FREE VOLUME THIRTEEN, ISSUE SIX MARCH 19 - APRIL 1, 2014
Protesting St. Pat’s Bigotry, 23rd Year 08 Dirty Sock Puppets 25 New Transgender Regs in Schools 07 Council’s One Lesbian Speaks Up 10
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| March 19, 2014
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New Yorkers join global protests against African anti-gay laws
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eading AIDS group are pressing an ambitious plan on the city and state they say will end the AIDS epidemic in New York by
2020. “This isn’t pie in the sky,” said Daniel Tietz, executive director of ACRIA, an AIDS services group, at a March 12 meeting at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. “This is basic science and we actually know how to do it.” The plan envisions expanding HIV testing and quickly linking those who test positive to care and treatment. Early treatment pays health benefits to those who are HIV-positive. In addition, if they adhere to a treatment regimen, they are less infectious and far less likely to infect others. That second part of the equation is known within the AIDS field as “treatment as prevention.” Advocates also propose expanding the availability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), or giving uninfected people anti-HIV drugs to prevent infection, and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), or giving anti-HIV drugs to someone immediately after they are exposed to HIV to stop infection from taking hold. In addition to these biomedical interventions, the groups want to address the social factors, such as homelessness and poverty, that are associated with increased risk for HIV infection and with moving from an HIV diagnosis to AIDS. While there are separate plans for the city and state, they are largely the same. Some features are things that AIDS groups have sought for years. Their reliance almost entirely on biomedical interventions is shown by a single reference to condoms, saying that the state
should enact a law barring their use as evidence in prostitution trials. Housing Works, an AIDS services group, and the Treatment Action Group, a leading advocacy group that is not typically involved in state and local policy matters, are leading the effort. On March 19, 33 gay and AIDS groups and leading elected officials rallied in Albany in support of the plan. The groups want a state task force to formally write the plan, then the city and state will implement it. What is surprising is that there is no political resistance as of yet. While Governor Andrew Cuomo has not publicly backed the plan, Dr. Nirav Shah, the state health commissioner, endorsed it at a January 9 event at the World Bank. “What I would like to say, which I may get in trouble for, I think that New York State can commit to an end of the AIDS epidemic by 2020,” Shah said. In New York, which had roughly 3,400 new HIV diagnoses in 2013, Shah said, success would be “730 new infections or fewer” a year and that 95 percent of people who are newly diagnosed with HIV do not progress to AIDS. “That is an achievable goal for New York,” Shah said. “I think it’s a stretch goal... New York can lead the way. This can be a reality for the rest the country if not by 2020, shortly thereafter.” The state’s $54 billion Medicaid program is currently negotiating with antiHIV drug manufacturers to get them to reduce what they charge the state, something that is required to expand treatment. The majority of new infections in New York are in New York City, so the city’s participation is a necessity if the plan is to succeed. Like Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio has not publicly supported the plan, but advocates had supportive responses in meetings with Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the
GAY CITY NEWS
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
New York State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah endorsed the feasibility of a plan to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020.
City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett has not yet met with advocates regarding the 2020 plan, but has acknowledged that regimen adherence is a key issue for the success of PrEP.
deputy mayor for health and human services, and senior staff in the city’s health department. They have yet to met with Dr. Mary Bassett, the city’s health commissioner. The politics aside, there are considerable impediments to achieving the plan’s goal of reducing new HIV infections, not the least of which is reducing them among gay and bisexual men. “We do have real challenges among men having sex with men,” Shah said. “We have hot spots that are not improving.” PrEP and PEP have proven effectiveness. PEP, which must be initiated within 72 hours of potential HIV exposure, has not been widely publicized in the city nor is it widely available, and the plan seeks to change that. Americans have been slow to adopt PrEP. Between January 2011 and March 2013, 1,774 people started PrEP, according to Gilead Sciences, the company that markets Truvada, the PrEP drug. Gilead has not updated this data since last year. In PrEP studies, most of the participants who were supposed to be taking the drug did not adhere to the daily dosing schedule. When Bassett’s appointment was announced at a January 16 press conference, she acknowledged that the general response to PrEP was not enthusiastic. “It’s been the experience that the uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis has been quite low, and I think that signals the fact that we have to talk to affected communities to try and understand what’s important to them, what they value,” she said. Following that press conference, she said, “The problem with drugs is you have to take them. I know the evidence is good, I just have questions about relying on drugs.” Some data suggest that treatment as
prevention could also face obstacles in a neighborhood such as Chelsea-Clinton in Manhattan that has high HIV prevalence and high rates of unsafe sex among gay men. A 2013 study averaged the 2008 viral load –– a measure of the amount of virus in a person’s blood –– among HIVpositive people in different New York neighborhoods. Chelsea-Clinton had the lowest community viral load among the six neighborhoods studied, at 18,243 copies per milliliter of blood. In 2008, however, Chelsea-Clinton had the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in the city, at 167.5 per 100,000 people. The rate citywide was 47.6 per 100,000 people. So, despite lower viral loads in the neighborhood, infection rates remain relatively high. Treatment as prevention only works if people adhere to the drug schedule and some people with HIV struggle with adherence due to side effects, drug and alcohol problems, or other issues. In 2008, 35 percent of newly diagnosed HIV infections in the city had testing for anti-HIV drug resistance done within three months of diagnosis and 11.1 percent of the tests showed HIV drug resistance that had been transmitted to them. In 2012, half of the newly diagnosed HIV infections in the city had such testing done within three months and 15.6 percent of the tests showed transmitted drug resistance. The groups are arguing that if all the biomedical interventions are deployed at the same time in the same place along with addressing social factors, that will overcome the behaviors that defeat interventions that alone are less than 100 percent effective. “If we get the governor and the mayor to lead in this way, it will lead to success,” Tietz said. “It will be game-changing if New York goes down this road.”
| March 19, 2014
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
New Yorkers Join Global Protests Against African Anti-Gay Laws
Nine demonstrators were arrested outside the Consulate General of Nigeria in Midtown on March 7.
BY DUNCAN OSBORNE
Housing Works’ executive director Charles King addresses the demonstrators.
rian Solidarity Alliance, with Michael Ighodaro, a Housing Works staffer, being the primary organizer. Ighodaro is a gay Nigerian who won asylum here in the US. The rally was endorsed by a dozen gay and AIDS groups. Nigeria is the latest nation to enact harsh criminal penalties for homosexuality in a trend that stands in contrast to gains made by the LGBT community on marriage in North America and some European countries. On March 5, members of ACT UP, LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent, and Queer Nation gathered outside the Per manent Mission of Uganda to the UN to protest Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law, also recently put in place. That law applies harsh criminal penalties to LGBT Ugandans and even to those who fail to report knowledge of homosexual activity.
Similar protests were held in roughly a half dozen cities that day. Stacey Robinson, who convenes Maranatha, the LGBT ministry at New York City’s Riverside Church, told the crowd, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere… It does not matter if you are black, white, straight, gay, transgender, lesbian, whatever you are, you are entitled to your place on God’s green earth… What’s going on in Uganda, we’re not going to sit by and just let happen.” Gay City News Web Extras: Video of remarks by Stacey Robinson of the Riverside Church’s Marantha LGBT ministry is at tinyurl.com/otj5ahk. Gay City News columnist Kelly Cogswell and filmmaker Harriet Hirshorn provide a video report of the March 7 protest at the Nigerian Consulate at tinyurl.com/lmkshfy. (A transcript appears on the following page.)
Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, speaks outside the Consulate General of Nigeria on March 7.
GAY CITY NEWS
GAY CITY NEWS
ine AIDS activists were arrested after they blockaded the entrance to the Consulate General of Nigeria while protesting that country’s recently enacted law with harsh criminal penalties for LGBT people and for advocacy of LGBT causes. “We have gathered today to demonstrate our solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Nigeria and with their families and friends,” said Charles King, the president of Housing Works, an AIDS group, at a March 7 rally. “We stand today not only in solidarity with this community, but also with the same communities in Uganda, in Cameroon, in Jamaica, with the young black gay
man in East New York, with the young transgender Latina woman in the South Bronx, indeed, with all those around the globe, wherever they may dwell, who live in fear, who are forced from their homes, who suffer violence and indignities upon their person because of who they are or whom they love.” King spoke to the roughly 400 people who joined the rally that was held in Midtown Manhattan on Second Avenue across from the consulate. Moments after King’s speech, the nine activists blocked the entrance to the building. They were first addressed by a senior consulate staffer using a police megaphone, though he could not be heard over the activists’ chanting, then police warned them to disperse. Similar protests were held in seven other cities around the globe on March 7. The rally was produced by the Nige-
GAY CITY NEWS
GAY CITY NEWS
Nine arrested at March 7 Nigerian Consulate demo, two days after Ugandan UN Mission action
Demonstrators from groups including LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent protest outside the Ugandan UN Mission on March 5.
| March 19, 2014
Department of Education Issues New Transgender Guidelines BY ANDY HUMM
fter decades of dragging its feet on LGBT inclusion, the New York City public schools –– the nation’s largest school district –– took two big public steps forward in recent weeks in tandem with a hearing in the City Council Education Committee led by its new chair, Daniel Dromm, a veteran out gay Queens public school teacher. On the eve of the February 25 hearing, the Department of Education (DOE) issued long-awaited T ransgender Student Guidelines that are “intended to help schools ensure a safe learning environment free of discrimination and harassment, and to promote the educational and social integration of transgender students.” The guidance calls this “an evolving area for school districts” that “will undoubtedly change over time.” Dromm told Gay City News, “I made it clear to the chancellor that LGBT students were my top priority.” Chancellor Carmen Fariña, at Dromm’s behest, attended his hear ing. “The stories she heard from stu-
dents were spellbinding,” Dromm said, including testimony from transgender student Rocky Sanabria, 15, of Queens, “who described what he had gone through. His principal in grade school told him he was going through a phase and was a tomboy and would get over it. He was made to stand in girls’ lines. He had a similar experience in middle school and was moved to special education. Now he’s in Maspeth High School where he complained one kid still bullied him, though the overall experience was wonderful.” The DOE directive cautions that “school personnel should not disclose information that may reveal a student’s transgender status,” but adds that in “some cases, transgender students may feel more supported and safe if other students are aware that they are transgender.” While it notes that certain records require use of the student’s legal name and birth gender, to “the extent that the school is not legally required to use a student’s legal name or gender on school records and other documents, the school should use the name and gender preferred by the student.” The full guidelines are available
Chancellor urges lessons on LGBT sensitivity, Council Ed Chair Daniel Dromm says issue his top priority
Queens City Councilman Daniel Dromm, who chairs the Education Committee.
online at tinyurl.com/lefsd3u. The guidance says that students “should be addressed by school staff by the name and pronoun corresponding to their gender identity that is consistently asserted at school.” It also provides complex guidelines for bathroom and locker room use and participation in athletics, not all of which are satisfactory to advocates. While the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund “commended” the DOE for issuing the
guidelines, the gr oup wr ote in a release that they “fail to take a clear position with respect to competitive and contact sports. And they do not clearly require schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and other gender-segregated facilities that match their gender identity.” Following Dromm’s hearing, Fariña issued a “Chancellor’s Memo” to all principals that thanked the councilman for the hearing, stating, “We heard testimony from some remarkable young people who spoke movingly about their isolation and their determination to create an atmosphere of acceptance for themselves and their families.” Fariña’s also wrote, “I encourage you and your staff to implement lessons and small group discussions that offer students –– especially those in middle and high school –– the opportunity to gain insight on and sensitivity toward the experience of their LGBT peers.” Dromm said that the memo and the guidelines are “the culmination of 22 years of work that began with EColAGY [the Education Coalition on Lesbian and Gay Youth that lobbied for such changes in the 1990s] that tried to get
SCHOOLS, continued on p.37
FIGHTING BACK IN NEW YORK AGAINST NIGERIA’S NEW ANTI-GAY LAW already underground to begin with. And now It’s even worse. OTIS HEMMING: Well, I think it sends a terrible message that it is okay to harass, intimidate, assault, or even kill or torture someone based on their sexual orientation. Because the law authorizes it now that it is illegal. CHANT: None are free ‘til all are free. None are free…
HIRSHORN: That was the chant of a couple hundred protesters who gathered Friday near the Nigerian Consulate in New York. Their target –– the new laws that criminalize LGBT people and anybody who dares help them. These laws have led to recent outbreaks of anti-gay violence in cities across Nigeria with people being attacked by mobs and violently beaten.
HIRSHORN: A handful of protesters made their way across the street to the Nigerian Consulate where they blocked the doorway for several minutes before being arrested. They were members of ACT UP and Housing Works. An organization that continues to provide housing to people with HIV/AIDS, Housing Works is seeing more and more LGBT people fleeing anti-gay violence. They arrive in the US feeling hurt and bewildered at how their countries –– and their family and friends –– have made them outcasts. One of the speakers at the demo was Adejoke Tugbiyele, a Nigerian American who was born in the US, but grew up in Africa.
ADEJOKE TUGBIYELE: People are scared to come out of their houses. People are afraid to walk the streets. They were
ADEJOKE TUGBIYELE: This Western idea… that homosexuality is Western… homophobia is what’s been imported
CHANT: What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!
KELLY COGSWELL AND HARRIET HIRSHORN
Anti-gay laws are sweeping across Africa, from Nigeria to Uganda. On March 7, as part of a Global Day of Action, a few hundred LGBT Africans and their allies protested in front of the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York. They demanded Americans take a stronger stand and encouraged more people to get involved. A handful were arrested when they blocked the Consulate door. The following is a transcript of a video report (available online at tinyurl.com/lmkshfy) from Gay City News contributor Kelly Cogswell and filmmaker Harriet Hirshorn:
Adejoke Tugbiyele, who was born in the US but raised in Nigeria, at the March 7 demonstration.
into Africa. [It’s] Christian churches from the Americas who have been going to Uganda and Nigeria preaching hate, you know. This is not fair. And America is, has some responsibility, and we want them to say something and do something about it. –– Gay City News contributor Kelly Cogswell and filmmaker Harriet Hirshorn
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
With Fewer Sponsors, Anti-Gay St. Pat’s Parade Protested for 23rd Year Police Commissioner Bill Bratton blasted for marching, most politicians boycott BY ANDY HUMM
Veteran activists Brendan Fay (left) and Anne Maguire and Paul O’Dwyer, who have been involved in efforts to have openly LGBT New Yorkers participate in the annual Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade for years, on March 17.
y legend, St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. The question in 2014 is whether beer companies pulling their sponsorship can drive the homophobia out of the New York and Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parades. On the eve of these parades, Sam Adams pulled its sponsorship from the Boston event and Heineken from New York’s. While Guinness resisted pulling out at first, under pressure from The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which threatened a dump of the brew outside of the Stonewall Inn, the company, in the end, did boycott. Ford Motor Company maintained its sponsorship of the Fifth Avenue march, so the message was drink but don’t drive! Among the other sponsors to bail on the Boston parade were the Westin Waterfront, Gillette, and six local radio stations, some of which had floats and promotions in past parades. In New York, WNBC continued to broadcast the parade and sponsor it, making no mention of the controversy in its fourhour coverage. The fight for the inclusion of LGBT Irish groups got a boost this year from new mayors in New York, Bill de Blasio, and Boston, Marty Walsh, who are boycotting the traditional parades over the exclusion of LGBT Irish groups. Walsh pushed hard for a compromise in Boston that would have let MassEquality, the state’s LGBT rights lobby, march, but the group was not allowed to use the word gay or identify itself as such so it declined and so did Walsh. De Blasio resisted a coalition call –– including from this newspaper –– to go further and ban city personnel from marching in uniform in what he himself has long skipped for being a discriminatory event. He said they have “a right” to march, when in fact any wearing of the uniform when off duty requires departmental approval. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton marched on Monday, earlier brushing off charges that his actions were anti-gay by citing his lesbian sister and pointing to a video he and his wife made in favor of marriage equality. The annual LGBT protest at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street swelled this year and attracted much more media attention. At a press conference by protesters, Emmaia Gelman of Irish Queers said, “It’s tragic that beer companies have a stronger moral compass
Allen Roskoff (with Bill Dobbs, on the left behind him) speaks at the Irish Queers press conference.
than the NYPD.” She added, “We may have a new mayor who’s interested in reform, but his police commissioner is bringing ugly back.” Irish Queers, she said, is looking at bringing a lawsuit under the City Human Rights Law unless police, fire, and other services –– which make up a significant percentage of the participants –– are stopped from marching in uniform.” Veteran gay activist Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, said, “I’ve been sober for 29 years, but I want a Guinness beer this morning.”
He catalogued the history of the NYPD’s persecution of gay people from Stonewall to its work against the gay rights bill and to raids on gay bars just in the past several years. By marching, Roskoff said, the police and Bratton “are saying bigotry is OK as long as it is just against the LGBT community.” Kate Barnhart of New Alternatives for Homeless LGBT Youth said, “Police homophobia is putting LGBT youth at risk every day. When they try to report crimes against them, the police often treat them like criminals instead.” Ann Northrop of Queer Nation said, “We’ve spent the last year protesting
the homophobia of Putin in Russia and the homophobia in Nigeria and Uganda. Here we are having to protest the homophobia of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.” Northrop decried the way police and firefighters can march in uniform with banners but that LGBT Irish cannot, calling it “hypocritical” on the part of the exclusionary parade organizers. Brendan Fay, one of the leaders of the LGBT -inclusive St. Pat’s for All Parade in Queens, now in its 15th year, said there had once again been efforts this year to integrate the Fifth Avenue parade, “but the organizers refused to sit down in good faith.” Despite what is considered a different tone on gay people coming out of the Vatican, none of it has filtered down to the Irish Catholics who run this parade or to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is an influential advisor to the annual event, according to the Irish Voice. “There are no grounds in the Catholic faith for excluding a gay group,” Fay said. “Christianity ought to be known for extending hospitality to those who are marginalized.” This controversy started in 1991, when the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO), a group of mostly new immigrants, including Fay, applied to march and was denied. A compromise was worked out that let their members march with Mayor David Dinkins within Division 7 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, but despite some acceptance, they were also pelted with jeers and beer and excluded entirely thereafter, the organizers going to court for the right to exclude anyone they wanted to, which they won. Big protests were held through the mid-1990s, with mass arrests. The demonstrations, mostly maintained by Irish Queers, grew smaller over the years, but this year was old home week. Anne Maguire and Paul O’Dwyer, two ILGO leaders, were there. “I had to come here today because it’s not over –– and has spanned two centuries,” said Maguire. With all the advances in LGBT rights in recent ye ars , s he s aid, “e v e ryt hing has changed except this parade.” O’Dwyer is encouraged by the Guinness pullout. “You can’t get more Irish than Guinness,” he said. While he is not hopeful for a positive resolution of the dispute, he doesn’t think the parade will survive the loss of sponsorship long-term. When Bratton marched past the
ST. PAT'S, continued on p.9
| March 19, 2014
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Uniformed New York City police officers march in the Fifth Avenue parade.
ST. PAT'S, from p.8
demonstrators, “he looked, smiled, and turned away,” said Gelman. “He does not give two craps about the queer community.” He also refused to answer the coalition’s letter seeking a meeting on the issue. Gelman said she thinks the publicity about the dispute created some hostility from cops and firefighters marching in this year’s event. In a first, the New York City Council under the new speaker, Melissa MarkViverito, pulled its banner from the 253rd parade. In recent years, it had fronted for just the handful of politicians who marched. This year, former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., and his sons, former Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr., and current Councilman Paul Vallone were the only ones behind a new banner that read: “New York Public Officials.” Vallone, Sr., said he was marching, “For God, country, and
family,” ignoring questions about the exclusion of LGBT Irish groups. While some Irish government ministers visiting New York are boycotting the parade, Prime Minister Enda Kenny insisted on marching. Out gay Irish Senator David Norris, a veteran activist who led the fight to get rid of Ireland’s sodomy laws, was among members of four Irish political parties to urge him not to. He told the Christian Science Monitor, “As an Irish man who through my mother has direct descent from the ancient kings of Ossory, Leinster, and the High Kingship of Tara, I find the claiming of the parade as an exclusively Roman Catholic festival –– despite being originally founded in the US by exiled Irish Protestants –– completely ridiculous.” Kenny said earlier, “The St. Patrick's Day parade is a parade about our Irish-
ST. PAT'S, continued on p.37
VOICES OF PROTEST AT THE PARADE “We’re here, we’re queer, we’ll be here every year.” When the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization first chanted that in 1991, no one imagined we’d actually have to do that if we wanted to march openly in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. More than two decades later, there are signs of hope. The new Democratic mayor, Bill de Blasio, boycotted the parade this year. And big corporate sponsors pulled out. Money, not morality, may be what finally transforms one of New York’s largest parades into an inclusive event.
At the same time, the battle’s not over and the mayor’s still under fire for allowing cops to march in their uniforms, seemingly giving the city’s seal of approval to the parade’s bigotry. Visit gaycitynews.com for a podcast highlighting voices denouncing the consequences of excluding LGBT people. The audiocast features the Irish Queers who have been the most persistent organizers in this fight, along with Anne Maguire and Brendan Fay who helped begin the long struggle. –– Kelly Cogswell
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The City Council’s One Lesbian Speaks Up BY PAUL SCHINDLER
osie Mendez, the Lower East Side City Council veteran first elected in 2005, has been passionate about tenants’ rights her entire career. An attorney by training, she worked at Brooklyn Legal Services and then for the People’s Economic Opportunities Project on the Lower East Side before becoming chief of staf f to for mer Councilwoman Margarita Lopez, herself a tenants’ advocate. One issue Mendez has raised alarms about since she first entered the Council is the decline of the city’s MitchellLama housing program. Created by the State Legislature in the 1950s, Mitchell-Lama provides landlords incentives to maintain affordable housing, yet also gives them the right to opt-out of the program. Mendez argues the Council needs to better identify why those optouts are occurring. Yet as the 51-year -old out lesbian begins her third four-year term, making her among the most senior members of the Council, the prevailing politics at City Hall make it difficult for her to push that issue in the way she would like. When Melissa Mark-Viverito, the new Council speaker, named committee chairs, Mendez was one of four members left out in the cold. In the prior Council, Mendez was chair of Public Housing, which former Speaker Christine Quinn elevated to a full committee, Mendez noted. This year, Mendez had hoped to be named chair of the more powerful Housing and Buildings Committee. That post went to Brooklyn’s Jumaane Williams, a second-term councilman who competed with Mark-Viverito for the speakership before dropping out of the race.
Mendez, who said she had “two friends in the race” when it narrowed to just East Harlem’s Mark-Viverito and the East Side’s Dan Garodnick, sided with Garodnick, and she acknowledged she is now paying the price for that choice. “This is politics,” she said. “I didn’t get a committee.” Then noting that Housing and Buildings was the only post she was interested in, Mendez added, “In all fairness to her, I told her I didn’t want to chair a committee for the sake of it.” The Lower East Sider did not give up, however, instead asking Mark-Viverito to appoint her as chair of a new subcommittee specifically focused on the Mitchell-Lama issue. “She didn’t,” Mendez said, “though she did create a subcommittee for a freshman member.” She added, “Can it be justified that I didn’t get a committee? No, but I didn’t get elected to chair committees. I got elected to serve my district.” Mendez intends to continue pressing for preservation of Mitchell-Lama units and explore similar new initiatives, but acknowledged there are limitations to what she can do. “When you work in a collective body, you have to be aware of boundaries,” she said. “I do not want to do anything to make the chair think I am trying to take that work away from him.” Despite what many would view as a snub from Mark-Viverito, Mendez emphasized areas of agreement with the new speaker. “She’s very good on the issues,” the Lower East Sider said. Mendez, in particular, vouched for Mark-Viverito’s willingness to afford her members independence. When LGBT activists and their allies –– including this newspaper –– recently called on
Sidelined in the scramble for committee control, Rosie Mendez identifies priorities in her last term
Lower East Side City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, who has represented District 2 since January 2006.
Mayor Bill de Blasio to ban uniformed city personnel, including police officers and firefighters, from marching in the discriminatory St. Patrick’s Day Parade, only Mendez, the West Side’s Corey Johnson, and the Bronx’s Richie Torres, among the six gay and lesbian members of the Council, signed on to the open letter. Mendez said she got no pressure from Mark-Viverito, who did not address the issue though she did, for the first time, bar the use of a Council banner and seal in the parade. “For the short time she’s been speaker, that’s not my experience,” Mendez said when asked whether Mark-Viverito enforces orthodoxy on her members. “I think it’s unlikely she would do that to my colleagues, but I don’t know.” In fact, she said, the speaker encouraged a free vote of the Black, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus on an issue that Governor Andrew Cuomo had pressed Council members to remain quiet on. Caucus members want the governor to schedule quick special elections to fill vacant seats in the Legislature, five of six of which represent communities of color. Despite Cuomo’s efforts to forestall a caucus resolution calling on him to do that, Mark-Viverito told its members, “If you want to, vote it out,” according to Mendez. The caucus, which Mendez co-chairs, did so. Another group within the Council where Mendez sees opportunity to make a mark is in the six-member Gay and Lesbian Caucus, which she chairs and includes Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm of Queens and Brooklyn’s Carlos Menchaca, in addition to Johnson and Torres. One key issue is ensuring that LGBT issues continue to get the attention they enjoyed when out lesbian Quinn led the Council. “We were very fortunate to have Chris as speaker,” Mendez said of the may-
oral primary contender she supported last year. “When we wanted something researched, it got done.” Mendez is hopeful she can secure funds to support the caucus’ efforts. The issues important to gay and lesbian members, she said, are diverse –– from ensuring appropriate city landmark recognition of gay historic sites to creating special needs housing serving LGBT seniors and focusing attention on the “real horrors” that undocumented transgender immigrants face when snared in federal enforcement action that lands them in detention centers. Police issues, Mendez said, are also important to the LGBT community –– whether the controversy over the past mayoral administration’s stop and frisk record, the targeting of gay men several years ago in false arrests in adult video stores, or the use of condoms as evidence in the prosecution of young people and transgender New Yorkers for prostitution. Regarding questions of law enforcement, Mendez voiced cautious optimism about the new tone coming from the de Blasio administration. “He seems to be talking the right talk, so we will see,” she said. One issue on which she voiced disagreement with the new mayor was on church congregations renting space on weekends in public schools. The Department of Education has a longstanding policy barring such rental, but that prohibition has been stayed for years while a Bronx congregation challenges it in court. De Blasio has consistently taken the position that church rental of school space is per fectly appropriate, a position Mendez said she had been unaware of but found “disturbing.” “I see it as contrary to the Constitution,” she said, voicing a view held by many civil libertarians who argue that such arrangements violate the separation of church and state. The issue got personal for Mendez last year when her Democratic primary opponent, Richard Del Rio, a senior pastor at Abounding Grace Church, used her opposition to the rental practice against her. The City Action Coalition PAC, an independent expenditure group formed to promote socially conservative issues, targeted Mendez, among only five Council candidates, with at least $10,000 in negative advertising. Despite that spending, the incumbent handily won, with more than 82 percent of the vote.
MENDEZ, continued on p.15
| March 19, 2014
Village Anti-Gay Attack Targets Couple Celebrating Anniversary
City Councilman Corey Johnson (foreground) and State Senator Brad Hoylman hand out flyers with the suspect's sketch on March 7.
BY SAM SPOKONY
olice are hunting for an unidentified male suspect who allegedly targeted and attacked a gay New Jersey man inside the West Fourth Street subway station early on March 2. The victim, whose name was withheld by police but identified himself to the media as J.P. Masterson, 39, was waiting inside the station with his partner around 12:30 a.m. when the suspect approached them and asked if they were gay, police said. When they tried to ignore him and walk away, the suspect allegedly punched Masterson in the face –– breaking his nose, his left eye socket, and several other bones in his face. After initial treatment for the injuries at Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side, the victim is now waiting to undergo surgery, according to media reports. Masterson told WCBS on March 6 that the attack was especially painful because he and his partner, Peter Moore, had just celebrated their 10th anniversary together with dinner and a Broadway show. Police on March 6 released a sketch of the suspect –– who is believed to be a white man in his late 20s and around 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds –– and said the following day they had still not made a positive identification and that the investigation is ongoing. In hopes of aiding that investigation, State Senator Brad Hoylman and City Councilman Corey Johnson were outside the West Fourth Street subway station early on March 7, passing out flyers showing the police sketch and informing rush hour passersby about the alleged hate crime. “And this is as much about supporting the victim as it is about catching the suspect,” said Hoylman. “We need to let [Masterson] know that the neighborhood stands behind him, and that we’re not
NYPD releases sketch in West Fourth Street subway station assault but no positive identification announced
A sketch of the suspect in an anti-gay attack in the West Fourth Street subway station on March 2.
going to tolerate this behavior.” Hoylman and Johnson said they have not yet had a chance to meet with the victim. “I can’t believe this happened in my city that I grew up in,” Masterson told CBS. “The West Village is where I first came out and explored and felt accepted… the fact that it’s now a danger zone.” His attacker, who he said shouted at him first in Polish and then broken English, started pushing him toward the tracks before assaulting him and only stopped when Masterson threw a drink in his face. “There was 50 or more people and no one said anything, did anything,” he said of onlookers at the station. The March 2 subway attack took place just steps away from the West Eighth Street and Sixth Avenue site of last May’s fatal shooting of Mark Carson, 32, another gay man. Elliot Morales, the 33-year -old man who allegedly shot Carson in the head, is cur-
at St. Anthony’s
EVERY FRIDAY SATURDAY & SUNDAY 10 am till Dusk West Houston Street Between Thompson St. & Macdougal St.
rently facing charges of murder as a hate crime. The Village saw a spike of several other anti-gay attacks last year, including some at the West Third Street McDonald’s that is also located just steps away from Masterson’s beating. “It’s really very distressing that so many of these incidents have been taking place in this neighborhood,” said Hoylman. He pointed out that last year’s attacks targeting LGBT individuals, as well as blacks and Jews in other parts of the city and state, led him to hold a hearing that resulted in State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli launching an audit of hate crime reporting compliance in the state. DiNapoli, who announced the audit in December, has said it will focus on making sure that police departments across the state are reporting those types of incidents correctly, and that cops are being trained to handle the crimes properly and effectively.
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
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Many people first learned of the Reverend Fred Phelps in late 1998 in connection with the funeral of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student brutally slain in a Laramie, Wyoming hate crime –– though Phelps had been up to no good long before that. When Shepard’s family announced plans for his October 16 funeral in Casper, Wyoming, his hometown, Phelps warned that he would be there, along with his congregation, the Westboro (Kansas) Baptist Church, to picket because Matthew was gay. The church’s online home is at GodHateFags.com, a phrase its members routinely write on posters they carry while picketing, so Phelps’ warning to the Shepard family suggested far worse than simple garden-variety ugliness. One small miracle that occurred the day Matthew was laid to rest was that friends who loved him dressed up in white robes and wore huge white wings and encircled the Westboro crowd as if a group of angels. An event that was doubly horrible was, in that way, transformed into a moment of grace. Observers who were more attentive than average had taken note of Phelps’ hatemon-
gering years before he sprung into the national consciousness in Wyoming. As journalist Donna Minkowitz recalled in POZ magazine in 1994, Phelps had picketed the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights with signs reading not only “God Hates Fags,” but also “Fags Are Worthy of Death” and “Filthy AIDS Spreaders.” Minkowitz reported that Phelps and the Westboro crowd –– which usually included few people beyond his large extended family –– had been making a particular habit of picketing the funerals of famous people who had died of AIDS, including composer Kevin Oldham in 1993 and journalist Randy Shilts in 1994. But Phelps, during those years, also took aim at college gay conferences and even a campus appearance by Maya Angelou, the poet who had read her work at Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. In the years after his notoriety in Wyoming, Phelps expanded the range of his protests to include anyone he viewed as enabling the acceptance of gays in society. In December 1998, he picketed the funeral of former Senator Albert Gore, Sr., whose son was then vice president. Post-9/11, his church threatened a protest outside the New York Fire Department’s Brooklyn headquarters, charging that the World Trade Center attacks were caused by the city’s embrace of its gay community. But it was when the West-
boro crowd began picketing the funerals of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan that Phelps drew the ire even of those on the right in America. Word is that Phelps, who is 84, is now in hospice care and near death, a year or so after being excommunicated by his Westboro congregation –– for reasons that, not surprisingly, remain obscure. Some gay activists have talked about picketing his funeral, and a bizarre tweet suggested that his daughter, Margie Phelps, who remains a Westboro member, was also calling for a protest at her estranged father’s service. That tweet was apparently a hoax, and the younger Phelps told the Huffington Post that her congregation does not hold memorial services for the dead. For me, all of this recalls a conversation I had with Phelps a year or so after his outrage in Casper. He was threatening to lead his congregation in a picket of a lesbian weekend in Provincetown (something he didn’t follow through on, as was often the case with his threats), and one evening I picked up the phone and called his church in Kansas, expecting to leave a message that would never be returned. To my surprise, Phelps himself answered the phone and we engaged in conversation –– for the most part startlingly civil –– for probably 20 minutes, as I challenged him to justify the pain he wreaked on the survivors of those whose funerals he
disrupted. Finally, Phelps made an offer that seemed too good to be true –– he would set aside money so that I could lead a group of activists in a picket of his funeral. Attractive as that sounded at the time, I nevertheless felt he had missed my point. For all the disrespect he had shown Shepard and others who had died, his true crime was against their families and other loved ones. I told him if he were serious in his offer, he would pay for me and others to picket his mother’s funeral. The civility immediately broke down. He told me he now realized I was nothing but “street trash,” and he quickly hung up on me. His hanging up did not, in my view, release Phelps from his promise regarding his own funeral, but I am now doing so. No matter how depraved the man and his loved ones are, I could never bring myself to dance on his or anyone else’s grave. And I can’t see how any LGBT folks doing so would win us friends. Phelps, for all the attention his antics won him, has always been a marginal character. On balance, he has probably helped the gay community by making explicit the hatred that underlies homophobia, no matter how much it might be dressed up by our more sophisticated opponents. Fred Phelps has richly earned the obscurity that will be his legacy. There’s no sense in helping to keep alive his memory.
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LOST IN THE SWIM OF DETAILS March 13, 2014 To the Editor: Thanks for including me in the recent profiles of New Yorkers going to the Gay Games in Cleveland this August (“New York’s LGBT Athletes Rev Up for Gay Games 9,” by Paul Schindler, Mar. 5). Feedback from friends and teammates has been gratifying. During my interview, I fired off a lot of statistics too quickly and in the article a few were mixed up. For historical accuracy, two swimmers and a diver from New York were among
the 125 aquatics participants at the first Gay Games in 1982 (1,350 total athletes). Fewer than two-dozen New Yorkers were at Gay Games I, but 300 New Yorkers attended Gay Games II in 1986, with 18 of us among the 400 swimmers (3,500 total athletes). At Gay Games II, several of the sports groups’ participants decided they were enjoying the competition and camaraderie too much to wait another four years. They organized local and international groups to hold more frequent tournaments. In 1987, the swimmers, divers, and water polo players formed International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA) and ever since
IGLA has been holding annual championships in the three years between Gay Games. Throughout the 1980s, New York’s Gay Games swimmers were members of various local Masters teams. In 1989, we finally had a group large enough to begin our own workouts. We joined US Masters Swimming (USMS) as an official club in January 1990 under the name Team New York Aquatics. Local swimmers took longer to form a team than the California clubs but, as you reported, we now have the largest team in all of USMS. And it’s
LETTERS, continued on p.14
| March 19, 2014
The Secret to Success in New York City BY RABBI ROBERT TEIXEIRA
n the Big Apple, that is, the Big Rush, it was a cold, gray afternoon, but in the Big Easy, it was Mardi Gras! Laissez les bons temps rouler! I thought of my last carnival, my pouf and chenille ball gown replete with riband (sash), inspired by the tragic Madame Deficit (Marie Antoinette). This year, however, I failed to roll back my routine so I could engage in some timehonored revelry. Katrina’s displacing me had indeed changed things. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the Ghost of Mardi Gras Past visited me. The Ghost, surrounded by a purple, green, and gold aureole, bellowed, “It’s Fat Tuesday! What’s this? No beads or boobs, krewes or King Cakes, masks or masquerades? Just work, work, work?” He was quick to remind me that everything had been far easier in the Big Easy. In New Orleans, you see, people don’t live to work or work to live, they work to play! In anguish, I confessed that I was in love with New Yorkers but not New York City, and when I promised to celebrate Mardi Gras next year, the apparition from the Deep South vanished. The next day, Ash Wednesday, my Episcopagan friend, Kathleen, who had returned to the city after a 17-year hiatus, called to “check in.” I explained to her that I still felt off-center. In my lament, I asked, “Why is it so hard to live in New York City?” And she answered, “A lot of it has to do with the Hudson River, I think. The Lenape called it Muhheakantuck, ‘the river that flows two ways.’ New York City stands where the fresh and salt water flow into one another, where the New and Old Worlds converge, which makes its energy very dense. The city’s a vortex, a womb for news ideas. Everyone here is trying to give birth to something.” And I responded, in turn, “I’m imagining pools of water. Whenever people come across a pool, what do they do? They toss a coin in. New York City can be likened to a pool, a very special pool, and a creative idea or dream to a coin. If they succeed at tossing their coins into this pool, they’ll succeed. ‘If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere.’ But everyone has to roll their coins uphill, which explains why so many people give up before becoming ‘King of the Hill.’” At this point, both of us laughed and began singing, “I want to wake up, in a city that never sleeps, and find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap.” Soon after, the conversation came to a close.
We had to get back to work, back to rolling our coins uphill. Kathleen had to finish editing the video of a performer whom she’s promoting, and I had to continue writing a book of meditations, to accompany the deck of Psalm Cards that I had created. When Kathleen’s call had come in, I was very focused on Psalm 21:3: “You have proffered him blessings of good things, have set upon his head a crown of fine gold.” The meditation that I had written, which was based on this verse, read: “The moment you’ve been hoping for has finally arrived! All your hard work is paying off! Countless times, over the years, you’ve told yourself, ‘I’m not good enough! I don’t have what it takes!’ Today, you realize that you’ve been lying to yourself. Go ahead, say it out loud: ‘I am good enough! I have what it takes!’ This stellar achievement proves that you haven’t been deluding yourself. You summoned the courage to believe in yourself, despite the doubt, which swirled in and around you. Celebrate and give to those in need. Whenever we receive, we should give in turn.” I wanted to include a well-known rabbinic aphorism, found in the Babylonian Talmud, which stresses the importance of charity, or tzedakah, in Jewish practice. “Charity,” says Rabbi Assi, “is equivalent to all the other religious precepts combined” (Baba Batra 9a). As I was looking up the exact source of this citation, I came across the words of Rabbi Isaac, “He who gives a small coin to a poor man obtains six blessings, and he who addresses to him words of comfort obtains 11 blessings” (Baba Batra 9b). In the rabbi’s words, I heard “what goes around comes around” and “the river that flows two ways,” which Kabbalists sometimes refer to as hok ha gemul. “If I’m writing about tzedakah,” I thought, “I have to mention Maimonides.” In his Mishneh Torah, he argues that the highest expression of charity is to help someone become selfsufficient so he or she doesn’t have to be dependent on others. “What else should I add?” I asked myself. I entered into the search bar “Maimonides charity,” and when I clicked on the first page to come up, Maimonides’ Eight Levels of Charity, I was greeted by a watercolor sketch of a coin –– a coin! It seems that a coin, in one way or another, had been trying to tell me something all day. As I sat quietly and recalled the words of the Ghost of Mardi Gras Past, Kathleen, Rabbi Assi, Rabbi Isaac, and Maimonides, I realized that I had discovered the secret to success in New
The author at his most recent carnival in New Orleans.
York City! If you want to toss your coin in this pool, you have to help someone else do the same. If you want to give birth to one of your ideas or realize one of your dreams here, you have to help someone else do the very same thing. And you don’t have to look far to find such a person. There is a record number of homeless New Yorkers — more than 60,000, including more than 22,000 children, as of July 2013, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. Improving your chances of success by helping a homeless person help himself
or herself may seem less than altruistic, as it should. True altruism is exceedingly rare, and charity or tzedakah can assume many unique forms. During the High Holy Days, for example, some Jews donate to their synagogue, that is, distribute tzedakah, in return for the opportunity to participate in services. At one synagogue, the “suggested donation” for opening the doors of the Holy Ark (which houses the Torah scrolls) was $540. According to the synagogue’s website, the segulah, or spiritual benefit, of opening these doors during the concluding service of Yom Kippur is a “long life.” As Jews everywhere were gearing up for this past weekend’s Purim and thoughts of offering food and charity to those in need filled the air, the timing of my discovery, it seems, couldn’t have been better. Convinced I’ve discovered the secret to success in New York City, I’ve begun reaching out to job training programs that serve the homeless, including the Ali Forney Center, which serves LGBT youth. To my delight, I learned that I can put someone through barber school for a total of $2,000! The cost of the student tool kit (barbering tools) and the operator’s license, incidentally, is $540 (precisely what that one synagogue was suggesting for opening the doors of the Holy Ark). The good news is that the school has a 10-week program, so I won’t have to wait long for the future barber to make a splash! Rabbi Robert Teixeira, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and the founder and spiritual director of Uri! Uri!, an emerging chavurah in Brooklyn. To learn more about his work, visit StayBlessedAndBeWell.com.
DOUG IRELAND MEMORIAL MARCH 27 A memorial service for Doug Ireland, a journalist, activist, and New York political insider dating back to the 1960s, will be held on Thursday, March 27 at 6 p.m. The gathering will be held at the CUNY Grad Center’s Proshansky Auditorium at 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. Ireland, 67, whose radical political instincts were honed during the cultural upheaval of the 1960s, died at his East Village home this past October 26. His political career included leading roles in campaigns by the late Congresswoman Bella Abzug, and he was later a journalist for the New York Post (in its old liberal days), New York magazine, the Nation, the Village Voice, POZ magazine, LA Weekly, and, most recently, Gay City News, where he served as the international contributing editor. It is suggested that attendees RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. — Paul Schindler
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
Tennessee Jumps on Board
BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD
n the eighth consecutive victory for marriage equality in federal court to emerge in the wake of the 2013 Supreme Court Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) ruling, a district court judge has directed the State of Tennessee to recognize the same-sex marriages of three couples while a lawsuit they lodged is considered. On March 14, Judge Aleta A. Trauger signed an order granting the couples’ motion for preliminary relief filed by their attorneys, Abby Rubenfeld of Nashville and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Trauger concluded it was likely the plaintiffs will ultimately win their case and that the factors courts use to determine whether to grant relief before a final decision weighed in their favor. Republican Governor Bill Haslam, the lead defendant, expressed disappointment with the ruling, but did not immediately indicate whether the state would appeal the award of preliminary relief. Like several of the other recent gay marriage victories –– in Ohio and Kentucky –– the one in Tennessee involves only the issue of recognizing mar riages from out of state. Others –– in Illinois (where the question was essentially when the new marriage equality law would take effect), Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Utah –– dealt more broadly with the question whether the state is obligated to allow same-sex couples to marry. The legal analysis in all the cases, however, is substantially the same, and Trauger, ruling in a case
brought last October 21, found both kinds of rulings persuasive. The lead couple, Dr. Valeria Tanco and Dr. Sophy Jesty, met at Cornell University in Ithaca, while studying veterinary medicine, and were married in New York before they moved to assume teaching posts at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Tanco became pregnant last summer and is due any day, so the motion for preliminary injunction had urgency, given questions surrounding the recording of the parents’ names on the birth certificate and parental rights more generally. S e rg e a n t I j p e D e K o e , a n A r m y Reserve officer, is stationed in Memphis, where he lives with his husband, Thomas Kostura. They married in New York prior to DeKoe’s deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. Johno Espejo and Matthew Mansell, adoptive fathers of two children, met and married in California. The family moved to Nashville when Mansell was transferred to his law firm’s office there. Espejo, who has been the stay-at-home father for their two sons, found part-time employment in Nashville. Trauger examined four factors in deciding whether to grant preliminary relief –– the plaintiffs’ likelihood of success, whether they would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of relief, whether the balance of the “equities” in the matter tip in their favor, and whether issuing an injunction would be in the public interest. On the threshold question –– whether the plaintiffs would likely prevail on the merits –– Trauger was convinced by the unbroken streak of recent marriage
US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
In eighth marriage equality win since DOMA victory, judge orders state to recognize three marriages
Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Haslam has not yet indicated whether he will appeal Judge Aleta A. Trauger’s ruling giving same-sex plaintiffs preliminary relief.
Tanco became pregnant last summer and is due any day, so the motion for preliminary injunction had urgency, given questions surrounding parental rights.
a team predominantly of gay men and women –– just another example of how LGBT athletes are changing the world. Here’s the commercial: Go to tnya.org for more information!
“Looking,” “It’s not pretty” (“Deconstructing ‘Cruising,’” by Gary M. Kramer, Mar. 5). But then neither was “Cruising.” There was no “New Gay Cinema” back when it was made, and actors in Hollywood were firmly locked in the closet. William Friedkin’s film was no help to any of this. Quite the contrary.
Charlie Carson Manhattan
David Ehrenstein Los Angeles
LETTERS, from p.12
Editor’s note: Gay City News regrets the errors and appreciates Charlie Carson’s patience in walking us through the history of Team New York Aquatics and the Gay Games.
JIMMY FRANCO AIN’T PRETTY March 7, 2014 To the Editor James Franco is slumming –– and as they say on
equality rulings in federal court that followed Edie Windsor’s victory in the DOMA case. “These courts have uniformly rejected a narrow reading of Windsor, such as that advanced by the defendants here,” she wrote, “and have found that Windsor protects the rights of same-sex couples in various contexts, notwithstanding earlier Supreme Court and circuit court precedent that arguably suggested otherwise… In these thorough and wellreasoned cases, courts have found that same-sex marriage bans and/ or nonrecognition laws are unconstitutional because they violate the Equal Protection Clause and/ or the Due Process Clause.” Trauger noted that marriage equality prevailed even when courts subjected bans to “rational basis” review, under which laws are examined using the least demanding form of scrutiny based on the presumption they are constitutional unless the state can demonstrate no non-discriminatory basis for them. The judge characterized the recent developments as a “rising tide of persuasive post-Windsor federal case law.” She pointed out that all the arguments raised by the State of Tennessee had been “consistently rejected” by other courts, and she found particularly persuasive the ruling by Judge John G. Heyburn against Kentucky’s ban on recognizing gay marriages from outside the state. Federal courts recognize the deprivation of constitutional rights as an “irreparable harm,” so that factor also pointed to preliminary relief, and since the state
TENNESSEE, continued on p.15
will be able to march in that St. Patrick’s Parade along with the mayor and city employees in uniform. If the parade organizers evolve into becoming an inclusive Irish parade and not a discriminatory Catholic parade, then all New Yorkers can be Irish for the day. For the past two years, the Salute to Israel Parade had LGBT groups marching with Rainbow T -Shirts and banners saluting Israel.
FREE SPEECH OR FREE PASS?
Rick Landman, Esq. Manhattan
February 8, 2014 To the Editor: I agree and hope that the City Council could hold hearings on the premise that city uniforms should only be worn in parades that support city laws (“In St. Pat’s Dispute, Free Speech is Not the Issue,” by Paul Schindler, Mar. 5). This may help transform things for the 2015 season. Other groups have already “evolved” on this issue, and maybe next year Irish LGBT groups
WRITE US! Please send letters to the editor, of 250 words or less, to: Editor@GayCityNews.com or mail them to 515 Canal Street, Suite 1C, New York, NY 10013. Gay City News reserves the right to edit letters for space or legal considerations.
| March 19, 2014
TENNESSEE, from p.14
has no legitimate interest in enforcing an unconstitutional law, the equities clearly favor the plaintiffs. It is, similarly, in the public interest to grant the injunction. Pointing to the 2006 referendum when 81 percent of voters approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage, the state’s lawyers argued that granting the injunction would “override by judicial fiat the results of Tennessee’s valid democratic process.” “That is essentially the case with any
MENDEZ, from p.10
Mendez disagreed with the mayor over churches in the schools, but made a point of lauding him for his commitment to end a longstanding Memorandum of Understanding that has required the New York City Housing Authority to reimburse the NYPD for police services in public housing facilities. That arrangement, struck in the mid-1990s, drains more than $70 million each year from monies available to the city’s troubled public housing efforts. Mendez heartily endorsed de Blasio’s efforts to achieve universal pre-K across the city and to pay for it by increasing taxes on the wealthiest city residents. The city, she said, should have control
Trauger was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton. Abby Rubenfeld, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, was the first legal director for Lambda Legal during the 1980s and is Tennessee’s leading LGBT rights attorney. Other Tennessee lawyers representing the plaintiffs include the law firm of Sherrard & Roe, Maureen Holland, and Regina Lambert. One of the final paragraphs in the judge’s decision suggested she does not expect to make a ruling on the merits before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals –– where appeals of rulings from Ten-
nessee are heard but where appeals are already in the works in the Ohio and Kentucky cases –– and perhaps even the Supreme Court have ruled on the question of marriage equality. Appeals are even further along in the Fourth and 10th Circuits, which have scheduled arguments in the Virginia, Utah, and Oklahoma cases for this spring. With all these appeals pending and arguments beginning soon, it is highly likely the Supreme Court will face petitions to take up the issue of same-sex marriage during its 2014-15 term that begins in October.
not only over its ability to tax, but also percentage of women. Only 15 memits rent stabilization laws, long dictated bers out of 51 are female, she noted, in contrast to the 23 who sat on the Counby the Legislature in Albany. “Why we have upstate Republicans cil when her District 2 predecessor determining what rights we have as Margarita Lopez took office in January New York City citizens has never made 1998. Not surprisingly, as a progressive any sense to me,” she said. Asked about the widespread view and a tenant advocate, Mendez has that the City Council, in the wake of found some of the gentrification in the last year’s elections and Mark-Viverito’s neighborhoods she represents disquietvictory as speaker, is a more progres- ing. “It’s personally very sad to see some sive body than it had been, Mendez was of the people who worked to keep equivocal. “It’s still too early to say,” she affordable housing in the district now responded. “Early conversations would finding they can’t live here or their kids say yes, but I thought we had a pretty grow up and can’t say here,” she said. “It’s great to see revitalization, but not progressive Council.” One critical concern she has about when it displaces large numbers of T:9.381” businesses and we lose the diversity of the current Council is the relatively low
services –– things like shoe repair.” As neighborhoods become more affluent, she noted, delivery of safety net social services tend to decline, meaning “there are fewer services for those at risk, who need to travel farther to get services they need.” Still, Mendez noted proudly, the neighborhoods from Gramercy Park south to the Lower East Side remain “a microcosm for the entire city” and among the most culturally rich in New York. As her interview with Gay City News wound down, she spoke fondly about the success of Repertorio Español, on East 27th Street, while she prepared to leave for a tour of renovations at the Public Theater, the iconic cultural innovator that Joe Papp built on Lafayette Street.
federal decision that overturns or stays enforcement of a state law that violates the federal Constitution,” Trauger wrote, unfazed by the state’s argument. The judge took pains to emphasize the narrowness of her ruling, which merely temporarily enjoins enforcement of the anti-recognition law for the three plaintiff couples. “The court is not directly holding that Tennessee’s Anti-Recognition Law is necessarily unconstitutional or that Tennessee’s ban on the consummation of same-sex marriages within Tennessee is unconstitutional,” she wrote.
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March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
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| March 19, 2014
Emergency Room at St. Vincent’s Site Will Open in June North-Shore-LIJ says phase one of $150 million project to be supplemented later by more comprehensive services BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
The Maritime Union Building, which once housed St. Vincent’s Hospital, is being renovated by North Shore-LIJ for use as an emergency and comprehensive care center.
at North Shore-LIJ. It will serve as a receiving facility for the city’s 911 Emergency Medical System, have 24/ 7 access to lab services and advanced radiology, and include an ambulance to transport patients who need to be hospitalized. “The advanced life-support capabilities at the facility will enable local residents to receive emergency care at their most critical time of need,” D’Angelo said. Among other areas of expertise, the HealthPlex will also include sexualassault nurse examiners who have received special training to perform evidentiary exams for rape victims. The emergency center anchoring this neighborhood medical complex is “based on a successful model for emergency care being implemented across the country,” according to North Shore-LIJ. “The approach is designed to reduce waiting times and enhance customer convenience for emergency care that is efficient, accessible, and linked to a continuum of care available to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay,” D’Angelo said. To ensure success, the press release states, Lenox Hill HealthPlex is drawing on the collective knowledge of North Shore-LIJ’s 200 emergency physicians, more than 300 paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and roughly 2,000 emergency department staff, who have gained their experience operating 14 emer -
gency departments that treated nearly 665,000 people and transported more than 102,000 patients in 2013. North Shore-LIJ’s $150 million commitment is for interior renovation of the 50-year-old Maritime Union Building, designed by Albert Ledner and completed in 1964. All of the structure’s exterior nautical features will be maintained. “We took great pains to respect the architecture of this landmarked building, recognizing the distinctive character of the West Village,” said John Gupta, executive director of the Lenox Hill HealthPlex. Gupta added that, in addition to “filling a healthcare void on the West Side,” the new medical complex will bring hundreds of new jobs to the neighborhood, giving a boost to small businesses that have suffered in the wake of St. Vincent’s closing. Among its outreach efforts to the community, the HealthPlex has created a partnership with the LGBT Center on West 13th Street. Last year, Lenox Hill donated $100,000 to the AIDS Memorial that will be created in the park located in the triangle across from the HealthPlex, at the intersections of Seventh and Greenwich Avenues and West 12th Street. Neighborhood critics of the new facility have repeatedly slammed it — and may well continue to do so — for not being a full-service hospital with many beds, like the old St. Vincent’s. The HealthPlex will only have two
he North Shore-LIJ Health System has announced it will open its new comprehensive c a r e c e n t e r, u n d e r construction in Greenwich Village at the for mer site of St. Vincent’s Hospital, in late June. In a March 6 press release, North Shore-LIJ said the facility, to be housed in the historic National Maritime Union Building on Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, will be called the Lenox Hill HealthPlex. For the last four decades that St. Vincent’s operated, it was called the O’Toole Building. Lenox Hill HealthPlex, the release said, “represents a new model of community-based care that integrates health and wellness services with seamless access to 24-hour emergency care and a full range of medical specialists.” The June opening represents only the first phase of the more than $150 million project, with the debut of Manhattan’s first freestanding emergency center, which will provide patients with around-the-clock access to board-certified emergency physicians, specialty trained nurses, specialist consultations, and other healthcare professionals. Future plans for Lenox Hill HealthPlex include imaging services, an ambulatory surgery suite, home care, and other programs designed to meet the Lower West Side’s current and future needs. Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, said, “In the shadows of buildings that housed St. Vincent’s Hospital for 160 years, Lenox Hill HealthPlex represents the dawning of a new era of healthcare for West Side residents, who have had to travel out of their neighborhoods to access emergency and other critical healthcare services for the past four years.” North Shore-LIJ Health System has 16 hospitals across the metropolitan area, including Lenox Hill Hospital and the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, both on the Upper East Side. The HealthPlex Emergency Center, which will occupy the first floor of the six-story building will be staffed and equipped to accommodate up to 45,000 emergency visits annually, according to Dr. John D’Angelo, senior vice president of emergency medicine
Renovation working going in inside the Maritime Union Building.
beds, which will not be used for longterm patient stays. If patients require longer or more intensive treatment, they’ll be transported by ambulance to a local hospital. Still, in the years since St. Vincent’s was shuttered, many local residents said their top priority was to restore a top-notch emergency room to the neighborhood. North Shore-LIJ’s release emphasized that HealthPlex’s ER capacity will be significant and soon supplemented by the services the comprehensive care center under development will offer. The new facility, taken as a whole, does represent a growing trend in healthcare nationwide. “As part of a new model of care that North Shore-LIJ is developing for the communities it serves across the metropolitan area,” the press release states, “the HealthPlex’s vast emergency capabilities will be complemented by imaging services, an ambulatory surgery suite, rehabilitation, health/ wellness, home care, and other comprehensive medical programs that will be rolled out in future years.” North Shore-LIJ is one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems. Its 16 hospitals, plus long-term care facilities, have more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses, and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 47,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State.
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
PLAY DINE UNWIND
“Looking” star Raúl Castillo takes on a challenging José Rivera play at Intar
Over 5,000 Games. Minutes Away!
An Amazing Time
Raúl Castillo, whose impressive turn in “Looking” has snared the LGBT community’s attention, returns to his home at the Intar Theatre for a limited run production of a José Rivera play.
BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
ADORATION OF THE OLD WOMAN
he rough poetry of José Rivera’s “Adoration of the Old Woman” leaps off the page. Combining the lyricism of Frederico García Lorca, the magical realism of Gabriel García Marquez, and the profanity of David Mamet, the play, set in Puerto Rico in the near future, is ostensibly about the conflict between independence and statehood, the loss of identity and heritage versus a new identity and larger opportunity. It is also a metaphor for finding one’s individual sense of self in the context of a community and a culture. The play is getting a major production by Intar, the New York company that for the past 40 years has championed Latino artists and voices and diversity and become a home and launching point for many Latino artists. Actor Raúl Castillo got his first acting job at Intar, and he returns in this production as Ismael, the rakish statehood advocate. Castillo, who shot to fame this year playing Richie on HBO’s “Looking,” is thrilled to be back where he started his career.
Intar Theatre 500 W. 52nd St., fourth ﬂ. Through Apr. 6 Wed. at 6 p.m.; Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 5 p.m. $28; intartheatre.org Two hrs., with intermission
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“We were really lucky as Latino actors to have Intar,” he said. “They cultivated a lot of young actors and gave me something that I needed. I had a home here.” Ismael is a very different character from Richie, and Castillo is happily embracing the role and the play. He noted that the language is very poetic but that one can’t really play the poetry or the magical realism of the plot. Under the direction of Patricia McGregor, Castillo explained, he has been challenged to play the “realness” of the character and “to come to the table with my own specific emotions and humor.” Castillo has been thrilled with the response to “Looking” and what it has meant to him both as an actor and as
CASTILLO, continued on p.35
| March 19, 2014
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March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
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.
• 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.
| March 19, 2014
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. STRIBILD is a complete HIV-1 treatment in 1 pill, once a day.
Ask if it’s right for you.
• 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 www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see Brief Summary of full Prescribing Information with important warnings on the following pages.
2/28/13 3:27 PM
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
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
• 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.
| March 19, 2014
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 www.STRIBILD.com. 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. QC14559 02/13
2/28/13 3:27 PM
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
Fiery Family Feuds Spark Dramas in West End
Gwilym Lee as Leonard with Tom Hughes, who plays the ghost of his lover Gerald.
BY ANDY HUMM
family feud sounds like a mild form of dispute unworthy of news coverage, but these can be the types of conflicts that lead to wars — from the current crisis in Crimea to the Great War, the 100th anniversary of which is being marked this year. In Britain, where nearly a million died in its insanity, the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit of World War I portraits includes a loop of the 1910 funeral of Edward VII with his son George V marching flanked by his first cousin, Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Hapsburg Archduke Ferdinand. The assassination of Ferdinand by a 20-year-old Bosnian Serb led to a conflagration that mobilized 70 million soldiers across Europe and killed nine million sons and daughters of nations led by close relatives (Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, which sustained the greatest losses, was a first cousin of Britain’s George and second cousin of Germany’s Wilhelm). How to wrap one’s mind around such catastrophes and the confounding enmity of people of like blood? Some assistance was found recently on the stages of London’s West End where fractious families abound, from a ferocious “King Lear” to a terrific new family drama about the aftermath of World War I to smaller family stories that illuminate the human condition, if only we could see the light. “ Ve r s a i l l e s ” a t t h e D o n m a r (donmarwarehouse.com), is the new play by Peter Gill, who gave us “The York
Realist” (2001), a tender drama of a rural gay man in the early ‘60s. Here, we are in an old-fashioned, upper middle class, small town drawing room with the family and neighbors of young Leonard (Gwilym Lee, a great Edgar in Derek Jacobi’s “Lear” at BAM in 2011), who is about to head to Paris with the UK delegation to the 1919 talks that will settle the terms of the peace and — as he is keenly aware — either prevent or precipitate the next “unthinkable” war. Fools prosecuted the Great War that was supposed to be over by Christmas 1914 (and, also, end all wars) and geniuses did not emerge five years later to resolve it, leading not just to World War II but to most of the conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere that are so white hot today. In three fascinating hours, Gill, who also directs, manages to give all sides of the post-war debates their due, from widowed matriarch Edith (Francesca Annis), who just wants life to return to normal, to her friends Marjorie (Barbara Flynn), who has lost her dear son Gerald in battle, and prosperous Tory Geoffrey (Adrian Lukis), who wants some measure of revenge. Leonard will have some minor say in this, contributing his expertise on the Saar coal fields — crucial to German recovery, but demanded by the French for reparations. Among those joining the debate are Edith’s daughter (Tamla Kari) and her friend Constance (Helen Bradbury), who dramatize the rapidly changing role of women. We also go behind the scenes in Paris where Leonard toils in a back office, granted only a brief chance to influence a semi-sympathetic diplomat,
Peter Gill’s “Versailles” debuts; “Lear,” “Taste of Honey,” “Full Monty” in strong revivals
Simon Russell Beale as King Lear and Adrian Scarborough as the Fool in Sam Mendes' production at the Olivier.
Frederick Gibb (Simon Williams). While the play is full of talk, these are words to hang on, especially those between Leonard and the ghost of Gerald (Tom Hughes), who was his young love. Every player nails their character in a play I hope will have life after its run (to April 5) in the intimate Donmar and an influence far beyond the world of theater.
crabbedly skulks around either half clad or in a hospital gown befitting his madness. But they take almost too long to let his humanity come through here –– a daring approach though a tough one to endure. (To May 28.) This “Lear” can be seen in cinemas around the world starting in May as part of NT Live (ntlive.nationaltheatre.org. uk/productions/44084-king-lear).
“King Lear” (nationaltheatre. org.uk/shows/king-lear), from 1603, directed by Sam Mendes at the National’s Olivier, is rendered in modern, fascist dress about a fractured kingdom more than a millennium ago. As they say in Paris, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Mendes (who is reviving his production of “Cabaret” with Alan Cumming on Broadway this month) and his Lear, the estimable Simon Russell Beale, have said they had today’s tyrants in mind in mounting this production. They have taken one of Shakespeare’s most dyspeptic characters and made him unrelievedly angry. Even loyal Kent (Stanley Townsend), who will follow Lear in exile in disguise, turns his first speech, usually played pleadingly, into an angry rebuke of this foolish ruler who is turning over his kingdom to his two flattering daughters and denying levelheaded daughter Cordelia (Olivia Vinall) of her share. But the wisest character in “Lear” is his Fool (Adrian Scarborough). Beale certainly captures Lear’s ferocity and evil –– from his rebuke of Cordelia to his carousing with his soccer -thug retinue. In exile, he
(nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/a-tasteof-honey), Shelagh Delaney’s raw 1958 drama written when she was 18 about a squabbling mother and 17-year-old daughter –– Helen (Lesley Sharp) and Jo (Kate O’Flynn in a breakout performance) –– is mounted at the Lyttelton in the kind of first-class production that only the National could pull off. Bijan Sheibani (who helmed the great Holocaust play “Our Class”) directs. While “The Full Monty” (see below) elicits sympathy for men sidelined by an unforgiving economic system, Delaney shows us how women have had to cope with such setbacks from time immemorial. She dares to not make either woman sympathetic, which renders the drama all the more provocative as they make choices moralists would deem “wrong.” The brief reprieve that Helen gets from her charming louse of a suitor, Peter (Dean Lennox Kelly), and Jo from her sweet sailor, Jimmie (Eric Kofi Abrefa), is short-lived. In Act Two, independent Jo is relying on her gay friend Geoffrey
“ A Ta s t e o f H o n e y
THE WEST END, continued on p.30
| March 19, 2014
Dirty Sock Puppets BY DAVID KENNERLEY
ossessed puppets have been fixtures in American entertainment for over a century. Spunky, snappy ventriloquist dummies and other puppets with minds of their own have turned up in vaudeville acts, TV shows (“The Twilight Zone,” “The Shari Lewis Show,” “Soap,” “Sesame Street,” “The Simpsons”), feature films (“Magic”), and more recently, Broadway’s “Avenue Q” (currently reincarnated Off Broadway).
HAND TO GOD MCC Theater Company Lucille Lortel Theatre 121 Christopher St. at Bedford St. Through Mar. 30 Tue.-Wed. at 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat. at 2 p.m..; Sun. at 3 & 7:30 p.m. $69-89; mcctheater.org or 212-352-3101 Two hrs., with intermission
Now, the art form is taken to new heights of hilarity — and new depths of depravity — in MCC Theater’s “Hand
to God,” about wayward teens in a Christian puppet ministry somewhere in Texas, currently on the boards at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Wr i t t e n b y R o b e r t A s k i n s , t h e demented, devilish comedy originated at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in 2011. Not only has its director, Moritz von Stuelpnagel, been retained for this version, but also the supremely gifted leads. Steven Boyer is divine as Jason, who’s created a willful sock puppet named Tyrone (Boyer won the Obie for his performance). Geneva Carr portrays his unhinged mother Margery, who heads the puppet group. The supporting cast is no less impressive. Michael Oberholtzer is exceedingly menacing as hormonally fuelled Timothy, a sullen bully bent on seducing Margery. Sarah Stiles is Jessica, Jason’s nerdy crush who builds a bodacious puppet of her own. An imposing Marc Kudisch (“9 to 5: The Musical”) is the arrogant Pastor Greg, who, after Margery rebuffs his advances, demands that the flailing puppet group put on a show the very next Sunday. Puppet master Boyer fluidly jumps
When the puppets go on, the gloves come off in this outrageous, savage comedy
Steven Boyer as Jason with Jason’s evil puppet creation Tyrone in Robert Askins’ “Hand to God.”
back and forth between the meek, baffled Jason and vile, visceral Tyrone, deftly manipulating tiny puppet arms and felt facial expressions to bring him brilliantly to life. “You pull some shit like that again, I’ll cut off your balls,” Tyrone growls after Jason attempts to destroy him.
Not that Tyrone is the only one with the foul tongue. During puppet practice, when Jessica accuses Timothy of being a closet case, he counters, “See if you can taste the gay when I nut in your mouth.”
PUPPET, continued on p.31
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March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
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ATTORNIES Chou Law Luna Chou Law
401 Broadway in New York, (212) 226–2610, www.lunachoulaw.com Chou Law Luna Chou Law specializes in immigration, asylum, and applications for legal permanent resident status and naturalization, and LGBT rights. It petitions for your family members.
AUTOMOTIVE Bay Ridge Subaru
1819 Cropsey Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 234–7960, www.brooklynsubarudeals.com Visit Bay Ridge Subaru in Brooklyn for your new or used Subaru Impreza, Legacy, Forester, Outback, and Tribeca. It also supports same-sex couples and were at the GLBT Expo at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
945 E Jericho Tpke. In Suffolk, (631) 271–7177, www.habberstadbmw.com, JJacome@HabberstadBMW.com Proud supporters of the LGBT community!
These finely crafted fruit bouquets make the perfect addition to any wedding celebration.
properties of all types including condos, apartments, and commercial real estate.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Stetson Real Estate
Beth Israel LGBT Health Services 10 Nathan D Perlman Pl. in New York, (212) 420–2000, www.wehealny.org/services/ LGBT_Health_Services/index.html Beth Israel Medical Center LGBT Health Services provides an array of health, referral and educational services, promotes LGBT health equity and access to care, and develops effective partnerships with LGBT organizations, agencies and allies.
Chelsea Face and Body 270 W 19th St. in New York, (212) 647–8825, chelseafab.com Chelsea Face and Body offers the largest variety of state-of-the-art aesthetic services. It prides itself in its ability to keep you looking renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated for a more youthful appearance.
1214 E. Boston Post Rd. in Westchester, (914) 381–7173, www.stetsonrealestate.com Stetson Real Estate is an independent firm located in Mamaroneck, Westchester County, New York. The firm has thr guiding philosophy that if it focuses on serving the client best — as opposed to the agent’s self-interest — the business will prosper.
Multiple locations, www.warburgrealty.com Warburg Realty is one of the city’s best trained and hardest working agents, and by choosing them to represent you and your property, you also get the benefit of Warburg’s leadership strategies every step of the way. Warburg Realty has distinguished itself in the vanguard of tech-savvy real estate companies.
RECEPTION HALLS & CATERERS Allegria Hotel
430 W. 24th St. in New York, (646) 325–3378, www.groomedgrooms.com Groomed Grooms provides men’s hair and makeup for weddings and other major events. Its slogan: You have the legal right to look your best.
80 W Broadway IN Nassau, (516) 889–1300, www.allegriahotel.com Allegria Horel, is a chic and sophisticated wedding venue in Long Beach with breathtaking ocean views. It is great for rooftop or beachfront weddings.
7905 5th Ave. in Brooklyn, (646) 712–4084, Fastworldmall@yahoo.com, www.bridaldreamsmall.com Bridal Dreams’ mission is simple: to provide the best products and service to its customers at the lowest prices possible. It takes great pride in its company, commitment to customer service, and products.
In Touch NYC
The Edison Ballroom
126 W 96th St. in New York, (212) 865–9290, www.mindovermatternyc.com Mind Over Matter Health & Fitness is a Manhattan based in-home personal training service providing fitness professionals to you in your home.
BRIDAL APPARAL Bridal Dreams
New York God’s Love We Deliver
166 6th Ave. in New York, (212) 294–8100, www.glwd.org God’s Love We Deliver is the tri-state area’s leading provider of nutritious, individually-tailored meals to people that are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. God’s Love provides all services by employing a small but dedicated professional staff and with the critical assistance of nearly 8,000 volunteers annually.
ENTERTAINMENT Erik Robert Jacobson, Classical Cellist
(212) 584–7500, www.jacobseneric.com, email@example.com Mr. Jacobsen is a cellist and conductor residing in Brooklyn, New York. He has performed with Renee Fleming on David Letterman and at the inaugural concert at Zankel Hall at Carnegie.
M B Sound Productions Entertainment
3034 Merrick Rd., (516) 322–1745 in Long Island or 3034 Merrick Rd., (888) 517–2789 in Nassau, www.mbsoundproductions.com MB Sound Productions & Entertainment is a professional, high tech, well equipped, and mobile DJ entertainment company servicing the tri-state area. It has over 15 years of experience, and can accommodate all types of events.
FERTILITY Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine (718) 283–8600, www.genesisfertility.com Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine is a nationally recognized center for the treatment of infertility. It is known for its excellent success rates. Most major insurers accepted.
FLORISTS & CENTERPEICES Angelica Flowers and Events
436 Hudson St. in New York, (212) 229–0272, angelicaflowersandevents.com New York City’s premiere custom floral designer for events, corporate accounts, and same day delivery.
Ariston Flowers & Boutique
110 W 17th St. in New York, (212) 929–4226, www.aristonflorist.com Ariston Flowers is an award-winning and familyowned business that has been in operation since 1977. It stocks an array of fresh flowers directly imported from France, Holland, Hawaii, and from other parts of the world. It also has accessories such as vases, pottery, and baskets.
(718) 535–7909, www.EdibleArrangements.com
242 E 77th St. in New York, (646) 234–4840, intouchnyc.com InTouch NYC is a New York City-based healing sanctuary providing acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional counseling, bodywork, and pilates.
Mind Over Matter
INVITATIONS Print Icon
240 W 47th St. in New York, (212) 201–7650, edisonballroom.com, firstname.lastname@example.org The Edison Ballroom was originally opened in the 1930’s and was constructed in the classic art deco design. The venue can be rented for all kinds of events, including a wedding.
Multiple locations, www.fairwaymarket.com Fairway offers seasonal, signature catering packages with the highest-quality, happy-making eats with zero work. Have Fairway cater your engagement, bachelor, or bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner or wedding.
Grand Oaks Country Club
125 W 21st St. in New York, (212) 255–0844, www.printicon.com Print icon New York offers modern and heritage printing, including laser engraving, indigo press, letterpress, thermography and debossing accompanied by custom design services.
200 Huguenot Ave. in Staten Island, (718) 356–2771, www.grandoaksnyc.com Formerly the South Shore Country Club, this new and improved Staten Island venue can provide the perfect elegant backdrop for your reception with prime dates still available.
Hornblower Cruises & Events
Greenwich Jewelers 64 Trinity Pl. in New York, (212) 964–7592, www.greenwichjewelers.com In search of something classic, contemporary, or completely eclectic? Greenwich Jewelers is your source for exquisite adornments that are designed to last — and make your life brilliant.
Little King Jewelry 177 Lafayette St. in New York, (212) 260–6140, www.littlekingjewelry.com Little King Jewelry is a contemporary jewelry boutique in Soho that offers an eclectic mix of jewelry such as classic 21st century heirlooms, indie, rock and roll, to one-of-kind couture jewelry for all occasions.
LIMOUSINES M & V Limousine Ltd. 1117 Jericho Tpke. In Suffolk, (800) 498–5778, www.mvlimo.com M & V has the largest selection of antique and exotic limousines in the world. Its main focus is providing you with an elegant and stress-free experience on your wedding day.
REAL ESTATE SERVICES Brooklyn Accurate Building 1860 Bath Ave. in Brooklyn, (718) 265–8191, www.accuratebuilding.com email@example.com Inspectors Accurate Building Inspectors is a full service home and building inspection firm servicing New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the nation since 1961. It provides inspections, consulting, assistance, and testing services for homeowners It has and will continue to serve and support the LGBT community.
Modern Spaces Multiple locations, modernspacesnyc.com Modern Spaces is a real estate firm that manages
40 N. River Piers in New York, (212) 206–7522, / www.hornblower.com/home/ny Hornblower New York specializes in New York dinner cruises, harbor cruises, yacht charters, sightseeing, events, birthday parties, and weddings. It has exceeded guest expectations for over 30 years by maintaining impeccable comfort and safety standards with a large fleet of private yachts in California and New York.
365 Park Avenue South in New York, (212) 685–7700, www.hotelgiraffe.com Hotel Giraffe would be honored to host your rehearsal dinner, special day, or to arrange guest accommodations. Its experienced staff will ensure that all of your expectations and special requests are surpassed.
401 Seventh Ave. in New York, (212) 736–5000, www.hotelpenn.com The conveniently located Hotel Pennsylvania has all the ingredients for a perfect reception. It has flexible ballrooms that provide an elegant, functional Manhattan setting for weddings of all sizes.
Millennium Broadway Hotel
145 W. 44th St. in New York, (212) 768–4400, www.millenniumhotelnyc.com The Millennium Broadway Hotel’s fully functioning Hudson Theatre has recently received a 3.5 milliondollar renovation. It offers flexible and moveable seating as well as Broadway-quality lighting and sound, making it the most extravagant wedding and reception facility in New York City.
Museum of Jewish Heritage
36 Battery Pl. in New York, (646) 437–4202, www.mjhnyc.org The Museum of Jewish Heritage’s unique facilities are perfect for galas, receptions, conferences, weddings, other life cycle events, and more.
The Picnic House in Prospect Park
95 Prospect Park West in Brooklyn, (646) 393–9031, www.prospectpark.org/visit/places/picnic The Picnic House in Prospect Park is a 4,000 square foot brick-and-glass enclosed pavilion with a terracotta tile roof. Built in 1927, it has been praised for its light and sweeping views. The natural setting makes it a perfect choice for a wedding and the French doors gracing the rear balcony create a charming focal point for the exchange of vows.
Hotel Plaza Athenee
37 E. 64th St. in New York, (212) 734–9100, www.plaza-athenee.com/weddings-en.html The Upper East Side’s Hotel Plaza Athenee is a stunning European-style venue with antique furnishings in the lobby, a beautiful marble entranceway, and Italian tapestries on the walls. It is the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs. It has an elegant ceremony space and the hotel’s dazzling, gold-domed Arabelle restaurant provides a great reception site.
The Provincetown Business Guild
3 Freeman St. in Provincetown, (508) 487–2313, ptown.org In 2004 — when Massachusetts became the first state to extend full marriage benefits for same-sex couples — Provincetown quickly became the number one destination for LGBT unions. The inclusive, gay-friendly spirit provides the perfect place for all couples to host a wedding, commitment ceremony, or spend their honeymoon. In addition to the charming seaside splendor that Provincetown provides, there are a plethora of party planners, caterers, venues, and other helpful businesses that make it easy and comfortable for future newlyweds to plan their special day. Contact the Provincetown Business Guild for additional help!
reBar Brooklyn Gastropub
147 Front St. in Brooklyn, (718) 766–9110, rebarnyc.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Located on the mezzanine of an 19th century tea factory, this hip, Brooklyn gastropub’s seasonal New American menu, 120 bottled beers, sustainable and organic wine list, and its extensive scotch selection.
Queens Russo’s on the Bay
162-45 Cross Bay Blvd. in Queens, (718) 843–5055, russosonthebay.com A beautiful, waterfront wedding at Russo’s On The Bay is a truly royal experience. It offers unwavering commitment to detail that you can sleep easy knowing that the valet will provide excellent service at the door, the food will be superb, the linens will be pressed, and the venue will be running like a well-oiled machine.
168 W. Fourth St. in New York, (212) 242–9338, www.tiopepenyc.com, email@example.com At Tio Pepe you have a choice of atmosphere. The skylight dining room supplies a touch of romance while the enclosed sidewalk cafe provides a room with a view of Greenwich Village.
118-16 101st Ave. in Queens, (718) 849–0990, villarussocatering.com The Villa Russo has celebrated engagements and weddings for more than 50 years in its spacious wedding venue. The hotel invites you to experience the true radiance of this elegant Italian-style villa. The food is delicious and the certified wedding planners will assure a day you and your guests will not forget.
TRAVEL Ace World Travel
8320 13th Ave. in Brooklyn, (347) 915–4287, www.aceworldtravel.net, firstname.lastname@example.org Ace World Travel is a full-service, independent, home-based travel agency. Its goal is to help you explore the world however you desire, and make that experience as unique and memorable as possible.
WEDDING MINISTRY Celebration Ceremonies
(646) 322–6743, www.celebrationceremonies.net, FMFortunato06@aol.com Reverend Francesca Fortunato has been an ordained Interfaith minister since 2003. Rev. Francesca creates and performs beautiful, personal, meaningful ceremonies for couples of many different faiths (or none). She is proud and delighted to now perform legal marriages for members of her own LGBTQ community.
| March 19, 2014
Late Winter Voices Opera at City Center, Juilliard, Carnegie Hall, Chicago Lyric BY DAVID SHENGOLD
Hard to exaggerate how much I preferred Mary Birnbaum’s condensed, chamber production of “Eugene Onegin” at Juilliard’s black box Willson Theater (February 23) to the Met’s over -busy “Bristol Rep Gorky” approach, care of Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw. Birnbaum and her young principals took a detailed emotional journey, very well observed and sung. Grace Laubacher’s squared scrim enclosure, connoting
ebruary 21 witnessed a bittersweet occasion at City Center –– fabulous to see, but with acoustics often jarringly opaque. The valiant New York City Opera Orchestra under the versatile George Manahan paid tribute to the late lamented “people’s opera” with a 70th anniversary concert as a benefit for Local 802’s Musician’s Emergency Fund. The wellconceived tribute reflected the company’s history, ideals, and breadth, and the players sounded relaxed and capable. The solo singing varied but offered several inspiriting highlights. Energetic septuagenarian Placido Domingo, who made his NYCO debut in 1965 and sang there often before international fame carried him away, graciously appeared to sing — more creditably and nobly than he’s done any previous baritone music hereabouts — “Nemico della patria,” fully involved and sounding quite remarkable. One can’t pretend that time hasn’t left marks on the voices of NYCO’s uncrowned 1990s queens, Amy Burton and Lauren Flanigan. Looking totally glam, however, each found chances to show what absolute conviction and canny professionalism can deliver –– Burton as Puccini’s Lauretta; Flanigan as Verdi’s Lady Macbeth. Jennifer Rivera camped through Rossini’s Rosina but sounded lovely and poignant in Chabrier’s “L’Etoile.” Heather Johnson, eight and a half months pregnant, endearingly sang Carmen’s seductive entrance aria. A fine artist with a quality middleweight mezzo and keen dramatic instincts, she deserves wider renown. Sidney Outlaw stole the show with a superbly poised rendition of Pierrot’s Tanzlied from “Die Tote Stadt,” and his rhythmically charged scene from Anthony Davis’ “Malcolm X” made me want to hear the whole piece. We really need City Opera back. Rumors convey plans afoot.
Takaoki Onishi as Eugene Onegin and Raquel González as Tatyana in Mary Birnbaum’s condensed, chamber production of the Tchaikovsky opera at Juilliard’s Willson Theater.
Tatyana’s Romantically filtered world, fell at Onegin’s brusque rejection; Birnbaum’s blocking and Personenregie — including Adam Cates’ choreography –– was pointed and psychologically acute. The trims worked in context, though combining Mme. Larina’s character with Filipeevna’s rendered the doubtless illiterate serf ’s comments on outgrowing her youthful literary tastes implausible. Raquel González embodied Tatyana with lovely, impr essive tone and admirable emotional honesty; Liù and Micaela seem obvious roles for now, but her fine soprano’s dark security may lead to spinto parts. A handsome pair of male leads, Takaoki Onishi (Onegin) and Miles Mykkanen (Lensky), engaged audience sympathy. Onishi commands a remarkably attractive bel canto baritone with impressive dynamic span. Mykkanen, impressively musical and duly lyrical in timbre, acted up a storm — correctly unafraid to make the young poet both ardent and silly –– though sometimes treated the text too veristically, spoiling the line. His Russian vowels need considerable further work; in general, the Russian had been coached well. Avery Amereau’s attractive, sonorous Olga was superb. Bass Önay Köse sounded splendid in Gremin’s irresistible “big tune” and its repeat, but struggled with pitch and rhythm in the tricky transition section –– the main such coordination lapse Matthew Aucoin’s fine musical direction allowed. Sometimes his violins parted company, and the musical adaptation over -privileged the harp. Otherwise
the players excelled — as did the whole ensemble on this memorable afternoon.
On March 3, amid its Viennafest, Carnegie hosted the echt-Berlin Max Raabe, who with the crack players of his Palast Orchester re-create the Weimar -era big band style. Raabe is very dry and droll, with a not very substantial “Spieltenor,” which flips over into croon fairly low in his range. Like Switzerland’s late gay Spieltenor Hughes Cuénod, he accomplishes much with a lyric shred of a voice. The audience seemed flattered by the Cole Porter and Irving Berlin numbers, but the German songs yielded much more detailed verbal shading and thus proved considerably more rewarding. Not for all tastes — there’s a whiff of deracinated Paul Whitemanshchina about the whole enterprise — but Raabe certainly knows what he’s about and the players are top-notch. Lyric Opera of Chicago
usually plays two shows at once, making quick trips attractive, especially when the musical rewards are as high as those for “Rusalka” and “La clemenza di Tito” on March 10 and 11. Both had sonorous, disciplined –– if perhaps ultimately not probing –– conducting from Andrew Davis. British director David McVicar helmed both shows, which had in common staged overtures, a surfeit of distracting if duly hunky male extras, and a lot of lovely vocal moments upstaged by directorial fussiness. Overall, the Dvořák — a belated company premiere — succeeded
better than the Mozart. With “Rusalka,” McVicar gave us a darker vision than the Met’s (once) lovely fairy tale staging: a world of industrial pollution and patriarchal destruction of women and animals (Act II’s diversion was a “Giselle” parody). A forecurtain showed the traditional wooded lake in a painting. In front of it, Brandon Jovanovich’s Prince rejected Ekaterina Gubanova’s dressed-to-kill Foreign Princess, setting in motion their Act II reconciliation, in which he betrays Rusalka (the theatrically spectacular Ana María Martínez, a fiery lyric soprano with superb dynamic control). The show was as much about the Prince as Rusalka. Jovanovich and Martínez, who’d done the work at Glyndebourne, had great chemistry and gave it their all. He looks great onstage and sings intelligently with a baritonal tenor occasionally short on top fortes but able to utilize head resonance, apt for Slavic rep. She is just a terrific singer and actress, in Mozart and Puccini as well as Dvořák. Why Met audiences are asked to endure the Kovalevska/ Poplavskaya train wrecks in her roles is anybody’s guess. A shade light for Rusalka’s most testing outbursts, Martínez achieved sublime results through intelligent pacing phrasing, with wonderful diminuendi. Gubanova aced her tough assignment. Jill Grove (Jezibaba) and Eric Owens (Vodnik) drew compelling character studies with imposing vocal scope if limited tonal velvet and limited immersion in Czech phonetics. “La clemenza di Tito” took 40 minutes to ignite but offered two remarkably sung and acted portrayals, by Matthew Polenzani (Tito) and Joyce diDonato (Sesto). Polenzani’s flexible, stylish, and attractive cantilena contrasted strangely with a kind of braying timbre in recit — was he trying to sound imperial? DiDonato sang her two stellar showpieces better than anyone I’ve ever heard live and was (almost) always jawdroppingly exquisite to hear. A great performance. Amanda Majeski, too drably dressed for Vitellia, put over the character convincingly and –– except for finessing the great Trio’s toughest moments –– sang excitingly, very nearly matching her co-stars. Watch for her Elvira this month in Opera Philadelphia’s “Don Giovanni.” An unconventional-sounding Servilia, Emily Birsan sang with rare musicality and insightful phrasing. The gifted McVicar needs a “bright ide as ” e dit o r. Ent ir e ly t o o muc h
OPERA, continued on p.35
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
Boys Will Be Boys
Daniel Patrick Carbone charts two young brothers’ journey through difficult rites of passage BY GARY M. KRAMER
HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES Directed by Daniel Patrick Carbone Tribeca Films Opens March 28 Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St. cinemavillage.com
Carbone’s thoughtful and leisurelypaced film keenly observes Eric and Tommy and sometimes their friends as they wander through the forest, take a dip in the lake, bike through the neighborhood, wrestle in the fields, or sit under shelter while it rains. The kids’ activities are unsupervised, and much of the action consists of these boys being boys. Parents are not unseen, but their presence is mostly off-screen. The kids grapple with the dares and challenges and rituals of being adolescents. When Tommy’s friend Ian (Ivan Tomic) brings out his father’s
riter/ director Daniel Patrick Carbone makes an auspicious, even astonishing feature debut with “Hide Your Smiling Faces,” an atmospheric drama about two young brothers growing up in the woodlands of New Jersey. Eric (Nathan Varnson) is the older brother of Tommy (Ryan Jones), and they share a close bond. They play, they fight, and they hang out with their friends. The brothers are restless and sometimes reckless, and the drama stems from unexpected moments, big and small, that pop up in their quotidian lives.
Nathan Varnson (foreground) and Ryan Jones in Daniel Patrick Carbone’s “Hide Your Smiling Faces.”
(Colm O’Leary) gun, the weapon doesn’t discharge but Ian’s father scolds his son, Tommy, and another boy, Blake (Andrew Chamberlain). A few scenes later, when Eric is exploring an old railroad bridge with his buddy Tristan (Thomas Cruz), he sees Ian’s dead body on the ground far below. Ian’s death provides the film with its dramatic fulcrum. While the question is raised if Ian slipped or jumped, the point of “Hide Your Smiling Faces” is not how the boy died, but how his death affects the other characters. The film’s title comes from the brothers’ difficulty conveying their feelings as they mourn Ian’s untimely passing. Death is no laughing matter here, and little in the film is amusing. Carbone fills his drama with animal corpses, from the opening shot of a snake devouring its prey to a dead cat Eric leaves on the doorstep of Ian’s father’s as a warning
not to mess with their pet dog, Daisy. Death is also on the minds of the characters. Tristan talks several times with Eric about the idea of dying versus being killed and he even threatens Eric with an air rifle. Tristan, it is revealed, is contemplating suicide, and this fact troubles Eric, who bottles up his emotions. He later explodes in rage when Tristan provokes him. Eric is overburdened by processing the discovery of Ian’s body while trying to prevent Tristan’s suicide. Perhaps this is what prompts Eric to tease Tommy — throwing his brother, who does not know how to swim, in the lake and scaring him by nearly pushing him off the railroad bridge where Ian died. Eric needs an outlet for his anger. He finds one when Ian’s father ties Daisy to a cement block in the street after warning them to keep the animal off his property. In his fury, Eric throws
the cement block through Ian’s father’s living room window and proceeds to destroy the living room. Tommy, meanwhile, quietly visits Ian’s room, but he also stops to steal the gun owned by Ian’s father. T ommy’s behavior pr ovides an interesting contrast to his brother’s. While Eric quietly seethes, Tommy responds to life and death like he would antiseptic sprayed on a wound — it can sting, but only for a minute. Watching his brother misbehave, Tommy eyes Eric warily. He is reluctant to join him on an adventure one day, perhaps because he is afraid of becoming more like him. Eric struggles with Tristan’s talk of death, while Tommy has a tender scene where he and his friend Blake practice kissing each other with a piece of plastic between their mouths. It is not sexual, just another rite of passage for these young boys. “Hide Your Smiling Faces” is all about such passages. The film’s themes of growing up and losing one’s innocence resonate because Carbone makes the dramatic moments so engrossing. In the end, both Eric and Tommy have epiphanies big and small that help them understand the isolated and sometimes cruel world they inhabit. Watching these boys come of age is an extraordinary experience. Carbone not only coaxes naturalistic performances from the two young actors, but he films them in ways that comment on their bond — framing them on a bicycle, at the dinner table, in the water, or on the railroad bridge. The cinematography, by Nick Bentgen, deserves an award. Ultimately, it is to Carbone’s credit that his remarkable film about death is so life-affirming.
Genocide in Clay Rithy Panh, telling his childhood story under the Khmer Rouge, finds a new way to evoke a holocaust BY STEVE ERICKSON
he Missing Picture” was made by Cambodian director Rithy Panh, but it features a French voice-over relating the details of his childhood in a Khmer Rouge camp. This seems oddly appropriate, as the film engages a largely French debate about how atrocities like the Holocaust should be represented. For “Shoah” director Claude
THE MISSING PICTURE Directed by Rithy Panh Strand Releasing In French with English subtitles Opens Mar. 19 Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St. filmforum.org
Lanzmann, filmmakers should evoke the persistence of the Holocaust in the present-day; over nine hours, “Shoah” doesn’t use a second of
archival footage. But for Jean-Luc Godard, it’s a major tragedy that the Holocaust wasn’t documented on film more. Steven Spielberg jumped into this debate in a typically American way, recreating Auschwitz with no qualms and paving the way for Roberto Benigni’s truly abject “Life Is Beautiful.” Panh’s film finds its own, rather unusual space. It’s neither wholly fiction nor documentary. It mixes archival footage with clay figurines
posed on elaborate sets. “The Missing Picture” describes Panh’s childhood experience of his family and friends suffering –– and, in many case, dying –– under the Khmer Rouge’s reign, which lasted in Cambodia from 1975 until 1979. The regime promised a communist utopia and wound up brutally punishing “capitalists” and “bourgeois intellectuals,” groups Panh’s family
CLAY, continued on p.29
| March 19, 2014
The Sexual Revolution’s Dark Underbelly Despite feminist critics, Lars von Trier explores liberation’s downside through a woman’s story BY STEVE ERICKSON
Directed by Lars von Trier Magnolia Films Opens Mar. 21 Landmark Sunshine 143 E. Houston St., btwn. First & Second Aves. landmarktheatres.com
The story of a heterosexual woman, Lars von Trier’s “The Nymphomaniac: Volume One” is the cautionary tale Alain Guiraudie’s gay “Stranger By the Lake” tried and failed to be. Although it includes several scenes of hardcore sex, “The Nymphomaniac: Volume One” recalls films from the tail end of the softcore heyday, when many filmmakers
Sophie Kennedy Clark and Stacy Martin in Lars von Trier’s “The Nymphomaniac: Volume One.”
still aimed to combine porn with a level of artistic ambition. Von Trier even shows himself to be one of the few heterosexual male directors who’s not afraid to reveal the penis, offering up a montage of dozens of members. A wounded woman, Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), lies bleeding from her face in an alley. She’s in an unnamed European country where everyone speaks English. Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), a middle-aged Jewish man with a penchant for fly-fishing, takes her in and offers her tea, pastry, and a bed to sleep in. A self-proclaimed nymphomaniac, Joe relates her sexual adventures, which began when she
CLAY, from p.28
happened to fit into. Many people were brought to labor camps, their personal property destroyed. Indeed, Panh describes how his only possession was his spoon. The film combines Khmer Rouge propaganda reels with clay figurines and elaborate dioramas to evoke Panh’s memories. It’s not animation –– the figurines never move –– but “The Missing Picture” uses a voiceover, written by Christophe Bataille and based on Panh’s memoirs, to speak for those who were lost to this moment of madness. Given the subject matter, it may appear ghoulish to say this, but “The Missing Picture” is an amazing technical accomplishment. Panh includes a few images of the clay figurines being cut and painted, but that doesn’t prepare the viewer for the scale on which he deploys them. He uses vast sets, full of water and earth. Although the figurines remain static, one quickly takes them seriously as people, despite their lack of motion. Panh even occasionally has them interact with archival footage, posing them in front of it. As the labor camp’s residents grow hungrier, the clay models are whittled down to reflect their thinner condition. The title “The Missing Picture” has several
was a teenager. The young Joe is played by Stacy Martin. “The Nymphomaniac: Volume One” is bound to be greeted with suspicion in certain quarters, especially from feminists. This is perfectly justified. Vo n T r i e r h a s a r e p u t a t i o n a s a misogynist, borne out by the treatment of women as sacrificial victims in many of his films and the on-set reports of his abusive behavior toward some actresses. (Despite those reports, Gainsbourg is now working with him for the third time.) Large sections of “The Nymphomaniac: Volume One” play like male fantasies. I think von Trier is smart enough to realize this, anticipate
meanings. Panh tells us that the Khmer Rouge took photos of some of their executions. He tried to track one down, but he wasn’t able to find it. He hastens to add that even if he had, he wouldn’t have included it in the film. On a larger scale, the missing picture is an image of what the Khmer Rouge did to the Cambodians, taken as it was happening. All of our images of the Holocaust –– the sights of skeletal corpses dumped into mass graves, made familiar by Alain Resnais’ “Night and Fog” –– were taken after it ended; no victim was in a position to offer photographic documentation as it happened. All the cinematic images of late ‘70s Cambodia that Panh offers up are propaganda. He offers commentary on his own experiences over some, while letting others play out without interjection. “The Missing Picture” supplies a belated counter-shot. Panh’s father committed suicide in the labor camp by going on a hunger strike. Rather than seeing this act as selfish, Panh celebrates it as a noble act of resistance. His mother succumbed to the horrors of the camp shortly afterwards. Panh describes hunting down rats and insects for food. A live-action dramatization of these events would likely be so grim as to be so unwatchable, and trying to lighten it up and make Panh’s experiences more palatable would probably result in a film as ethically dubious as
NYMPHOMANIAC, continued on p.35
THE NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME ONE
ow that marijuana is legal in two US states and porn is ubiquitous online, one could say that countercultural liberationists have achieved important aims. Except that there’s little idealism left about sex and drugs as agents of cultural transformation. A few recent films have attempted to chart the way the sexual revolution led, for some, away from liberation toward mean-spirited and self-destructive gamesmanship.
the criticism, and work around it by setting Joe up as an unreliable narrator. In fact, Seligman questions her story’s believability. “The Nymphomaniac: Volume One” is a film about storytelling –– the ways we present ourselves to other people and the possibility of some people making themselves look worse out of an inverted narcissism. For his part, Seligman relates to the world through elaborate metaphors drawn from fishing and Bach’s music, which he explains in detail. Von Trier isn’t afraid to remind the audience we’re watching a European art film, possibly with tongue in cheek. As dark as the film gets, it never leaves its sense of humor behind. One key scene, in which Joe and a friend (Sophie Kennedy Clark) ride a train to compete for a bag of candy by seeing how many men each can seduce, definitely plays like a fantasy –– more akin to a “Penthouse Forum” letter than something two teenage girls would actually live out. But it’s probably as close as Joe ever gets to a healthy exploration of her sexuality. She talks about the experience as if it were shameful and horrible, but apart from her seduction of a married man, it’s far less amoral than her future dalliances with multiple men at the same time.
Clay figures play a critical role in Rithy Panh’s account of the Khmer Rouge’s atrocities in Cambodia in the 1970s.
“Life Is Beautiful.” The mix of fiction and documentary and the use of clay figurines achieve the right distance. I doubt that Panh would tell other filmmakers how they should go about representing atrocities, but here he’s found a deeply moving yet slightly detached way to speak about his own experience under the Khmer Rouge.
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com introduction to the profound challenges of being a nearly 50-year -old trans woman with an ex-wife and three kids in the Midwest –– including having to become her own boss to survive in a world where her gender expression makes her much less employable. While based on actual interviews with Rachael, there’s not much in the way of drama here –– something that might be remedied by hearing better stories from her or showing her interactions with family, patrons, and townsfolk.
THE WEST END, from p.24
(delfontmackintosh.co.uk) began as an indie hit movie about unemployed Sheffield steel workers scripted by Simon Beaufoy in 1997 (made for $3.5 million and grossing $250 million), became a David Yazbek/ Terrence McNally musical hit (set in Buffalo) on Broadway in 2000 and the West End, and now gets its first stage version via Beaufoy, set back in the north of England. I loved the movie and liked the musical, but this stage version, at the Noël Coward and directed by Daniel Evans, is for those who like to see beloved characters in the flesh. It’s getting an enthusiastic reception from London audiences who hoot these steel workers-turned-strippers on to their naked triumph. It’s a tug-at-the-heart classic, not least because of the spunky boy, Nathan (Jack Hollington, the night I saw it, but rotated among three kids), who gives his dad, Gaz (Kenny Doughty), the spine he needs to see the stripping scheme through. “Monty” also gives us some gay characters to root for, hapless Lumper (Craig Gazey) and humpy Guy (Kieran O’Brien). Sidney Cole as Horse really livens up the show. (To June 14.)
–– since 1989 –– is “The Woman in Black” (thewomaninblack.com) by the late Stephen Mallatratt at the Fortune Theatre, directed by Robin Herford and the second longest running show after “The Mousetrap” (1952). My friend Bernárd Lynch, long a London resident but seeing the show for the first time, said that witnessing the audience –– many of them young –– scream repeatedly and in delighted terror was the best part of the show. It is a ghost story told by two players (Stuart Fox and Gwynfor Jones) with theatrical invention and it is a ride that shows no signs of stopping, partly because the book on which it is based is part of the British national curriculum and so becomes an introduction to theater for many.
Kate O'Flynn and Harry Hepple in Shelagh Delaney’s 1958 play "A Taste of Honey," at the Lyttelton Theatre.
(Harry Hepple, who lends dignity to a character abused even by his friends in that Mesozoic era for gay people). This was the first play to get past the Lord Chamberlain’s censors with a matter-offact sympathetic gay character. I confess that with both “Honey” and “The Full Monty,” I had trouble deciphering the northern accents, something the UK audience members of all classes had no trouble with. Still, I’m grateful they are not smoothing them out for a foreign audience and are giving us the real thing.
Russell Tovey and Gary Carr in John Donnelly’s “The Pass.”
after what seemed like a slow start, exploded with one surprising, trenchant, funny, and thought-provoking turn after another. Russell Tovey of “History Boys” and “Looking” fame is Jason, a David Beckham-like soccer star with a secret. His early-career teammate, pal, and rival Ade (Gary Carr of “Downton Abbey”) has one, too, but later comes out. The play is an unsparing and unsentimental meditation on the price of fame, livened up considerably by Lyndsey (Lisa McGrillis), a good-time gal trying to have sex with mid-career Jason, and by bellboy Harry (hilarious Nico Mirallegro of “Upstairs/ Downstairs”), who gets caught up in some mad games between late-career Jason and Ade. The story unfolds in unpredictable ways, essential for good theater. Tovey’s Jason doesn’t fall back on the clichés of the closet case, but sticks out his bare chest in pride for what he has accomplished — and contempt for those who don’t have the fortitude to make his bargain. He’s worshipped but not likeable — and fascinating to watch.
Robert Icke and Duncan John Donnelly’s “The Macmillan brought the original Pass,” just closed at the Royal Court, Nottingham Playhouse cast from was the gayest play of the week and,
their hit adaptation of George Orwell’s
“1984”to the Almeida (to March 29; almeida.co.uk/event/1984). In the spirit of the protagonist Winston Smith (Mark Arends), I will think for myself and say that this is a flat and cartoonish depiction of the dangers of conformity, social control, and tyranny that have now gone far beyond anything that Orwell could have imagined. Constantly flashing strobe lights are an assault on the audience, not an illumination. With mostly stylized acting, the most recognizable human being on the stage is the evil O’Brien –– Tim Dutton, in a portrayal that put me in mind of shameless California Republican Congressman Darrel Issa. It has gotten almost universal raves from the London critics and won a West End transfer this spring, but I’d say you’ll need a good stiff “victory gin” after this one, which is what may be intended.
The tiny Old Red Lion Theatre above an Islington pub has
produced some gems over the years and is now giving space to an Edinburgh Fringe hit, “Rachael’s Café,” a first play by Lucy Danser, who encountered Rachael Jones, a transgender woman, at Jones’ café in Bloomington, Indiana. Graham Elwell plays Rachael in this one-p er son show , an e as y-go ing
Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Days” shows how great an almost
one-woman show can be, especially when the Winnie half-buried in the sand is Juliet Stevenson in a flawless production directed by Natalie Abrahami. The play just closed at the Young Vic but a New York transfer would be most welcome. Yes, Winnie’s Willie (David Beames) is down a nearby hole, blurts out a few phrases, and surfaces briefly, but it is Stevenson’s job to hold a center stage that she is imprisoned by –– and she does so with wit, pathos, and dignity in a moving meditation on immobility for the twohour evening. Buried up to her neck in Act Two, Winnie says, “Someone is looking at me still. Caring for me still.” Yes, we are Winnie/ Juliet –– and you were the perfect ending of a week in London playhouses. C o m i n g u p i n t h e We s t E n d : The Chichester Festival’s acclaimed production of “Another Country” is at the T rafalgar Studio (March 26-April 5; trafalgar-studios.co.uk/AnotherCountry.html). Alan Ayckbour n’s “A Small Family Business” is at the National’s Olivier, starring Nigel Lindsay (April 1-May 31; nationaltheatre.org.uk/ shows/a-small-family-business). James Graham, who wrote the politics-behindthe-scenes “This House” for the National, has penned “Privacy,” about government snooping, presented at the Donmar (April 10-May 31; donmarwarehouse. com). Seán O’Casey’s “The Silver Tassie” offers more about World War I at the National’s Lyttelton (April 15-May 21 nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/thesilver-tassie). David Hare’s “Skylight,” about a May-December relationship, is being revived at Wyndham’s with Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy (June 6-August 23; delfontmackintosh.co.uk); Lee Hall’s (“Billy Elliot”) stage adaptation of Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s hit movie “Shakespeare in Love” begins July 2 at the Noël Coward Theatre (shakespeareinlove.com). Regent’s Park Open Air (openairtheatre.com) has Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” (May 15-June 7), “Hobson’s Choice” (June 12-July 12), “Twelfth Night re-imagined” (June 21-July 12), “Porgy and Bess” (July 17-August 23), and “To Kill a Mockingbird” (August 28-Septtember 13).
| March 19, 2014
Getting Real, Getting Lost Ruhl rules at Playwrights Horizons, while Shakespeare suffers at the Public BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE
STAGE KISS Playwrights Horizons Through Apr. 6 Tue.-Wed. at 7 p.m. Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sat. at 2:30 p.m.; Sun at 7:30 p.m. $75; ticketcentral.com Or 212-279-4200 Two hrs., 15 min., with one intermission
The first act is all about mounting the play in New Haven and the way He and She move from frigid distance to overheated clinch. Playwright Ruhl is clearly in her element here, crafting the overwrought language from the dated script while plumbing the relationship among the characters in the here and now. The play is satirical, to be sure, but lovingly so, and we find ourselves delighting in the comedy as the really bad play within a play comes together. The first act ends with He and She back together again, it would seem. To describe the second act would give away too many wonderful surprises and twists, but suffice it to say there is a significant change in tone that follows up the more madcap opening with a payoff in terms of a serious examination of how maturity changes romance. A bit of editing might have made the shift more subtly, but Ruhl delivers honesty and believability that is quite affecting. Jessica Hecht is wonderful as She. Always a highly detailed actor, she
PUPPET, from p.25
“Hand to God” has had plenty of time to work out the kinks, and it shows. At nearly two hours with intermission, this is a razor-sharp production that zips along at a fast clip. The set, by Beowulf Boritt, perfectly evokes a cinderblock rec room in a church basement, festooned with colorful child-crafted posters sporting cheerfully dogmatic sayings like “Flying
Dominic Fumusa and Jessica Hecht in Sarah Ruhl’s “Stage Kiss.”
arah Ruhl’s “Stage Kiss” is an engaging blend of romantic comedy and farce that offers terrific performances by the two principals as well as the charming supporting cast. He and She, as they are identified, are actors who had an affair many years ago and have unexpectedly been cast as the romantic leads in the revival of a melodramatic 1930s play. Working together, they rekindle their romance and wreak all kinds of havoc on those around them.
Joaquina Kalukango and Jonathan Cake in “Antony and Cleopatra.”
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA
are evident from its first moments. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s cutting and rearranging of the text obscure plot and character more than they illuminate them — a particular problem when handling a Shakespeare play that is already among his most difficult. McCraney’s “Brother/ Sister Plays,” also produced by the Public, were powerful and unforgettable. But, here, the doomed romance between the Roman soldier and the Egyptian queen, transplanted, apparently, to the early 19th century Caribbean, proves as
muddy as the Nile and as shallow as the pool that sits upstage on Tom Piper’s cheap-looking set. The production opens with what is probably the play’s most famous speech, lifted from Act Two —“The barge she sat in was like a burnished throne…” Poetic as it is, it makes no sense before we have seen Cleopatra and understand the conflict between passion and politics that contributes to Antony’s undoing. This speech was originally written as a report to Caesar, who has not seen Cleopatra, about the threat her relationship with Antony poses to the empire. Obscuring its meaning undermines the emotional heft of the tragedy, and important exposition is shortchanged, which will likely confuse those not familiar with the play. Jonathan Cake as Antony is an imposing presence, but his motivations are never specific, muddling his character. Sadly, Joaquina Kalukango is miscast
as Cleopatra. She has none of the regal bearing of the queen and comes off as juvenile, superficial, and too contemporary. The only court this Cleopatra would be at home in is a food court. Her suicide feels more like the petulant act of a thwarted teenager than the act of a once-powerful queen who refuses to be debased by a conquering power. Among the rest of the company only Chukwudi Iwuji as Enobarbus and Samuel Collings as Caesar have a grip on what they’re doing. The production suffers badly from a lack of basic speech technique on the part of much of the cast, often rendering the language unintelligible. One leaves the theater wondering, “Who are these people?’ I’ve seen Cleopatra played as a skilled leader whose tragic flaw is love, as a vain vamp, and as the standard for an Egypt whose character is diametrically opposed to Rome’s rigidity, a contrast irresistible to the romantic Antony. I’ve also seen a production presented as an allegory representing, in Cleopatra’s story, the decline of political order. All of these were problematic –– “Antony and Cleopatra” is a problematic play. Still, what all those other productions had were focus and point of view, the lack of which is the undoing of the Public’s effort.
high for Jesus.” Pastor Greg’s office is outfitted in similar wry detail — is that a bobblehead Jesus on the shelf? For his part, Jason literally wrestles with questions of good and evil. Thanks to an overbearing, needy mother, he’s tried to be a good boy by sublimating his own needs — and his anger — for years. Son and mother are both still reeling from the sudden death of their unhappy father and husband. When Tyrone appears possessed by
the devil, all hell breaks loose. But is he evil incarnate or an id-manifested outlet for Jason’s pent-up rage and self-hatred? The answer may be both, and that’s just one aspect that lifts this savvy show above your typical defiantpuppet fare. The keenly observed script draws on a hodgepodge of pop cultural influences. Jason and Tyrone do a hilarious rendition of the Abbott and Costello gem “Who’s on First.” Margery seems to be
channeling the mother from “Carrie” when Jason dares to defy her (“What is more important than Momma’s love?,” she shrieks). When they try to expel the demon from Jason, there’s a nod to “The Exorcist.” There’s even a scene with echoes of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” To reveal anything more would spoil the fun. Let’s just say that the viciously sinful puppet mischief onstage is not for the kiddies. Surely, somewhere Lamb Chop is turning over in her sock drawer.
communicates so much with a look or a gesture, with seeming effortlessness, as a woman caught between the pull of her youthful passions and her current reality. Dominic Fumusa is equally outstanding as He, an actor who has a hard time negotiating a world that isn’t scripted. The supporting characters move fluidly between the world of the theater and their real lives, particularly Michael Cyril Creighton and Emma Galvin, who both play multiple roles. This is thoughtful comedy for grownups about discovering what’s real and making choices.
The problems with the P u b l i c T h e a t e r ’s n e w mounting of “Antony and Cleopatra”
The Public Theater 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Through Mar. 23 Tue.-Sun. at 8 p.m.; Sat. at 2 p.m. $40-$74; publictheater.org Or 212-967-7555 Two hrs., 45 min., with one intermission
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
IN THE NOH
Iron-Willed Ingénues Keep Going Strong Shirley and Valeria transition beautifully, Van Druten rediscovered BY DAVID NOH
scar -winning movie musical queen Shir ley Jones just made her Café Carlyle debut with a well-received show and I grabbed the opportunity to chat with her. For those who know her as such, you will be pleased to know that “Mrs. Partridge” is every bit as warm and down-to-earth as the Dream Mom you’d imagine her to be, ensconced in her hotel suite and gleefully greeting a girlfriend, “Red,” who’d just arrived from Rochester, bearing a gift bottle of vodka. “My opening last night evidently went really well,” she said. “My manager, Milt, called me this morning with a spectacular online review that really made me happy. Fortunately most of my audience were older people who knew my career completely and that helps a lot, even though I don’t sing as well as I used to.” In her show, Jones not only sings but chats extensively about her life and rich career in film, which happened at the sunset of the great studio era when she worked with industry legends. She was more than happy to answer my rambling questions, faced with the glorious diversity of her past: “You know, Warner Brothers had wanted to cast Frank Sinatra in ‘The Music Man’, and were about to sign him, but [composer] Meredith Wilson flew in and went to the studio saying, ‘Unless you use Robert Preston, you don’t do my show.” I was the first person cast in the film and I’d worked with Frank, but was very eager to work with Preston. He’d done the role for three years on Broadway and won the Tony, and sometimes when an actor has done a role for so long, they kind of throw it away or they keep giving directions to everybody else. Preston did none of that. It was like he was doing it for the first time, and he made it so easy for everyone else.” Jones had another close call with Sinatra, who “was supposed to do ‘Carousel’ with me. He was thrilled about the part and we did all the rehearsals, which were like for a Broadway musical, done months ahead, and the prerecording. We were shooting in two separate processes –– regular Cinemascope and Cinemascope 55 –– and were up in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. “Frank arrived, got out of his limo, and asked, ‘Why the two cameras?’ Everybody knew why, but director Henry King explained it to him, and Frank said, ‘Does that mean we have to
Oscar-winning movie musical veteran Shirley Jones just made her Café Carlyle debut.
shoot scenes twice?’ ‘Well, maybe once in a while.’ He said, ‘I signed to do one movie, not two,’ and went back in his car to the airport, after doing everything! It could have been the role of his career, and [producer] Henry Ephron said, ‘Shirley, where’s Gordon MacRae?’ ‘He’s in Lake Tahoe, doing a nightclub act with his wife, Sheila.’ ‘Can you get him on the phone?’ “I’m standing on the dock at a pay phone with quarters and I got him and said, ‘How’d you like to play Billy Bigelow?’ He said, ‘Give me three days. I have to lose ten pounds.’ Afterwards, I tried to ask Frank about this and he’d always say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it, Shirley.’ I came to find out about three years ago, talking to some old guys from the press who said, ‘Ava Gardner was doing “Mogambo” in Africa with Gable, and she had called him and said, ‘Unless you get your fanny down here, I’m having an affair with Gable.’ So that was it.” Although much of Jones’ career was char med, two great directors gave her a hard time. “I knew Vincente Minnelli [with whom she worked on ‘The Courtship of Eddie’s Father’] was a great director, but on my first film, ‘Oklahoma,’ I had worked with Fred Zinneman, who was a spectacular a c t o r ’ s d i r e c t o r, w h o h e l p e d m e tremendously. Minnelli did not do that. All he cared about was the scenery and where you put your arm or walked. He didn’t seem to care about the acting part and I never got any real direction, so that I wasn’t thrilled with. “John Ford was pretty terrible for me
on ‘Two Rode Together.’ He was a man’s man and not good with women, sort of an inferior race for him. I never got any direction –– here we go again. He’d say, ‘I don’t like your hair. Do it another way,’ and that would be it. I’d walk on, ready to do a scene, and he would rewrite and change the whole scene while you were there. He also had a handkerchief hanging out of his mouth all the time. I said to Richard Widmark, ‘Why that handkerchief?’ ‘Shirley, don’t ask him about it.’ Very strange. “Jimmy Stewart was so great. At one point I was in a scene with him in the bedroom, and for some strange reason I went blank and couldn’t remember my line, and said, ‘Oh, Jimmy, I’m so sorry.’ He said, ‘ Oh Shir-shir-shirley, just say what comes into your head. Don’t worry about it!’” Jones worked with my favorite actor, the astonishingly versatile and sexy George Sanders in “Dark Purpose”: “I loved him. He was a very quiet man on the set. I took my little boy Shaun with me to Italy for the filming. George played the piano brilliantly and when we finished shooting at the end of the day, he’d say, ‘Shirley come up here and sing with me,’ and he loved playing for me, which was so sweet. “He would sit in his chair, always reading Italian comic books, and Shaun, seeing the comics, would go and stand by him. I said, ‘Leave him alone,’ because George was a very quiet guy who didn’t want to talk between scenes. Finally, one day he picked Shaun up, put him in his lap, and read the comic
books to him in English every day after that. So dear.” My favorite Jones performance is as Flo, in “The Happy Ending” (1969), a good-natured, slightly weathered, but quite lovely mistress of a series of married men. I said that it seems the part that most resembles her in real life, and she replied, “Really? Wow! I loved that part. I was reunited with ‘Elmer Gantry’s’ Jean Simmons and [director] Richard Brooks, to whom she was married at the time. She was so lovely, and Bobby Darin fell madly in love with her. He’d come up to me and say, ‘What am I gonna do?’ I said, ‘Bobby, you’re crazy! She’s married to the director!’ ‘Yeah, but when I’m around her, I can hardly speak.’ “I was so thrilled to be cast in that, as I was in ‘Elmer Gantry.’ Originally, Richard didn’t want me for the part [in ‘Elmer Gantry’], but Burt Lancaster was the one who fought for me and got me the role. Richard didn’t think I could do that kind of thing because I was a musical performer, and if you sang, they didn’t think you could act.” Jones won her Oscar for that film: “Oh my God, I didn’t think I was gonna win that night. Janet Leigh in ‘Psycho’ had won all the other awards. I was thrilled just to have the nomination so it was a real shock. I had a dress made by a famous Beverly Hills designer who had his own shop, David something. I didn’t even have a speech prepared, and my husband, Jack Cassidy, said, ‘You got up there, and instead of saying, ‘This is the most wonderful moment of my life,’ you said, ‘the most wonderful moment of my career!’ But it wasn’t! Giving birth to my sons was the most wonderful moment in my life. “Jack was a super talent. We played Vegas twice with our act ‘The Marriage Band,’ with singers and dancers, and went on the road, in ‘Wait Until Dark,’ with me as the blind lady and him as the villain. People applauded last night when I spoke about him, he was so admired, with many Broadway shows and TV series. He was very complex –– a lot of problems and bipolar, which wasn’t diagnosed. A heavy drinker, so that was part of it. He had a lot of that stuff, you know, the Irish.” Cassidy tragically died in a 1977 fire, having fallen asleep with a lit cigarette in his hand. Jones has now been married for 36 years to comedian Marty Ingels: “He’s wonderful and was supposed to come
IN THE NOH, continued on p.34
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34 IN THE NOH, from p.32
with me here. He has a fear of heights and doesn’t fly so he was going to train here and I would have gone back to our home in Encino with him, but he got two jobs, believe it or not, and I said, ‘You can’t leave!’ Everybody wonders how we met, he’s so crazy. But he’s a comic and I’ve always been attracted to that. Jack was very funny and most of his close friends were comedians. It wasn’t his looks or debonair personality, it was his humor, and that’s exactly what attracted me to Marty. Debbie Reynolds once said to me, ‘Why’d you ever marry that guy? My gosh!’ I said, ‘Why’d you marry all those guys who stole all your money?’ “I lived in Beverly Hills for 35 years and raised my kids there because it had the best public school system in the country. But we moved to the Valley, which I love because it’s like a small town. My boys are all so talented. Patrick’s done a lot of Broadway shows and we were supposed to do a concert version of ‘The Music Man,’ on the road but it’s so difficult now getting anything pr od uced , fin a n c i al l y. R y a n , my youngest, is a set decorator. “[Stepson] David is still out there, doing his concerts, but, you know, he’s having alcohol problems, which is unfortunate. Yeah, it’s really rough, really rough. Shaun has three or four TV series about to air. He’s a writer now and doing very well. He made a great transition from teen idol and is very happy, with seven kids. Three marriages, but seven kids!”
There rarely was a more luscious ingénue in cinema
than Valeria Golino in “Rain Man” back in 1988, with her Botticelli face, mane of ringlets, and body that all in one recalled the great 1960s invasion of Loren-Lollobrigida-Cardinale. Well, a girl cannot remain the exotic toast of Hollywood forever, and she has come back this time sitting in the director’s chair with her first feature, “Honey” (Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St.; cinemavillage.com). It’s a grim but highly provocative, deeply humanistic investigation into that scariest of subjects, death, focusing on Irene (Jasmine Trinca), who provides euthanasia to a variety of desperately needy, oblivion-seeking “clients.” Golino, who in person is like a juicier, younger, life-embracing Anna Magnani, would seem the last person to broach such a topic but she told me, “I felt a certain urgency about this ethical problem –– dealing with death –– which is a part of everybody’s life. I thought it was possible to make a very cinematic, visual movie, although it was difficult to find the money. The only reason I could take the leap and have the courage to do it was because I felt it was worth it. “I really wanted to try to face this subject of death. Violent death is at
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
Actress Valeria Golino’s first feature film as a director, “Honey,” is at the Cinema Village.
“I am not fascinated by me. I like when other people are — I have the vanity of an actress — but me, myself, am much more fascinated by a different actress.” the root of show business, but it is the stylization of death as a spectacle, blood everywhere, which is cathartic but empty, not personal. It’s only the idea of death. In my movie, you don’t see any person die, but I wanted to make it, nevertheless, a real aspect of life.” Golino purposely did not cast herself as Irene: “This would have been fantastic for me when I was 30. People told me to put myself forward when we couldn’t find the money. This sounds like a precious thing to say, but I am not fascinated by me. I like when other people are –– I have the vanity of an actress –– but me, myself, am much more fascinated by a different actress, who needs to be young, not youngish, like you and me. Jasmine was 32 when she did the movie, but looks 25. If it is a woman like me doing her job, it isn’t going to change –– it’s established. And then I stop being interested because there is no potential of change.” As Carlo, the older, wiser man who turns Jasmine around with his specific desire for death, despite seeming to have it all, esteemed actor Carlo Cecchi brought a special gravity to the film.
“There was one line when Jasmine says, ‘Yes, I have this piercing because the Mayans did this because, etc.,’ and he says something like, ‘Modern imbecility is out of control.’ That line was exactly what he had said the day before in reference to some young stupidity he had observed. He’s a great theater actor with a rather snobby attitude toward filmmaking, with all the waiting, and I was lucky to have him and presented him as the real diva of the movie.” Golino looks uncannily ageless, and I asked what was her Italian secret: Garlic?: “Actually, during ‘Rain Man,’ Dustin Hoffman ate so much garlic that, at a certain point, [director] Barry Levinson had us all come on the set, wearing face masks. I was 21, so undisciplined, and with Hoffman and Tom Cruise, these American actors at their most disciplined and focused. I had started being an actress at 17, but it was not enough to be pretty or have talent somewhere. You had to work, and there I was, making joints, so wild. Barry kept telling me, ‘Valeria, focus!’ It was great but also tough because every time you learn something, it is
not always nice when you realize what you’ve been doing is wrong. “I was the flavor of the month when I arrived and it was cool. There’s not one thing I regret about the 10 years in Hollywood and I made some of my best friends there, but it’s a dangerous place, too. Time goes by and you have to work to keep up this life you build for yourself –– mortgages and working constantly to support the six people working for you, the swimming pool, etc., the image of who I was. I finally realized what is inspiring to me. I love to live well, but to keep up this kind of good life is no longer a priority to me. “The rest of the world is not like this. In Italy and Greece, we are in deep shit, don’t get me wrong, but I come from a different mentality. It’s not moralistic judgment at all, and if I was in a situation like Marion Cotillard or Penelope Cruz now, it would be different. But I was right before them, you see?” Golino made “Big Top Pee-wee,” and had this to say about her talented, embattled co-star, Pee-wee Herman, aka Paul Reubens: “I adored him and was very much in pain for him during that troubled time he had. I was scandalized by this country, so hypocritical, which mistreated this man with all this talent. America creates these idols only to be able to get rid of them. Madonna was doing sex then, too, but it was a stylization of sex, which is okay. When it becomes real and also private, that is somehow a scandal! I love and respect him. We have been emailing each other lately and I am so happy to reconnect with him.” Golino returned to Italy, where she is now based, and had to find her place in film again. She’s been working constantly and quite rewardingly there, although not many of her films have reached our shores. She confided one more secret of her eternal youth before I left her: “I am very happy in my personal life now, with a good man now. Yes, he is an actor, but nobody’s perfect, no?”
I heartily recommend Mint Theater’s “London Wall,” which, along with the revivals
of “Cabaret” and “I Remember Mama” this season, is bringing the skilled gay writer of well-made plays John Van Druten back into so-deserved focus. This play (through Apr. 20 at 311 W. 43rd St.; ovationtix.com), written in 1931 and glowingly directed, acted, and designed by the estimable Mint, has much to say about women’s thenrevolutionary position in the workplace and the killing lack of options offered to them, which somehow remains all too sadly pertinent today. Contact David Noh at Inthenoh@aol. com, follow him on Twitter @in_the_noh, and check out his blog at http://nohway. wordpress.com/.
| March 19, 2014
CASTILLO, from p.18
a man. As a straight actor playing a gay man, Castillo said, he has learned a lot during the process of “Looking.” “The greatest tool we have as actors is our capacity for empathy,” he said. In shooting the show, “I learned a lot about male-to-male intimacy,” he continued. “I don’t have the kind of conversations with my straight male friends that these gay characters had. I don’t know why. But I learned so much about gay male sexuality from someone else’s perspective.” Castillo also explained, “What excited me most about playing Richie was that his cultural background wasn’t the most important part of the character. He was so much more. We see moments of it, but that’s not really what it’s all about. It’s really just about day-to-day stuff involving this group of gay men.” He acknowledged that there aren’t that many romantic leads for Latino actors, but “we live in a multicultural world now, and I feel like the conversations we see on ‘Looking’ are something we haven’t seen on TV.” He noted that in one of the last
NYMPHOMANIAC, from p.29
If von Trier may be guilty of presenting active female sexuality as pathological, he’s not just criticizing a single woman’s behavior in “The Nymphomaniac: Volume One.” I don’t think he gave Joe a man’s name by chance. Her attitudes toward her lovers are stereotypically masculine, in fact. She separates lust from love and toys with the emotions of her multiple partners, deciding whether to dump them or express outpourings of love on the roll of dice. Her world resembles that of pick-up artist books and websites, not sex-positive feminism or books like “The Ethical Slut.” The attitudes von Trier critiques don’t belong only to a single gender.
episodes of the season he was wearing a beautiful Tommy Hilfiger suit. “I don’t think I’d worn a suit as a character since I played a defendant on ‘Law and Order,’ he said. The sometimes graphic conversations between the characters on “Looking” were certainly not ones Castillo had growing up. He comes from Texas and a very traditional Mexican-American family in a border town. And while he was concerned about how they might respond to his playing a gay character, he probably shouldn’t have been. “My family is great and so loving,” he said. “My dad even got a subscription to HBO now.” After the brief run at Intar, Castillo will stay busy before returning to shoot the second season of “Looking.” He’s planning to do independent film work as well as theater and is in the initial stages of a project with San Diego’s Museum of Man, which is focused on anthropology, and the La Jolla Playhouse to create an interactive museum theater experience. The joy Castillo takes in his work is inspiring. This moment in his career, he said, is “an amazing time.”
“The Nymphomaniac: Volume One” will be followed by the second volume, another two-hour film, released a few weeks later. Both films were whittled down from a five and a half-hour version, which will see US release in some form (probably home video) eventually. This part leaves open the question of how Joe got wounded. Prudes and people who think the worst of von Trier may think it’s punishment for her sexual adventures. They may be right, but “The Nymphomaniac: Volume One” continues the winning streak of von Trier’s brilliant “Melancholia” after a decade that bottomed out with his abysmal “Antichrist.” For once, the artist is working hand in hand with the provocateur.
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character-building time in “Rusalka” was spent lying on the floor, faces averted. As distracting as Jezibaba’s pesky, omnipresent, over-choreograped ravens, Tito’s corps of mini-series style hunky bodyguards grunted, did sword dances, rushed about, and stole focus every which way. McVicar left in yards of undistinguished recit but cut a short, key plot point: Vitellia explaining that her jealous love for Tito caused her to urge Sesto’s assassination attempt. In an entirely predictable and sophomoric “last minute” trope, Publio and the Hunk Corps drew swords on Tito. David Shengold (shengold@yahoo. com) writes about opera for many venues.
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| March 19, 2014 SCHOOLS, from p.7
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña with Mayor Bill de Blasio in December when he named her to her post.
are at disproportionate risk for HIV –– even higher than for gay male youth. The New York City public schools AIDS curriculum is very short on information for LGBT youth. And there are questions about whether the curriculum is even being implemented.” In response to Barnhart’s assertions about the AIDS curriculum, DOE’s Feinberg wrote, “We offer a comprehensive program under state requirements.” Asked what was new about the transgender guidelines, Feinberg wrote, “We have never had written guidelines for schools around supporting transgender youth. While many schools clearly used the practices in the guidelines, this new document provides clear direction for the school system.” As to who was responsible for putting them together, she wrote that they are “based on national best practices.” Responding to TLDEF’s criticisms that they do not go far enough regarding sports and use of gen-
ST. PAT'S, from p.9
ness and not about sexuality, and I would be happy to participate in it.” But the New York organizers have made it not about Irishness, but about adherence to Catholic doctrine, even if the doctrine applied here by the parade organizers –– and with the archbishop’s blessing, as the Irish Voice reports–– is at odds with the conciliatory tone Pope Francis is purportedly encouraging on gay issues. In London, an LGBT contingent from the local Irish group Mind Yourself marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16 for the first time, though Father Bernárd Lynch of the group said they weren’t excluded before, they simply had never applied. “Our reception along the parade route was joyful, enthusiastic, and full of welcome,” he wrote via email. This past fall, in an historic first, the group was invited to the Irish Embassy in London for a reception, “and the ambassador [Dan Mulhall] went out of his way to tell us that this was not simply tokenism. The Irish government is committed to our full and equal inclusion in the life
der -segregated facilities, she wrote, “These are the best practices –– we think they are clear and allow for responsiveness to the needs of individual students.” But the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, while praising the school system’s efforts, echoed TLDEF’s concerns. In an email message, Daryl Presgraves, GLSEN’s director of communications, wrote, “Based on the guidelines released last week, the DOE took sever al GLSEN-recommended steps to ensure that transgender students are respected and supported in schools. The guidelines fall short of our recommendations in some areas, such as gender -segregated spaces and physical education/athletics, but we are grateful to the DOE for recognizing the need to provide schools with a roadmap for better supporting transgender students.” Pauline Park, chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), called the new
of our country of origin, whether here or abroad,” L ynch wrote. Similar receptions at the residence of the Irish consul in New York, Noel Kilkenny, have been held for several years for the Queens St. Pat’s for All Parade. “Remember the Irish and London St. Patrick’s Day Parades are secular events,” Lynch wrote. “The Catholic Church has no control whatsoever, unlike the ‘medieval control’ exercised in my home city of New York.” Toward the end of the protest in New York, Shane McEvoy, 32, said he had been in every St. Patrick’s Day Parade with his family since he was a baby, but not this year. “If bands and civil services and my family can march, every other group should be able to,” he said. The message is sinking in and it is becoming harder and harder for right-thinking people to stand with the parade organizers. Indeed, it may have been because of the cold as well, but spectators along the sidelines were much sparser than in past years. By 1 p.m., the reviewing stands in the East 60s were virtually empty, with more than two hours
guidelines “a necessary component in any effort to protect transgender and gender -variant students from discrimination and bias-based harassment” in the schools. “However, these guidelines give enormous discretion to school staff and Department of Education authorities to adjudicate disputes on a case-by-case basis, and so the true test of these new guidelines will lie in how teaching and non-teaching staff use them in practice.” Park called for “transgender sensitivity training” for all school staff. Transman Jay Kallio, whose LGBT activism goes back to the early 1970s, called the guidelines “long overdue.” In an email, he wrote, “As a young student [in New Jersey] in the 196070s, I was stalked, harassed, assaulted, and nearly blinded while at high school by the KKK in my community because of my gender nonconforming ways and sexual orientation. I was forced to drop out of high school because of the physical attacks and bigotry. Later when I nevertheless managed to get into a top college on the basis of near perfect SAT scores, I was also told to leave after a year by admissions staff, saying, ‘We don't want your kind here. Don't come back, you will never get anything good out of us.’” Kallio also wrote, “There are many caveats and ‘wiggle room’ built into these DOE guidelines, with most recommendations subject to ‘case-bycase’ decision making. I would prefer to see the room for judgment weighted preferentially toward the needs, safety, and dignity of trans students, given their extreme vulnerability in the school environment. When policy is being decided regarding such a profoundly disadvantaged group, an ‘affirmative action’ set of protections and accommodations for past harm should be strongly considered.”
the chancellor to put out a note to give [school personnel] the green light to move forward with lessons on tolerance for the LGBT community. Now we have what we need to move forward. Next step is they have to do these things. One of the students at my hearings asked, ‘Why isn’t there a Gay Straight Alliance in every school?’ I asked for a list. They are trying to compile it.” Dromm pledged more oversight and more discussions with Fariña. “Now we have to make sure it is implemented,” he said. “We have a chancellor who is on board. She put out this memo on her own and the wording was very good.” Regarding the transgender guidelines, Kate Barnhart, executive director of New Alter natives for LGBT Youth (on whose board this reporter sits), said, “The situation is definitely getting better for trans youth in the schools, but a lot of trans youth end up not completing their education because they get bullied out of schools or wind up homeless because they get bullied out of school.” Barnhart said in the case of many of her transgender clients, some from elsewhere but including some in New York, “schools have made an active effort to push them out of school. They start telling the client, ‘You really should just take the GED.’ Message is that they’re wasting the school’s time.” Margie Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the DOE, wrote in an email, “We have never heard of this and we would never support this. This is an outrageous accusation.” Barnhart said that there need to be more alternative high school slots in LGBT -sensitive settings and “they need to be accessible to those who are homeless or a little older.” Barnhart also said that “trans youth
GAY CITY NEWS
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and his wife, Rikki Klieman, march in the Fifth Avenue parade.
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com and photography exhibition featuring posters from the more than 40 events that the Saint at Large has produced at the ballroom since 1991. Large format photographs by artist Robert Zash will also be on display. Opening reception is Mar. 20, 6-9 p.m. OUT NYC Rosebud Bar/ Hotel Lounge, 510 W. 42nd St. The exhibition runs in the OUT NYC Lobby & Lobby Gallery Mar. 19-24. For complete information, visit Black Party Expo’s Facebook page at tinyurl.com/mglfvc7.
Kathleen Warnock, host of KGB’s “Drunken! Careening! Writers!” reading series, presents “Seattle,” her work-in-progress play about a woman of a certain age who, while enjoying a glass of champagne, tells us about a life lived mostly on her own. When fate brings back her first love, she learns something she never could have predicted. Vivian Meisner performs, directed by Eric Chase. Warnock’s play is presented alongside Robin Rice Lichtig’s “Everyday Edna Mae” and Jeremy Kehoe’s “Urban Wash.” The evening is presented by Emerging Artists Theatre at TADA Theater, 15 W. 28th St., second fl. Mar. 21, 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at brownpapertickets.com/profile/23959.
MARCH 21: Paula's got one more joke.
DANCE David Dorfman Dance at Harkness Fest
NIGHTLIFE Women Warming Up
The Empire State Pride Agenda hosts its 10th annual Winter Heat women’s event, this year featuring Lea DeLaria, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Our Lady J, and Heather Matarazzo. Tunes spun by dj.shErOck*. Stage 48, 605 W. 48th St. Mar. 20, 7-11 p.m. Tickets are $85, $30 for those under 30 at prideagenda.org/winterheat.
PERFORMANCE Mike Albo, Dan Hoyle Unearth American Secrets
celebrating the empowerment of women through art, culture, and performance. The three-week festival includes evenings of dance, theatre, film, poetry, and performance, and concludes on Mar. 29, 8 p.m. with an intimate evening with the legendary Cherrie Moraga, the revolutionary feminist, scholar, thinker, activist, and artist. BAAD!’s new location, 2474 Westchester Ave. at St. Peter’s Ave., Westchester Sq. For a full schedule of events and ticket purchase (events range from free to $20), visit BAADBronx.org.
READING March of Talents at the Equinox
Writer, performer, and comedian Mike Albo performs “The Junket,” fresh from a run at Dixon Place, at Culture Project, in repertory with Dan Hoyle’s “The Real Americans.” “The Junket” is a hilariously scandalous show based on scandalous actual events. Penning a column for the nation’s most influential newspaper, Albo, finally able to live the luxury loft dream, goes over-the-top on a press junket that lands him on the city’s snarkiest blog, where he is the object of vicious gossip. “The Real Americans” is Hoyle’s account of 100 days on the road meeting Reaganite Appalachian coal miners, closeted creationists in Texas, Dominican culture commentators in Ohio, and iPhone-addicted San Francisco hipsters. Lynn Redgrave Theater, 45 Bleecker St. at Lafayette St. Through Apr. 20. Schedule, link to tickets, at $25-$55, at cultureproject.org.
“Drunken! Careening! Writers!” host Kathleen Warnock welcomes Brendan Fay, the co-founder of the St. Pat’s For All inclusive parade in Queens who co-produced “Saint of 9/11,” a documentary about the late Father Mychal Judge, and is in pre-production with director Ed Moran on a film about West Papuan independence leader John Rumbiak; Jessie Male, a writer published in xoJane, Nerve, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn and the co-producer of the storytelling show “Bad Date Great Story” (next performance Apr. 3, 7 p.m. at the Bitter End, 147 Bleecker St. at LaGuardia Pl.; baddategreatstory.com); and Eddie Sarfaty, a stand-up comedian and writer who has appeared on “The Today Show” and Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” among many venues, and is the author of “Mental: Funny in the Head,” an essay collection. KGB Bar, 85 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Mar. 20, 7 p.m. Free.
The Bronx’s BAAD!ASS Women
NIGHTLIFE Black Party Expo Kick Off
The Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance continues its 14th annual BAAD!ASS WOMEN FESTIVAL,
As a lead-up to the March 22 big night at the Roseland, Black Party Expo presents an electronic
For the last week of the 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Festival, David Dorfman Dance brings back a popular favorite, “Lightbulb Theory,” and “Impending Joy,” which hasn’t been performed since 2004, when Dorfman premiered it. 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St. Mar. 21-22, 8 p.m.; Mar. 23, 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 at 92Y.org or 212-415-5500.
COMEDY Wait, Wait… Paula’s Got One More Joke
Twenty-five years ago, high school dropout Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country — stopping in at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went. Today, as one of the nation’s great humorists, she can be heard regularly on NPR’s popular weekly news quiz show “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me.” City Winery, 155 Varick St. at Vandam St., welcomes Poundstone on Mar. 21, 8 p.m. Admission is $40-$45 at citywinery.com/ newyork or 212-608-0555.
NIGHTLIFE The Red Carpet is Blue
The Hookies: the Eighth Annual International Escort Awards, produced by Rentboy.com in association with Black Party Expo, celebrates the best escorts and porn stars from around the world, with awards in 15 categories including Best Newcomer, Best Daddy, and the night’s top prize, Mr. International Escort 2014. Actor and playwright Leslie Jordan (“Will and Grace,” “My Trip Down the Pink Carpet”) hosts. PBM Nightclub, 510 W. 42nd St. Mar. 21, 8 p.m. red carpet, 9 p.m. show. Tickets are $10-$50 at thehoookies.com.
Remember –– You Pay Them to Leave
David Leddick’s “Rent Boy… The Musical,” with music by Andrew Sargent, gets a cocktail
PERFORMANCE Plays in Progress
version staging in two performances at Don’t Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St. Mar. 21-22, 7 p.m. The cover charge is $15, with a two-drink minimum. Reservations at donttellmamanyc.com or 212-757-0788.
NIGHTLIFE Black Party, Rites XXXV
“A Ruined Paradise” is the theme of Rites XXXV, this year’s Black Party, produced by the Saint at Large. With more than 5,000 attendees, the Black Party is one of the world’s largest gay dance parties. Music is provided by Jason Kendig, ND Baumecker, Boris, Tom Stephan, and Nita Aviance. Roseland Ballroom, 239 W. 52nd St. Mar. 22, 10 p.m.-Sunday afternoon. Admission is $165 at saintatlarge.com/2014/black-party-2014; $180 at the door. Special door-only discounts (if available) for those under 26, $60 before 12:30 a.m. or after 4 a.m.; for anyone after 9 a.m. Sunday, $70; for Saint-at-Large members, $80.
FAMILY The 411 on Adoption
Ametz, an adoption program of the Jewish Child Care Association, holds its 20th annual “Adoption and the Family” conference, an opportunity for couples and families dealing with fertility and adoption issues and living as adoptive families to learn the basics of domestic and international adoption. Sam Pitkowsky, president of the Adoptive Parents Committee, NYC, keynotes the conference with his talk “Parenting 101: Before and After the Adoption.” Physicians, attorneys, social workers, psychologists, adoptees, and others will speak in 25 workshops on topics ranging from talking to children about adoption to the finances involved and resources available through social media. Special breakout sessions include ones focused on LGBTQ parents and single parents. The Conference Center, 130 E. 59th St. Mar. 23, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $150; $200 for two related attendees. To register, call 212- 558-9949 or email email@example.com.
SUN.MAR.23, continued on p.39
| March 19, 2014
COMEDY Enough Already!
PERFORMANCE The Trans Mother of New York Presents
DANCE Swans: Updating the Fantasy
Barbara Maier Gustern’s “Trans Formative” is an evening of song featuring her illustrious students. Tonight’s performers include Lady Rizo, Justin Vivian Bond, Penny Arcade, Julie Atlas Muz, John Kelly, Kathleen Hanna, Tammy Faye Starlite, Our Lady J, Roseanna Vitro, and Carol Lipnik. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Mar. 24 & Apr. 28, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 at joespub.com or 212-967-7555. Proceeds benefit New York Voices, Joe’s Pub’s artist commissioning program, and the Ali Forney Center, which provides housing and social services for homeless LGBTQ youth.
A brilliant bouquet of LGBT comics, including Tarik Daniels, Tara Devlin, Tim Dillon, and Mimi Gonzalez, initiate the “Homo Comicus” rites of spring. Marion Grodin hosts. Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St. Apr. 2, 8:30 p.m. The cover charge is $20, with a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-367-9000.
The Rainbow Book Fair is the longest running LGBT book event in the nation, drawing well over 100 publishers, editors, and writers to Midtown Manhattan. This year, panel discussions include “Investigating Queer Boyhood” (12:30–1:45 p.m.), featuring Perry Brass, Michael Kimmel, Jim Elledge, Collin Kelly, and Charles Rice-González; “Sappho and Whitman’s Children: Finding Our Own Line in Poetry” (2-3:15 p.m.), featuring Michael Klein, R. Erika Doyle, Eleanor Lerman, Robert Siek, and Jason Zuzga; and “The World of Glenway Wescott” (3:304:45 p.m.), featuring Jerry Rosco, Steven Haas, and Joe Salvatore. The fair also includes more than three-dozen readings, from writers including Sally Bellerose, Hilary Sloin, Kenneth Walsh, Donna Minkowitz, Cindy Rizzo, Sean Strub, Tim Teeman, Lisa Gitlin, Edmund White, Michael Carroll, and Ann Pelligrino. Rainbow Book Fair, the Holiday Inn Midtown, 440 W. 57th St. Mar. 29, noon-6 p.m. Suggested donation is $3. Complete information at http://rainbowbookfair.org.
The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, a membership organization of roughly 10,000 in New York’s business community, hosts a networking party, a chance to make new connections over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Bookmarks Rooftop Lounge, the Library Hotel, 299 Madison Ave. at 41st St. Mar. 25, 6-8 p.m. Open beer, wine & soft drink bar. Admission is $50, $45 for MCC members, at manhattancc.org.
PERFORMANCE Justin Vivian Does Tennessee
THU.APR.3 BENEFIT The Center Heads to Wall Street
At its annual awards dinner, the LGBT Community Center honors the Calamus Foundation, which supports LGBT organizations and was a key contributor to capital campaigns benefiting the Center, including the one funding the West 13th Street building’s newest renovations. PepsiCo, which has a 100 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index and is a major supporter of Cycle for the Cause, the annual Northeast AIDS Ride from Boston to New York that provides millions of dollars for the Center’s HIV/ AIDS programs, will also be honored. Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall St. near William St. Apr. 3, 6:30 p.m. cocktails; 7:30 dinner & awards. Tickets begin at $500 at gaycenter. org/centerdinner.
MUSIC Harold Meltzer & Friends
“Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS),” the kick-off to a spring monthly women’s salon series, is curated by JP Howard, a member of the Hot Poets Collective and a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow whose poems have been published in “Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women” and “Stand Our Ground Anthology: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander,” among many collections. Howard’s guests include Keisha-Gaye Anderson, a Jamaican-born poet, author, screenwriter, and journalist whose work was published in “Captured by the City: New Perspectives in Urban Culture Studies” and “Bet on Black: African American Women Celebrate Fatherhood”; queer poet Amber Atiya, who has performed at the Museum of Modern Art, the Nuyorican Poets Café, and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance and whose work has appeared in Vinyl Poetry, Anti-, Muzzle Magazine, and Kweli Journal; Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, poet, educator, and founder of the Calypso Muse Reading Series and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series, whose poetry collections include “Raw Air,” “Night When Moon Follows,” and “Convincing The Body”; and Harleen McClure, a young poet and former Fulbright Scholar instructor in Spain whose work has appeared in African Voices magazine. Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery at E. First St. Mar. 23, 3:30-5 p.m. Admission is $10. More information at boweryartsandscience.org.
COMEDY April in Chelsea, Gaiety in Blossom
BOOKS A Riot of LGBT Writers
BUSINESS Network With Your Manhattan Peers
POETRY Women’s Voices Bloom
“A Swan Lake Fantasy,” Matt Van Brink’s 25-minute arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s famous score, is a contemporary re-imagining of the classic, reflecting on the notions within the original work of beauty, betrayal, and sacrifice, leading to ultimate tragedy. Dancers from the Matthew Westerby Company perform with pianist Matei Varga. Lighting design is by Mike Riggs. Hudson Guild Theatre, 441 West St. at Mar. 28-29, 8 p.m.; Mar. 29, 2 p.m.; Mar. 30, 3 p.m. Tickets are $20-$30 at brownpapertickets.com/event/573068.
Promising to herald the end of this f&%king winter, stand-up comic Eddie Sarfaty, who has appeared on “The Today Show,” Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” and Logo’s “Wisecrack,” among many venues, welcomes guest comedian Danny Cohen for what he says will be an evening of naughtiness, neurosis, Jewrosis, hilarity, hysteria, judgment, blame, finger-pointing, and embarrassing noises. In short, all you’d expect from Sarfaty. Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St. Mar. 23, 7 p.m. The cover charge is $20 and there’s a twodrink minimum. Reservations at 212-206-0440 or metropolitanroom.com.
Seventh Ave. at 29th St. Apr. 1, 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-230-8380.
COURTESY: HOMO COMICUS
SUN.MAR.23, from p.38
In “The Drift,” Justin Vivian Bond creates a free associative collage of spoken word and song inspired by Tennessee Williams’ novella “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” about a retired actress who drifts from one space to another through couture, bed, or her own mind. Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Mar. 27-28, 7 p.m.; Apr. 10, 9:30 p.m.; Apr. 11, 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 at joespub.com or 212-967-7555.
The New York Festival of Song concludes its 2013-2014 NYFOS Next series with a concert curated by songwriter Harold Meltzer and including songs by Chris Cerrone, Fred Hirsch, Amy Beth Kirsten, David Lang, James Matheson, Russell Platt, and Scott Wheeler. Featured performers include soprano Elizabeth Farnum, mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger, flutists Jessica Schmitz and Barry Crawford, clarinetists Alan Kay and Jo-Ann Sternberg, mandolin player, William Anderson, guitarist Oren Fader, and Thomas Sauer and NYFOS associate artistic director Michael Barrett on piano. America’s National Opera Center, 330
BENEFIT LGBTQ Points of Light
The Point Foundation, which provides scholarship support to promising LGBTQ college students, hosts its annual New York Awards. “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” star Mariska Hargitay will present an award to Dr. Neal Baer, television producer of such shows as “SVU” and “ER.” Andrew Rannells, who starred in “The New Normal,” presents an award to his “Girls” co-star Lena Dunham, the HBO hit’s creator and writer. Other celebrities on hand include Tyne Daly, Anthony Edwards, Billy Porter, B.D. Wong, and Judith Light. The New York Public Library, Fifth Ave. at 42nd St. Apr. 7, 6:30 p.m. reception, 7:30 dinner & awards. For information about tickets, visit pointfoundation.org/ NYHonors or email email@example.com.
March 19, 2014 | www.gaycitynews.com
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