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Remembering Doug Ireland 04 Robert Pinter Gets His Day in Court 10 Kander’s Uneasy “Landing” 23 Tears, Laughs in “Dallas Buyers Club” 25



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October 30, 2013 |


| October 30, 2013



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The grandeur of Gaultier



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LGBT, AIDS groups look to a Quinn-less future

Musicals in flux



Christie drops marriage appeal


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October 30, 2013 |


Doug Ireland, Radical Journalist and Political Insider, Dead at 67 Renaissance man on public affairs, literature, and gossip, he enjoyed freewheeling youth, endured years of infirmities



oug Ireland, a journalist and activist who came of age in the New Left politics of the 1960s and whose interests and professional pursuits ranged from foreign and domestic politics to literature and philosophy, died in his East Village home on October 26. He was 67 years old, and, according to longtime friends, had suffered in recent years from diabetes, kidney disease, severe sciatica, and weakened lungs and progressive muscle deterioration related to childhood polio. Though no specific cause of death has been established, Ireland survived at least two major strokes over the past several years. Valerie Goodman, a Manhattan gallery owner who met Ireland when he lived in France three decades ago and was one of the few intimates who spent time with him in recent years while he felt too ill to leave his apartment or have company, said she was contacted by the NYPD after Ireland’s body was found in his home. Despite chronic pain, which was at times debilitating, and frequent hospitalizations, Ireland remained a dogged reporter and book critic in recent years, writing articles for nearly every issue of Gay City News — where he has been the international contributing editor — since mid-2005 and also reporting on American politics for French-language publications in France. Ireland’s fierce commitment to his work — both in politics and journalism — was a hallmark of his entire life. Anne Hemenway met Ireland when she was only about 12, after he and her father, Russell, had worked the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago on behalf of the peace campaign of Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy. According to Anne, the elder Hemenway, who had strong ties to post-World War II progressive Democrats including former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, recalls that Ireland was “always an activist, committed to civil rights.” “I think of him as one of the people who never compromised to meet anything less than the highest standard,” Anne Hemenway said. “Somebody’s gotta hold that place, and Douglas held that place… Everyone whom he touched understood how deeply he felt the pain of the world.” When Russell Hemenway met him in the mid-1960s, Ireland had recently moved on from his early involvement with the Students for a Democratic Society, which he joined as a teenager, and was engaged in political work with labor unions and Democratic candidates. In addition to the McCarthy campaign, he helped organize labor leaders opposed to the Vietnam War, managed the successful 1968 Long Island congressional campaign of anti-war Democrat Allard Lowenstein, and in 1970 ran the insurgent congressional campaign of Bella Abzug, the iconic feminist who ousted a longtime Upper West Side incumbent. Abzug’s daughter, Liz Abzug, said that Ireland also ran her mother’s 1976 US Senate campaign, in which she was narrowly defeated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. With Ed Koch, Abzug introduced the first gay rights bill in Congress in 1974. Joe Kennedy, a member of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) in the years immediately after the Stone-

Doug Ireland, 1946-2013

“I think of him as one of the people who never compromised to meet anything less than the highest standard,” Anne Hemenway said. wall Rebellion, recalled a spontaneous protest in 1971 against a police raid on a West Village gay bar at which Ireland, then a spokesman for the State Assembly Democrats, rallied “passers-by to protest with ‘Gay Power!’ chants.” “I remember Doug as the first person of his stature as a Political Insider to risk all and come out as gay and a gay activist,” Kennedy wrote in an email message. “It would be hard for anyone too young to remember those times to understand just how bold and radical that was.” Not everyone, however, voiced a positive assessment of the role Ireland played in LGBT activism in the years that followed. In a widely distributed email following Ireland’s death, David Thorstad, a member of GAA and later the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights, recalled, “Doug functioned as part of the gay wing of the ‘permanent government,’ collaborating with the powers that be to swing policy in a direction he and other Democrats wanted.” The totality of Ireland’ life work, however, “make up for his involvement in such machinations,” Thorstad concluded.

By the mid-1970s, Ireland had shifted his work primarily to journalism, launching a career in which he was a contributor to the New York Post (in its old liberal days), New York magazine, the Nation, the Village Voice, POZ magazine, LA Weekly, and French publications including the daily Libération and the online Bakchich. The fact that Ireland was so enmeshed in politics served him well as a journalist. Micah Sifry, his editor at the Nation in the 1990s, said, “He was probably the most knowledgeable person I had encountered on the ins and outs of New York politics and national politics. I was always learning at his knee.” John Berendt, a journalist and the author of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” was his editor at New York magazine, where Ireland reported on politics and wrote commentary. Recalling how plugged in Ireland was to the political scene, Berendt explained, “that was why he was so valuable to us.” If Ireland had an insider’s approach toward LGBT rights in some respects, as Thorstad argued, he was also committed to a liberationist perspective. In a 1978 New York magazine cover story, he wrote about the culture of cruising in Central Park’s Rambles while examining the bursts of anti-gay violence that claimed victims there. Berendt and Ireland remained close over the following 35 years and when Superstorm Sandy hit last October, Berendt fetched him from his blacked-out East Village apartment to give him refuge on the Upper West Side. Berendt recalled how Ireland, fatigued and largely confined to bed, worked the phones to query Democratic political operatives about how President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign was doing in its final days.  “He knew all the players and all the gossip,” Berendt said. Sean Strub, the founder of POZ, dropped by Berendt’s home one evening while Ireland was staying there, and he recalled that despite Ireland’s muscle deterioration making it difficult for him to hold his head up, he was in top form intellectually. “It was right before the election and for several hours, we got a masters tutorial in what was happening in the global political environment,” Strub wrote in an email message. “I wish I had recorded it.” Strub, who said Ireland “was an extremely important part of POZ” in its early years, recalled meeting him in 1979 at the first LGBT march on Washington. He “enthralled me with stories of GAA and GLF [the Gay Liberation Front], and how they related to the broader political trends of that era. It made me feel like my small coming out steps at the time were part of a movement continuum, connecting me to something greater than myself.” Like Anne Hemenway, Strub said that Ireland offered unwavering loyalty to his friends. “Ever since then, he called me comrade, as he did many others he mentored or admired,” Strub wrote of the years since their first meeting. “It was the highest compliment he could bestow and I treasured hearing it every time.” At the time of his death, Ireland was eagerly awaiting the chance to review Strub’s forthcoming memoir, “Body Counts,” and in one of the last conversations I had with him, Ireland — a technophobe, to put it nicely


IRELAND, continued on p.16


| October 30, 2013


LGBT, AIDS Groups Look to Quinn-Less Future Advocates recall Council speaker “got it,” but de Blasio spurs comfort as well presents


Patti LuPone “generates more raw excitement than any other performer on the Broadway and cabaret axis.”

—The New York Times

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn conceding defeat in the Democratic mayoral primary last month.



s Christine Quinn’s 14 years in the City Council come to a close, some community groups are expressing concern that they are losing a sympathetic leader who steered millions of city dollars into their coffers. “As far as HIV, we lose an ally,” said Lyndel Urbano, the manager of government affairs at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), an AIDS services group. “She has been somebody who has really gone to bat for those living with HIV, particularly those who rely on [HIV/ AIDS Services Administration, or HASA] services.” Quinn was first elected to the Council in 1999 and became speaker in January 2006. An out lesbian who represents Chelsea and the West Village, Quinn, some advocates say, quickly grasped the need for funding projects. But it was not simply the money that mattered. Quinn did not need extensive lobbying or argument. ACRIA, also an AIDS services group, launched a multi-year study on AIDS and aging in 2003 that was supported with City Council money. A typical politician might not immediately appreciate why such a study is needed. “You could just skip to the chase,” said Daniel Tietz, ACRIA’s executive director and a longtime Democratic Party activist. “There was no persuasion. That will be missed... HIV and aging issues. You spoke to Quinn about it, done.” Major programs are not the only things at risk. The City Council has funded services at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center that allow the Center to field thousands of phone calls per week from people seeking information about the community and

about coming out. “We sort of are the 311 of New York City for LGBT people,” said Glennda Testone, the Center’s executive director. “That’s the fear in the back of my mind, that that might be de-prioritized.” Each of the groups interviewed for this story estimated that they had received millions in City Council funding. Under Quinn, the City Council has restored funding or spent its discretionary funds to pay for programs at other gay and AIDS groups. Tietz also credited Quinn with opposing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who regularly sought to cut AIDS services in the city budget and attempted to scale back spending at HASA, the city agency that links people with AIDS to housing and other services. “At the end of the day, Christine Quinn was left to negotiate on behalf of people she cared about the most, and that included people with HIV and the gay community,” Tietz said. “I think that Christine Quinn did yeoman’s work on behalf of the HIV community in pushing back against a mayor who was disinclined to be responsive.” But Quinn also touted her good working relationship with Bloomberg and that appears to have hurt her among Democrats. Some voters were enraged when she engineered a change in the city’s term limits law on the eve of the 2009 election year that allowed Bloomberg and Quinn to serve third terms. She angered progressive voters when she delayed for several years a vote on a paid sick leave bill in the City Council and was late in challenging some police practices, such as stop and frisk. The presumed frontrunner in the Democratic primary for months, Quinn


QUINN, continued on p.17

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October 30, 2013 |


Gay Calls to Divest in Russia Two Manhattan lawmakers on board but city, state officials not there yet BY ANDY HUMM



embers of Queer Nation, which has led the charge among New Yorkers pressuring Russia to repeal its notorious anti-gay laws, are calling on city and state officials to pull their investments in Russia as bad both morally and financially. While they are turning up the heat, along with Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell and State Senator Brad Hoylman, both gay Manhattan Democrats, the city and state comptrollers are not ready for divestment. Lame duck Mayor Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, has made the city one of three sponsors of a November 18 forum promoting investment in Russia and vice versa. In response to O’Donnell’s call for divestment, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s press secretary, Eric Sumberg, told Gay City News his office is “engaging with worldwide Olympic sponsors to encourage them to make their position clear on opposition to the Russian laws and to make a commitment to all freedoms of speech and assembly.” That didn’t cut it for Duncan Osborne of Queer Nation (full disclosure: who is Gay City News contributor), who said, “He should be encouraging them to walk away from the Olympics [in Sochi, Russia in February]. As an investor, state pension funds manage billions and the comptroller is in a position to bring pressure to bear on these sponsors. With the [American] companies operating in Russia that have pro-LGBT policies, he could be doing shareholder resolutions to adopt these policies in Russia” as well as publicize them in Russian. In a September 10 letter to O’Donnell, DiNapoli wrote that he is “deeply troubled by the anti-gay crackdown that is being led by President Putin.” But, he wrote, “I am prohibited from subordinating the economic interests of the [NYS Common Retirement] Fund to other objectives, no matter how compelling.” He went on to describe divestment as requiring a “costly, complex, and timeconsuming process.” He did pledge to address the concerns “through careful monitoring and engagement, where appropriate, by the Fund’s Bureau of Corporate Governance of the portfolio companies that may be connected with the Russian government or doing business in Russia to assure that they are not in some way — knowingly or unknowingly — enabling that nation’s leadership in its egregious practices and

Protesters outside an October 28 Russian investment forum link the repression of gays in that country to the persecution of the band Pussy Riot in Moscow.

potentially harming company value and reputation.” Assemblyman O'Donnell reacted to DiNapoli's move this week, saying, "I understand the fiduciary responsibility of the state comptroller. I respect Tom, but I want them to take action on behalf of the people of New York so that it is clear that [the Russian anti-gay crackdown] is not acceptable. My communications with them leave me confident that in the coming weeks their action will be strong and clearly aligned with protecting the rights of gay people throughout the world." Osborne explained that the divestment movement is in the early stages. “No one is asking Tom DiNapoli to create a movement to divest in Russia,” he said. “We are asking him to use the tools he has to get rid of toxic Russian assets.” Osborne has made a freedom of information law (FOIL) request of the city and state comptrollers to reveal their Russian investments, which Sumberg acknowledges the state has. But Sumberg referred the newspaper to the comptroller’s website, which publicly lists all investments, rather than provide a breakdown. “The city and state should not be investing in Russia, for moral and economic reasons,” Osborne said. “It is not a place where there is rule of law. We should not be putting money at risk or supporting in any way their government, which is cracking down on LGBT Russians, ethnic minorities, political dissidents, and others.” Osborne also cited the political corruption in Russia. “With Putin consolidating political and economic power,

those assets are at risk,” he said. A spokesperson for City Comptroller John Liu told Gay City that his office will “monitor developments” in Russia “consistent with our responsibility to city workers and retirees.” That office would not comment further on the crisis in Russia, but disclosed that police, fire, and Board of Education pension holdings in Russia are valued at just over $104 million. About 25 activists demonstrated outside the Princeton Club on October 28 at an action by Queer Nation against a daylong conference called “Invest in Moscow” led by the Moscow City Government and Business Community. Four members of Queer Nation signed up for the forum, and as the first panel began they started asking questions. Osborne raised the issue of the lack of “rule of law” in Russia. Mark Milano said he asked them, “How can you think of investing with people actively oppressing gay people?” Milano said that Sergei Cheremin, a Moscow government minister and head of the Department for Foreign and International Relations, “began laughing” at that point. “Someone shouted, ‘Gays will be the death of Russia!,’” Milano said, “and I said, ‘You should all be ashamed of yourselves.’” Osborne and Milano were led from the room along with activists Scott Wooledge and John Weir (no relation to the gay skater of the same name who is married to a Russian man and will be doing commentary for NBC at Sochi). Outside the Princeton Club, three huge banners made by Gilbert Baker, father of the Rainbow Flag, were

unfurled: “SUPPORT RUSSIAN GAYS,” “DON’T BUY PUTIN’S LIES,” and a tigerstriped one appropriate for the Princeton Club reading “PUSSY POWER” in reference to the persecution of the women’s band Pussy Riot in Moscow. Queer Nation’s Ann Northrop held a sign reading “Russia = Fascist State” and “Putin has blood on his hands.” “I’m asking US businesses not to do business in Russia,” she said, “because all they’re doing is supporting the human rights violations of this Putin government and it is shameful to put greed over human rights.” Most of those attending the forum rushed inside, refusing to comment on the demonstration or the issue. But several came back out to grab some smokes. Svetlana Batrak of the Russian Center New York, a sponsoring organization of the forum, criticized the demonstrators, saying Americans “should first and foremost pay attention to the enormous social issues here,” citing youth homelessness in New York. She said the demonstrators “are trying to dictate to an independent, sovereign country” and that the new laws against gay expression are “completely supported by the citizens” of Russia. Indeed, 85 percent of Russians polled support the laws that were passed without dissent earlier this year by the Russian parliament. Batrak denied that the new laws target any minority in Russia. “No one limits rights,” she said, also dismissing reports of murders of gays that the police won’t investigate. “Many people


RUSSIA, continued on p.9


| October 30, 2013


February Trial for Marriage Equality in Michigan Lesbian joint adoption case puts 2004 voter amendment to the test in federal court BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


trial that will decide the constitutionality of Michigan’s 2004 voter amendment barring marriage by same-sex couples will begin in federal court on February 25 in the wake of a US district court judge’s decision in an adoption case. Judge Ber nard Friedman, on October 16, heard oral arguments from a lesbian couple, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who want to jointly adopt each other’s children and then announced he was denying each side’s motion for summary judgment in favor of the case going to trial. The marriage amendment is at issue because Michigan’s adoption statute only allows couples who are married to adopt jointly. In a brief opinion released after the hearing, Friedman explained there was a factual dispute to be resolved prior to his deter mination on the amendment’s constitutionality. The state of Michigan is making the argument that “providing children with ‘biologically connected’ role models of both genders that are necessary to foster healthy psychological development” justifies its denial of marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. The plaintiffs, in contrast, submitted an affidavit by Dr. Jeanne Howard, codirector of the Center for Adoption at Illinois State University — which was quoted extensively by Friedman — that reviewed studies showing that

children raised by same-sex couples “show patterns of adjustment similar to those of heterosexual adoptive parents and their children.” Other studies, Howard noted, have shown “no differences for children in psychological adjustment, gender identification” between children raised by same-sex couples and those by different-sex couples. “After reviewing the record, including Dr. Howard’s affidavit, the Court concludes that a genuine issue of material fact exists with respect to defendants’ gender role-modeling justification for” the marriage amendment, the judge wrote. The state had of fered three other justifications, but Friedman noted that all of them “have been rejected by other courts in recent years,” most significantly in the Supreme Court’s June decision that struck down the ban on federal recognition of legal same-sex marriages. This case, then, will be a battle of expert witnesses about the psychological development of children raised by same-sex couples. There are no reputable studies showing that children are disadvantaged psychologically from being raised by same-sex couples, apart from the notorious Regnerus study, the methodology and interpretation of which have been severely challenged.

If the state calls Professor Mark Regnerus as an expert witness, his crossexamination by plaintiffs’ counsel will provide a first opportunity to question him under oath about the sharply disputed circumstances under which the study was produced and the disputed conclusions about what it purports to show.

This case will be a battle of expert witnesses about the psychological development of children raised by same-sex couples. The scheduled trial might sound like a replay of an old show, since the 2010 district court trial in the successful challenge to California’s Proposition 8 was devoted almost exclusively to this issue — as was the first-ever marriage equality trial in the US, held in Hawaii in October 1996. In both of those cases, testimony by the state’s witnesses ended up making the case for the plaintiffs, as they conceded under cross-examination that children have not been shown to be disadvantaged from being raised by same-sex parents and that denying their parents

the right to marry actually harmed the children materially and psychologically. The trial judges in California and Hawaii produced lengthy opinions with detailed findings of fact, rejecting the state’s argument that concern for the psychological welfare of children justified denying same-sex couples the right to marry. Friedman announced that he would not subject the marriage amendment to the most stringent standards of judicial review, applied to classifications considered “suspect” or “quasisuspect” by the courts, such as race or gender, since the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose precedents bind the Michigan district court, has not deemed sexual orientation to be such as classification. Though he will instead apply a “rational basis” approach, which typically gives the state broad leeway in justifying its laws, he took note of recent rulings on DOMA, suggesting that the rational basis approach in this case would not be applied in the most highly deferential manner possible, given the history of discrimination suffered by gay people at the hands of the state government. Michigan may not be held to the strictest standards in justifying it ban on gay marriage, but neither is it likely to be allowed to come up with just any old justification. DeBoer and Rowse’s motion for summary judgment had the support of an amicus brief filed by Equality Michigan and a number of leading national LGBT advocacy and legal groups.

Oregon Recognizes Gay Marriages from Other Jurisdictions Green light for weddings across its northern and southern borders in a state with a constitutional ban BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD


elying on an opinion letter from Oregon Deputy Attorney General Mary H. Williams, the state issued a directive instructing state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions. Though a similar directive came down from New York Governor David Paterson several years ahead of this state’s marriage equality law, what is unique in Oregon is that there voters have approved a constitutional amendment banning marriage by same-sex couples.

The Oregon directive came in the wake of Williams’ October 16 opinion concluding that in light of the US Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on federal recognition of legal same-sex marriages and the federal Ninth Circuit appellate decision in the Proposition 8 litigation, Oregon would violate the 14th Amendment equal protection rights of its residents if it declined to recognize a same-sex marriage they legally entered into in another jurisdiction. Williams undertook her analysis based on a request from Michael Jordon, the state’s chief administrative operating officer. Jordan in turn issued

a memorandum reading, “Oregon agencies must recognize all out-of-state marriages for the purposes of administering state programs. That includes legal, same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.” Summarizing the deputy A.G.’s opinion on behalf of the Oregon Department of Justice, Jordan wrote, “Although the Oregon Constitution might be construed to prohibit recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages, DOJ concludes that such a construction would violate the federal constitution.” The Williams letter analyzes what might happen were a federal court called upon to rule on this question.

“We cannot identify any defensible state interest, much less a legitimate or compelling one, in refusing to recognize marriages performed between consenting, unrelated adults under the laws of another state — marriages that would be unquestionably accorded recognition if the spouses were of opposite sexes,” the deputy AG wrote. “Likewise, we cannot identify any legitimate (much less compelling) state interest in requiring that each marriage recognized in Oregon contain one partner of each sex; no benefit to Oregon results from that limitation, and no injury would result from


OREGON, continued on p.9


October 30, 2013 |


Listening to the Stories of AIDS Survival New book from Dr. Perry Halkitis probes the resilience of 15 gay men of a certain age


n the midst of a career built on cutting-edge research about the LGBT population, not to mention a personal life on the front lines of the HIV epidemic, Dr. Perry N. Halkitis isn’t ready to write his autobiography just yet. “Maybe when I’m 60,” he said with a laugh, in his office at New York University’s Global Institute of Public Health, where he serves as associate dean, in addition to his responsibilities as a professor of population health and applied psychology and public health and as director of NYU’s Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies. At 50, Halkitis’ goal was to break new ground in the discussion of HIV behavioral studies by publishing a book drawing readers closer than ever into the hearts and minds of men infected with HIV during the early years of the epidemic. “The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience” —published by Oxford University Press this month — is a landmark effort to engage both academics and the general public in a powerful contemplation of what it’s really like to be an HIV-positive man living through middle age. Halkitis defines the AIDS Generation as gay men who came of age between the late 1970s and the early ’90s, who were diagnosed with HIV as young adults when the diagnosis — before the introduction in 1996 of effective combination antiretroviral treatments — was viewed as a death sentence. The book centers on deeply personal and compelling interviews with 15 men who have survived into middle age and whose words are woven into and around Halkitis’ research and commentary. If not autobiography, it is at least the testimony of his own generation. In the book, Halkitis calls it this country’s “bravest generation,” while presenting the stories of his peers — the witnesses of an era — as proof. “There’s something about the behavior of that generation of gay men that was extremely brave, while they were fighting this epidemic within a society that wasn’t embracing gay people, and really still isn’t,” he said. Readers will revisit — or perhaps learn for the first time about — the absurdly horrifying experience of the early epidemic, when gay men watched their lovers and friends die and those who survived were forced to confront their own mortality at every turn. “I think that, historically, we tend to forget what actually happened, and instead things tend to become more

Dr. Perry N. Halkitis (front, left) with some of the 15 men he interviewed for his book.

sanitized,” said Halkitis. “If you go to the New-York Historical Society’s exhibit on the AIDS epidemic, you see that it doesn’t capture the toll. It’s a very whitewashed version of AIDS, and very sweet. But when we were in the middle of this period, it wasn’t sweet. It was disgusting and awful.” In his interviews and the expert commentary he offers, Halkitis explores ways in which those men came to accept and cope with the knowledge of living with a deadly infection that, at the time, almost invariably overcame efforts at treatment. Some of the 15 men followed paths that led them to take positive control over their personal health, by consistently practicing safe sex or overcoming drug and alcohol addiction. Others dove further into unprotected sex as well as drug use, as a way to escape their emotional burdens. Halkitis shows, however, that all of these men proved resilient and able to survive. For Halkitis, a defining aspect of putting the book together was the emotions involved in conducting the interviews and then finding authentic ways to piece them together on paper. “After I did the interviews, I kept listening to them and listening to them, because I wanted to hear their voices and I wanted to hear where they stuttered, or paused, or cried,” he said. “And then later, by the fourth or fifth draft of the writing, it had become pretty clear to me how things were coming together. I started to see these commonalities, these groupings of ideas and feelings.” The writing itself was so powerfully affecting that, at times, Halkitis worried it couldn’t be completed. “I started writing in August [2012], and I was on sabbatical and just sitting at home by myself all day working on it,” he said. “But by the middle of it, in November, it

became incredibly difficult, as emotions from the past were just pushing for ward. And those feelings actually manifested themselves in a physical way. Parts of my body would hurt, or I would have anxiety while walking down the street. At one point in November I even stopped and put the book aside for a couple of weeks, because I couldn’t deal with the emotions anymore.” Similar soul-searching confronted the 15 men Halkitis interviewed. “The AIDS Generation” makes clear they recognized that their interviews were not just the cold stuff of academic research. Halkitis bluntly probed the inner sources of their frustrations, struggles, and hopes, and the men often responded just as directly — with intense honesty and often sharp wit and keen self-under standing, all of which help lift their stories up off the page.

Oxford University Press



“It was really a very healing process for me,” said Lee Raines, 59, whose story is presented, in line with research protocol, under the alias Jackson. “I knew it was going to be a difficult personal journey, because I packed all of these memories away, but this was an important reminder that HIV is not a disease that you can just throw pills at. I had lulled myself into that belief, but I realized that I needed to be reminded of the social and emotional aspects of the disease that are so important to confront.” Diagnosed in 1989, Raines helped push HIV into the public’s awareness through his involvement with ACT UP and Broadway Cares as well as HIVrelated seminars he taught. Though he stepped away from his activism years ago, he said the experience of working with Halkitis has inspired him to begin doing seminars again. “I don’t think I would’ve done that again if it hadn’t been for [Halkitis’] book,” he said. The tensions between the AIDS Generation and younger gay men was one of the issues the book explores. Halkitis said he challenged the resentments some of his interviewees had toward those in younger generations who ignore safe sex messages. “The last thing we need these days, as a community, is older gay men pointing their fingers at younger gay men, because the younger men really need those older men to be there for them when it comes to fighting this disease,” said Halkitis. “And I want both older and younger people to question their biases and their belief systems. I want young people to feel like they have access to an older generation of men who might be able to teach them something.” To be sure, while putting together his book, Halkitis was there for his interviewees. Diagnosed with HIV in 1988, he thought he would die a young man. There was, in his mind, no conceivable hope that he could go on to build a professional career of any kind — especially not one where he would earn academic renown helping in the struggle against HIV. But he survived. And while Halkitis’ autobiography is no further along than a title — “The Pet Shop Boys Wrote the Soundtrack of My Life,” he said, laughing — he’s never stopped creating his own story, his own legacy of influence and education. With his new book, he has provided a powerful outlet for men who would otherwise have been kept silent and outside of our nation’s collective history. Halkitis has also never flagged in his pride as a member of the AIDS Generation, men whom he reminds us we all have something to learn from.


| October 30, 2013


OREGON, from p.7

recognizing the marriages.” The letter also points out that samesex couples are already allowed to form domestic partnerships through a state registration statute, with provides all the state law rights and responsibilities of marriage as do civil union laws in some other states. “To defend a refusal to acknowledge marriages, the state would have to artic-

It seems likely that the state attorney general will mount at best a pro forma defense of the state's anti-gay constitutional amendment. ulate a state interest in allowing partnerships but refusing to recognize marriages — and, again, we cannot point to any such interest that would pass constitutional muster at even the lowest possible level of scrutiny, rational basis review,” Williams wrote. The deputy AG concludes that, given the fact that refusing recognition cannot meet even the most deferential “rational basis” review applied to a state law or policy, it could never surmount a more


RUSSIA, from p.6

are murdered on the streets,” she said, insisting it was not a disproportionate number of LGBT people. Queer Nation’s recent Metropolitan Opera action against conductor Valery Gergiev, a Putin pal, was “not pretty,” she said, insisting that the LGBT community must show respect for the “diversity of cultures.” Surprisingly, Batrak’s LinkedIn page says she has worked at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and at the Open Society Foundations, a grant-making group founded by the wealthy progressive philanthropist George Soros. The Russian Center New York is also sponsoring the November 18 investment forum with the City of New York and Goodwin Procter LLP, at whose offices, in the New York Times building at 41st Street and Eighth Avenue, it will be held. Bloomberg’s press office has repeatedly dodged questions about the crisis for LGBT people in Russia and what the city will do to address it. The mayor did, however, write a letter promoting the November 18 forum, saying “it is an excellent

searching level of review likely to be applied by a court, given that Supreme Court precedents hold that the right to marry is a fundamental right. Williams’ letter appears to concede in advance that a federal lawsuit filed just a few days ago by two same-sex couples seeking the right to marry in Oregon and to have out-of-state gay marriages recognized as well has merit under the 14th Amendment. It seems likely than that the state attorney general will mount at best a pro forma defense of the state’s anti-gay constitutional amendment. That amendment, Williams conceded, requires Oregon, as a matter of state law, to deny recognition to gay marriages from other jurisdictions. State law, however, is preempted by federal law, the Williams letter notes. As a result of Williams’ opinion and Jordan’s directive, then, Oregon gay and lesbian couples need merely drive north to Washington or south to California to marry and then have those marriages recognized both by their home state and by the federal government. The Oregon Legislature seemingly would have little reason to hesitate about enacting a marriage equality law — but for the language of the constitutional marriage ban, which prevents such action. A federal court order could render the amendment a dead letter or the Legislature could take steps to put a repeal measure before the voters. The state’s new recognition policy suggests it will do little to oppose such court intervention. It remains to be seen whether there is political will to go further and move proactively to make gay marriage a reality absent action by a federal judge.

opportunity to examine the state of U.S.Russia relations, and to discuss how business leaders from both countries can best work together for the benefit of our common interests.” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s office also did not respond to an emailed request for comment. The keynote speaker at the November forum is James Silkenat, president of the American Bar Association whose office said he was traveling and unavailable for comment on why he was taking a role in a conference promoting investment in Russia. Goodwin Procter did not respond to email and phone messages seeking comment. Yelena Goltsman, founder and copresident of RUSA LGBT, a Russianspeaking American LGBT group, said at the Princeton Club action that divestment “is one the major things we can do. It’s great to dump vodka and other things, but divestment is going to really hurt and is going to make Putin and his cronies cringe and possibly make better decisions as far as human rights concerns.”

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October 30, 2013 |


Judge Orders Robert Pinter’s Claims to Go to Trial Appeals court took named officials off the hook, but false prostitution but could cost city BY ARTHUR s. LEONARD



S District Judge Shira Scheindlin has ruled that Robert Pinter, a gay man who claims to have been wrongly arrested in October 2008 and wrongly prosecuted in a scheme by New York City officials to go after adult businesses by accumulating lots of prostitution arrests, is entitled to his day in court against the city. Pinter’s arrest and those of other gay men on prostitution charges in adult video stores in 2008 and early 2009 — reported in detail at the time in Gay City News — are widely viewed as illegitimate by the LGBT community and many elected officials. Pinter’s conviction, after he was advised to plead guilty to lesser charges, was later vacated and his case dismissed, and the Manhattan district attorney also dropped prosecutions of some other gay defendants. Scheindlin denied the city’s motion for summary judgment on most of Pinter’s federal claims and scheduled a conference with the parties for October 31 to plan for the rest of the case. Pinter’s case already went to the Second Circuit US Court of Appeals, which ruled that the individual defendants — police officers, prosecutors, and city officials — were entitled to what is known as “qualified immunity” from liability based on that court’s conclusion that Pinter’s factual allegations, even if accepted, support a finding that the arresting officers had “arguable probable cause” to make their arrest. The Second Circuit also said that Pinter’s claims against the city “are derivative of his claims against the individual defendants, and therefore any claims dismissed as against the individual defendants must also be dismissed as against the city.” Relying on this, the city moved to dismiss all of his remaining claims. But Judge Scheindlin found that the Second Circuit in August issued another decision on municipal liability that contradicts its statement in the Pinter case, and she decided it would be appropriate to follow the newer decision rather than the earlier Pinter decision, as a more recent and authoritative circuit statement on municipal liability in cases where its employees themselves enjoy qualified immunity. She based her decision, in part, on a distinction between “arguable probable cause” and actual probable cause, concluding that if a jury believed Pinter’s account of what happened, it could conclude that

Robert Pinter with his attorneys Jeffrey A. Rothman and James I. Meyerson outside the US District Court on Peal Street in Manhattan.

there was not actual probable cause for his arrest. According to Pinter, a gay man who was then 52, he was browsing in the pornography section of an adult establishment, the Blue Door in the East Village, when a young undercover police officer made eye contact and initiated conversation about what Pinter “liked to do.” Oral sex came up. Though there was a part of the store where gay men engaged in sexual activity, the undercover said he was nervous about doing anything in the store and said his car was nearby. Pinter started to walk to the exit, followed by the undercover, who, “at the door but before leaving the store,” said, according to Pinter, “I want to pay you $50 to suck your dick.” Pinter said he was caught off guard by this and quickly decided that there was no possibility he would go through with having sex with this man. Instead, he starting walking toward his apartment, which was in the same direction as the undercover’s car and kept up “playful banter” with the officer. At no time did he indicate he would accept money for sex, he said, and the undercover made no further mention of that. Suddenly, other police officers appeared, pushed Pinter against a fence, and arrested him. He was tightly handcuffed and placed in a police van, which drove around for several hours until depositing him at a police station. Although he complained about the tightness of the cuffs, the officers refused to loosen them, even though no other arrest-

ees were in the van and Pinter was unarmed. Pinter subsequently required medical treatment for injuries sustained from this experience. He initially pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, but when he found out that other men were being arrested under similar circumstances he filed a motion to vacate his conviction, which was not opposed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. An assistant DA submitted a statement to the court, stating it was unlikely Pinter went to the Blue Door intending to solicit money for sex and that the prosecutor’s office had already dismissed three similar pending cases after concluding “it would be difficult to prove the guilt of defendants in those cases beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.” Pinter’s federal lawsuit charged the officers, prosecutors, and city officials

The judge found that a reasonable jury could conclude there was no actual probable cause for his arrest, making it wrongful. — including Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg — with violations of his constitutional rights, contending he was subjected to false arrest, malicious prosecution, malicious abuse of process, sexual orientation discrimination, violation

of freedom of association, unreasonable detention, and excessive force. The individual defendants sought to dismiss the claims against them based on a qualified immunity theory, which Scheindlin rejected but the Second Circuit accepted on appeal, with the Supreme Court refusing Pinter’s petition to review that ruling. In this new opinion, Scheindlin dealt with the city’s argument that all remaining claims should be dismissed. She found that the city could still be held liable for many — but not all — of Pinter’s claims. His allegations were not sufficient to support a sexual orientation discrimination claim, Scheindlin concluded, because he did not provide any evidence there was selective prosecution of prostitution cases based on the sexual orientation of those arrested. She noted that police records showed heterosexual women were also being arrested for soliciting at adult businesses. Scheindlin also found that federal precedents do not recognize a constitutional freedom of association claim based on interference with somebody’s ability to shop at a particular commercial establishment. But the judge found that a reasonable jury could conclude, based on Pinter’s allegations, that there was no actual probable cause for his arrest, making it wrongful; that under the circumstances the district attorney’s decision to prosecute him could also be wrongful; and, that if he proved the scheme he was alleging about using spurious prostitution arrests to support nuisance claims against adult businesses, he would have shown abuse of process in misusing an arrest for ulterior purposes. Scheindlin also found that Pinter’s allegations were sufficient to support claims for excessive force and detention arising from his treatment in the police van, noting that some of the deposition evidence from city officials themselves demonstrate that the city failed to train police officers about their obligations concerning treatment of arrestees. The city, therefore, may still be subject to significant liability in Pinter’s case, and it would not be surprising if a new mayor sees this as one of the pending lawsuits that should be settled without a trial. Pinter is represented by attorneys James I. Meyerson and Jeffrey A. Rothman. Any settlement that includes the city’s commitment to desist from these sorts of spurious arrests and to train police officers about appropriate treatment of arrestees would be a welcome turn of events.

| October 30, 2013


False Prostitutions More Widespread than Known Documents in Robert Pinter lawsuit versus city show extent of stings BY DUNCAN OSBORNE


olice arrested more men than previously known in controversial 2008 prostitution stings that involved young undercover vice cops first soliciting consensual sex from men in six Manhattan porn shops then offering to pay for the sex and arresting the men for prostitution. Internal NYPD records recently disclosed in a federal lawsuit brought by Robert Pinter, who was busted in one of the stings (see related story on page 10), show that police arrested another 12 men on top of the 29 who were already known to have been arrested. The NYPD’s legal’s unit, the city’s Law Department, and the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) cited the prostitution arrests in nuisance abatement lawsuits they brought against the porn shops in an effort to shut them down. The records show that the pattern seen in Blue Door Video on First Avenue in the East Village of older men being solicited by younger cops was seen in other porn shops, but it was not nearly as pronounced as it was at Blue Door. Men arrested in the other shops ranged in age from their late teens to early 40s. Nine of the 14 men busted in Blue Door were over 40. The NYPD records suggest that police were not arresting prostitutes. Of the 14 men arrested in Blue Door, only one had a prior arrest and that was for grand larceny. Of the 41 men arrested in all six shops, 15 had prior arrests and a few had extensive criminal records, but just two out of the 41 had prior arrests for prostitution. The same vice cops who made the porn shop busts also made at least another 16 prostitution arrests of men and a few women in two Manhattan spas. Those spas were also sued in nuisance abatement lawsuits. After Pinter blew the whistle on the arrests in late 2008, they received extensive coverage in Gay City News and attention from lesbian and gay elected officials, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. That attention generated serious concern in the NYPD. In 2009, on February 10, senior police commanders, including Joseph Esposito, then the highest-ranking uniformed officer in the NYPD, met to

discuss the arrests and that meeting was followed by a second with Raymond Kelly, the police commissioner. Those meetings were discussed in depositions that were taken dur ing Pinter’s lawsuit and excerpts were filed in the case. At one of those meetings, Brian Conroy, then the commanding officer of the Vice Enforcement Division, was instructed to attend a February 11 meeting that was organized by Quinn’s office. “I was directed to have a meeting with Councilperson Quinn’s office,” he said in one undated excerpt. The documents also suggest that there were some efforts to push back against charges that police were targeting gay men and the locations where they cruise in these arrests. In depositions, various police officers and commanders insisted that they were responding to complaints about the locations. In a report on the arrests that was presented at the February 10 meeting, the 911 calls that were made either from or near the porn shops that allegedly led police to make the prostitution arrests were listed. The number of complaints ranged from 14 to 73 though it is not known with certainty how many of the complaints occurred outside the shops and therefore were beyond the control of their owners. In one document, Conr oy complained after the NYPD’s legal unit withdrew its nuisance abatement case against Unicorn DVD, which is at Eighth Avenue and 27th Street, saying that it made police look as if they had done something wr ong. Police arrested seven men for prostitution in Unicorn in late 2008. The men were Latino or African-American and ranged in age from 19 to 44. Three had prior arrests though none was for prostitution. In yet another document, Shari Hyman, then the head of the OSE, attempted to justify the dispar ity in ages between the undercover of ficers in Blue Door and the men arrested there by signing on to Craigslist and reviewing the per sonals. When she found one saying “Son seeks Daddy (We hooked up at the BLUE DOOR VIDEO),” she sent it to Charles Campisi, who heads the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, which was investigating Pinter’s arrest at that time. In this explanation, the store, presumably, is a location at which older and younger men were known to hook up.



October 30, 2013 |



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t’s been 20 years s i n c e N e w Yo r k , an overwhelmingly Democratic town, has had a Democratic mayor. During that period, a number of trends cheered many, pr obably most New Yorkers. Crime went down dramatically; the 414 murders in 2012 represented an astonishing decline of almost 80 percent since 1993. With safer streets, tourism boomed, pumping dollars into the city and further burnishing the narrative of a New York that was back. Neighborhoods all over town — and crucially, in the outer boroughs — enjoyed renaissances, and New York became a much greener city, far better attuned to critical issues of sustainability. Unfortunately, that’s only part of the story — the easiest part to tell, in fact. In terms of policing, what began as a disciplined and technology-driven ef fort to micro-target patterns of lawlessness evolved into a regime where no stone was left unturned in the drive to protect the gains — regardless of how unlikely it was that any particular stone was hiding something sinister. That was the ethic that led NYPD stops and frisks to soar from 80,000 in 2002 to 685,000 in 2011, with 87 percent concentrated among blacks and Latinos and 88 percent of them uncovering no criminal behavior at all (even possession of small amounts of marijuana). It’s odd to think this explosion in police harassment of communities of color happened under Michael Bloomberg instead of his more volatile and abrasive predecessor Rudy Giuliani, until you consider that the years since 2002 encompass New York’s entire post-9/11 history. Here and nationwide, an unfortunate hangover from that tragic day is that the goal of security has come to justify almost any

means. Stops and frisks mushroomed during the very years that the NYPD undertook an undercover surveillance program aimed at the Muslim community. As communities of color have experienced more invasive and arbitrary policing, their economic prospects have become more tenuous. Even as the nation gradually emerges from the depths of the Great Recession, income inequality in New York has gone up in each of the past three years. Most sobering is the fact that almost 51,000 New Yorkers are now housed in homeless shelters, a figure twice that of 1993. And advocates for youth estimate that on any given night, 3,800 young people have no roof over their head at all, with as many as 40 percent of them LGBTQ-identified. These are the issues Bill de Blasio is talking about when he speaks of a tale of two cities. Crime is down and Brooklyn is hip, but young black men face too much police harassment and economic opportunities for the poorest New Yorkers are grim and show no promising signs of improvement. The best of times; the worst of times. A Brooklyn city councilman for eight years before becoming public advocate, de Blasio has articulated an “unapologetic progressive” vision for the city, backed up by laudable policy positions. He pulls no punches in challenging prevailing Bloomberg law enforcement thinking. The city’s overreliance on stop and frisk has presumptively criminalized young men of color and eroded the community trust essential for keeping crime down long-term. The buck stops with Bloomberg and Ray Kelly. The NYPD needs greater independent oversight and it needs a new commissioner. De Blasio also understands his responsibility to redouble New York’s commitment to public education. That means pr oviding universal pr e-K and better after -school pro-

grams. It also means that public schools cannot be forced to share facilities with better funded charter schools that rob students in the city system of needed space and resources while offering their own students higher tier educational opportunities in the very same building. De Blasio aims to fund his pre-K effort through a modest increase in city income tax rates on those earning half a million dollars or more. It’s an unfortunate measure of the Democratic Party’s retreat from a belief in a progressive income tax structure that Governor Andrew Cuomo is widely expected to refuse support for that goal in Albany, which must give the city its approval. The public advocate has also committed to leverage the power of $1 billion in city pension assets — well under one percent of the total — toward investments in affordable housing. His overall housing agenda, which also calls for enactment of mandatory inclusionary zoning and elimination of tax incentives that keep land vacant, aims to create or preserve 200,000 affordable units over the next decade. On LGBT issues, de Blasio has a record that is long and strong. A supporter of mar riage equality and transgender civil rights throughout his public career, this year he has endorsed specific proposals sought by advocates to increase housing for homeless LGBT youth, to guarantee that people living with AIDS pay no more than 30 percent of their income in rent, to end the practice by police and prosecutors of using condom possession as evidence of prostitution, and to streamline the process for transgender New Yorkers wishing to change the gender designation on their birth certificates so they can obtain the other identification documents they need. All of these factors alone would more than merit our endorsement of de Blasio as the

next mayor. The case is made even stronger by the fact that Republican Joe Lhota lands precisely on the opposite side of so many key issues. With hyperbolic imagery and gratuitous references to former Mayor David Dinkins — the city’s only black mayor, but also the one who oversaw initial declines in crime — Lhota has warned that de Blasio’s efforts to curb police excesses will bring back the “bad old days.” The Republican also demonstrates a tin ear on other pressing questions of inequality — whether in economic opportunity, a fair balancing of the income tax burden, or protection of the city’s public education tradition. Lhota has won kudos for being pro-choice and pro-marriage equality, but it’s worth remembering that the mayoral administration where he worked — Giuliani’s — consistently fought to evade its responsibilities for the delivery of AIDS services. And that it was Joe Lhota who led the pernicious drive to defund the Brooklyn Museum when it dared display art that offended Giuliani — even if the mayor never saw it and described it in terms starkly at odds with what it was. In the Democratic primary, Gay City News endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn over de Blasio. Then, as now, we believed that the Democratic field was a particularly strong one with regard to LGBT issues and progressive goals generally. Quinn, we felt, had a special appreciation for some LGBT issues and we concluded her years as speaker tested her under fire with challenges her rivals never faced. Now, we place our hopes in de Blasio’s ability to achieve the lofty vision he’s laid out. An early test will come when the governor responds to his income tax pr oposal. Voters who believe not only in the man, but also in his plan need to demonstrate that a de Blasio victory, which now seems inevitable, is an unmistakable mandate for progressive change. In the context of New York politics, the Working Families Party delivers that message. So, on November 5, vote for Bill de Blasio and place your check on the Working Families ballot line when you do so.


| October 30, 2013


The P Word: A Meditation Without an Emergency BY DAVID EHRENSTEIN


ythical speech,” a wise old queen named Roland Barthes once wrote, “is made up of a material that has already been worked on so as to make it suitable for communication.” That’s most certainly the case with “Partner,” a noun that a moment’s Googling discloses a primary definition of: “A person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, esp. in a business or company with shared risks and profits.” That meaning is closely followed by: “Colleague, associate, coworker, fellow worker, collaborator, comrade, teammate… ‘business partners.’” But then we find: “Either of two people dancing together or playing a game or sport on the same side,” and “Either member of a married couple or an established unmarried couple.” And that’s where things go all to hell. For “Partner” has become the ideological term of art used to label samesex couples, and it is here that the mind reels and the stomach heaves. “Homosexuality,” wrote Barthes back in 1980 in his preface to Renaud Camus’ homoerotic recit “Tricks,” “shocks less, but continues to be interesting; it is still at that stage of excitation where it provokes what might be called feats of discourse.”

raise children. Others can barely manage a cat. Still others live alone and like it. The important thing is to be able to live freely and honestly. Back in the 1950s, when I first discovered that boys were ever-so-much-moreinteresting to me than girls, it became immediately obvious that I was going to live a very different life. I wouldn’t be “married with children.” Better still, I wouldn’t have to go into the army — a fact of considerable use to me dur ing the Vietnam War era when making my appearance at the draft board and checking “Yes” to “Do you have homosexual tendencies?” Seeing this, the nice (and quite attractive) young man at the desk motioned me to lean closer to him as he whispered, “Do you play the man or do you play the woman?” My answer was of course “both,” so he gave me a slip and sent me to the shrink. But there was quite a back-up that day so they decided to simply stamp me 4-F and let me go. And thus I avoided being sent to Southeast Asia to kill and/ or be killed by perfect strangers. That we’re supposed to take pride in being able to volunteer for a non-draft military has always amazed me. Likewise, gay marriage. The legal advantages of the government recognizing Bill and me as a “married couple” are many and perfectly desirable. But they do not define us. And I certainly do not desire any justice of the peace pronouncing us “Partners For Life.” That’s not who we are. And I suspect it’s not who you and your boy and/or girlfriend are either. “Grace to be born and live as variously as possible.” That was the motto of the great Frank O’Hara — a poet with a lot of boyfriends, but whose “partner” was life itself.

That’s certainly true of the last 33 years that Barthes, having died shortly after writing that preface, was unable to enjoy. One can scarcely imagine what the famed semiotics adept would have had to say about the disappearance of “the closet” the same-sex oriented were obliged to live in, even to the housing of Barthes’ august self until the last years of his life. Samesex marriage would doubtless inspire him to pen a new and wittily pointed essay for his “Mythologies.” But the rush to adapt (and adopt) “Partner” for gay relationship usage might well take Barthes aback. Were actor/ screenwriter Jacques Nolot and writer/ director Andre Techine Barthes’ “partners”? Does that get anywhere near to explaining who they were, what they meant to him, and how these relationships functioned? Likewise Gore Vidal and Howard Austen, Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, Truman Capote and Jack Dunphy, or if we wish to go back a bit in gay artistic history, George Kelly and William Weagley. But what about Glenway Wescott, Monroe Wheeler, and George Platt Lynes? Stumped, ain’t ya? “Lover” used to be a perfectly acceptable term. But it has been completely eradicated in the rush for gay social and cultural assimilation because it indicates that — clutch those pearls — sex has taken place. I was quite pleased to see in

the Wikipedia entry for Joe Orton a notation that after his meeting with Kenneth Halliwell, “They quickly formed a strong relationship and became lovers.” That they were and so were many others. In fact, it’s the perfect word to describe my 40 years (and still going strong) relationship with writer Bill Reed. But the Doxa (a Barthsian term for the status quo at its most reductive) would not see it as such. We are obliged to rhetorically conform — put something personal and special under a heading normally associated with businesses or law firms. Well, I’m not in love with a law firm, and neither, I would venture, are you, dear reader. You’ve been commandeered into a “battle” of socio-political snobbery in which gayness is being rhetorically re-closeted in the name of its own freedom because talking about sex upsets the breeders. Well too fucking bad. Sex is essential to our lives no matter who we have it with and its joys are not to be stifled. “Once it was ‘The love that dare not speak its name — and now it won’t shut up,’ the scrumptiously snarky Mike Nichols once opined. But what it won’t shut up about is stridently declaring to all and sundry, “We’re just like them! See? We’re perfectly normal. We want to get married and have children like everyone else. That’s what everybody wants, isn’t it?” Well, frankly, no. Some of us want to

he wasn't ready to consider them his equal.

to. They have demonstrated a break with the nation's civil rights coalition and with labor unions. They accept money from Wal-Mart and tout them at their annual socalled Leadership Community. Their executive director, Chuck Wolfe, blasted and tried to marginalized gays against Quinn but the LGBT community voted over whelming against Quinn, which demonstrates that they only represent themselves and are not a force to be taken seriously. Obviously, health care and the poor are other issues they are not concerned with.

NOT gerrymandered. Nor is Dan Maffei's. Yes, most congressional districts are, and in the past New York’s have been. However, in 2012, our famously dysfunctional Legislature could not reach any agreement on congressional district lines, so the federal courts redrew the lines in a way generally considered to be fair and non-partisan.

Allen Roskoff

WRITE US! Send letters, of 250 words or less, to: or to 515 Canal Street, Suite 1C, New York, NY 10013. The editors reserve the right to edit letters due to space constraints or legal considerations.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR THE VERDICT ON MALONEY October 17, 2013 To the Editor: What do you expect? (“Sean Patrick Maloney Draws Fire for Budget, Obamacare Votes,” by Andrew Miller, October 16-29). We gays are the last Uncle Toms in the world. Long as the people in power deign to acknowledge our existence, we will bow and curtsy. That Maloney was even allowed to attend an Empire State Pride Agenda dinner is disgusting. But remember how the Human Rights Campaign folks flocked to the White House for a cocktail reception shortly after Obama said dur ing his first term that he wasn't ready to support gay marriage? I'll bet Jeff Soref and his buddies were all there, sipping Cosmos and standing in line for a handshake with a man who said

Henry Scott

October 17, 2013 To the Editor: Straight progressives are better than gay conservatives running as Democrats. Let's hope someone challenges him in the primary.

Bill Brina

Paul Halsall

October 17, 2013 To the Editor: The Victory Fund could care less about progressive issues. They are a one-issue, arrogant organization that no one listens

October 17, 2013 To the Editor: Contrary to the impression this article gives, Sean Patrick Maloney's district is


October 30, 2013 |



We take pride in your health.

Christie Drops Marriage Appeal Weddings began midnight October 21 and governor recognizes change is permanent

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, New Jersey’s US senator-elect, married seven gay and lesbian couples, including Pierre DuFresne and James Credle, at City Hall moments after midnight on October 21.



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ecognizing the inevitability of losing in his ef fort to overtur n a state superior court marriage equality ruling, Governor Chris Christie has dropped the appeal he had filed with the New Jersey Supreme Court. That court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the state’s appeal of Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s September 27 ruling, but on October 18had unanimously declined to stay her ruling pending that appeal. We d d i n g s o f s a m e - s e x c o u p l e s took place in a number of New Jersey municipalities on the stroke of midnight on October 21. In Newark, Cory Booker, that city’s mayor and New Jersey’s US senator-elect, officiated over the ceremonies of seven couples. The Christie administration statement, issued shortly after 9 a.m. on October 21, read, “Although the gover nor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law. The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated

by the New Jersey Supreme Court.” Three days before, the State Supreme Court, declining to give the governor the stay he sought, wrote, “Because, among other reasons, the State has not shown a reasonable probability of success on the merits, the trial court’s order — directing State officials to permit same-sex couples, who are otherwise eligible, to enter into civil marriage starting on October 21, 2013 — remains in effect.” In an opinion written by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, the court signaled that it was likely to accept the conclusions of Judge Jacobson’s ruling — that with the Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriages struck down earlier this year, civil union couples in New Jersey do not enjoy the same rights and benefits as married different-sex couples. In 2006, the state’s high court ruled that New Jersey must give same-sex couples such parity, either through equal marriage rights or a parallel institution such as civil unions. “The State’s statutory scheme effectively denies committed same-sex partners in New Jersey the ability to receive federal benefits now afforded to married partners,” he wrote, adding, “We conclude that the State has not shown a reasonable probability or likelihood of success on the merits.”


NEW JERSEY, continued on p.15


| October 30, 2013

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Lambda’s Hayley Gorenberg and Garden State Equality’s Troy Stevenson at an October 21 press conference in Montclair.


NEW JERSEY, from p.14

Jacobson had rejected the state’s argument that the plaintiffs — samesex couples and Garden State Equality, the state’s LGBT rights lobby, represented by Lambda Legal — should sue the federal government for not recognizing civil unions on parity with same-sex marriages. The state, she wrote, “persists in denying its responsibility for the current predicament of New Jersey civil union couples.” Jacobson pointed out that New Jersey has done nothing to persuade the federal government to recognize civil unions, leaving the bur den entirely on civil union partners to bring their own lawsuits against federal agencies. “Plaintiffs would face an enormous litigation burden if they were required to challenge, on their own, every federal agency interpretation of [the US Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling] denying equal access to marital benefits to civil union couples,” she wrote. In denying Christie’s bid for a stay, the State Supreme Court noted that delaying Jacobson’s order put a burden on same-sex couples, while the state was not harmed by allowing marriages to begin. “Plaintiffs highlight a stark example to demonstrate the point,” Chief Justice Rabner wrote. “If a civil union partner passes away while a stay is in place, his or her surviving partner and any children will forever be denied federal marital protections. The balance of hardships does not support the motion for a stay.” The State Legislature passed a mar-

riage equality bill in early 2012, but it was vetoed by Christie, who urged advocates to seek approval for gay marriage in a referendum. Advocates had until mid-January 2014 to win a veto override and said they intended seek a vote on that after the November 5 election, which Christie is widely expected to win handily. Garden State Equality did not respond to a question about whether the group sees any need to seek to have marriage equality codified in law by continuing its veto override efforts. On October 18, when the State Supreme Court declined to stay Jacobson’s ruling but Christie’s appeal was still in the works, Garden State Equality and its partner, New Jersey United for Marriage, signaled they would push forward in seeking an override in the Legislature. “This is not the time to rest – it is the time to recommit, it is the time to pull out all the stops,” GSE’s executive director, T roy Stevenson, said in a written statement. “We have to continue to push because we are in the fight of our lives. While we have faith in the courts, we cannot control what happens there. What we can do is demand that action be taken at the State House.” At a press conference held in Montclair after Christie withdrew his appeal, Hayley Gorenberg, Lambda’s deputy legal director, declared, “The fight is over, and we won.” New Jersey is the 14th state to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Gay marriage is also the law in the District of Columbia. One-third of the US population now lives in marriage equality jurisdictions.

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16 c

IRELAND, from p.4

— warned that computer problems he was having might force him to dictate his book jacket blurb for Strub to this reporter over the phone. Berendt, recalling Ireland’s work at New York magazine, said that while he “found it easy to criticize those on the right, he was more concerned” with the lack of consistency and principle among liberals and others on the left. He was “an unwavering radical,” Berendt wrote. In his writing for Gay City News, Ireland gave considerable ink to contemporary queer writers and activists — including Sarah Schulman, Michael Bronski, Martin Duberman, Urvashi Vaid, and Peter Tatchell — who, like him, were willing to present radical, probing, and often searing critiques of modern America and established LGBT leadership. Ireland’s criticism of American gay leaders was never harsher than in regard to what he considered their indifference and inaction on international human rights abuses. In 2005, his first reporting for Gay City News, some of which sparked heated debate with at least some international human rights advocates and observers, involved anti-gay executions and repression carried out by the Iranian regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ireland was also the first Western reporter to detail the wave of murders carried out beginning in late 2005 by Shia death squads in Iraq responding to a death-to-gays fatwa issued by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Ireland contributed considerable international reporting for Gay City News, including stories on the crackdown on LGBT rights in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Africa, most prominently Uganda. His reporting also gave early exposure to the efforts by Louis-Georges Tin, a university professor and black and gay rights activist in France, to establish the International Day Against Homophobia, which is now recognized every May worldwide. IDAHO emerged as a leading force in pushing for a United Nations declaration calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality, an effort the United States did not support until early in the Obama administration. Ireland was a harsh critic of US foreign adventures carried out by Republican presidents including Ronald Reagan and both Bushes, but he also zeroed in on what he viewed as temporizing by Democrats. For several years during the Clinton administration, he wrote a syndicated Clinton Watch column, and despite his keen interest in the outcome of last year’s presidential race — fully aware of the implications of a Republican restoration — he was often scornful of Obama. In this year’s mayoral race, Ireland voiced harsh criticism of both City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the winner of the Democratic primary, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Quinn, Ireland told Gay City News’

October 30, 2013 | Andy Humm for an article Humm wrote for Gotham Gazette, ”is absolutely unacceptable. Bill de Blasio is a total opportunist who believes in nothing.” Comparing this year’s Democratic field to the 1977 primary that included Koch, Abzug, Mario Cuomo, and incumbent Mayor Abe Beame, among others, he said, “The level of mediocrity has gotten worse by a factor of 10.” Attorney Norman Levy, who met Ireland “in politics” in the 1960s and remained a close friend for nearly half a century, remembered that his critiques of Democratic leaders from earlier eras, however, were also withering. “Mario Cuomo,” Ireland wrote, “is the only politician who hides behind his own candor.” And, “I refute the fact that Ed Koch is a closet gay man. He is a closet human being.” Ireland, Levy said, “is one of the towering intellectuals of our time… and he was certainly a concerned citizen of the world.” Ireland’s closest friends all attested to the “cloistered” life his ailments forced on him over the past decade, but their memories of him from earlier decades paint a very different picture. “Doug was very dramatic and flamboyant as a young man,” Anne Hemenway recalled from their encounters in the 1970s. “He was a show stopper, a very charismatic char acter.” Arriving at gatherings of fellow writers at West Village watering holes such as the Lion’s Head Tavern, Ireland would soon become the center of attention. “A lot of people really loved him, though I’m sure not everyone did,” Hemenway said. Valerie Goodman, who stayed with Ireland when she first moved to New York from France several decades ago, recalled that he loved good food, preferably French cuisine loaded with “lots of butter,” and had wangled an assignment to visit three-star restaurants for Michelin. “Food was like pornography for Doug,” she recalled. He also “never stopped smoking,” Goodman said, something he continued even as his lung problems multiplied, according to Berendt. Everyone who knew him in the ‘70s and ‘80s recalled that in those evenings at Manhattan bars, Ireland drank with the best of them. Berendt recalled that “Doug is the only person I know who could write rapidly, rationally, and with absolute clarity even after smoking a couple of joints. While other people would have been reduced to dazed inaction, Doug would blaze ahead, turning out supremely polished copy while stoned.” Joe Kennedy and Nathan Riley, a Gay City News contributor deeply involved

in Democratic politics during that era, remembered many late nights spent drinking but engaging in deep conversations, as well. “Doug was one of the wittiest, funniest, most insightful, and spontaneously eloquent people I’ve known,” Kennedy said. Ireland’s writing in recent years fully acknowledged his wild days — including nights out with the likes of writers Christopher Hitchens and Gore Vidal — but also made clear that he had sworn off liquor many years before. In a remarkable remembrance of Hitchens — whom he referred to as his “queer friend,” due only in part to the author and journalist’s youthful bisexuality — Ireland wrote with considerable emotion about the loss from AIDS of his “one great love,” Hervé Couergou, whom he met while living in Paris in the 1980s. When Couergou learned of his diagnosis, he told Ireland he wanted to leave France, where he had grown up deeply alienated from his parents. Ireland moved back to New York, where he took a job at the Village Voice and made plans to bring Couergou over. However, the US policy barring the entry of HIV-positive foreigners into the country — which he bitterly faulted President Bill Clinton for not overturning when he became president — prevented the couple from mak-

“I remember Doug as the first person of his stature as a Political Insider to risk all and come out as gay and a gay activist,” Joe Kennedy wrote in an email message. ing a home here, and Ireland spent the remainder of Couergou’s life working in New York to help pay for his lover’s medical and living expenses in Paris, where even a good public health system fell well short of what was needed. In the wake of Couergou’s death, Ireland wrote, he “fell into a black hole of despair and depression,” and he credited Hitchens — known for an often acerbic public persona and with whom he quarreled in print over Hitchens’ support for George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq — with helping to save his life. Hitchens, he wrote, “knew me well enough to have sussed out, without being told, that I was seriously considering ending my own life. But he spent several hours making me understand how wrong that would be, how ashamed Hervé would have been had he known he’d caused my death. I will not recount here all that Hitch said to me then, but had it not been for that conversation I might well not be here to write these words.” Hitchens and Abzug were just two of the literary and political luminaries

with whom Ireland shared intimate ties. When Vidal died last year, Ireland also wrote in very personal terms about their friendship, and his final contribution to Gay City News was his review earlier this month of Tim Teeman’s new book on Vidal. Ireland’s writing in recent years for Gay City News also demonstrated his profound understanding of queer history from the past two centuries. In a number of articles, including a review of Neil McKenna’s groundbreaking biography of Oscar Wilde, he wrote about the periodic waves of anti-gay repression that swept Britain from the turn of the last century through the post-World War II era and into the 1960s, including the lethal persecution of Alan Turing, whose mathematical genius at code-cracking helped save the UK from Nazi invasion. Ireland also had a keen understanding of the censorship of free expression that hobbled gay culture in the US in settings as diverse as the post-World War I period, the McCarthy era, and under John Ashcroft’s Justice Department in the George W. Bush administration. But he also wrote extensively about the early flowering of gay visibility in the US, whether in anarchist circles in the early 20th century or in Harlem and Chicago during the 1920s. Though Ireland was an unflagging critic of the right and the political middle, he clashed as well with figures on the progressive left. Micah Sifry recalled that it was often “a struggle to get his writing” into the Nation. During the Clinton administration, he said, “Doug’s politics were to the left of the magazine’s. It was not a happy relationship.” There was a time, Sifry said, when “everyone expected Doug to be the next Jimmy Breslin, but he couldn’t be the next Jimmy Breslin because he was too true to his principles and wouldn’t cut those corners.” Ireland’s reporting on Iran in the several years after 2005 drew harsh rebuttals from Scott Long, who then ran the gay desk at Human Rights  Watch and charged that Ireland and Gay City News generally were uncritical in relying on sources who maintained that two young men hanged in Masshad, Iran in mid2005 — after being convicted of raping an underage boy at a time when they themselves were underage — had in fact been involved in consensual sex. Long and some other human rights advocates criticized activists and reporters, including Ireland and British gay rights veteran Peter Tatchell, who they charged inappropriately turned what was an incident highlighting the barbarity of capital punishment into a gay rights cause célèbre. As Ireland continued to locate sources within Iran and report on other cases of anti-gay repression, Long became increasingly critical, charging that Ireland and others were imputing a Western gay identity to Iranians coming from


IRELAND, continued on p.17


| October 30, 2013


IRELAND, from p.16

a very different cultural experience and that their harsh denunciations of Iran played into the Bush administration’s neo-conservative foreign policy aims. The conflict between Long on one side and Ireland and Tatchell on the other side was at times vitriolic and led to an extraordinary 2010 episode in which Human Rights Watch and Long apologized in writing to Tatchell. Despite that brief ceasefire in a long-running feud, Long remained a critic of Ireland to the end, most recently faulting him for not earlier criticizing Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev, who in recent months unleashed a stream of anti-Semitic outbursts on social media. Alexeyev’s supporters, Long maintained, “had all the evidence years ago of the man’s instability and hatred.”

John Berendt recalled, “Doug is the only person I know who could write rapidly, rationally, and with absolute clarity even after smoking a couple of joints.” Ireland — who had written extensively about Alexeyev’s role in organizing gay rights demonstrations in Moscow and elsewhere that were brutally shut down and in winning decisions against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights — wrote an uncompromising rebuke of Alexeyev’s recent behavior in a Septem-


QUINN, from p.5

won just 15 percent of the vote. Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, prevailed with just over 40 percent and Bill Thompson, the former city comptroller, won 26 percent. Quinn narrowly lost Chelsea to de Blasio, whose campaign was an “unapologetic progressive alternative,” he said after winning the September 10 primary, and he pummeled Quinn in the West Village. De Blasio’s campaign was also an appeal for change after 12 years of Bloomberg. Quinn won 34 percent of the queer vote to de Blasio’s 47 percent, according to exit poll data from Edison Research Services, a New Jersey polling firm. Any funding cuts the groups may see could not come at a worse time. The federal budget sequester, which implemented automatic cuts, has already reduced budgets. Some groups, notably GMHC, have received cash from Bloomberg through Bloomberg L.P., his private com-

ber issue of Gay City News. It was an essay that encapsulated Ireland’s vision of an ongoing and universal struggle for human rights and dignity. “Stereotypical fantasies about Jews have no place in gay liberation anywhere on this planet,” he wrote. “Jews, Gentiles, Muslims, queers — we all have bigotry as our common enemy. And we at Gay City News believe that a united front of unblemished opposition to all of it is our common duty. It’s an obligation of conscience. To be even more precise: Nikolai Alexeyev has now consigned himself to the trash bin of history along with all the other legions of racist zealots. We can only hope that our queer Russian brothers and sisters, who are under the most dire attack, will not be further undermined or tarnished by the unspeakable calumnies he is now broadcasting in their name or demoralized by Alexeyev’s defection to the camp of bigotry.” Until the end of his life, Ireland wrote and spoke with uncommon clarity, passion, and verve about the world he worked so hard to change. Valerie Goodman, Anne Hemenway, and Norman Levy all acknowledged how difficult Ireland’s infirmities made his life in its final years and how critical is was that he be able to continue working. “He really had no other pleasure in living,” Goodman said. “He felt he needed to write. That’s the only reason he stayed alive.” “His work was his life,” Levy said, recalling Ireland telling him, “I have nothing else in my life.” Hemenway, however, noted how vital a force Ireland remained even as he was isolated in his apartment. “He was able to carry out that rich professional life while staying in his chamber,” she said. Doug Ireland’s body will be cremated and, according to Levy, a memorial service will be planned for a later date.

pany, and via his foundation giving. The mayor may discontinue those donations after he leaves office and has less need to quiet critics with his cash. The groups have already begun the process of reaching out to new City Council members and to de Blasio, who appears to be set to easily win City Hall on November 5. “Whenever someone starts in a new role, they need to be educated,” said Urbano. “Fortunately, we still have allies in the City Council.” Roughly 40 percent of the City Council seats will be held by new members in 2014 and if de Blasio maintains his campaign posture as he governs, it could be that both sides of City Hall will be more left-leaning. “On the face of it, it looks as if it will be more progressive than the Council we have had,” Tietz said, in comparing next year’s prospects to the existing status quo. “I actually have great hopes for a Mayor de Blasio. I think his politics are better, I think his policy impulses are better.”


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October 30, 2013 |



for me

Patient model. Pill shown is not actual size.

What is COMPLERA? COMPLERA® is a prescription HIV medicine that is used as a complete regimen to treat HIV-1 in adults who have never taken HIV medicines before and who have an amount of HIV in their blood (this is called “viral load”) that is no more than 100,000 copies/mL. COMPLERA contains 3 medicines – rilpivirine, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. It is not known if COMPLERA is safe and effective in children under the age of 18 years. COMPLERA® does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. To control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses you must keep taking COMPLERA. Avoid doing things that can spread 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, do not share personal items that may contain bodily fluids. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to reduce the risk of passing HIV-1 to others.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information you should know about COMPLERA? COMPLERA® 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 COMPLERA 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 COMPLERA, your hepatitis may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking COMPLERA without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health. COMPLERA is not approved for the treatment of HBV.

Who should not take COMPLERA? Do not take COMPLERA if you have ever taken other anti-HIV medicines. COMPLERA may change the effect of other medicines and may cause serious side effects. Your healthcare provider may change your other medicines or change their doses. Do not take COMPLERA if you also take these medicines: • anti-seizure medicines: carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol-XR, Teril, Epitol); oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenobarbital (Luminal), phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin-125, Phenytek) • anti-tuberculosis medicines: rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane, Rifadin) and rifapentine (Priftin) • proton pump inhibitors for stomach or intestinal problems: esomeprazole (Nexium, Vimovo), lansoprazole (Prevacid), dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole sodium (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex) • more than 1 dose of the steroid medicine dexamethasone or dexamethasone sodium phosphate • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) If you are taking COMPLERA you should not take other HIV medicines or other medicines containing tenofovir (Viread, Truvada, Stribild or Atripla); other medicines containing emtricitabine or lamivudine (Emtriva, Combivir, Epivir, Epivir-HBV, Epzicom, Trizivir, Atripla, Stribild or Truvada); rilpivirine (Edurant) or adefovir (Hepsera). In addition, tell your healthcare provider if you are taking the following medications because they may interfere with how COMPLERA works and may cause side effects: • certain antacid medicines containing aluminum, magnesium hydroxide, or calcium carbonate (examples: Rolaids, TUMS). These medicines must be taken at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after COMPLERA. • medicines to block stomach acid including cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), or ranitidine HCL (Zantac). These medicines must be taken at least 12 hours before or 4 hours after COMPLERA. • any of these medicines: clarithromycin (Biaxin); erythromycin (E-Mycin, Eryc, Ery-Tab, PCE, Pediazole, Ilosone), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral) methadone (Dolophine); posaconazole (Noxafil), telithromycin (Ketek) or voriconazole (Vfend). • medicines that are eliminated by the kidneys like acyclovir (Zovirax), cidofovir (Vistide), ganciclovir (Cytovene IV, Vitrasert), valacyclovir (Valtrex) and valganciclovir (Valcyte).

PALIO Date: 10.4.13 • Client: Gilead • Product: Complera • File Name: 9731_pgitvd_standard_updtd_ant_GayCityNews.indd


| October 30, 2013


A complete HIV treatment in only 1 pill a day. COMPLERA is for adults who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before and have no more than 100,000 copies/mL of virus in their blood.

Ask your healthcare provider if it’s the one for you.

These are not all the medicines that may cause problems if you take COMPLERA. Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements you are taking or plan to take.

The most common side effects reported with COMPLERA are trouble sleeping (insomnia), abnormal dreams, headache, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, rash, tiredness, and depression. Some side effects also reported include vomiting, stomach pain or discomfort, skin discoloration (small spots or freckles) and pain.

Before taking COMPLERA, tell your healthcare provider if you: liver problems, including hepatitis B or C virus infection, or have abnormal liver tests • Have kidney problems • Have ever had a mental health problem • Have bone problems • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if COMPLERA can harm your unborn child • Are breastfeeding: Women with HIV should not breastfeed because they can pass HIV through their milk to the baby. Also, COMPLERA may pass through breast milk and could cause harm to the baby

This is not a complete list of side effects. Tell your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you notice any side effects while taking COMPLERA, and call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects.

• Have

COMPLERA can cause additional serious side effects: • New or worsening kidney problems, including kidney failure. If you have had kidney problems, or take other medicines that may cause kidney problems, your healthcare provider may need to do regular blood tests. • Depression or mood changes. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms: feeling sad or hopeless, feeling anxious or restless, have thoughts of hurting yourself (suicide) or have tried to hurt yourself. • Changes in liver enzymes: People who have had hepatitis B or C, or who have had changes in their liver function tests in the past may have an increased risk for liver problems while taking COMPLERA. Some people without prior liver disease may also be at risk. Your healthcare provider may need to check your liver enzymes before and during treatment with COMPLERA. • Bone problems can happen in some people who take COMPLERA. Bone problems include bone pain, softening or thinning (which may lead to fractures). Your healthcare provider may need to do additional tests to check your bones. • Changes in body fat can happen in people taking HIV medicine. • Changes in your immune system. 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 if you start having new symptoms after starting COMPLERA.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Additional Information about taking COMPLERA:

• Always take COMPLERA exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it.

• Take COMPLERA with food. Taking COMPLERA with food is important to help get the

right amount of medicine in your body. (A protein drink does not replace food. If your healthcare provider stops COMPLERA, make certain you understand how to take your new medicine and whether you need to take your new medicine with a meal.)

Stay under the care of your healthcare provider during treatment with COMPLERA and see your healthcare provider regularly. Please see Brief Summary of full Prescribing Information with important warnings on the following pages.

Learn more at

PALIO Date: 10.4.13 • Client: Gilead • Product: Complera • File Name: 9731_pgitvd_standard_updtd_ant_GayCityNews.indd


October 30, 2013 |

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); rifampin


| October 30, 2013

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October 30, 2013 |


The Grandeur of Gaultier

Brooklyn Museum makes compelling case for this most creatively enduring of living designers BY DAVID NOH

THE FASHION WORLD OF JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: FROM THE SIDEWALK TO THE CATWALK Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Parkway, near Grand Army Plaza Through Feb. 23 Wed., Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. First Sat. each month, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. $12; $8 for students & seniors

The designer’s name was Jean Paul Gaultier, one man who has never stopped creating the kind of astonishment the impresario Diaghilev once imperiously requested of Jean Cocteau. He is now the joyous subject of a major retrospective, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” at the Brooklyn Museum. To call the show — which originated at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and is blessed now with fabulous additions for its New York stop — a blockbuster like the now-legendary Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met, is not only an understatement but something of a misnomer. Walking through it, I could not help but be reminded of the McQueen exhibit, which had every daunting element of blockbuster about it, from its doubtlessly costly presentation to the hordes of people it

Jean Paul Gaultier and Amanda Lepore.

attracted. McQueen — his career cut tragically short by suicide — shared with Gaultier a seemingly limitless creative vision and technical know-how. Yet his designs, as magnificent as they were, always possessed a somewhat dark and icy quality of edgy intimidation — a reflection of the designer’s conflicted, often insecure persona, but also spot-on, zeitgeist-wise. McQueen’s output was irresistible to the fashionistas who lived for it. McQueen’s Met show was rife with the jaw-dropping “stand back, wonder, and admire” quality of its tortured genius, while the Brooklyn Gaultier, like the designer himself and everything he creates, is contrastingly filled with a positive, life-affirming joy that reaches out to warmly embrace his every admirer. You walk through this dazzlingly conceived couture pageant simply agog, and the awe grows — with each room magically unveiling ever more visually dazzling, technically masterful, truly inspirational sartorial richness. Most of Gaultier’s famous collections over the last three decades are vividly represented — his impenetrably luxe Tibet look, his African-American/ Black Girls, the Amy Winehouse tribute, his highly controversial Hasid defile, and my personal favorite, his flamboyant Frida Kahlo homage, when he sent out his models bearing the artist’s signature unibrow. Emblematic of this show, brilliantly




y first trip to Paris was in 1981 and, as if in a fever dream, I wandered those redolent-of-everything streets, soaking up all that beauty and art and having the time of my life, as the exchange rate was then seven francs to the dollar. I stumbled into a hip boutique whose name infuriatingly eludes me now and was struck by the particular inventiveness of the clothes I saw there, which possessed a raffish, iconoclastic wit I’d never seen before, not even in that era’s explosive creativity of game-changing ready-to-wear designs from Kenzo, Issey Miyake, Claude Montana, France Andrevie, and Chantal Thomass. I was particularly taken with bracelets that were really nothing more than humble tin cans, polished to a rainbow-hued shine, that had the ebullient irreverence and tossedaway high-low chic I hitherto had associated only with Schiaparelli.

Farida Khelfa and Thierry Maxime-Loriot.

curated by Thierry Maxime-Loriot — present at the show’s press preview in an excruciatingly covetable JPG black leather jumpsuit — is an incredible assemblage of Jolicoeur International mannequins, which, instead of being traditionally cold, mute clothes hangers, ha ve d i f fer i ng p er so nalit ie s , ar e expressively animated, and actually talk. I won’t spoil the surprise by describing how this is done — you’ll figure it out — but that will in no way lessen your admiration of this sublime innovation. Extending this vital human touch, so rare in fashion, at the preview and formal opening event later that evening, Gaultier himself was wonder fully accessible — not ivory-towering himself away in a VIP section, but, despite publicists constantly yanking at him to spirit him away, stopping to happily answer questions and pose for selfies by all and sundry. “I am thrilled that this show is in Brooklyn!” he said in his disarming, rata-tat Pepé Le Pew accent, which I won’t duplicate here. “I first came to New York 35 years ago and I remembered being so impressed by the Manhattan store windows, so beautifully displayed and much better than in Paris. And now I hear that Brooklyn is very hip, and even though I am older now, it is very nice to still be hip!” His own wonder and enthusiasm about his exhibit was divinely palpable, with none of the jaded or impenetrable quality — or even worse,

fake humility — most fashionistas haughtily exude at such occasions. The electric opening night party brought out New York’s fashion pack in duly obeisant droves, ranging from “Project Runway” tyro Christian Siriano to that craggy couture eminence Calvin Klein. (Watching him and Gaultier meet was like a literal collision between Creativity and Commerce.) Running into the singer Beth Ditto, whom Gaultier adores for the proud security with which she flaunts her own unfashionably zaftig form, the designer — who’s always embraced variegated body types — stopped and gave her, and everyone present, an impassioned, impromptu lecture about the 1944 film “Falbalas” before a wall projection of clips from it. Directed by Jacques Becker, with a sumptuous Marcel Rochas wardrobe and set in the milieu of a Parisian couturier, the film inspired Gaultier to become a designer. It starred the exquisite clotheshorse Micheline Presle, and, later, her daughter, filmmaker Tonie Marshall, made a documentary, “The Falbalas of Jean Paul Gaultier,” about his obsession. Ditto, incredibly sweet and downto-earth, led me to the two gorgeous gowns Gaultier created for her to perform in and also introduced me to her Asian girlfriend. Indeed, total lesbian chic held sway that evening, for I also ran into former supermodel Eve Salvail, one of the human models for those wondrous mannequins whose near-bald runway appearances in the 1990s were revolutionary. I asked her if Gaultier or any other designer had ever tried to change her look or ultra-butch commando catwalk stride. “Never,” she replied. “These designers hired me for exactly what I am.” Retired from modeling, she’s now very happy being a sought-after deejay. Salvail also proudly introduced me to her lady love. Gaultier’s love for models of differing physical types and age ranges has been a recurring theme of his career, and the exhibit is like a memory album of the miraculously different muses who have inspired him. “When I was in school,” he recalled, “there was this girl, very thin and pale. You could almost see the veins through her skin and she had this incredible, big red hair. She was everything that was not considered beautiful, but I thought she was beautiful.” Parrot-faced Almodóvar actress Rossy de Palma, tattooed Japanese dyke model


GAULTIER, continued on p.35


| October 30, 2013


Uneasy “Landing”



n 2004, the world lost a cherished musical theater icon with the passing of lyricist Fred Ebb, who teamed with John Kander on such Broadway hits as “Cabaret,” “Chicago,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” and “Curtains.” Not to mention rousing movie anthems like “New York, New York.”

THE LANDING Vineyard Theatre 108 E. 15th St., btwn. Park Ave. S. & Irving Pl. Through Nov. 24 Tue.-Wed. at 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat.-Sun. at 3 p.m. $80; Or 212-353-0303

After a 42-year alliance, one of the longest-running, monogamous creative partnerships in theater history (their bond was purely professional, though many assumed otherwise), Kander was left to face the music alone. But the enterprising composer, then in his late 70s, refused to go gently into

that good night. Now, after a respectable period of mourning, Kander has taken a new partner, 35-year -old Greg Pierce (“Slowgirl”), as collaborator on his first full musical without Ebb, “The Landing,” now having its world premiere at the Vineyard Theatre. Perhaps “full musical” is a stretch, given the work has only four actors and four musicians. Chamber musical is more like it. As directed by Walter Bobbie, who masterfully helmed the long-running “Chicago” revival, it appears that this nascent partnership is trying to find its footing. The intimate, hodge-podge of a musical consists of three gingerly plotted one-acts loosely connected by themes of longing, love, and loss. If parts of the score throb with the distinctive brassy, borderline-demented style of Kander & Ebb, there are also lyrical, moody ballads, with a good portion of the dialogue sung through. A heavy cloud of melancholy hangs over this work, and that may be off-putting to some fans. The first piece, “Andra,” tells the tale of Noah — misunderstood by his


Kander’s first Ebb-less musical refuses to give ’em the old razzle dazzle

Julia Murney, David Hyde Pierce, and Frankie Seratch in “The Brick,” one of three one-acts that make up “The Landing,” a new chamber musical from Fred Ebb and Greg Pierce.

mother, shunned by his father, and bullied by classmates — who befriends the carpenter renovating their kitchen. The man sparks Noah’s interest in constellations and Greek mythology, but when the boy uncovers a disturbing secret, their bond breaks as quickly as it was forged.

In “The Brick,” a fantastical, warped ode to film-noir gangster flicks, a boy recounts staying with his crazy uncle and aunt, who buys a brick taken from the blood-splattered wall where the St. Valentine’s Day massacre took


LANDING, continued on p.30


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October 30, 2013 |


Musicals in Flux “Fun Home,” “Big Fish” contrast the breakthrough and staid in musical theater



Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas, and Alexandra Socha in Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s “Fun Home,” a musical based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel.



he stark contrast between where musical theater has been and where it can — and arguably should — go in today’s world could not be more pronounced than in the difference between “Big Fish” on Broadway and “Fun Home” at the Public.

FUN HOME The Public Theater 425 Lafayette St., btwn. E. Fourth St. & Astor Pl. Tue.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sat., Sun. at 3 p.m. $81.50-$91.50; Or 212-967-7555

“Fun Home,” Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s brilliant new musical based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel is everything a contemporary musical should be. This emotionally complex coming of age story of a lesbian cartoonist growing up in a dysfunctional home in the 1960s and 1970s chronicles her strained relationship with her father, who seeks to suppress his own homosexuality even as Alison discovers hers. The themes of memory, struggling for resolution, and trying for forgiveness resonate through the story that follows Alison as a young girl, a college student, and an adult. It plays out in the adult Alison’s memory with rueful and affectionate hindsight. While the basic narrative may not be linear, the emotional through-line is overwhelming. Tesori’s music is revelatory and sophisticated, balancing styles and structure in what is ultimately a magnificent, coherent whole using

counterpoint and leitmotifs as characters in the piece. Her vision is enhanced by John Clancy’s sensitive orchestrations that illuminate character and situation in ways that can be devastating or hilarious. Lisa Kron’s book and lyrics are insightful, layering the disparate versions of Alison to create the kind of fragmented abstractions that are the result of imperfect, emotionally charged memory. There isn’t a moment that doesn’t feel honest and fully developed. One of the most telling is when the family is in different parts of the house, with a septet creating an ineffable sense of a family’s fragmentation with vastly different, though simultaneous emotional experiences occurring under one roof. The cast is nothing short of sublime. Michael Cerveris as Bruce, Alison’s conflicted father, gives his best and fullest performance since the revival of “Sweeney Todd.” Judy Kuhn is perfect as Helen, Bruce’s wife. Her character is focused and real, and her voice is, as always, superb. The three actresses playing Alison are all exceptional. Sydney Lucas as Small Alison, has a command of the stage and a voice that belie her years. She is more than equal to the challenges of the score. Alexandra Socha as Medium Alison is extraordinary as a woman coming to terms with her sexuality. Beth Malone as Alison manages to be both within and outside the story seamlessly, and her emotional journey is fully realized. Much credit goes to Sam Gold for his insightful direction and to David Zinn


BIG FUN, continued on p.25

| October 30, 2013



Shedding Tears, Having Fun, Saving Lives McConaughey, Leto shine in passionate, at times comic take on desperate ‘80s search for AIDS meds



o n Wo o d r o o f ( M a t t h e w McConaughey), the HIVpositive protagonist of “Dallas Buyers Club,” is a scrawny electrician who works hard and plays harder. In the opening moments, he is seen having sex during a rodeo competition and placing bad bets on cowboys. When the riders fail to last eight seconds, Ron’s creditors chase him. He seeks escape by punching a cop (Steve Zahn) so he will be arrested in order to extricate himself from a bad situation.

role. He walks around all cocky, strutting about in a cowboy hat and donning a priest’s vestments when undercover transporting drugs across the border. When Ron is diagnosed with HIV early in the film, he is shocked, especially when his doctors (Denis O’Hare

AIDS treatments and gives a hospital janitor money to get his hands on AZT being used in clinical tries there. When he can’t secure more AZT, Ron is directed to go to Mexico, where a crafty doctor (Griffin Dunne), whose license has been revoked, helps him get his hands on

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée Focus Features Opens Nov. 1 AMC Loews Village 7 66 Third Ave. at 11th St. AMC Loews Lincoln Square 1998 Broadway at 68th St. Chelsea Cinemas 260 W. 23rd St.

Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in Jean-Marc Vallée’s “Dallas Buyers Club.”

That Ron schemes to make fast cash — and skirts the law to keep it — is at the core of “Dallas Buyers Club,” an impressive, comic, and heartfelt film about people with AIDS in the 1980s coordinating the distribution of unapproved medical treatments because pharmaceutical companies and the FDA are moving too slowly. McConaughey’s per for mance is remarkable, Oscar -worthy, and certainly Oscar-baiting. The Texas actor, who transformed himself by losing considerable weight to play Ron, relishes his

and Jennifer Garner) inform him that he has a T-cell count of only 9 and just 30 days to live. He is also dumbfounded that people think he’s gay. A homophobe who voices crude barbs about Rock Hudson’s sexuality, Ron says that even though he has been handed a death sentence, he isn’t interested in attending support group meetings “to get a hug from a bunch of faggots.” “Dallas Buyers Club,” is the story of how Ron transforms himself — as well as the lives of many other people living with AIDS. He educates himself on

medications not allowed in the US. In fact, Ron suffers some medical setbacks, and during one stay in the hospital, he meets Rayon (Jared Leto), a transsexual AIDS patient. The two dislike each other, but form an uneasy friendship that soon turns into a useful business arrangement. Ron secures his medication, and Rayon secures the clients. The pair form the eponymous buyers club, a subscription-based service that dispenses free medication to members who buy in. “Dallas Buyers Club” makes Ron and


darker subtext is that life can be pretty dull and gray, but the imagination can make even the most banal acts a wonderful adventure. The musical, based on a Tim Burton movie and a Daniel Wallace novel, is packed with visual riches and effects only possible with Broadwaysized capitalization. Norbert Leo Butz gives it his all as Edward, easily moving through the different stages of life from teenager to dying man with verve and an amazing command of the stage. Kate Baldwin is lovely as his wife, Sandra, who stands between Edward and his more down to earth son, Will, played with great charm by Bobby Steggert. Still, for all the razzle dazzle, the show is hollow at its heart. It feels


BIG FUN, from p.24

for the scenic and costume design that balance the real and the ephemeral, just as Alison tries to do. The contemporary aesthetic and theatricality of “Fun Home” are as exhilarating as its story, making this a production not to be missed.

“ B i g F i s h ” i s a b i g, sprawling musical with the

earnest desire to dazzle audiences with lavish sets, large production numbers, and a talented and energetic cast. It is the tale of a fabulist father, Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who seeks to enliven his life and connect with his son through a series of tall tales. The

Neil Simon Theatre 250 W. 52nd St. Tue., Thu. at 7 p.m.; Wed., Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Wed., Sat. at 2 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. $57-$151.75; Or 877-250-2929

like a retread of better musicals from “Pippin” to “Barnum.” Director and choreographer Susan Stroman has done her best to polish it up and provide plenty of wow moments, but the lackluster book by John August and the undistinguished, serviceable score by Andrew Lippa are mechanical. Standard musical set-ups — the meet-cute of the two leads, a marriage, father-son

Rayon’s story compelling because the film creates a sense of urgency around their situation. Ron becomes increasingly empowered as his life is extended months, even years past his initial 30-day diagnosis. His buyers club efforts, however, soon draw scrutiny from the FDA, the IRS, and others who want to shut down his operation. Ron’s wiliness in extricating himself from a variety of sticky situations is a bit part of the charm of McConaughey’s performance. When Rayon and Ron run into an old friend of Ron’s who has avoided him since he disclosed his HIV status, the man makes a disparaging remark about Rayon. When Ron strong-arms him into shaking Rayon’s hand, we see how the heart of a one-time homophobe has become less hateful. Rayon humanizes not just Ron but “Dallas Buyers Club” as well. The character, a drug addict, could easily have been a caricature, but Rayon instead proves to be a compelling co-conspirator. The love-hate relationship between Rayon and Ron brings out the best — and worst — in both of them. Less successful is the relationship between Ron and Dr. Eve Saks (Garner), which moves from simple flirting to the doctor’s willing and unwilling support of Ron’s drug import efforts. Garner is disappointingly wooden in her role, making it the film’s greatest weakness. McConaughey, on his own is fantastic; it is great fun to watch him chasing AZT with a beer and a line of coke and, also, fighting back passionately against the FDA representative trying to shutter the operation. Leto provides memorable support in his role, looking far better in a dress than in an ill-fitting suit.

bonding, the son realizing his father was a good guy after all, and a deathbed — are off-the-shelf tropes. The show is so crowded with incident that each of these conceits gets short shrift and there simply isn’t time to develop the characters. We never really understand Edward and why he is the way he is, so the audience is left estranged from him just as his son is. And the 11th hour revelations are too little and too late to compensate for the two-plus hours of spectacle that have gone before. It’s not that the standard musical format is completely dead — just go see “Matilda” — but as with the last Butz vehicle, “Catch Me If You Can,” eye-popping storytelling only works when the heart is engaged.


October 30, 2013 |


Bleeding Berkeley

Frederick Wiseman examines how a world-class university responds when the public walks away BY STEVE ERICKSON

AT BERKELEY Directed by Frederick Wiseman Zipporah Films Opens Nov. 8 IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. Film Society of Lincoln Center 65th St., btwn. Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.



ince 1967, Frederick Wiseman has been America’s bard of our often failing institutions. He’s recently taken a detour through France, resulting in relatively lightweight but extremely enjoyable films like “Crazy Horse,” a portrait of the titular burlesque club. His gaze is relatively nonjudgmental. He refrains from editorializing about his subjects, at least overtly, although his subject matter has sometimes been inflammatory. Several friends of mine wrote off “Crazy Horse” as a “dirty old man’s movie.” Leaving aside the dubious benefits of fighting sexism with ageism, I thought it offered a subtle critique of the vanilla-hetero nature of the Crazy Horse’s fantasy world, particularly when it shows a transgender dancer being rejected simply because of her gender identity.

A corridor on campus at the University of California at Berkeley.

“At Berkeley” may spark similar debate, as it shows a major public university in decline as its budget goes into freefall. The film concentrates on extended scenes of classroom lectures and discussions, as well as administrative meetings, but it uses punctuating shots of students walking or hanging around outside as breathing room in between them. Occasionally, Wiseman throws in construction sites or music, theater, and sports performances. The scenes of campus exteriors are usually captur ed in long shot, while the discussions focus on people’s faces in

close-up. Wiseman is known for his films’ extended running times. At only a little over two hours, “Crazy Horse” was comparatively svelte. “At Berkeley” is four hours long, and the IFC Center and Lincoln Center are showing it without an intermission. A classroom lecture about the mind’s perception of time seems intended as a response to viewers who might question the length of Wiseman’s films. One wonders how he decided which classroom scenes to include and where to cut. A Howard Zinn-inflected lecture about AfricanAmerican participation in World War

II ends after a brief introduction, while a discussion of Thoreau and Emerson, with no direct political significance, goes on for quite a while. If “At Berkeley” has one real set piece, it’s a 20-minute classroom discussion that comes in the film’s first half hour. The students talk about the nature of UC Berkeley itself and the changing status of a public university in an ongoing recession. One laments that she’s middle-class enough not to qualify for any grants but not wealthy enough to really afford to pay back her loans. The sole African-American student dominates the discussion, castigating her white classmates for jumping on poverty as if it were a new trend, when it’s always affected her community. The teacher introduces the subject of “policy over charity” as next week’s topic. The scene is fascinating because the students are talking about politics as something that really affects their lives, not an abstract cause. In defending the ideals of the public university, they’re standing up for their own ability to get an education. Much of the second half of “At Berkeley” builds up to a large protest by students, leading to a sit-in at a school library conference room. The students have a large list of demands,


BERKELEY, continued on p.35

When Art is Killed Off Davy Chou excavates the ruins of Cambodian cinema’s golden age BY STEVE ERICKSON


avy Chou’s “Golden Slumbers” begins with several stories about the thrill of low-budget filmmaking. Despite the Cambodian setting, we could be watching a documentary on the local equivalents of Edgar G. Ulmer or Roger Corman. That setting is crucial — if “Golden Slumbers” is to be believed, Cambodian cinema had its golden age between 1960 and 1975. One must take Chou’s word for it because the Khmer Rouge destroyed the vast majority of the films produced during that period, as well as executing most of the country’s directors and actors. Chou’s reliance on present-day

GOLDEN SLUMBERS Directed by Davy Chou Icarus Films In Khmer and French with English subtitles Opens Oct. 31 Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave. at Second St.

testimonial from survivors of the period evokes Claude Lanzmann’s “Shoah,” although he also uses a lot of soundtrack music from ‘60s films; an hour passes before we see the first bit of archival footage from ‘70s Phnom Penh. I’m not sure if Chou is consciously drawing on Lanzmann’s aesthetic or simply doing the best he can with limited material.

We i r d l y , “ G o l d e n S l u m b e r s ” sometimes suggests a synthesis of Lanzmann and Ken Burns, as Chou is also fond of zooming into still photos. Even so, there’s a palpable sense of loss to his film missing from most of Burns’ work. This feeling may stem from the fact that Chou’s grandfather, Van Chann, was a Cambodian film producer. At its peak, Phnom Penh had 30 movie theaters. “Golden Slumbers” takes us to three of them. One is now a karaoke bar, another a restaurant, the third a squat holding 116 households. Chou interviews directors Ly Bun Yim, L y You Sreang, and Yvon Hem, as well as actor Dy Saveth. At first, their stories are triumphant, as they talk about introducing innovative special effects to Cambodian cinema. But given

the arc of Cambodian history, they turn harrowing. One filmmaker barely escaped the end of Pol Pot’s rule with his life. Sent to the countryside to live in a village of 1,000 people, his fellow villagers keep getting sent to the forest for execution. Fortunately, the regime fell before he faced this fate, but he was one of only 180 people in his village to survive. Even those lucky enough to emigrate faced severe hardships. One filmmaker escaped to France by a roundabout route. His wife assumed he was dead and moved on with her life. He went from fame and fortune in Cambodia to living in a tiny apartment in Paris and working in a car factory. Still, he saved


SLUMBERS, continued on p.27

| October 30, 2013



The Hidden Secrets of Faith and Sex Andrzej Chyra portrays a closeted gay priest serving a rural Polish parish BY GARY M. KRAMER



ndrzej Chyra gives a striking performance as Father Adam, a gay priest in the absorbing drama “In the Name Of.” The film depicts the priest relocating to rural Poland, having been hired to help a group of troubled young men while also serving the members of his parish. Adam finds his work rewarding, but falls in love with Lukasz (Mateusz Kosciukiewicz), one of the local young men, and is tested by the arrival of Adrian (Tomasz Schuchardt), a delinquent who discloses that the lonely priest is gay.

Andrzej Chyra and Mateusz Kosciukiewicz in Malgorzata Szumowska’s “In the Name Of.”


In a recent Skype session, Chyra talked about making “In the Name Of,” explaining the film, like “Floating Skyscrapers” — a Polish coming-out drama that played at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year — is part of his country’s emerging queer cinema. “For years, Polish cinema was mostly concerned with politics, history, and other things,” he said. “This year, we have a lot of films that touch on gay subjects. I think it’s good. We are closer to the worldview.” Chyra, who is straight, has performed queer roles on stage and embraced the challenge of playing Adam, explaining, “It was a good experience to be gentle and sensitive and with other men on screen.” With an evident sense of pride, he added, “People were convinced” by his performance.


Adam is not a gay a stereotype, but he is an emotionally fragile man who is closeted and suffers from a drinking problem. Drunk, Father Adam admits to his sister via Skype, “I’m not a pedophile, I’m a faggot.” He is articulating his queer desires perhaps to himself as much as to his sibling. Chyra sees his character as someone who is “very conscious of his desires. He tries to kill his desires — not even hide them. He wants to be honest and be a good priest.” The actor is not a practicing Catholic, but went to Mass with his grandmother when he was young, so he is familiar with the rituals, smells, pictures, symbols, and priests that fill a church. A priest’s garb, Chyra said, “tries to hide sexuality and desires on one hand and, on the other hand, it’s a strong erotic fetish. It’s also very important that he is in a uniform that tries to hide what’s inside the man. I think about what’s happening inside him — what he’s thinking, what he desires. He is supposed to be an example of a man not involved with desires. But

SLUMBERS, from p.26

up enough money to buy a car and memorized the Paris street grid, becoming a taxi driver. In time, he was a successful businessman, owning three taxi fleets, but he remained homesick for Cambodia and returned to his homeland permanently in 2007. What does this all mean for Chou’s own generation, which has never had the chance to actually see films from Cambodian cinema’s zenith? “Golden Slumbers” seems a little evasive on this point. For some, these films are cult objects. An arts collective, of which Chou is a member, is shown recreating an infamous nude scene from one film, “The Sacred Pond.” Chou interviews two cinephiles who can recite detailed plot descriptions from memory, recalling the “book people” from Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” but they’re

he’s very human, like other people.” Chyra said the director, Malgorzata Szumowska, and her co-writer, Michael Englert, were both much more familiar with the Church than he was. They selected the names Adam, Ewa — a woman in the community who comes on to Father Adam — and Lukasz as symbols. “The names represent Christian mythology,” the actor said, but he added. “We didn’t want to be strident. We wanted to use these elements and have the audience play with them — do what you want with this knowledge.” In one particularly effective scene, Father Adam witnesses Adrian fucking one of the other young men, and the priest’s pain and struggle are evident. “Adam goes home and takes a shower, makes something to eat, but he can’t kill these thoughts,” Chyra recounted. “So he starts drinking, and he starts listening to music and dancing. And he has this picture of the pope and he starts to dance with the pope. That’s our solution to his situation.” In another critical sequence, Father

middle-aged men. Does Cambodia produce much contemporary cinema? Aside from documentarian Rithy Panh, it doesn’t have much of a presence of the world festival circuit at the moment. If there are parallels between what happened during the period “Golden Slumbers” tries to document and other moments in world history, the closest one may be Iran just after the Islamic revolution. (It’s fitting that the Asia Society’s series of ‘60s and ‘70s Iranian cinema begins two days after “Golden Slumbers” opens.) Most films made before the revolution are still banned in present-day Iran, and arcane censorship restrictions have prevented Abbas Kiarostami’s “Case No.1, Case No. 2” from making it to either of the filmmaker’s retrospectives held in New York in the past 10 years. Still, the Iranian regime didn’t kill filmmakers and actors, even if it has arrested them. “Golden Slumbers”

Adam is courting Lukasz while they walk home from a swimming lesson. When Lukasz abruptly runs into a cornfield, inviting Adam to chase him, the two men begin an erotic game of hide and seek in which they express their desires by baying at one another. “We had the subject of the scene and we were improvising a lot,” Chyra recalled. “I felt like Tarzan in the jungle. We played like animals and howled to communicate. It was great fun for us to play.” Adam is attracted to the handsome young man, while Lukasz sees something desirable in the priest, but, Chyra noted, “They are completely different but in some ways very similar. They are lonely in their environment, in this society. They need someone warm who they can be close to. That makes them fall in love. They get closer and closer.” The intimacy that develops between the two men forms the emotional heart of “In the Name Of” and builds to the curious finale. Chyra’s strong, angst-ridden performance will keep viewers rapt throughout.


Directed by Malgorzata Szumowska Film Movement In Polish with English subtitles Opening Oct. 30 Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St.

A movie poster from the golden age of Cambodian cinema.

is a lament for the destruction of a nation’s art. It’s also mourns the death of much of the nation itself.


October 30, 2013 |


Le Roi Lee Roy The ultimate song, dance, and dish man; Marie & Catherine BY DAVID NOH



e all know about Broadway triple threats, but the glorious musical veteran Lee Roy Reams is a quadruple — not only does he sing, dance, and act, he also happens to be maybe the greatest theatrical raconteur ever. Having adored him onstage for his talent and off for his effervescent, ever-friendly vibe, I knew he would be one hell of an interview when I rang the bell of his enchanting, antiques and memorabilia-filled Upper West Side brownstone. I emerged from it, a lightning-fast four hours later, my head positively buzzing with the rich bounty of reminiscences and trenchant theatrical observations he shared. Reams will be at 54 Below on November 10 with a new show, “My 40th Birthday” (254 W. 54th St., 9:30 p.m.;, and he described it this way: “It’s a recreation of that particular event in my life. Producer George-Paul Roselle used to hire me and Liliane Montevecchi to do shows at Studio 54. We’d be there at least twice a week, covering our ears because the music was so deafening. Then the music would stop and we’d do our show, but everyone was so stoned they didn’t know what the hell we were doing. Roselle got another account at the Palace, which was in the old Luchow’s, and asked me to help him with its opening. I said, ‘It’s on August 25? That’s my 40th birthday!’ “So George-Paul said, ‘I’ll throw a party for you,’ and all of Broadway came — Ann Miller, who was doing ‘Sugar Babies,’ Maureen McGovern from ‘Pirates of Penzance,’ Peggy Cass was the hostess. He asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said, ‘No presents, but what I would like to do is have the four living Broadway composers I’ve worked with play the piano while I sing their songs. Cy Coleman, Jule Styne, Jerry Herman, and Charles Strouse, who will probably come on the 10th. “I’m going to talk about that night in my show and do the songs I sang. It’s a selfish thing for me to do, but it was a very happy time in my life and I love celebrating what you do. As a kid in Covington, Kentucky, my mother was smart enough to put me in dancing school. I always knew I was going to come to New York and be in the theater, from the time I was 12 in my very first musical, ‘Finian’s Rainbow,’ for the Newport Catholic Actors Guild.” Absolutely nobody dishes the dirt like Reams, and he is an endless font of anecdotes about everyone’s two favorite subjects, divas and — ahem — dick, with the two topics often deliciously combined in one story. “My first job was with Juliet Prowse, playing the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel, where we stayed. I’m a kid from Kentucky and it was just an old hotel with chandeliers to me. When people asked where I was staying, I’d say, ‘The Plaza,’ and they’d look at me funny, so word got around town that I was this little Southern boy who came to New York to be in show biz and his mommy and daddy put him up at the Plaza. I didn’t know that until years later. “Sal Mineo and Juliet were having an affair, having met doing the movie ‘Who Killed Teddy Bear?’ He was staying at the Americana because I guess she didn’t want him around all the time. One morning, I found

Lee Roy Reams in his home, with his rendering by Al Hirschfeld.

this note from him saying, ‘I hope you’ll join me and Juliet for supper after the show.’ I called him and said, ‘Sal, unfortunately, I’d gone to bed early and got your message too late.’ He said, ‘Why don’t you get dressed and come over here and we’ll have breakfast?’ “I go over there and ring from the lobby, ‘Hi, I’m here.’ He said, ‘I’m not quite dressed yet. Come up.’ “He’s wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around him, which gave me pause. We start talking and he said, ‘I’m having some coffee sent up before we go to breakfast.’ And he starts rubbing himself and I thought, ‘Oh, no!’ He said, ‘You know, I really like to watch you dance. You’re like watching a racehorse at the Kentucky Derby. Juliet’s sexy but I’m telling you when you’re out there I can’t take my eyes off you.’ Still rubbing. Then he comes over, drops the towel with half a hard-on and gives me a kiss with that mouth. Baby! “I said, ‘Sal, I’m very flattered but we have to have breakfast.’ Honey, I’m not fucking the boss’ boyfriend, not getting in the middle of that! We had breakfast and I never saw him again. But he was hot!” Here’s a real classic Reams remembrance: “We were going to the opening of Lauren Bacall’s ‘Woman of the Year’: me, Carole Cook, Bob [Donahoe, Ream’s longtime life partner], and Ethel Merman. It was the hottest August Sunday, and the limo arrived, driven by an East Indian guy who couldn’t speak English. It was filthy, like someone had been fucking a bunch of ducks in the back seat, and Bob made the driver get out and clean it. No air conditioning. “We’re going to pick up Ethel and the traffic is horrendous. On a Sunday? We realize it’s the Puerto Rican Day Parade and we can’t go through the park, so we have to drive up to 125th Street and back down to get Ethel on Madison. By now, it’s quarter to seven and the curtain is at seven. My tuxedo shirt is soaked through and I run to Ethel’s building and ring her from the front desk. “I didn’t even say hello, before she said, ‘Don’t say

another say another word! Those goddamned spics have been beatin’ those fuckin’ drums since 6 o’clock this morning! I’ll be right down!’ Click. “She comes down in a lime green chiffon gown, hair all teased up, eyelashes beaded. We pull up to the Palace Theater 10 minutes after seven, no one in the lobby and, sweating like pigs, we get to our seats just as the overture starts. We’re finally getting relaxed, the curtain goes up and there’s Bacall, looking fabulous, as they sing the first song. As they finish, she gets the tag line [here Reams did her tone-deaf basso profundo]: ‘I’m woman of the year!’ And Merman went, ‘Jesus!’ with her hands over her ears. She said it that loudly and everybody got whiplash turning around to look at her, and I wanted to just die. Next thing, Harry Guardino enters onstage and Bacall looks at him with dropped jaw. Merman hits me, ‘That’s the “goon” look, honey! They call that the “goon” look! I did it in “Annie Get Your Gun!” I’ve already done that!’ Harry sings the love song and she said, ‘That’s the only fuckin’ song in the score! All the rest are a piece of shit!’ The show’s finally over, and instead of going to the party Ethel wants to go to Sardi’s for a drink. We got to the party late, and of course Bacall said to me, ‘Well, where the fuck have you been?’ ‘I’m with Ethel Merman, darling. You tell her she can’t have a drink after the show!’ And then Merman looked at Bob and said, ‘Come on, honey, let’s you and me get out of here!” She was wanting Bob, and I said, ‘Carole, we need to send Ethel home.’ Boy, what a night that was, her commenting through the whole fuckin’ shown with that voice of hers. One man turned around and said, ‘Ethel, I loved your humming.’ ‘Thanks honey! Nice to see you!’ and she hit him on the back.” For more of the fabulous same, come to 54 on the November 10.

The fall season has started, bringing two marvelous shows. The first, David Adjmi’s “Marie Antoinette,” at the Soho Rep, is a quite brilliant, hilariously droll, and deeply moving evocation of my all-time favorite historical figure (46 Walker St. btwn. Church St. & Broadway, through Nov. 24; Pay no attention to Ben Brantley’s clueless New York Times pan, this show is dazzlingly good, magically if minimally staged, and in terms of a marvelously modern meta retelling of history achieves everything that Sofia Coppola’s movie so desperately strived for. The superbly abrasive, virtuosic Marin Ireland, so miscast in Odets’ “The Big Knife,” utterly redeems herself here with possibly the year’s strongest stage performance. Brantley — thank heaven — did have the good sense to praise Paper Mill Playhouse’s just-closed “Honeymoon in Vegas,” for a Times rave makes its so-deserved Broadway transfer a definite possibility. This wonderfully entertaining romp thankfully reminds us of what the term musical comedy really, means, having become an almost avant-garde concept these days, with shows so laden with preachy message and artsy-fartsy reach. A bright new standout in the show’s charming cast is Catherine Ricafort, who plays Mahi, a Hawaiian would-be temptress who tries to lead the leading man (the always terrific Rob McClure) astray in c

IN THE NOH, continued on p.30


| October 30, 2013



Opera’s Birthday Boys

-Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

Verdi, Wagner bicentennials and Britten centennial celebrated everywhere





Zambello, never one to shrink from challenges, pre-

sented — and also directed —Verdi’s all-but-uncastable “bad luck” opera “La forza del destino.” October 12’s prima did not go well, though Verdi’s lavish score received sound enough treatment under Xian Zhang. The production teetered past self-parody visually, with overworked clichés — tawdry sex posing, graphic fighting, neon, Ray-Bans, ruined industrial buildings — presumably meant to shock. Many tittered. We seemed to be among carousing human traffickers at a container port, but the concept, even if intriguing, went nowhere. For every striking image a foolish misstep followed. Why did the














143 EAST HOUSTON ST. 212-260-7289

The New York Times



Sp Gr Ar Ti W F. Th Ad Bu Re Ac W Re


ashington National Opera’s season started impressively with an uncomplicated but visually pleasing “Tristan und Isolde” staging imported from Sydney. Brian Thomson’s clever unit set presented a liminal, bridge-like space evocatively lit by Rory Dempster, and Neil Armfield’s direction didn’t intrude or force other agendas on the text. The end, however, ineffectively found Isolde surrounded by two dozen people — not just Elizabeth Bishop’s finely voiced, sympathetic Brangaene and Wilhelm Schwinghammer’s mellow if persistently tremulous Marke, but a raft of Saracen-helmeted soldiers. Little sense of transformation accrued, given that the Liebestod was also not the most successful moment for Iréne Theorin’s generally very accomplished heroine. Theorin’s princess, passionate and invigoratingly declaimed and acted, was splendid in lyrical passages and accurate — if somewhat less sonorous — on high. Ian Storey (Tristan) didn’t offend, and got through the (cut) text without struggle, but lacked any range of vocal color and didn’t create a persona. James Rutherford by contrast was an unusually inventive Kurwenal, though his ample voice lost some distinction under pressure. Beyond Theorin and Bishop’s fine work, what made September 21’s “Tristan” impressive was the vastly improved playing of music director Philippe Auguin’s orchestra, which bodes well for the complete “Ring” cycle general dir ector Francesca Zambello plans.


Iestyn Davies as Oberon in Britten's “A Midsummer Night's Dream” at the Met.

carousers join the Pilgrims’ prayer? Why would Leonora, trying desperately to preserve anonymity, give solidarity hugs and taps to a dozen monks she’s never met? The production’s best aspects were its relatively full musical text and the swiftness with which Zambello unfurled the story — no Met-style endless scenechanging pauses here. Lower voices fared best: Enrico Iori’s Guardiano and Valeriano Lanchas’s irritable Melitone — both fully qualified if weakening on top — and Soloman Howard’s terrific Alcalde. Adina Aaron remains a winning stage figure and an affecting actress. Tragic to hear her once-lovely lyric soprano courting destruction, with only the upper-middle voice giving pleasure. She swooped into a very audibly separated chest register, and every single note above an A — save for the final B flat of “Pace, pace” — went disastrously flat. Dashing Giancarlo Monsalve looked like Alvaro but sounded like yet another pushed, strangulated, sometimes sharping erstwhile lyric tenor. He and Mark Delavan’s initially blunt, blustery Carlo improved somewhat after the intermission, but their voices blended awkwardly and Delavan’s Italian (like


OPERA, continued on p.30


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Paradise. California-born Filipina Ricafort, who studied engineering at the University of Southern California, ebullient with her first important chance on stage, told me, “[Composer] Jason Robert Brown and [book writer] Andrew Bergman have been working on this for 10 years. I feel so lucky this project came to fruition at the time when I was ready to do it because 10 years ago I was still in high school and not ready for anything like this. They let me bring a lot of myself to the character. I’ve now matured into a young adult here in the city, but with Mahi, I get to bring back some of the friskiness of my younger days at USC, a party school. I channel this girl who loves to have fun and conquer an evening by


LANDING, from p.23

place. But when the brick inexplicably comes to life and wreaks havoc on the household, the boy must seek revenge. By far the most affecting is the final piece, also titled “The Landing,” which follows the joys and fears of Denny and Jake, a longtime couple who have just adopted a seemingly perfect 12-yearold son. But when the boy insists on taking a mysterious trip with only one of his new dads, their lives are changed forever.


seeing which boys she can reel in and then let dangle. I had a lot of experience to draw from. I hope my dad doesn’t read this [laughs]! “In the movie this show’s based upon, my part was originally a man, played by Pat Morita — Mr. Miyagi! They changed that early on, as they were writing the script. They thought, ‘We’re all so sick of all these dudes in the show. Let’s change it up!’ And it was cool that I didn’t have to live up to some previous actress’ take on the role and could do my own thing. “We’re closing after a very successful three-week run, and it’s bittersweet because it’s been a bigger hit than we ever imagined. We don’t know when or if Broadway will happen. I think it will because we have the right people interested in it. Now it’s just finding a theater, and we’re all praying it will

Catherine Ricafort may be headed to Broadway after a standout performance in Jason Robert Brown and Andrew Bergman’s “Honeymoon in Vegas” at the Paper Mill.

happen sooner rather than later so as not to lose the momentum and the synergy of this cast. “I know there is always the risk that if we transfer, there may be recasting, for maybe bigger names, but I hope they keep me, and, anyway, we have a name and that is Tony Danza. He’s having this wonderful resurgence, even sexier and showing more of his talent. There are so many ladies lined up waiting to see him every night. He’s so charming, and the energy comes from the top down with him and Rob, who are not divas but get right down with all of us in the dirt. When someone I think in the T imes wrote about Tony being like Sinatra, he cried a little bit and kept telling everyone, ‘You know, if my mother hadn’t died and she saw that, that would have killed her!’”

What elevates this wispy enterprise are the actors, who juggle multiple roles with skill and conviction. Fresh from his hilarious stint in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” David Hyde Pierce adds considerable meat to the bones of several sketched-out characters, including that deranged brick and Jake. “I feel like I’m lost and I’m losing the love of my life to my son,” laments Jake. As sung by Pierce, the lyric leaves a sour lump in your throat. As you may have noticed, the out and

proud actor, who won a Tony playing the lead in “Curtains,” shares a last name with Kander’s new collaborator. Greg is David’s nephew. Paul Anthony Stewart, who recently co-starred in another seaside gaya d o p t i o n p l a y , “ H a r b o r, ” m o v e s effortlessly from a paternal carpenter to clueless uncle to doting father. In a range of roles — troubled mother, mentally imbalanced aunt, Jake’s fretful sister — the excellent Julia Murney reveals layers of emotional complexity. If newcomer Frankie Seratch lacks

finesse, he makes up for it in gutsy charm in his portrayal of the tween boys. The stunning abstract set design (by John Lee Beatty) and moody lighting (by Ken Billington), at times evoking a vast azure sky or emerald ocean, offer an ideal backdrop to the proceedings. While some might dismiss the Kander & Pierce partnership as an experiment gone wrong, I believe it shows unmistakable promise. Already, the duo is hard at work on at least one other fulllength musical.

OPERA, from p.29

Aaron’s) sounded Yankefied. Styled as Donatella Versace playing Cicciolina, Ketevan Kemoklidze’s Preziosilla proved another “Looks 9/ Voice and Style 3” Operalia Competition winner.

Meanwhile, the capital’s Concert Opera under the expert Antony Walker had a field

day September 22 with an equally dark and tragic but more rarely heard Verdi score, “I masnadieri.” Lisette Oropesa achieved total triumph as Amalia, the trillfilled part created for Jenny Lind. She sang with passion, technical aplomb, delicacy, and lovely timbre within her lyric-coloratura means. Russell Thomas’ bronze tenor sounded thrilling in Carlo’s difficult

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music, and he (like Walker) judged dynamics well in relation to Oropesa’s more fragile sound. One wanted, however, more Bergonzian elegance in phrasing the recits, sometimes blunt. As the evil brother Francesco, Scott Hendricks channeled Snidely Whiplash with intense verbal delivery, but the snarl-choked vocalism — which might have suited the veristic villainy of “L’Oracolo” — lacked legato and sufficient tonal luster for the music. Still impactful and sonorous, bass Hao Jiang Tian excelled as the put-upon patriarch Massimiliano. Rolando Sanz (Arminio) and — again — howitzervoiced Soloman Howard (Moser) made substantive contributions. WCO performs at 6 p.m. on Sundays, at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium — in time to get Amtrak’s 10:10 train back to New York after its next offering, “Il corsaro” with an alluring cast — Michael Fabiano, Nicole Cabell, Tamara Wilson — on March 9.

with tonal body. Hearing the Philadelphians at home is a thrill; further Yannick vocal projects this season include the Fauré “Requiem” (in March, 2014) and “Salome” (in May).

The Met brought back one of its best productions, Tim Albery’s 1996 “A Mid-

summer Night’s Dream.” Heard October 15, a well-sorted cast sounded very fine under James Conlon, though subsequent shows doubtless brought stray orchestral details into line. The only weakish link was the callow Broadway actor playing Puck, though one wished Katherine Kim’s topmost notes and lower register shared the superior quality of the rest of her voice as Tytania. Each of Britten’s three realms boasted outstanding portrayals: Iestyn Davies’ non-trumpeted but beautifully limned Oberon, Elizabeth DeShong’s refulgent Hermia, and Matthew Rose’s thoroughly engaging Bottom, matching in humor Barry Banks’ classic Flute.

October 20 witnessed one of the On October 5, a fine Mahler Fourth best of the George London Foundation’s Morgan

provided musical substance to a Philadelphia Orchestra concert under its dynamic, popular, and openly gay music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The program began with a dazzlingly executed Britten/ Purcell variations — a craftily orchestrated showpiece — but, despite Richard Woodhams’ strong solos, lost momentum with Richard Strauss’ Oboe Concerto — which was no better than sadly empty bucolic noodling. Nézet-Séguin has a ways to go in mounting a completely phrased Mahler interpretation, but much of the playing was superb. Bavarian soprano Christiane Karg confirmed her excellence in the light Germanic Fach, her expressive singing aptly clear and fluid but

Library duo recitals, which pair a mature artist with one still developing. Corinne Winters — self-possessed, musical, and intelligent — wields a dark lyric soprano that suited her Russian songs better than light French material. One hopes she tackles Prokofev’s Natasha. Matthew Polenzani reaffirmed himself a total Mastersinger, brilliantly demonstrating dynamic control, tonal radiance, and that ineffable quality, charm. Ken Noda’s deft, stylistically attuned pianism proved most welcome. David Shengold ( writes about opera for many venues.


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PERFORMANCE Get Your Estrogen On

Estrogenius, now in its 14th season, brings together the global community that supports women in all the arts. This year, there are a total of 45 events in music, dance, solo performances, short plays, theatrical productions, and visual arts from youth to professional adults and production companies. Stage Left, 214 W. 30th St., sixth fl., and Theaterlab, 357 W. 36th St., third fl. Through Nov. 10. For complete details on performances, visit


NIGHTLIFE Skip Ender’s Game

On the opening night of the Lions Gate film adaptation of cartoonist Orson Scott Card’s YA novel “Ender’s Game,” Geeks OUT, a group that rallies, empowers, and promotes the queer geek community, hosts an evening out as the culmination of its year-long “Skip Ender’s Game” campaign aimed at protesting Card’s notorious and unrepentant homophobia. As part of a six-city program, Geeks Out gathers at Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge, 642 Tenth Ave. at 45th St. Nov. 1, 7-10 p.m. The evening includes specialty cocktails and a screening of Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element.” Proceeds benefit the Tyler Clementi Foundation. More information at

NOVEMBER 6: Claudia Cogan in "Homo Comicus."

PERFORMANCE Get Your Albo Out of the Buzz Saw


HALLOWEEN Cruel, But is it Really Unusual?

Dandy Darkly, Manhattan’s haunted host of cruel and unusual cabaret, hosts his annual Halloween variety extravaganza, starring Clay McCleod Chapman, Lewd Alfred Douglas, Killy Mockstar Dwyer, Matthew K. Johnson, Lea McGowan, Johnny Panic, and Arch Cape. Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St., btwn. Delancey & Rivington Sts. Oct. 31, 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 at or 212-2190736; $15, if in costume, or else $20 at the door.

The Best Costume Ball of ‘Em All

Nonstop theater, a costume competition, and ballroom dancing bewitch the East Village in Theater for the New City's 37th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball, a unique festival continues as a grand coming-together for everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. The one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC's theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East 10th St. btwn. First & Second Aves. More than 1,500 wildly-clad celebrants gather for dancing, dining, showing off costumes, and viewing acts from the cutting-edge of cabaret and theater. The annual costume judging begins at midnight with the "Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade," as all revelers are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judges. 155 First Ave. at 10th St. Oct. 31. Outdoor entertainment, which is free, begins at 4 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and entertainment begins at 8. Tickets are $20 at, but be warned: costume or formal wear is required.

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

Forty years after it first appeared on stage, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” gets a revival for two

Halloween night performances only in Michael T and Benjamin Ickies’ dinner show adaptation that previously sold out Le Poisson Rouge. What better night to really dress up for the show? Duane Park, 308 Bowery at E. First St. Witching hour seating begins at 7:30 p.m. for a three-course dinner show at $60, plus tax, tip, and beverage. The midnight show is $10, plus a two-drink minimum. Tickets at

Nightmare of a House

New York’s first and most terrifying haunted house, “Nightmare,” celebrates its 10th year in New York City this fall. Produced by Timothy Haskell (creator of “Nightmare”) and Steve Kopelman (producer of “Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare”), the new edition is dubbed “Killers2,” a horrifying, immersive haunted house experience about our obsession and fascination with serial killers, both real and fictional. Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk St., btwn. Rivington & Delancey Sts. Evenings through Nov. 2; schedule varies. For performance times and tickets, from $30-$60, visit

DANCE Share the Mattress

Larry Keigwin + Company marks its 10th anniversary season with dances that include the choreographer’s “Mattress Suite,” which he developed a decade ago with dancer Nicole Wolcott, based on his watching her jump around playfully on her bed. As part of an ongoing social media campaign commemorating the piece and the company’s first decade, dancer, choreographer, and actor Gus Solomons jr, who won a Bessie Award in 2000 and is a Gay City News contributor, stars in the latest edition of the video series #ShareTheMatress at youtube. com/watch?v=D9CyPcDSWWQ. Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St. Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 8 p.m.; Nov. 2-3, 2 p.m. Tickets are $10-$59 at

In “The Junket,” Mike Albo presents a harrowing but hilarious tale of a writer living/ trapped in New York for two decades. After starting a column for the country's most influential newspaper, he goes on a crazy, over-the-top press junket and becomes a gossip item and a pawn in the acrimonious war between Old and New Media. David Schweizern directs. Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St., btwn. Delancey & Rivington Sts. Nov. 1-2, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 8-9, 15-16, 10 p.m. Tickets are $17; $15 for students & seniors at or 212-219-0736; $20 at the door.

Vaudeville Resurrected

“RuPaul's Drag Race” favorite Jinkx Monsoon announces a fifth extension of her New York theater debut in “The Vaudevillians,” in which Kitty Witless and Dr. Dan Von Dandy, lost in an Antarctic avalanche in the 1920s, thaw out thanks to global warming and reclaim the songs from their act long ago stolen — including the suffragette anthem, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," and the ode to the electric iron, "Drop it Like it's Hot.” Laurie Beechman Theater, West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd St. Nov. 1, 11:30 p.m.; Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 3 & 11, 7 p.m. The cover charge is $25-$50 at or 212-352-3101, and there is $15 food & drink minimum.

COMMUNITY Loose Lips, Wild Trips

“Risky Talking” convenes creative thinkers and doers from the world of arts and politics in conversation with a live audience hosted by author and broadcaster Laura Flanders and her partner, choreographer Elizabeth Streb. Tonight they are joined by two MacArthur Genius Grant winners — Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones and Majora Carter, an urban revitalization consultant and real estate developer who is also a Peabody Awardwinning broadcaster. SLAM, 51 N. First St. at Kent Ave., Williamsburg. Nov. 1, 7-9 p.m. Admission is $10-$20. More information at


COMEDY Eddie Sarfaty’s F&%king Show

In a special All Souls Day show presented just for you and your dead ancestors (both sides of the family), silly, sarcastic, and always smart Eddie Sarfaty performs his homo-neurotic comedy. Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St. Nov. 2, 7 p.m. The cover charge is $20, and there’s a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-206-0440.

POETRY Remembering Roy Garrett Roy Garrett was young, beautiful, and naïve when he arrived in New York, making one of his first stops at the Gaiety. There, men offered him money for sex, which led him into a world of hustling and porn work that destroyed him. Along the way, he wrote poems that became “Hot Rod to Hell.” Illustrator and raconteur Robert W. Richards and Spunk publisher Aaron Tilford present an evening in which Garrett’s poems will be read by artists, writers, and poets including Mike Albo, Casey Spooner, Brian Kenney, Max Steele, Scooter Laforge, Joey Stocks, and Jonathan Daniel Federico. Lorant Duzgun wrote original music for the performance. Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St., btwn. Delancey & Rivington Sts. Nov. 2, 10 p.m. Admission is $12; $10 for students & seniors at or 212-219-0736; $15 at the door. DJ Aaron Cobbett spins at the afterparty.


CHOCOLATE Li-Lac at 90

Li-Lac Chocolates, Manhattan’s oldest chocolate house, in business in the West Village since 1923, and now under gay ownership, celebrates its XC anniversary with an afternoon celebration featuring 23-cent prices on selected items. And, the first 100 customers can buy a one-pound chocolate gift box — a $45 value — for the 1923 price of $3.67. Kitchen Opera Company provides the music and Sparkling Pointe Vineyards and Winery the complimentary wine pairings. What’s not to love? 40 Eighth Ave. at Jane St. Nov. 3, 1-6 p.m.


BOOKS The Case Against Assimilation

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, infamous radical queer troublemaker, read from her memoir “The End of San Francisco,” what Slate’s June Thomas describes as a “denunciation of assimilation… [and] useful reminder that the gay community is far from monolithic and that it is especially important to listen to the voices of resistance.” Nov. 4, 7 p.m. at Brooklyn Community Pride Center, 4 Metrotech Center, Willoughby & Gold Sts.


14 DAYS, continued on p.33


| October 30, 2013



14 DAYS, from p.32

FILM Philadelphia Two Decades On


Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons hosts a daylong event marking the 20th anniversary of the release of “Philadelphia,” the Jonathan Demme AIDS film that garnered both Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen Oscars. Participants in panels and performances focused on the film and the relationship between healthcare and activism include Dr. Michael Gottlieb who, in 1981, identified AIDS as a new disease, Demme, actress Anna Deavere Smith, poet Mark Doty, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alumni Auditorium, Columbia University Medical Center, 650 W. 168th St., btwn. Broadway & Fort Washington Ave. Nov. 12, 1-9 p.m. Admission is $50 at The program benefits African Services Committee, which provides services to 10,000 newcomers each year, with a focus on HIV prevention, testing, care, and advocacy.

MUSIC Ned is Ninety

OMG! Ned Rorem, one of America’s foremost composers of art songs, is turning 90, and the New York Festival of Song, led by artistic director Steven Blier, is honoring him with a concert of music by him and his circle of friends, including Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Paul Bowles, Theodore Chanler, Aaron Copland, Francis Poulenc, and Virgil Thomson. Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and baritone Andrew Garland join NYFOS artistic director Steven Blier and associate artistic director Michael Barrett, who are on piano. Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W. 67th St. Nov. 5, 8 p.m. Tickets are $40-$55 at, with limited number of $10 student tickets as well.

HIGH CAMP Alexis Carrington Colby is Back “One Night With Joan” is an evening with Joan Collins, the legendary Brit actress made good in Hollywood who engaged in bitch-slap fests with Linda Evans on “Dynasty” and has plenty of stories to tell — about Bette Davis, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Paul Newman, and Richard Burton, among many. Scissor Sisters front woman Ana Matronic introduces La Collins. BB Kings, 237 W. 42nd St. Nov. 5, 8 p.m. Tickets are $55-$65 at

THEATER Marilyn, Marlene & Frida

Playwright Michelangelo Alasa’s takes on the lives, loves, and careers of three iconic women — Frida Kahlo, Marilyn Monroe, and Marlene Dietrich — in “Andy@62.” Duo Theatre, 62 E. Fourth St., btwn. Bowery & Second Ave. Tue., 8 p.m., through Dec. 17. Tickets are $20 at

BENEFIT Nutrition Threatened in Season of Bounty

Cuts to the federal government support for the Meals Program at Gay Men’s Health Crisis imperils the stability of a longstanding nutritional guarantee for hundreds of clients daily. With “Thanks & Giving,” the agency looks to raise sorely needed dollars to buffer the program from uncertain government support. An open bar, music from DJ Kevin Graves, dancing, a silent auction, and a raffle whose grand prizes include a $2,500 Apple shopping spree, dinner at Zagat’s top four Manhattan restaurants, and two matching Vespas are highlights of this new fundraiser. 82 Mercer St., btwn. Spring & Grand Sts. Nov. 7, 7-9 p.m. Tickets begin at $100 at


Bob Montgomery hosts another evening of “Homo Comicus,” a juicy slice of gay and gay-boosting comics, tonight including Judy Gold, Claudia Cogan, Frank Liotti, Janine Brito, and Luke McCollum. Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St. Nov. 6, 8:30 p.m. The cover charge is $20, and there’s a two-drink minimum. Reservations at 212-367-9000.


THEATER Singing a Song of Angry Dykes

In “Lez Miz,” queer leather rendition of Victor Hugo’s classic, Valjean, Cosette, and Marius navigate a polyamory battlefield in this. Identity crises! Moral conflict! Unrequited love! Requited love! Revolution! Is this 19th century French fiction or 21st century dyke drama. Or both? Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St., btwn. Delancey & Rivington Sts. Nov. 7, 10 p.m. Tickets are $12; $10 for students & seniors at or 212-219-0736, or $15 at the door.

Picture it. A bunch of funny homos, plus one hilarious housewife, telling jokes in Long Island City. That’s what comes of Robin Fox, the mother of all stand-up comedians, headlining an evening featuring as well Neil Thornton, Cara Kilduff, and Robb Coles and hosted by Adam Sank. Laughing Devil Comedy Club, 4738 Vernon Blvd. (#7 to Vernon/ Jackson). Nov. 10, 8 p.m. The cover charge is $10 at laughingdevil. com, and there’s a two-drink minimum.

Gay and camp have long enjoyed a close relationship, sometime even a monogamous one — that is, until the nuts from the “ex-gay” movement started their own camps, summer and otherwise. “Gay Camp” is Philip Mutz and Susan-Kate Heaney's hit cabaret comedy show, directed by Phillip Fazio, about the trials and tribulations of the gay campers. The Duplex, 61 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. S., Sheridan Sq. Nov. 9, 10 p.m.; Nov. 15, Dec. 5 & 20, 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the or 212255-5438, and there’s a two-drink minimum.


BENEFIT Serving LGBT Youth

Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation’s oldest LGBTQ youth service organization, holds its 27th annual Emery Awards dinner gala, honoring Chelsea Clinton, pro football player Brendon Ayanbadejo, Mixed Martial Arts fighter Fallon Fox, MMA’s first openly transgender athlete, Hudson Taylor, the founder of Athlete Ally, and author and activist David Mixner. Andy Cohen emcees the evening. Cipriani Wall Street, 55 Wall St. at Hanover St. Nov. 13, 6 p.m. Tickets begin at $600 at



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MUSIC Zing, Zing, Zing Went My Heart Strings

Well-Strung is made up of four classical string musicians — Edmund Bagnell, Christopher Marchant, Daniel Shevlin, and Trevor Wadleigh — who put a unique spin on the music of Mozart and Vivaldi, as well as Rihanna and Adele. Gay City News’ Joseph ErhmanDupre wrote, “Their energetic playing, bows jerking and surfing along the strings of their well-worn instruments, belies the classicism of their craft. And their voices flow effortlessly into the music, singing melodiously over the four-part harmony emitting from two violins, a viola, and a cello.” Well-Strung plays the Hudson Valley tonight. Woodstock Playhouse, 103 Mill Hill Rd. at Playhouse Ln., Woodstock. Nov. 9, 8 p.m. The concert is preceded by a 7 p.m. champagne and chocolate reception. Tickets are $47-$73 at





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| October 30, 2013 GAULTIER, from p.22

Jenny Shimizu, ultra-voluptuous Farida Khelfa, and androgynous Edwige are just some of his muses on display, but a stand-out is Tanel Bedrossiantz, the male model who, from 1985, used to drive me mad with envy whenever I’d see him defiantly strutting the catwalk, wearing, say, a tulle bustle. He is quoted in the show: “I realized hastily my differences with the male models of the moment. At that time models were very ‘Marlboro COWBOYS,’ fine gules, beautiful bodies, beautiful white teeth. I had just turned 18 years old, I had a big mouth, big ears, the silhouette of a disjointed puppet, was very different at that time. I had many Vogues at home, devouring the images with all the great female models and those inspired me a lot. I told myself that I was like more the body of girls than boys of the period, so I concluded it was necessary that I pose as a woman and also for the fashion shows.” Although not overtly stated in the exhibit, a queer aesthetic has always been prominently evident in Gaultier’s oeuvre. I possess a pair of his white jeans, printed all over with what appears to be an inky black floral motif but which, on closer inspection, is actually a repetitive depiction of men having graphic sex. (I curse myself to this day for not having the nerve to buy the matching jacket.) His runway shows for his men’s collections were indeed outrageous, with models — from muscle hunks to ephebes like Tanel — flaunting full makeup, skirts, corseterie, gemstones, and boas, but they were never outrageous for mere outrageousness’ effect. All of it was not only very beautiful, but very wearable.


BERKELEY, from p.26

including the notion that tuition should be free. They complain that the Republican minority in the California State Legislature won’t allow any tax hikes, yet is fine with firing janitors and teachers. Their demands, however, are so ambitious that they grow diffuse, and they seem stuck in nostalgia for ‘60s radicalism. The same nostalgia is shown by the administrators. In a telling scene, they demonstrate an obnoxious smugness as they recall their youthful days spent protesting the Vietnam War and sticking it to the Man, certain of their superiority to the present-day protesters but unaware of the irony of their current positions of power. It’s hard to say whose side Wiseman is on. I think it says a lot that after a long stretch dealing with the protest, the first unrelated scene begins with a teacher evoking Holocaust survivor and writer Primo Levi before a group of students who are recent military veterans and discuss their sometimes difficult and



“The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” runs through February 23.

The first Gaultier I could ever afford to buy, at drastic markdown at the Soho boutique If, was one of his signature sailor-striped tops, in knit, with no back to it. I was thrilled to see it in the show, along with numerous other examples of this marine theme that, more than anything, has become his signature, even appearing on the bottle of his perfume, a quiet homage to Schiap, who used Mae West’s figure for her famous “Shocking” scent — only Gaultier used a male torso. Other recurring motifs, which attest to the consistency of his overall vision and make his clothes not only timeless, but a natural, easy fit together, whatever the year or season of their creation, include his innovative, masterful deconstruction, especially in the tailored pieces with which he made such a mark. And then, of course, there’s the lingerie worn as outerwear, which exploded onto the world on the

alienating experiences at UC Berkeley. This may be a way of implicitly criticizing the narrow focus and privilege of both students and faculty. A different filmmaker would have made a movie about the student protests. In “At Berkeley,” they occupy 90 minutes or so out of a four -hour running time. The protests don’t seem to change anything, as the routine of lectures and meetings goes on afterwards. The problems raised by the students are real, even if winning free tuition is a bit utopian, and the answers of the administration, like pr ospecting for students in Asia and the Middle East, aren’t going to solve them. Wiseman isn’t a political filmmaker in any conventional sense, and some spectators may be maddened by the return to normalcy that takes place after the highly charged protest scenes. But as in “Crazy Horse,” he expresses a clear, sometimes critical, point of view about his subjects. Wiseman also goes to extremes to avoid telling the audience what to think.

back of a singer named Madonna. Fans will thrill to see the Material now-Woman’s original costumes from various tours, as well as Polaroids from their first fittings (yes, the show is that comprehensive). You will also see garments you may have gasped at on TV or in magazines that have graced other divas — including Beyoncé, Marion Cotillard, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Catherine Deneuve — all documented according to the number of hours it took to create such walking works of art. Above all, it should be remembered that Gaultier’s very first muse was — as with so many gay little boys — his own

grandmother, the original source of all those girdles and corsets that fascinated him. “When I was little, I thought my grandmother was supremely elegant,” he recalls. “She was undoubtedly very old-fashioned but I considered her style absolutely wonderful. She had black crepe hats, feather aigrettes, and corsets from the early 1900s. She told me that women would drink vinegar to bring on stomach contractions and then pull the corset laces at precisely that moment to get a smaller waist. That was all food for my imagination.” Along with adorable snapshots of Gaultier as a child, the show also includes this reminiscence: “[On television], I saw a show about the ‘Folies Bergère’ revue. The next day at my elementary school I drew a showgirl decked out in fishnet stockings and ostrich plumes. The teacher, who was usually very nice to me, made me get up on the dais at the front of the class, rapped me on the knuckles with a ruler, pinned the drawing on my back, and had me walk around all the other classrooms. It should have been a traumatic experience but it inspired my career. Suddenly my classmates saw me differently — they thought I was a laugh. The drawing made me part of the group. I was no longer the sissy who didn’t play soccer. For their part, my parents gave me their support and my grandmother read my tarot cards, which predicted I’d have a great future.”

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October 30, 2013 |

one of the year’s very

best pictures! matthew mcconaughey gives the performance of his career. jared leto shines. Outstanding, fascinating, life-affirming, wholly engrossing and unforgettable.” scott mantz, access hollywood

matthew mcconaughey gives

a tour-de-force performance! Virtually unrecognizable, jared leto tears your heart out. jennifer garner does the best work of her career.” lou lumenick, new york post

jared leto is

flat-out amazing! alynda wheat,


people magazine

james rocchi, msn movies

the real thing! ” richard corliss, time

M a t t H e W M C C o n aU g H e Y

dallas buyers club jennifer garner


jared leto

dare to live

inspired by true events #dallasbuyersclub

StartS Friday, November 1st iN Select theaterS

October 30, 2013 GAY CITY NEWS  

October 30, 2013 GAY CITY NEWS

October 30, 2013 GAY CITY NEWS  

October 30, 2013 GAY CITY NEWS