and others. They are  Music arrangements are by Daniel Levinson and Daniel Shevlin. Coinciding with the release of its debut CD on Twist Records, the quartet returns for a three-week encore engagement directed by Donna Drake. Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the YMCA, 10 W. 64th St. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m., Feb. 28-Mar. 16. Tickets are $5 at or 800-838-3006.


OPERA “Cosi Fan Tutte” at Union Theological

The Opera Company of Brooklyn, in partnership with the Barnard-Columbia Chamber Choir, performs Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte,” conducted by Jay Meetze and featuring a line-up of rising opera stars. Union Theological Seminary, James Chapel, 3041 Broadway at 121st St. Mar. 1, 8 p.m. Admission is $10; $5 for students. Reservations at


AT THE BEACH Finding Just the Right House

The LGBT Community Center hosts the second in a series of monthly Fire Island Share-A-Thon events, where participants can find that perfect summer beach house share before it’s too late. Offerors (those interested in renting out shares) and seekers (those looking to rent shares) get a chance to meet, check out floor plans and photos, and get all the details for how to spend those summer days. Offerors can reserve a table


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10:20 AM

February 13, 2013 |

GAY CITY NEWS, FEB. 13, 2013  

Gay City News is NYCs only LGBT newspaper and it is America's largest circulation such paper.

GAY CITY NEWS, FEB. 13, 2013  

Gay City News is NYCs only LGBT newspaper and it is America's largest circulation such paper.