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INSIDE VOL. 32, ISSUE 19 | JAN. 8 - 21, 2014

Escape from L.A.

PHOTO BY: LANDIS SMITHERS

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DECEMBER 24, 2013

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INSIDE

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VOL. 32, ISSUE 19 | JAN. 8 - 21, 2014

LEADING BY EXAMPLE Michael Rohrbaugh..........................................12 NEWS News Briefs........................................................14 Pick Your Christianity: ‘GMA’ Anchor Robin Roberts or ‘Duck Dynasty’ Head Phil Robertson ........22 Lambda Legal’s Jon Davidson on the Boy Scouts Accepting Gays ..................23 Lights, Carols, New Year, Depression ........24 SOCAL EVENTS GUIDE Calendar ............................................................37 SnapShots..........................................................38 Eating Out ........................................................40 L.A. Staycation ................................................42 Food2Know ......................................................43 ENTERTAINMENT Film Reviews ....................................................46 Music Reviews ................................................47 Theater Reviews ..............................................48 COLUMNS Billy Masters ....................................................50 Little Miss Know-It-All....................................51 Out & About ....................................................52 Gossip Gay ........................................................53 CITY GUIDES West Hollywood..............................................54 Palm Springs ....................................................55 HEALTH HIV Living..........................................................60 X-Meth................................................................61 Off the Couch ..................................................62 FRONTIERS MARKETPLACE Listings ..............................................................63 FRONTIERS4MEN Adult Classifieds ............................................64 Sex Ed ..................................................................71

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COVER PHOTO BY

Landis Smithers

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Frontiers magazine is published by Frontiers Media, LLC., 5657 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 470, Los Angeles, CA. 90036, and distributed throughout Southern California. Up to the first three copies of any single issue are free; additional copies are $10 each. Violators caught stealing or destroying issues will be prosecuted under California Penal Code 484. For magazine subscriptions, please call (323) 930-3220. The contents of Frontiers may not be reproduced in any manner, either in whole or in part, without permission from the publisher. All rights reserved. Letters to the editor, artwork, photography, manuscripts and other correspondence may be submitted to Frontiers at the above address. We cannot acknowledge or return material unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Allow at least three months for processing. Publication of the name or photograph of any person or organization in articles or advertising in Frontiers is not to be construed as any indication of the sexual orientation or the HIV/AIDS status of such person or organization. Copyright © 2013, Frontiers Media, LLC.


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JANUARY 21, 2014

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ONLINE Find these stories exclusively at

10 YEARS OF ‘THE ROOM’ By Mike Ciriaco

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This year, the “Citizen Kane of Bad Movies” celebrates its 10th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, L.A.'s Landmark Regent Theater will be presenting midnight screenings of the cult hit The Room on the first Saturday of every month. Although the film is nearly unwatchable at face value, the film found a second life through its unintentional kitschiness. Frontiers speaks with The Room’s writer/director/star, Tommy Wiseau. FrontiersLA.com/Features

JASON DOTTLEY’S RETURN TO LOVE By Mick Sandoval

GOOD EVENING, AMERICA In case you missed it, only Frontiers has “Chloe’s Year in Review,” penned by local L.A. comedian and web superstar Drew Droege. How does her review of 2013 match up to your own? Go to tinyurl.com/l56qxec to find out.

BOOK

REVIEWS

When Sordid Lives star Jason Dottley married his long-term partner, playwright/filmmaker Del Shores, in 2003, the pair imagined theirs would be a love to last a lifetime. Together, the ‘first couple of West Hollywood’ (as they were often dubbed by fans of the show) fought hard for marriage equality, becoming posterboys of the movement. That was, until last year, when Del Shores announced via Facebook that they were splitting. FrontiersLA.com/ExclusiveInterviews

LATIN FRONTIER:

LA FARÁNDULA By Victor Barriero

Superstar Gloria Trevi, who has often been referred to as the “Mexican Madonna,” is once again making news. A film based on the life of the pop icon began shooting in Mexico City in November of last year. Unfortunately, production has hit a snag because lawyers on behalf of the singer have sent a cease-and-desist letter to the producers of the film, tentatively titled Gloria. FrontiersLA.com/LatinFrontier

By The Bookworm

In need of a good read? Check out our reviews of A Reader’s Book of Days by Tom Nissley and You Can Tell Just By Looking by Michael Bronski, Ann Pellegrini and Michael Amico. FrontiersLA.com/ BookReviews

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AFTER ‘I DO’

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST By Rolf Danner

Rolf and Jeff tied the knot in 2008. For both, that gloriously bright California day came at the end of a long journey, culminating in the congratulations of friends and families. Little did they know that their journey had only just begun. MarriageEqualityFrontiers.com


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FrontiersLA.com Volume 32, Issue 19 5657 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 470, Los Angeles, CA 90036 Phone: (323) 930-3220 Sales Fax: (323) 857-0560 Administration Fax: (323) 848-2058 Accounting Fax: (323) 857-0503

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firstname.lastname@FrontiersLA.com Contributing Writers Aaron Batts, Jackie Beat, Dr. Greg Cason, Mike Ciriaco, Peter DelVecchio, Dan Fotou, Gossip Gay, Stephan Horbelt, Gary M. Kramer, Jim Larkins, Dan Loughry, Billy Masters, Michelle McCarthy, Dana Miller, James F. Mills, Paulo Murillo, Karen Ocamb, Brian Padgett, Tom Pardoe, Eric Rosen, Mark A. Thompson, Dominik Rothbard, Aaron Savvy, Brenden Shucart, Steve Siler, Les Spindle, Michael Weinstein, Duane Wells Contributing Photographers and Illustrators Gabe Ayala, Glen Hanson, Greg Gorman, MRNY, Rolling-Blackouts, Neil J. Sheff, Jay Sinclair, Jonathan Sirand, Landis Smithers, Sylvia Spross, Chelsea Sutton

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IN MEMORY OF BOB CRAIG, FOUNDING PUBLISHER

©2013 Thanks to the dawn of the information age, we believe distribution/circulation not only encompasses hard copies printed and the pass-on rate of those hard copies, but web browsing and electronic copies being downloaded by our growing online readership. This has become a substantial boost to the number of readers of our magazine. Currently, an average of 30,000 hard copies are printed biweekly. Studies have shown each hard copy has a probable “pass-on rate” of two to three, meaning each hard copy taken will be seen by two to three additional readers. With the pass-on rate alone, estimated readership can conservatively average 55,000 to 90,000, not encompassing visitors who visit us online at FrontiersLA.com.

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BUILDING COMMUNITY

Leading by Example

Michael Rohrbaugh: Bucking the System By Michelle McCarthy

Michael Rohrbaugh is a writer, director, editor and social activist. Name a cause and he’s probably donated his time and talent to it. Most recently, he produced the gun control PSA New School Uniform in response to the Sandy Hook shootings. He’s also involved with the Fair Games Project, which is using Russia’s anti-gay laws and the Sochi Winter Olympics as a means of opening the conversation about gay rights on a global scale. Michael is currently working in Kenya, teaching high school students about filmmaking. Why is the issue of gun control so important to you? Gun reform is an important issue because so many innocent lives hang in the balance. I believe it’s our duty to foster a safe society for our friends and family. However, the longer we stall on sensible reform, the longer we put our loved ones at risk, which is why holding our leaders accountable and demanding sensible reform is such an urgent priority. What kind of feedback did you receive from your PSA? It was incredible. When we set out to create the piece, we never imagined the kind of impact and coverage it would receive. Our goal was to hold a mirror up to the world and pose a simple question: Is Sandy Hook the new normal we have come to accept for our kids? And for many Americans, this was a message that seemed to resonate. Tell us about The Fair Games Project. There are 77 nations in the world where being gay remains a crime, in some cases punishable by forced labor, lifelong prison sentences and even execution. With The Fair

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Games Project, we aim to create a viral PSA that holds these nations accountable, provokes discussion and helps strengthen the cause of global gay rights. You’re raising money for the Fair Games Project. Where are the donations going? FGP donations will go toward funding the video’s production, post-production and launch. These costs include everything from renting trucks and equipment to feeding our cast and crew to promoting and sharing the piece upon completion. Fortunately, FGP has received fiscal sponsorship via a 501(c) nonprofit, which means all donations made through our Indiegogo page are now completely tax-deductible. We hope people will take a moment to learn about our efforts and find out how they can help. These next few months offer a historic opportunity to advance global gay rights, and FGP is one easy way to be part of that effort. Why do you think boycotting the Winter Olympics is not the way to go? Russia doesn’t realize it yet, but in the long run, they’ve actually done gay rights a huge favor. With the whole world watching, the 2014 Olympics offers an amazing opportunity to focus attention on global gay rights. I believe an Olympic boycott would do us all a great disservice. How can the average citizen try to make a difference in the anti-gay laws around the world? There a million different ways the average citizen can make a difference. Many anti-gay nations are so repressive that even the slightest show of LGBT support can place a person in danger. In fact, Kenya, where I’m currently working, is, unfortu-

nately, one such place. Change starts with awareness and public support, which gradually creates a shift in cultural attitudes, and finally a shift in policy. When we look at the change America has experienced over the past 20 years, that seems to be the trajectory we see. Tell us about the work you are doing in Kenya. I’m here in Kenya working with an organization called Y-Fi Africa, which seeks to inspire the next generation of African filmmakers. Operating with a grant from Google, Y-Fi brought me in to lead a two-week filmmaking workshop, where I taught Kenyan high school students how to create PSAs, music videos and short films. Film is an amazing tool for inspiring social change, and part of our goal was to provide them with those tools. For instance, most of the kids had at one time experienced corporal punishment in their schools. So to address this issue, several of them decided to make a PSA urging the government to better enforce its corporal punishment ban. Why do you choose to get involved with so many causes? I don’t know. My parents both work in the medical profession, my sister’s a documentary filmmaker and my grandfather was a fourth-generation minister, belonging to a denomination at the forefront of desegregation and gay marriage. Coming from that type of family, more and more I’ve wanted to find a way I could also be of service. Plus, I definitely have an activist streak in me. What can I say? I like to buck the system. indiegogo.com/projects/the-fair-games-project michaelrohrbaugh.com


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NEWS By Peter DelVecchio and Karen Ocamb

L.A. Times Profiles Capt. Stephen Hill of GOP YouTube Fame

Robin Roberts Comes Out Robin Roberts, co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, came out as a lesbian in a Facebook post Dec. 29. “I am grateful for my entire family, my long-time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together,” Roberts wrote. Long mum regarding her intimate relationships, Roberts conducted her battle with breast cancer in the public spotlight after being diagnosed in 2007. In 2012, she underwent a bone marrow transplant after contracting myelodysplatic syndrome from her cancer treatments. President Barack Obama came out for marriage equality for the first time in an interview with Roberts in 2012. “We love Robin and Amber, who we have all known for a long time,” an ABC News release says. “We are so touched by Robin’s Facebook message today and so thankful for all the loving support she has in her life.”

In a Dec. 29 LA Times profile, Army Capt. Stephen Hill opens up about his famous YouTube question to Republican presidential contenders about gays serving in the military. Hill was booed. But former Sen. Rick Santorum was enthusiastically applauded for saying, “Sexual activity has no place in the military." Hill watched from 7,000 miles away in Iraq. “It is not the booing that devastates him but Santorum's response, which frames the whole issue in terms of sex. He turns off his TV. Because of the early hour, it is possible most of the soldiers have missed the debate. Somehow, he harbors the hope that he can escape with his anonymity and melt back into the ranks. He lines up for breakfast in the chow hall. There are jumbo TVs mounted all over the walls. His face is on every one of them.” (Read the entire story at tinyurl.com/mba8fpp.)

Utah Likely to Pay Lawyers $2 Million in Marriage Fight Utah appears poised to spend an estimated $2 million on outside counsel to pursue an appeal to reinstate its state constitutional samesex marriage bar, Utah’s Daily Herald newspaper reported Dec. 29. In a ruling no one seems to have seen coming, on Friday, Dec. 20, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby struck down Amendment 3, which Utah voters approved by a 66 percent vote in 2004, as unconstitutional under the federal Constitution's equal protection clause, relying in part on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year invalidating parts of the Defense of Marriage Act. Because the state had not asked Shelby to stay his ruling, it went into effect immedi-

ately, and several Utah counties began issuing marriage licenses to samesex couples that very afternoon. On Monday, Dec. 23, Shelby denied the state's motion to stay, and, late on Christmas Eve, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals also refused a stay. State officials say they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt samesex marriage pending an appeal. On Dec. 29, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes met with Republican legislators, who appeared ready to greenlight the hiring of outside counsel. “We need the best we can get,” House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, told KSL. Others disagreed. “I think it’s a ridiculous way to go,” said Senate

Minority Leader Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City. “I don't think we’re going to win.” As of Dec. 26, 1,225 marriage licenses had been issued in Utah since Shelby's ruling, at least 74 percent to same-sex couples, breaking records and generating thousands of dollars in fees, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Meanwhile, roughly 3,000 Utah residents lost their long-term unemployment benefits on Dec. 28 because Republicans in the U.S. Congress refused to even consider a measure continuing a federal program extending payments beyond the 26 weeks provided by most states. Could that $2 million proposed to reinstate the ban on same sex marriage be used as a safety net for some of the state’s desperate unemployed?

SPEAK OUT “I still love the church and am committed to it.” —Father Greg Reynolds of Melbourne, Australia, who supports marriage equality and ordination of women, after his recent excommunication from the Catholic Church by Pope Francis, as reported by Time.

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“Look, you wait ‘til they get to be 20 years old and the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they’re about 15 or 16 and they’ll pick your ducks.” —A&E’s Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, whose recent antigay remarks sparked both outrage and widespread support, speaking to the Sportsmen’s Ministry in Georgia in a 2009 video, as reported at Towleroad.com.

“[Russian conductor Valery Gergiev] can be a persuasive man, and this may be the time for asserting his influence, whether in public or behind the scenes.” —LA Times Music Critic Mark Swed on whether the maestro is being “scapegoated” for Russia’s anti-gay laws, in his Dec. 30 column.


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NEWS By Peter DelVecchio and Karen Ocamb

Phil Robertson Reinstated

Quick Pic

A&E announced Dec. 27 that it was reinstating Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson to the popular reality show just nine days after having suspended him on Dec. 18 for disparaging remarks he made regarding gays and blacks during an interview with GQ magazine, the Washington Blade reports. The show features the Robertsons, a backwoodsy Louisiana family that struck it rich making duckhunting equipment. In the GQ interview, Robertson, 67 and an evangelical Christian, opined that “a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man's anus,” and listed homosexuality along with bestiality, adultery, greed, slander, drunkenness and theft as among the sins that would disqualify one for “the kingdom of God.” Robertson also said that, based on his observations, Southern blacks were happier and better off before the 1960s civil rights movement. Robertson’s suspension followed a firestorm of criticism from the left in general, and the LGBT and African-American communities in particular. The suspension in turn sparked an immediate, vigorous right-wing backlash. Fans threatened to boycott A&E and mounted a petition that garnered thousands of signatures. Conservative media figures including Rush Limbaugh and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, along with elected officials, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, sprang to Robertson’s defense, often (incorrectly) invoking the First Amendment, which, in reality, protects only against government action. The Robertson family also suggested they would not continue with the show without Phil. Announcing its reversal, A&E pledged to “launch a national public service campaign ... pro-

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moting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.” Duck Dynasty is reportedly A&E’s most profitable, widely viewed show, generating almost $80 million in advertising sales in 2013 through September, and averaging 14.6 million viewers each episode this season, according to Nielsen data, as reported by the Huffington Post.

Coca Cola is defending its omission of a scene depicting two men getting married from the Irish version of an ad to be broadcast across Europe, claiming it was cut because same-sex marriage is not legal in Ireland, while it is permitted in other countries where the ad will air, including the UK, Norway and the Netherlands.

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OMG! Insider Quietly Makes LGBT History While America fussed over Duck Dynasty’s racist and homophobic patriarch, Brad Bessey, the out executive director of CBS/Paramount’s OMG! Insider, quietly decided to devote Dec. 23’s entire show to gays—something heretofore not done without a news hook or fanfare. “As we head into the last few weeks of 2013, I wanted to revisit some of our material and was drawn to our conversations with Rosie O'Donnell on the set of The Fosters, and father of two, Dan Bucatinsky, because I loved what those conversations said about the American family today,” Bessey told Frontiers. “Then I just kept thinking ... about Lance [Bass] and Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] and Robbie [Rogers] and Shayne Bitney Crone and began to get really excited about devoting a show to these wonderful individuals who stand in their truth. Each story added to the tapestry. I feel audiences—gay and straight alike— will learn from this show: there is power in being authentically you.”


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NEWS

Pick Your Christianity: ‘GMA’ Anchor Robin Roberts or ‘Duck Dynasty’ Head Phil Robertson COMMENTARY BY KAREN OCAMB How ironic that during the long Christmas holidays, as Americans celebrated both the birth of Jesus Christ and the well-endowed god of Mammon, the faithful were presented with two stark representations of Christianity—Phil Robertson, the straight, crass, Bible-thumping patriarch of Duck Dynasty and Robin Roberts, the black, gay, gratitude-inspiring anchor of Good Morning America. Neither Robertson nor Roberts is a TV evangelist, but each owes their influence to TV fame. Christianity seems central to their core values and how they view themselves and others. But because references to God slip so easily from their lips, they are also each a reflection of their interpretation of the Bible—and hence an example, an inspiration and molder of those particular Christian values. In LGBT shorthand, that essentially means Robertson represents the angry, sexist, racist, homophobic God of the Old Testament, while Roberts represents the joyful, diversity-embracing, Jesus-imitating good news of the New Testament. Because of Duck Dynasty’s 12 million viewers on the A&E cable network, Phil Robertson—the backwoodsy-looking multi-millionaire graduate

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of Louisiana Tech—was reinstated after his very brief suspension from the show for linking “evil” homosexuality to bestiality and terrorism and suggesting that blacks in Jim Crow-Louisiana didn’t experience discrimination since “no one was singing the blues.” In a 2009 videotape that surfaced after his reinstatement, Robertson also flippantly expresses man’s crude superiority to women. “Look, you wait till they get to be 20 years old and the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they’re about 15 or 16 and they’ll pick your ducks.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, is among those political and religious conservatives who defended Robertson. “What Phil said was simply a matter of his opinion based on scripture,” Huckabee told Fox News on Dec. 23. “Which is not really all that off-the-wall of an opinion.” Compare that to the uplifting gratitude of another Christian, GMA host Robin Roberts on Facebook on Dec. 29, celebrating her post-transplant good health and her 10-year relationship with Amber Laign, a licensed massage therapist from San Francisco. “I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health. I am grateful for my

sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life. I am grateful for my entire family, my longtime girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together,” Roberts wrote. Laign sat next to the “Hallelujah, Jesus” praising Sally-Ann when Roberts, a respected former sports journalist, was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards in July. Roberts gushed with gratitude, noting that as a little [black, gay] girl growing up in Mississippi, she could never have imagined the things she’s achieved. “When fear knocks, answer the door,” Roberts said to much applause. “Through it all, I’ve learned that strength—true strength—isn’t when you’ve faced down life’s challenges on your own. It’s when you take them on by accepting the help, faith and love of others and knowing you are lucky to have those.” Roberts said she is happy to be a “symbol of hope” for others, many of whom thanked her on Facebook for saving their lives. Interestingly, the portrait of the two very different Christian believers still comes back to the strength of the family, as well as the individual. It was not really surprising that the Duck Dynasty clan would stand strong behind patriarch Phil and threaten to walk away from the A&E show (they still have their millions from their duck huntingrelated businesses) if the suspension was not lifted. But given the long history of homophobia in the black church, it is more evidence of how the concept of supposedly God-dictated morality is changing that Robert’s sister literally gave a part of her self to help her lesbian sister survive. If Sally-Ann followed the Old Testament, she would have let Robin die, as proscribed in Leviticus. But the New Testament decrees that judging “sin” is the responsibility of God alone, not man, and living a life that truly follows Jesus requires loving others as oneself. What will be interesting to watch as the new year unfolds is how America responds to Phil Robertson and Robin Roberts. As an anchor at GMA, it is unlikely that Roberts will take sides in any political fight. But it is easy to imagine religious and conservative candidates for office in 2014 and 2016 seeking a photo op with the stars of Duck Dynasty. And it is also easy to imagine the children of those star-struck conservatives cringing in fear lest they be found out as queer. On the other hand, thanks to Robin Roberts and the NAACP and others, a young potential James Baldwin no longer has to flee the church—or family, or America—and can be as creative as Bravo or a network will allow. Now Christians sitting at home can choose— using their own good conscience—which kind of TV star Christian they want to be.


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NEWS

Lambda Legal’s Jon Davidson on the Boy Scouts Accepting Gays BY KAREN OCAMB Change is glacial but still possible nonetheless. On New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2014, the anti-gay Boy Scouts of America will begin accepting gay youth as scouts, a contentious change in the organization’s 103-year history. The new policy was approved by 60 percent of the 1,400 voting members during a BSA National Council meeting last May in Texas, and supported by the organization’s Mormon and Catholic backers. But while youth are accepted, adults will continue to be excluded from leadership positions. In 1980, Jon Davidson, now the legal director of Lambda Legal, was with the ACLU when he represented gay Eagle Scout Tim Curran, who was rejected as assistant scoutmaster for his San Francisco Bay Area troop. (See timcurran.com/scouting.) In 1998, the California Supreme Court ruled BSA could discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religious belief. “It remains a significant issue,” Davidson told the Miami Herald. “We're worried about [the Boy Scouts] sending out a message to gay children that they are unacceptable, and to other children that it’s OK to discriminate against gays.” In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled BSA had the right to discriminate against gay former Eagle Scout James Dale. Davidson reacts to the latest change. “It’s hard to believe that I first joined efforts to get the Boy Scouts to end their anti-gay policies and practice 25 years ago. What a long road it has been!” Davidson told Frontiers. “I have decidedly mixed feelings about scouting’s move to allow openly gay boys to participate. In my view, this policy change involves decidedly less progress that the spinning off of the Exploring and school-based scouting programs in 1991 to be part of what is known as ‘Learning for Life.’ Because those programs no longer discriminate based on sexual orientation, lesbian, gay and bisexual youth and adults who participate in them need no longer hide who they are or fear negative consequences if others learn of their sexual orientation. While I still oppose support for Learning for Life given the lack of true separation between the management and finances of the Boy Scouts and Learning for Life (so that donations to Learning for Life continue to support the discriminatory Boy Scouts organization), the end of discrimination within Learning for Life programs has been incredibly important given the hundreds

of thousands of youth involved in Learning for Life and the sponsorship of Learning for Life units by numerous government entities. “While the latest change in the Boy Scouts’ policy, which goes into effect Jan. 1, will allow boys who are gay to come out and not immediately suffer the humiliation, loss of opportunities and friends and emotional distress of being kicked out for who they are, the maintenance of the ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual adult volunteers and employees continues to inflect terribly serious harm in multiple ways. “First, of course, the Boy Scouts is continuing to openly discriminate against lesbian, gay and bisexual adults. Second, by refusing to allow those adults to serve, the organization is continuing to send a message to all youth in its program (and to society at large) that it considers those adults unfit, which inculcates prejudice and can lead to further discrimination, lack of understanding, hatred and even violence against lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Third, the fact that any young person in Scouting who does come out will be unceremoniously kicked out of the organization—no matter how long they have participated in it nor what they have achieved in it or contributed to it—as soon as they turn 18, means that gay youth are actually not safe coming out in Scouting. Those facts make me wonder whether this latest policy change actually represents a net gain at all.

“The latest policy change also does not allow gay youth in Scouting to be ‘too out.’ They can’t wear their Scouting uniforms at gay Pride parades, and they are not supposed to be vocal in or out of the program about gay rights issues. While I was incredibly moved to see a number of Boy Scouts handing out pizza in Salt Lake City recently to the clerk staff who were working through lunch to make it possible for same-sex couples to marry there, and to same-sex couples waiting in line, I was worried what might happen to some of the boys who were wearing rainbow kerchiefs along with their uniforms while they were doing so. “It will be interesting to see what happens next. Because of the domination within Scouting’s leadership by officials in the Mormon, Catholic, mainstream Methodist and Southern Baptist churches, fully ending sexual orientation discrimination in the organization continues to be unlikely to happen soon. I have been delighted to see withdrawal of support for the Boy Scouts by Intel, the UPS Foundation, Merck and Chipotle in recent years. I have no doubt that the changes being implemented would not have happened but for that pressure and the loss of support from many government entities, nonprofit organizations, foundations and corporations. What is critically important now is that people not be fooled into thinking it is now OK to donate to the Boy Scouts or to have boys in their families join the organization and for public pressure to fully and finally end.”

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NEWS

Lights, Carols, New Year, Depression BY DAN FOTOU A golden sun sets behind the snowcapped mountains, and white lights illuminate the Palm Springs strip that welcomes the brisk winter chill and the giddiness that comes with the holidays. There is a joyous nostalgia for better times past and a sense of optimism about the new year. For some, however, the mood is quite different—they suffer sleepless nights, cloudy days, debilitating loneliness, family rejection, unending grief from losing a partner to AIDS and the unrelenting fear of being alone in old age. The hope for a better tomorrow seems far off. By all appearances, Palm Springs is a mecca for aging LGBT people, with bountiful community and HIV/AIDS medical resources and care, relative affordability and serene environment. But in a town where 40 to 60 percent of the population is LGBT, suffering from loneliness and depression or being a victim of domestic violence is a stark reality. The LGBT Center of the Desert's recent Health Needs Assessment Study surveyed 769 people in the Coachella Valley and found significant disparities between Coachella Valley’s general population and the LGBT community, as James F. Mills previously reported in Frontiers. Among the most alarming findings were that 41 percent of the LGBT population had been diagnosed with depression, compared to eight percent of the general population; 36 percent suffered from anxiety, compared to six percent; and 10 percent suffered from a panic disorder, compared to three percent. Dr. Jill Gover, The Center's director of counseling and wellness programs who managed the study, explains that a large portion of the Coachella Valley’s LGBT community is 60-plus years old, and the pre-Stonewall pioneers suffer differently from those who experienced Gay Liberation. They dealt with and internalized a great deal of stigmainduced discrimination, harassment, fear, violence and isolation that endured throughout their lives. These experiences manifest through depression, which Gover explains is “a high risk response to isolation, especially in older LGBT people who feel estranged from their families.” In their search for an easier, friendlier, more adaptable environment, they often relocate to Palm Springs. But starting over after 60 can be challenging. Those seeking an escape from depression often turn to excessive drinking and/or drug abuse. Gover explains that while these are convenient coping mechanisms, they actually per-

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petuate the feelings of despair, because the alcohol and drugs decrease dopamine in the brain’s pleasure center, which increases the feeling of isolation, creating an unhealthy cycle. Gover also suggests there is an indirect link to increased feelings of loneliness and depression that are likely brought on by the pro-longed holiday season. The Center study also looked at domestic violence within the LGBT community and found that 22 percent were victims of intimate partner-related domestic violence, with such violence among lesbians at 35 percent; six percent were victims of intimate partner sexual violence; and 11 percent were victims of sexual violence from a non-partner. Many cases go unreported, but 41 percent saw a mental health professional. A large majority of the study's participants feel the police department needs to do more to serve their specific needs, with 75 percent saying the police need to be more welcoming. In 2001, the Palm Springs Police Department established an LGBT Outreach Committee to serve as a working group that creates solutions to safety concerns that, Sgt. Harvey Reed says, “takes steps towards addressing the needs of the community.” Gover acknowledges that while the PSPD has taken some steps, the partner dynamics differ in a same-sex relationship as opposed to heterosexual relationships, and those differences require a different type of police response when tending to an LGBT-related crime and victim. And, unlike

other cities with large LGBT populations, PSPD does not have an LGBT Liaison Unit with an officer specifically trained in understanding LGBT community needs who can show up at crime scenes to offer victim support. For instance, Officer Lauren Drinkwater, who sits on the LGBT Outreach Committee, said the last sensitivity training two years ago alerted officers to what language is appropriate when interacting with the community. This is especially critical when dealing with LGBT domestic violence. Currently, LGBT victims of domestic violence are referred to support groups consisting mostly of heterosexuals, with gay men often referred to women's groups. “Violence manifestation differs from battered women in heterosexual relationships,” says Gover. “The LGBT needs are not really addressed in conventional domestic violence treatment programs.” Additionally, court-ordered treatment for batterers often fails to address issues encountered in LGBT relationships. Although The Center does not offer crisis treatment, Gover encourages those in need to make an appointment with the counseling center at (760) 416-7899 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The counseling center offers low-cost rates on a sliding scale. The holidays and the new year can be joyous, stressful or downright dark. Why not take a moment to check on your neighbor? Knowing someone cares can make all the difference.


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Escape from L.A.

Do It on the

SLOPES PHOTO: LANDIS SMITHERS

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Whitman’s Elevation Ski Weeks Return

ELEVATION: TAHOE Feb. 6-9 DJ Casey Alva DJ Pornstar DJ Blacklow tahoegayski.com

ELEVATION: UTAH Feb. 20-23

By Mike Ciriaco

“With the human rights stuff that's going on, there’s a potential for it to be an incredibly negatively overshadowed Olympics,” speculated two-time gold medalist for snowboarding Seth Wescott on the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Undoubtedly, the international sporting event has taken a back seat to Russia’s government-supported discrimination against its LGBT community. With a ban on what the government calls gay “propaganda” and the sharp increase in violence against gays and lesbians, perhaps we should simply boycott this year’s Winter Olympics and leave gay skiing and snowboarding in the capable hands of Tom Whitman.

Nightlife impresario Whitman returns this winter with more rounds of Elevation, the hottest gay ski events in North America, some of which are located at former Olympic sites. These snowy extended weekends promise adrenaline-fueled days on the slopes followed by steamy nighttime parties featuring some of the country’s most talented DJs. This year, Elevation: Mammoth and Elevation: Utah attempt a devil’s three-way with their newest partner, Elevation: Tahoe, assuring that 2014 will be the hottest winter yet. As the newest member of the family, Elevation: Tahoe offers the thrill of the unexpected, as well as a cozier social circle. “Go to Elevation: Tahoe if you want to be a part of our very first year,” encourages Whitman. “It will be a more intimate experience, approximately 300-500 guys instead of thousands, and you’ll be part of making a new Elevation tradition.” The former Winter Olympics locale offers skiers and snowboarders myriad options when it comes to crushing powder. “Squaw Valley is an amazing resort and an amazing mountain. But what’s also great about North Lake Tahoe is the ability to ski multiple resorts during the same week. Ski Squaw one day, Northstar the next day and Alpine Meadows or Diamond Peak the following day. There are 11 downhill resorts in the North Lake Tahoe area. For alumni of Elevation, The Village at Squaw Valley will remind you very much of the Village at Mammoth, and we plan to take over the town in exactly the same way.” Once the slopes have been conquered during the day, the dance floor awaits conquering after sundown. The four-day

weekend offers multiple parties, each featuring a bevy of adept musical masters, including Whitman event alumni such as DJs Pornstar, Blacklow and Casey Alva. “I’m looking forward to Casey Alva’s sets,” admits Whitman. “In working with DJs for almost 15 years, I think Casey is so consistently fun that I always look forward to seeing what surprises he is going to bring. And DJ Blacklow, also known as Jeremy Blacklow, is an up-and-comer who spins a great combination of ‘90s classics and contemporary dance floor.” Another former Olympics host city, Park City reopens its doors for its fourth Elevation: Utah weekend. The location is ideal on several levels. “Park City, Utah, was the site of the Olympics for a reason,” explains Whitman. “It’s what a ski town should be—worldrenowned restaurants, great nightlife and the driest powder in the world. There’s a reason why Utah says it has the “greatest snow on Earth”—because it does. Plus, Salt Lake City has a vibrant gay community.” In contrast to little brother Tahoe and its intimate circle of attendees, Utah boasts a far broader demographic. “Go to Park City for the most diverse crowd geographically. We get attendees from all over the country and all over the world. There is no epicenter for Elevation: Utah attendees. It’s everyone from California to New York, Texas to Australia. And go to Elevation: Utah if you’ve never skied Park City. It’s pretty incredible.” Even if you have skied Park City, this year’s Elevation: Utah promises something the event has never had before—Brett Henrichsen at the turntables.

DJ Brett Henrichsen DJ Josh Peace DJ Chris B DJ Blacklow DJ Lishus utahgayski.com

ELEVATION: MAMMOTH March 12-16 DJ Manny Lehman DJ Casey Alva DJ Dawna Montell DJ Derek Monteiro DJ Drew G mammothgayski.com

“I’m excited about Brett Henrichsen’s set. It will be Brett’s first time spinning at an Elevation event, though he has attended many times. Brett has the great ability to work a room with vocals and anthems, which is why he is still traveling all the time and spinning the biggest events in the world. Plus he’s a great friend, and it’s just plain fun to work with friends.” The whole season leads to the premier ski weekend, Elevation: Mammoth. “Mammoth is the original Elevation and still the largest. Elevation: Mammoth is one of the largest gay ski weeks in the world now, drawing more than 2,500 people to the High Sierras. It is also one of my favorite mountains in the world to ski. If you’re a snowboarder, it just doesn’t get any better. The mountain is huge, so you can literally ski all day, non-stop, and never touch the same run.” Just as the slopes are bigger in Mammoth, so is the afterhours action, thanks in part to the return of DJ Manny Lehman. “Lehman does big gay rooms better than anyone. He can somehow make a sound system bassier, bigger and gayer than anyone else. It’s Dawna Montell’s first time at an Elevation as well, and I think she will be a great addition, spinning the new stuff as well as classics.” We’ll see you on the slopes!

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PDX: THE ROSE OF OREGON By Stephan Horbelt A favorite destination of Angelenos trekking north, the City of Roses contains everything gay travelers hanker for when escaping from our big city—comfort food, unorthodox accomodations and a laid-back bar scene— while not sacrificing sophistication or charm. Once you’ve visited Portland, it may well become your home away from home.

When you think of Portland, you may not think of icing-topped pastries or vintage-inspired meat, but you should. Voodoo Doughnuts is the city’s signature 24-hour doughnut shop with a sugary selection nearly as unconventional as PDX residents. Craving meat, the more old-world-style the better? Olympic Provisions is the city’s first USDA-approved salumeria, and it touts the motto handmade is better. Charcuterie here is an art and a science. For those days when you’re feeling indecisive, Portland’s more than 600 food carts (where every ethnicity’s edibles are represented) make dining on-the-go easy and delicious. What better place to lay your head while in Portland than a renovated vintage motel? Jupiter Hotel is just that— a hip, affordable, so-contemporaryit-hurts property with loads of energy and proximity to the city’s coolest spots. For those seeking more ‘luxe’ accomodations, Hotel deLuxe is a ritzy tower recalling old Hollywood elegance with art deco style. Hailing from L.A., classic silver screen style should naturally suit you. Those looking to take in a Sunday night drag show (as us gays tend to do) best head to CC Slaughters, the city’s preeminent downtown dance spot. Originally opened in 1981 as a Country Western bar, it’s now the place for Top 40 dance hits and affordable martinis. Meandering the city, it will soon become apparent that Portland loves its strip clubs. Silverado is the only one featuring exclusively male dancers, and the club’s roster of sexy men has no hesitation showcasing the full monty, a welcome surprise for sheltered residents of Los Angeles. With relatively cheap flights out of LAX and Burbank, good times are a hop, skip and jump away. Make your next escape to Portland, particularly if you find yourself craving an Old Dirty Bastard doughnut (that’s chcocolate frosting, Oreos and peanut butter).

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Let It Rain A Guide to Seattle’s Best Attractions The Pacific Northwest—with its rainy climate, gorgeous scenery and granola-leaning population—serves as an idyllic setting for a quick getaway from Los Angeles. Seattle, specifically, is just a quick plane ride away and is filled with lots of fun activities and great food. It’s easy to get a cab no matter where you are in the city, but the way it’s laid out makes walking a breeze and a great way to take it all in. Seattle is cold and rainy almost year-round, so dress for success. From Such Great Heights The Space Needle. You must go. It’s like going to Hollywood for the first time and not hitting up the Walk of Fame. The great thing is, it won’t take up much of your time. You buy a ticket, take an elevator way up and walk through a café to get to the ledge of the Space Needle outside. Stroll around the perimeter a few times, marvel at the 360-degree views of Seattle, snap a few shots and you’re on to other business at hand. Even if you’re afraid of heights, it’s worth biting the bullet and checking this out. Heart of Glass Next door to the Space Needle is the Chihuly Garden and Glass, an ongoing exhibit showcasing the breathtaking glassworks of artist Dave Chihuly. You’ll be left gawking at the gorgeous colors and shapes and wondering, Is that really glass? Music in Motion Also in the same area as the Space Needle, you’ll find the Experience Music Museum. The museum’s draw starts with its misshapen building. Once inside, you’ll get

by Michelle McCarthy

to truly experience the sounds, sights and history of rock ’n’ roll. The great thing about this place is almost everything is interactive, and you’ll find yourself engaging with the subject matter. You can even head upstairs and unleash your inner rock star on a set of drums, numerous guitars or keyboards. The exhibits are always changing, so check the museum’s schedule online. Fly Fishing The place where they throw fish? It’s called Pike Place, and you can literally spend a whole day taking in all of its fresh fruit and veggie stands, breakfast nooks and stores. You’ve gotta stop by the infamous gum wall and take a photo or add a fresh piece of your own to the collection. Make sure to check out Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and order the mac and cheese. You won’t regret it. Down Under Did you know the original town of Seattle now lies under the streets of the modern-day city? The Seattle Underground Tour will actually take you on a guided walking tour down into the buried remnants of what used to be—and explain how and why it all happened. Honorable Mention Hit up one of the many oyster bars on Alaskan Way and then walk down the street to Edgewater, a Twin Peaks-ish hotel that is suspended over the water, for a drink at the bar. You can take in the kayakers floating by right in front of you and play some checkers in the main room. It’s also worthwhile to take a ferry ride over to one of the city’s surrounding islands. There’s not much to do on them, but the ride over is what it’s all about.


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Do It in the

DESERT PHOTO: MRNY

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Phoenix Rises Anew

By Mark A. Thompson

Marilyn Monroe’s favorite pool is in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, and you, too, can swim there. Early in the morning at the Arizona Biltmore, you might even have it to yourself—you and the spirit of Marilyn floating in the desert. For years, Arizona’s Sonoran Desert has served as a getaway for Hollywood stars and celebrities. Wisconsin-born architect Frank Lloyd Wright arrived in Phoenix in 1928, contending that there was “nothing more inspiring ... than pure Arizona desert.” PHOTO: MRNY

If you, too, find yourself in need of desert inspiration and Marilyn Monroestyle relaxation, head to Phoenix and check into the Wright-inspired Biltmore. Opened in February of 1929 during the depths of Prohibition and only months before the Great Depression, Arizona’s “Jewel of the Desert” quickly became a desert playground for the rich, the famous and the powerful. Now celebrating 85 years as Phoenix’s first resort, the Arizona Biltmore, a member of the Waldorf Astoria collection, is one of the world’s most iconic hotels. Architecture aficionados from around the world make a pilgrimage to witness Wright’s ‘organic architecture’ in a setting that is as mesmerizing today as it was when it first captivated Wright. In the years before commercial aviation, Arizona was as exotic to most Americans as another planet. Statehood wasn’t obtained until 1912, when Arizona became the last contiguous state admitted to the U.S.—and in the 1950s, less than a million people lived in the entire state. Today, Phoenix is the nation’s sixthlargest city and the nation’s most populated state capital. Spanning 519 square miles, metropolitan Phoenix is a collection of urban villages—a city familiar to any Angeleno who commutes from one neighborhood to another. After a respite at the Biltmore, you might consider relocating to the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. The “Beverly Hills of the Desert,” Scottsdale has more destination spas per capita than any other U.S. city. At the Gainey Ranch, Wright’s architectural influence is evident throughout the 27-acre property with its garden courtyards and a two-acre water oasis with 10 swimming pools. Colon-

nades of palms frame the breathtaking vistas of the McDowell Mountains, and a recent $55 million renovation has given the suites and casitas a contemporary Southwestern cachet. The Spa Avania at Gainey Ranch is a 21,000-square-foot sanctuary with 19 treatment rooms alongside a mineral pool, a lotus pond and a gentlemen’s suite. Cited as one of the nation’s “Top 30 Spas” by Spas of America, Spa Avania is named for the Greek word for tranquil, which defines the prevailing atmosphere. For a glimpse of the Sonoran Desert’s majesty, take an evening stroll through Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden. With more than 50,000 plants (including 139 endangered species) spread across 140 acres, the garden offers desert specimens as surreal as a Tim Burton set. The installation Chihuly in the Garden (through May 18, 2014) magnifies the desert’s fantastical qualities by mingling Dale Chihuly’s extraordinary glass sculptures amidst equally arresting indigenous flora. Arizonans schooled in the 48th state learned the five C’s of Arizona—copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate—so it shouldn’t be surprising that, of late, Phoenix has gained a reputation as a culinary capital. The advent of community gardens, small-scale agriculture and rooftop gardens has produced a bounty of open-air markets, food trucks and homegrown restaurants. One of the best downtown neighborhoods for eating is East Evergreen, home to Phoenix Public Market, the state’s largest farmers market. Right next door is Phoenix Public Market Café, helmed by the Chamberlin brothers, the founders of Phoenix’s celebrated St. Francis restaurant. Buoyed by the success of St. Francis, the Cham-

berlins utilize produce from the farmers’ market to offer their inspired take on comfort food as filtered through the mind of a chef who trained in Jean-George Vongerichten’s kitchen. Located along the Camelback Corridor, The Gladly is another new restaurant with well-deserved buzz for its urban sophistication in a comfortable setting. Orchestrated by the team behind Citizen Public House, home of Phoenix favorite “The Original Chopped Salad” (which, fortunately, is also on The Gladly’s menu), The Gladly gets it right from start to finish—and makes you glad you’re in Phoenix. Throughout the year, LGBT Phoenix events include Pride, Rainbows Festival, Arizona Gay Rodeo and Cactus Cities Softball League, all of which have contributed to the double-digit increases in LGBT tourism to Phoenix. Pick up a copy of the local LGBT magazines, ION and Echo, for complete listings of LGBT fun. Of course, there’s also the weather— more than 325 days of sunshine each year, a fact that nearly every native and transplant will share with you. Give in to the heat and do it in the desert—and then head back to the Biltmore for one more round. Birthplace of the Tequila Sunrise, the Biltmore circumvented Prohibition with an in-house speakeasy called the Mystery Room, which has reopened for Sunday evening classic cocktails—so long as you’ve secured the password. Take your cocktail out onto the terrace and gaze into the constellations that flicker above this desert playground. Then take a midnight dip in the Catalina Pool, wearing nothing but a drop of Chanel in honor of Marilyn.

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PALM SPRINGS, YOUR DESERT HIDEAWAY By Michelle McCarthy There’s no better place to get away from it all than the desert. And there’s no better desert than Palm Springs, where gays are royalty. Even the drive out to the desert provides a quiet and stillness, allowing you to regroup and clear your head.

Leadbetter Beach PHOTO: JAY SINCLAIR

UP, UP AND AWAY The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a great way to take in the entirety of Palm Springs from up above. Known as the world’s largest rotating tramcar, the tramway is constructed within the rugged Chino Canyon and will transport you 2.5 miles to an elevation of 8,516 feet. (The trip takes 10 minutes.) WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE If you’re looking to get closer to nature, The Living Desert Wildlife and Botanical Park is your spot. This living museum’s mission is to work for desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation. It houses more than 400 species, including coyotes, meerkats, zebras, hyenas, snakes, iguanas, bobcats and hawks. There are also various gardens and special exhibits. STEP BACK IN TIME Palm Springs brings with it an aesthetic all its own, and one style it does with particular flair is MidCentury Modern. On the Mid-Century Modern Architecture Tour, you’ll get to visit a string of these meticulous homes, hear the backstories of the architects who brought them to life and find out who used to take up residence in them during the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! A trip to Palm Springs just isn’t complete without a visit to the Forever Marilyn statue located at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way. Taking a photo with the screen legend is a great way to start off a long day of shopping along Palm Canyon Drive. You can also sign up for a tour of the city’s windmills, take one of the many scenic hikes available or soak up the sun and float in your hotel pool. Find more reasons to head to Palm Springs at FrontiersLA.com.

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Santa Barbara’s Secret is Living Well If you’ve ever seen Grace Kelly and Cary Grant romping along the Riviera in Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, it’s likely that you, too, have yearned for your own seaside romance. As luck would have it for those who live in L.A., “The American Riviera” is but a short drive away. That’s right—just up the coast, where the ocean meets the mountains and it’s sunny all year, Santa Barbara beckons. What was once a winter residence for Gilded Age tycoons and the home of the largest silent film studio is now a thriving American resort community with historic antecedents and a booming arts scene. After all, this is Katy Perry’s hometown. Perry and other A-list performers often headline at the Santa Barbara Bowl, which was built in 1936 for Santa Barbara’s Fiesta pageant and is currently completing a $40 million renovation for its upcoming April to October season. While Santa Barbara isn’t West Hollywood, the city supports a vibrant LGBT community with various annual events. Each autumn, Santa Barbara hosts Heart & Sole AIDS Walk, as well as OUTrageous, the city’s LGBT film festival, in partnership with Pacific Pride Foundation, the nonprofit service organization that also produces Pacific Pride Festival, held each July at Leadbetter Beach. The most glamorous LGBT event of the year is Pacific Pride Foundation’s Royal Ball at Bacara Resort & Spa (the locale of numerous celebrity nuptials). This year’s ball, featuring a huge Eiffel Tower and stunning French décor, will be held the evening of April 12, 2014, followed by a Sunday afternoon Post-Royal Ball Gospel Brunch on Bacara’s Ocean Lawn. For LGBT naturalists (and naturists), there’s Great Outdoors, which is Southern California’s largest LGBT outdoor recreational organization. Founded as an alternative to the bars, Great Outdoors celebrates being “under the stars.” Santa Barbara’s early years as an artist’s colony and warm-weather retreat for the wealthy enabled the

by Mark A Thompson

founding of a well-known opera house, The Lobero, as well as other notable performance venues. Now celebrating its 35th year, Ensemble Theatre Company recently moved into the newly remodeled 92year-old Victoria Theater (now called the New Vic) after a $12 million renovation. Performers include Marsha Mason, Piper Laurie, Patrick Cassidy, Stephanie Zimbalist and numerous other Hollywood stars. Each year, the 11-day Santa Barbara International Film Festival attracts more than 75,000 cinephiles for a movie marathon featuring 200 films, with many screenings held at the Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara’s largest indoor venue. Held annually in the interval between Sundance and the Academy Awards, SBIFF is a requisite stop for the year’s most acclaimed performers—partially because of the concurrent Santa Barbara Film Feast, which conjoins cinema and cuisine for an all-sensory celebration. Home to the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, Santa Barbara’s primary architectural style is Spanish Colonial Revival, which was adopted nearly citywide after the 1925 earthquake. Numerous gifted architects created an “Andalusia by the Pacific,” complemented by the city’s California bungalows. Thanks to its temperate Mediterranean climate, Santa Barbara is an oenophile’s haven. The 2004 film Sideways was set and filmed in the surrounding area, and you can taste your way through the same wine country odyssey forged by Miles and Jack. The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail features more than 20 wineries, all within blocks of downtown and the beach. Santa Barbara’s annual Vintners’ Festival, which happens in April, is a wine lovers’ bacchanal, with more than 100 regional wineries presenting their best vintages alongside some of the best local food. In short, the longer you linger in Santa Barbara, the more you realize the aptness of the town’s registered moniker, “The American Riviera.” Living well is Santa Barbara’s well-known secret.


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THE BEAUTY WITHIN BY DUANE WELLS Why simply ‘live your life like it’s golden’ when you can live it like a true rock star? Though his practice is called Rockstar Beauty, the approach to beauty applied by Dr. Navanjun Grewal in his Beverly Hills office is more organic than its name might suggest. In a twist uncommon to the 90210, Dr. Grewal inspires his clients to emulate the underlying qualities that define rock stars rather than encouraging them to appropriate the dominant rock star look of the moment. “I named my medical practice Rockstar Beauty because I want to give patients confidence in their appearance,” Dr. Grewal explains. “There are plenty of rock stars who are not beautiful in the conventional sense, but they are confident in themselves. And that confidence becomes its own force that declares ‘I am beautiful’ for the entire world to hear and see. I want patients to attract attention and feel comfortable in every situation.” It was in fact out of Dr. Grewal’s hope to give patients on the fringes of life a chance at confidence that he entered the arena of plastic surgery in the first place. “Every physician has a defining moment—a moment when he realizes what career path he will follow. I had my moment in a rural Guatemalan surgical clinic as part of a medical mission,” he recalls. “I removed the bandages from a child who had just undergone a cleft lip repair. This was more than a dressing change. I participated in the metamorphosis of the child. A child who, through plastic surgery had gone from being the village 34

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outcast—scorned, ridiculed and excluded—to being a beautiful child filled with hope. More than just aesthetics, the new confidence the surgery brought to the patient made an indelible impression on me. The surgeon’s ability to correct form and to mold the emotions of his patient inspired me to pursue a career in plastic surgery.” That career has turned the good doctor into a genuine rock star in his own right. In fact, CBS recently named Rockstar Beauty one of the “Best Los Angeles Medi-Spas for Botox.” That said, while Dr. Grewal appreciates the accolades, it is in his commitment to relationship-building with clients and use of state-of-the art technology like the Vectra 3D imaging system (which allows patients to preview what they will look like post-surgery) and the REVENEZ 1 iPad consultation app that he is most proud of. “At Rockstar Beauty, we provide concierge-level aesthetic medicine,” Dr. Grewal explains. “We believe a procedure is just the start of the process of total self-improvement. Contrary to popular belief, very few of my patients are seeking perfection. Most of them just want to achieve more natural results that make them feel beautiful. At Rockstar Beauty, my goal is to help patients find the confidence through invasive and non-invasive methods so they can own their self-image inside and out and make it rock.” Kinda makes you want to hit a highnote, does it not? Find out more about Dr. Grewal and Rockstar Beauty at rockstarbeauty.com.


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E!’s new reality show ‘Rich Kids of Beverly Hills’ documents the outrageous lives of the 1% Happy Hour Tortilla Republic. It’s where the daddies go. Dance Club Hooray Henry’s, because they have really good music and it’s fun, and The Abbey on Sundays. It’s more of a bear crowd, and I’m a bit of a bear chaser. I use the term loosely because I’m not into the whole back hair thing. I like a sturdier man. I’m not into the sixpack WeHo thing. I like them a little older—I’ll start at, like, 28, and I don’t have a limit.

A Rich Kid’s Guide to L.A. BY MICHELLE MCCARTHY

Best Place to Meet Guys The Abbey. No, that’s so cliché. I’m going to say through friends. They know my taste very well, and I’m not going to The Abbey to meet my future boyfriend. I’m going there to have fun with my girls and drink. I’m very shy. VIP Club Soho House is the most fun. People-Watching Spot Sunset Tower. It’s very incognito. It’s a good mixture of gay and straight with good-looking guys and fun people to watch. Brunch Cecconi’s. I’m there way too much on Sundays. I’m the guy who goes to Cecconi’s for brunch, then I’ll walk up to The Abbey, and then I’ll go to Tortilla Republic. That’s my Sunday.

What started as a group of five friends— who happen to come from multimillionaire families—posting their excessive lifestyles on Instagram and Twitter has now become a reality show—E!’s Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, premiering Jan. 19. In addition to documenting ridiculous shopping sprees and the drama of it all, the show follows the privileged offspring as they attempt to break away from their families and establish a name of their own. We sat down with 25-year-old gay cast member Jonny Drubel—a self-proclaimed WeHo queen who is single and ready to mingle—and quizzed him on a few of his favorite L.A. spots.

Mexican Food Again, I’m going to have to go with Tortilla Republic, because I know the owners. It’s really good. That guacamole—once I pop, I don’t stop. Sushi I don’t eat sushi. Isn’t that weird? If I’m going to sit down for a meal, I’m not going to sit down and have sushi. But if I’m going to do one place, I’d have to do Yu-N-Mi Sushi in Beverly Hills because it’s, like, fast sushi. Everything is fried, and I love that. Burger In-N-Out. Oh, girl, DoubleDouble (no tomato, grilled onions), animal-style fries. Shopping I love Ralph Lauren. I’m a huge fan of Vince, Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, H&M. I’m not a good gay guy, ‘cause I hate shopping and I have no sense of style. Live Music Besides Staples—because I think it’s such a fun venue and no matter when I go down there, I always have fun—I like Hotel Café. The acoustics are amazing, and 99 percent of the talent is fantastic. Day Trip Most of the gays go to Palm Springs. I do the opposite and go to Laguna. I love being on the ocean. I love the Montage down there.

Hotel The Peninsula. When I came here, it was the first hotel I stayed in, and I thought all of L.A. was like that. I was like, “I love L.A.!” I go there a couple of times per week. Gym I go to Equinox and Reebok Crossfit Lab on Melrose. I also work out with Balthazar Gallardo. He's helped reduce my curves. I’m not the kind of gay that gets really into it. I’ll grab a smoothie and do 30 minutes of cardio—a nice steady walk with an incline just to pop the bootie. The bootie needs to be popped. Spa Treatment Ole Henriksen in the Sunset Plaza. They give the best facials. Hair I’m a little OCD. I go to Baxter Finley in WeHo, and I go literally once a week. I’m an extreme person. Movies OMG, don’t hate me. I hate movies. I have horrible ADD, and I don’t want to be that rude person who gets on their phone, checking my Instagram, so I just stay away from it. Areas to Stay Away From I don’t get Silver Lake. I don’t care. Good god, that shit is far. I was dating someone from Silver Lake and I was like, “I can’t have a long-distance relationship.” It’d be easier to date someone in New York.

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EVENTS

NIGHTLIFE

THEATER

EXHIBITS

go to FrontiersLA.com/Entertainment for more listings SECRETS OF THE SUN Palm Springs Art Museum Secrets of the Sun: Stephen H. Willard Photographs of the West is a new exhibit featuring rarely seen early photography of Palm Springs and other areas. Willard’s work embodies the ideals and vision of the American West. psmuseum.org Wed. | Jan. 8

LAURA BENANTI Catalina Bar & Grill Tony Award-winning Broadway star Laura Benanti makes her Los Angeles solo concert debut, celebrating the release of her first album, In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention. The album has already received critical acclaim in USA Today and TV Guide. Jan. 8-9. upright cabaret.com Wed. | Jan. 8

HOT ROD Micky’s Sleazy weekly party Hot Rod is where you’ll find real men and dirty boys, with live fetish shows to boot. Leave your inhibitions on the boulevard and enter at your own risk! mickys.com Thu. | Jan. 9

PARSIFAL Select SoCal cinemas A new production of Parsifal, Wagner’s huge, profound meditation on guilt, death and possible redemption brings an extraordinary cast of Wagnerian singers to cinemas. Part of a series of six different operas presented in 2014, Parsifal will run through the weekend. (Through Jan. 12.) screenvision.com/roh Thu. | Jan. 9

GAY MATCHMAKING CLUB Rockwell Table & Stage Attend the highly anticipated launch party of Catch Matchmaking. Be a part of

something traditional yet groundbreaking as L.A.’s most personalized matchmaking service is unveiled. Be social at the start of the new year. Appetizers included, drink specials available. $25 online, $30 at door. catchmatch making.com/events

PHOTO: BRIAN PUTNAM

Through April 6

Fri. | Jan. 10

MARY POPPINS SING-ALONG El Capitan Theatre Sing in the new year with a special return engagement of the singalong version of Walt Disney classic Mary Poppins. Audiences are encouraged to dress as their favorite characters from the film and lend their voices to the classic soundtrack. As an added bonus for the opening night show, there will be a costume contest along with special opening night surprises. Through Jan. 20. elcapitantickets.com

A MISMATCHED MILESTONE There’s no better way to usher in the new year than with an extra-special edition of Dennis Hensley’s The MisMatch Game, an outrageous, improv-heavy parody of a certain ‘70s game show that has long entertained Angelenos at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. The show’s latest incarnation is particularly meaningful, and Hensley tells us why.

Fri. | Jan. 10

ESCHENBACH CONDUCTS L.A. PHIL Walt Disney Concert Hall Conductor Christoph Eschenbach returns to lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic in three performances with violin master Christian Tetzlaff. Tetzlaff explores the paradoxes of Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto, while Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Dvofiák’s Symphony No. 9, New World are also on the program. Through Jan. 12. laphil.com Fri. | Jan. 10

LES BALLETS JAZZ DE MONTRÉAL Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts The Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal program includes Closer, choreographed by Benjamin Millepied; Night Box by Wei Wei Wang; Harry, choreographed by Barak Marshall; and many other stunning performances. Through Jan. 11. thewallis.org

How would you describe The MisMatch Game? The MisMatch Game is a loving take-off of the classic game show The Match Game. I’ve loved that show since I was a kid. It just seemed like a bunch of funny adults having grown-up silly time together. The game itself was irrelevant. The big difference with our show is that the questions have to do with making fun of the celebrity culture of the moment. The first time we did it onstage was for a birthday party I had in the early 2000s. It was really fun and outrageous—”semen” was the big answer that night, as I recall. After that first show, I thought, Maybe we could do this as a real show. So in 2004 I took it to my friend Jon Imparato at The Center and we’ve been doing it there ever since. Explain to our readers why this upcoming installment of the game is The $100,000 MisMatch Game. We’re calling it that because during this upcoming weekend’s shows we will cross the $100,000 mark in terms of how much money we’ve raised for the Center. We’re really going to try and blow it out. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years, and we’ve raised that much because for all of us who take part in it, it feels like a big party. It’s just a chance to come together and wear polyester and laugh. It’s the most consistently fun thing I’ve had in my life, and the fact that it’s helped people is just incredible.

What are a few of your favorite moments from past games? With such a stellar roster of L.A. talent, you must have several. I never know what the panelists are going to say before they say it, and at least once a show I fall on the floor laughing. One of the biggest thrills was when Marcia Wallace, who appeared on the original Match Game and who just recently passed away, appeared. I remember her regaling the crowd with stories about the real Match Game, like how everyone used to get drunk together at lunch. When you watch the reruns you can always tell if it was a morning or an afternoon show by how hammered everyone seems. She totally got into the spirit of it. The first time, she gave some filthy answer like “blow job.” I was like, Marcia Wallace just wrote blowjob on a notecard. I can die now. I understand you recently wrapped production on a short film with gay favorite comedienne Nadya Ginsburg. Tell us a bit about that. It’s called If We Took a Holiday, and Nadya and I collaborated on it with filmmaker Glenn Gaylord. Nadya and I play loose versions of ourselves in it. The plot is that it’s my character’s birthday and I just got dumped, so as a present my ‘actress friend Nadya’ agrees to be Madonna all day long. I get to live out my late-’80s fantasy of being Madonna’s BFF, but then stuff happens to us along the way that kind of throws a wrench in the works. We’re currently editing and hoping to hit the festival circuit later this year. The $100,000 MisMatch Game Jan. 17-19 The Center’s Renberg Theater lagaycenter.org/theatre

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Fri. | Jan. 10

GAME NIGHT IN SOUTH BAY South Bay LGBT Center Enjoy a night of games, puzzles and refreshments at The Center in Torrance. Participants will have a chance to mingle and make new friends while sipping on coffee, tea and soda and snacking on desserts. A suggested donation of $5 is accepted but not required. southbaycenter.org Sat. | Jan. 11

FILMOUT SAN DIEGO Birch North Park Theatre FilmOut San Diego continues its monthly screening series with the premiere of Free Fall and locally produced short film Squared. In Free Fall, Marc, who has a child on the way and has only dated women, falls for a fellow policeman. Squared tells the sexy story of two tops who wrestle to gain top status. filmoutsandiego.com Sat. | Jan. 11

5 REASONS

To See ‘The Goonies’ at Electric Dusk Drive-In

BRUTUS Faultline This packed party sails into Faultline every second Saturday of the month, and it’s all hotties on deck. Have a beer and join in on the search for hidden treasure. DJ Chris Bowen provides the soundtrack, Mark Cuadrado mixes live video montages for the crowd and Mario Diaz hosts. faultlinebar.com

1. You get to watch the 1985 film in the comfort of your own car. If your car is particularly spacious of if you drive a pickup, you could even cuddle up with Fido, as the drive-in is pet-friendly. 2. The Electric Dusk snack bar is not only reasonably priced but

offers delicious burgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill. (No word yet on whether the snack bar will be serving Baby Ruths.) 3. Here’s your chance to finally be cured of that childhood Fratelli clan phobia. Disclaimer: We can’t promise Anne Ramsey’s portrayal

of Mama Fratelli won’t still give you nightmares. 4. You’ve always loved the film’s performances by a young Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman and Martha Plimpton. 5. The Truffle Shuffle.

This ‘80s classic (screening at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 18) is the most requested film at Electric Dusk Drive-In, so don’t miss it. Get your tickets now! electricduskdrivein.com

Find more photo albums — and additional photos from these events — at FrontiersLA.com/Entertainment.

» BRUTUS | FAULTLINE |

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EATING

OUT

Sat. | Jan. 11

Through Jan. 13

FROM HOLLYWOOD WITH LOVE

ABE LINCOLN’S PIANO

Musicians Institute Concert Hall Kevin Nealon hosts this star-studded benefit concert, which features Robben Ford, Joe Bonamassa, Jimmy Vivino, John Jorgenson, Freebo and Richie Sambora. Proceeds will be donated to The Midnight Mission, SoCal’s premier homeless center. mi.edu

Geffen Playhouse Hershey Felder stars in Abe Lincoln’s Piano, which will have its world premiere as a limited engagement in the Gil Cates Theater. The acclaimed musician, composer and performer has paired with director Trevor Hay, creating an original score and book based on the timeless music of Stephen Foster. geffenplayhouse.com Tue. | Jan. 14

Through Jan. 12

PLAY DEAD Geffen Playhouse This interactive production includes disturbing images and nudity and is inappropriate for the faint of heart. We’re so there. At the Geffen Playhouse, Todd Robbins hosts a look at life, death and everything in between, telling his story with the use of illusion and telepathy. You are never so alive as when you are scared to death. geffenplayhouse.com

ROCKING WEST HOLLYWOOD LIKE A HURRICANE BY BRIAN PADGETT

From serving as the recording studio for The Doors’ L.A. Woman—the band’s last with frontman Jim Morrison—to beloved neighborhood hangout, the space at the corner of Santa Monica and La Cienega Boulevards has long been a staple of the West Hollywood community. Officially opening this month, the kingpins behind Hollywood Boulevard hotspot L’Scorpion Lounge are supplementing their Mexican-inspired bacchanalia with a delectable tapas menu exacting enthusiasm from WeHo denizens since their soft opening Halloween night. The eclectic nature of Los Angeles is evident in the L’Scorpion West menu. The lightly spiced lobster crêpes are unexpectedly topped with simple chocolate syrup to bring the buttery suppleness of the protein to the forefront. The masa-crusted oyster appetizer— with the juxtaposition of tender nautical meatiness and craggy, doughy earthiness—is a surefire standout. With liberal portions of tiger rock shrimp and red onion spiced with Serrano peppers and lime, the ceviche is similarly guaranteed to please. For an annual fee, L’Scorpion West allows patrons to reserve liquor lockers in the upstairs lounge, providing an instant VIP bottle service experience any night of the week at a significantly more affordable price than at standard nightclubs in the area. On weekends, a candle-lit Jim Morrison shrine, recalling that at Père Lachaise, adorns the exterior of the upstairs patio to further honor the building’s iconic history. L’Scorpion West’s Sunday brunch has quickly cemented itself in SoCal brunch culture. Bottomless mimosas punctuate the convenience of people watching from the al fresco patio, as do the Belgian waffles and wings—a modern spin on the classic chickenand-waffle combo—and the immensely popular breakfast quiche, with generous servings of assorted meats and cheeses. Not only is L’Scorpion West an all-inclusive locale for a great time out, but a visit just might make an honest L.A. Woman out of you.

L’Scorpion West 8512 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo (310) 855-0055 lscorpion.com

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Sun. | Jan. 12

LOS ANGELES DAIKU Aratani Theater Music lovers can experience the joy of Daiku (a Japanese phonomenon) when the Pasadena Master Chorale joins the Los Angeles Daiku and Los Angeles Daiku Orchestra to present Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Japanese soprano Mari Kumasaka will appear as guest artist, along with Tracy Van Fleet, mezzo-soprano; Robert MacNeil, tenor; and Dean Elzinga, bassbaritone. pasadenamasterchorale.org Sun. | Jan. 12

I’LL GO ON Kirk Douglas Theatre For the first time in Los Angeles, Barry McGovern will perform his tour de force one-man show, I’ll Go On by Samuel Beckett. Based on three Beckett novels, texts from the works have been selected by Gerry Dukes and McGovern. Through Feb. 9. centertheatregroup.org

AN ILIAD The Broad Stage, Santa Monica Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story, True Blood, C.O.G.) brings a new oneman show to L.A. for 15 performances. An Iliad is a modern retelling of Homer’s epic poem that telescopes the magnitude of Homer’s work in one thrilling solo performance as it strongly brings up the subject of war. thebroadstage.com Wed. | Jan. 15

ST. LAWRENCE STRING QUARTET Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Performing a program of Haydn, Korngold and Beethoven, the St. Lawrence String Quartet presents the first classical musical concert at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the 20132014 season. The quartet includes Geoff Nuttall, violin; Mark Fewer, violin; Lesley Robertson, viola; and Christopher Costanza, cello. thewallis.org Wed. | Jan. 15

THE THREE MUSKETEERS 40TH ANNIVERSARY The Landmark Theatre The Three Musketeers returns to the screen in celebration of its 40th Anniversary and to honor director Richard Lester with the Career Achievement Award given by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Richard Chamberlain, who plays Aramis in the film, will be a special guest. landmarktheatres.com Wed. | Jan. 15

Mon. | Jan. 13

ONE STARRY NIGHT The Pasadena Playhouse One Starry Night: Hollywood and Broadway Come Together to Fight ALS takes place for one night only and will include a silent auction and VIP post-show meet-and-greet. Proceeds will provide funding for care services, public policy and research for treatments and cure. pasadenaplayhouse.org

L.A. ART SHOW 2014 L.A. Convention Center The L.A. Art Show returns to the Convention Center, kicking off with a benefit for the Sister Cities of Los Angeles. Highlights include the debut of the Van Gogh Museum editions, lectures, top galleries from Korea, a special exhibition of photographer Tom Lamb, a photo exhibit by Gil Garcetti and more. Through Jan. 19. laartshow.com


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L.A. STAYCATION

» SISSY BAR | DRAGONFLY |

BY STEPHAN HORBELT

Photos by Rolling-Blackouts

W Los Angeles Westwood Whether you can’t afford to leave town for an extended vacation, have been dying to check out an unexplored area of the city or simply need to get away for a weekend, Los Angeles offers several ideal locales for a memorable staycation. Staying at a W property comes with certain expectations—stylish accomodations located in a posh part of town, world-class dining options and a certain cocktail culture that is both sophisticated and seductive. The W Los Angeles in Westwood delivers all that and more, making it the perfect venue for your upcoming L.A. staycation. The Hotel As with all W properties, design plays a dramatic starring role here, both inside and out. You’ll get a taste of what I mean upon entering the hotel via the waterfall staircase, backlit in bright green. The W’s signature style of course continues into individual rooms, which feature the creative genius of celebrity interior designer Thom Filicia. Another creative force behind the W Westwood is that of Executive Chef Dakota Weiss (Top Chef: Texas), who helms the hotel’s two dining options. NINETHIRTY is the property’s globally inspired finedining experience, while The Backyard is the ‘quintessentially SoCal’ poolside dining experience, serving “no-fuss food” like The Backyard Cheeseburger (aged white cheddar, malt vinegar aioli and fried pickles on a pretzel bun, served with sweet potato fries). Your Room Whether you find yourself enjoying one of the property’s spacious suites (the largest the W brand offers) or a studio, you’re guaranteed all the comforts of home and then some. Rooms here have open floor plans but are compartmental-

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Bliss Spa

ized appropriately—get work done at your spacious desk; relax and watch TV in the living room quarters; get cozy and fall asleep in the nearby bedroom to the glow of a second flatscreen plasma TV. Suites at the W Westwood are truly magical (should you have the money to splurge, as they don’t come cheap), featuring multiple bathrooms, luxurious tubs, panoramic views and, in the case of the Extreme Wow Suite, an intimate screening room with surround sound and a 72-inch screen. Highly Recommended For the true staycation experience, take advantage of the hotel’s Bliss Spa, a reason in itself to make the W Westwood your preferred getaway. A large spa at 7,000 square feet, Bliss offers a litany of treatment options, from the ‘Blissage’ (a 75minute full-body massage) to the triple oxygen facial. Not only are you guaranteed a life-changing treatment (one of the best I’ve had, in my experience), but after you’re loose and relaxed, wander through the spa store and load up on highquality products to protect and treat that gorgeous face of yours.

W Los Angeles - Westwood 930 HIlgard Ave., Westwood. wlosangeles.com


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FOOD2KNOW

BY BRIAN PADGETT

Quiche Brassy Australian schoolgirl Ja’mie King may have misappropriated the meaning behind this breakfast delicacy in her hilarious HBO show, but these L.A. eateries are serving the real deal.

Etchea Café

The Kitchen

Clementine

From Patina Group veterans to former L.A. politicos, the commanding team behind this Basque-inspired downtown eatery brings its passion for artisan cookery to every dish on internationally renowned Chef Laurent Quenioux’s menu. Etchea has made a big impression on Financial District folks since its opening nearly six months ago, and with either leek and onion or ham and cheese, size matters not when it comes to the petite quiche at this Bunker Hill mainstay. 254 S. Hope St., DTLA. etcheabakery.com

With its wholesome comfort food offerings made entirely from scratch, The Kitchen has been satisfying Silver Lake citizens for well over a decade. Although the lunch and dinner menus warrant coverage unto themselves, The Kitchen’s Quiche Niçoise has cemented itself as an East Side brunch fundamental, thanks largely to the dynamic coaction of fresh mint and peas beaded cohesively with lavish portions of albacore tuna. The side salad never hurts either. 4348 Fountain Ave., Silver Lake. thekitchen.la

Chef/Owner Annie Miler cut her culinary teeth at some of the finest restaurants in Los Angeles, including Spago and the late Campanile just to name a few. Miler’s enthusiasm for fresh, local ingredients is just as palatable in her ever-evolving menu choices now as it was when she opened Clementine, her Westside solo venture, in 2000. Her bacon quiche, with substantial portions of savory meat and creamy egg, is currently making a menu appearance, so get it while the getting’s good. 1751 Ensley Ave., Century City. clementineonline.com

Find more photo albums — and additional photos from these events — at FrontiersLA.com/Entertainment.

» HUSTLER THURSDAYS | THE ABBEY |

Photos by Rolling-Blackouts

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Wed. | Jan. 15

Sat. | Jan. 18

L.A. JEWELRY, ANTIQUE & DESIGN SHOW

RASPUTIN Robertson

L.A. Convention Center

» SANTA'S SACK | REVOLVER |

Photos by Rolling-Blackouts

The region’s only event showcasing all things art and design debuts in conjuntion with the L.A. Art Show. Highlights include an opening night fashion show, vintage jewels from Cartier and Tiffany, exhibits, lectures and more. Through Jan. 19. lawintershow.com Thu. | Jan. 16

This is the Saturday night party everyone’s been talking about. There’s no cover (although you can pay $5 to bypass the line) and no rules here. A team of Russian Dolls make up the host committee. facebook.com/RasputinLA Sat. | Jan. 18

DOUGLAS KIRKLAND: A LIFE IN PICTURES Photo L.A.

THE GOONIES Electric Dusk Drive-In A new season kicks off at the only yearround outdoor film series in Los Angeles, the Electric Dusk Drive-In, with 1985 adventure-comedy The Goonies. The drivein movie theater, with a diverse and cult following, is now in its second year. electricduskdrivein.com Thu. | Jan. 16

Photo L.A. honors award-winning celebrity photographer Douglas Kirkland, who since 1960 has photographed over 2,000 assignments and more than 600 major celebs, from Marilyn Monroe to Angelina Jolie. He has also released a multitude of bestselling books and has had his photography exhibited in major museums and galleries throughout the world. Copies of A Life in Pictures will be available for purchase and signing. photola.com

PALM SPRINGS POOL PARTY

Sat. | Jan. 18

Aquarium of the Pacific It’s a pool party at the Aquarium, retro-style! Enjoy drag performances by Raja and Tammie Brown, singing by Sinatra-style crooner Luca Ellis, DJs, free hors d’oeuvres, cash bar with a signature Pink Squirrel martini, mid-century modern pool décor and the entire aquarium open for viewing. $25. aquariumofpacific.org

SIMRIT KAUR & BELINDA CARLISLE Golden Bridge Yoga Join internationally acclaimed chant artist Simrit Kaur and the beloved lead singer of The Go-Go’s, Belinda Carlisle, for an unforgettable mantra music experience. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $30 in advance, $35 after Jan. 13. goldenbridgeyoga.com Sat. | Jan. 18

CHANGES IN THE MATING STRATEGIES OF WHITE PEOPLE

Fri. | Jan. 17

STUDIO ONE Ultra Suede

The Lounge 2

Straight from the brain of WeHo’s kooky nightlife impresario Billy Francesca, Studio One is a return to L.A.’s version of famed nightclub Studio 54. Prepare for your feet to never leave the dance floor while you take in eye candy galore and the occasional live performance by pop artists of the moment. factorynightclub.com

In this comedy, playwright Solange Castro explores urban dating, technology, love and sex in contemporary Los Angeles. A man and woman meet for the first time on an internet date, while nearby another man and woman meet to end their marriage. Through Feb. 24. plays411.com Sun. | Jan. 19

Fri. | Jan. 17

SIZE

SPEND THE WEEKEND WITH JOE DALLESANDRO

Here Lounge

Hollywood Forever Cemetery © PAUL MORRISSEY

Join Joe Dallesandro as he hosts a weekend tribute to the Paul Morrissey trilogy that made “Little Joe” a huge icon. Over the last four decades, these films have been shown in theatres across the world. Now these films will screen as a trilogy here in L.A., along with the not-yet-officially-released documentary Little Joe by Joe Dallesandro and Vedra Megherian. Through Jan. 19. hollywoodforever.ticketfly.com

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This Tom Whitman weekly party celebrates nearly a decade of great Sunday afternoons. Expect to find a gorgeous group of guys imbibing and dancing before starting up the work week. And because bigger is better, Billy Francesca hosts Size Queen from 4-7 p.m. tomwhitmanpresents.com Mon. | Jan. 20

ANTIGONE A Noise Within A free reading of Jean Anouilh’s Antigone, translated and directed by resident artist Robertson Dean, will be presented at the acclaimed classical repertory theater company. The production is a tragedy inspired by Greek mythology and the play of the same name, Antigone, by Sophocles from the fifth century B.C. anoisewithin.org


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ENTERTAINMENT

FILM

REVIEWS G.B.F. Starring Michael J. Willett, Paul Iacono, Megan Mullally Opens Jan. 17

****

Turning the drama of coming out into high comedy, G.B.F. is a bright—and brightly colored—high-energy romp. Tanner (the adorable Willett) is a high school senior inadvertently outed. Rather than becoming a social pariah, he is wooed by the school’s three teen queens who want him as their “sexless accessory,” even though he wants to maintain a low profile. His newfound status as the ‘gay best friend’ happens at the same time he has a fight with his BFF, Brent (Iacono). Yet bigger problems occur when Tanner is denied the right to take a dude as his date to prom. Hijinks ensue when Tanner gets involved with an alternative prom and Brent butches it up to put an end to Tanner’s popularity. Director Darren Stein ably provides the laughs as the characters each get their share of smart and funny jokes. G.B.F. is full of teen-speak, pop culture references and queer/bitchy flamboyance. The film’s costumes are fierce, but the most fabulous part of G.B.F. is how the film spins some stereotypes on its head—but also shrewdly equates being in the closet with being in high school. This entertaining film is a piffle, but it’s more fun and less awkward than Brent’s watching Brokeback Mountain with mom (even if she’s played by Mullally). —Gary M. Kramer

INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR.

THE ROCKET

Starring James Franco, Travis Mathews, Val Lauren Now showing

Starring Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Thep Phongam Opens Jan. 17

***

****

This hour-long documentary probes the blurry line between straight/gay and reality/fiction as it “reimagines 40 lost minutes from Cruising.” Co-directors Franco and Mathews discuss how the assimilation of queer culture and society into the mainstream has the effect of erasing radicalism. As such, they have created this queer film in an attempt to shatter conditioned (e.g. hetero-normative) responses to sex and sexuality. However, Interior. Leather Bar. is ultimately too inconsequential to be an effective or thorough investigation. Several scenes and discussions focus on the confusion and anxiety Franco’s straight friend, actor Lauren, has playing the Pacino role. His candid conversation with another straight actor— who is being made up to play a drag role—is interesting, even after a narrative gimmick is revealed. But too much of the film is given over to Lauren’s claims that he supports Franco’s “vision” even if he does not always understand it. When Lauren expresses his umpteenth concern about gay men and sex, it is more exasperating than illuminating. The unsimulated queer sex scenes are meant to balance out the straight guy anxiety, but gay viewers may not find that satisfying. Interior. Leather Bar. is a curiosity piece, both fascinating and frustrating.

A film as charming as its resourceful young hero, The Rocket is an enjoyable albeit predictable crowdpleaser. In the northern mountains of Laos, Mali (Alice Keohavong) gives birth to Ahlo (Disamoe) and his twin. However, this curses Ahlo. His bad luck may be what prompts a tragic accident as his family relocates to make way for a hydroelectric dam in their village. Moreover, Ahlo also causes a disruption in the new village. As such, he becomes an outcast along with his family members. They set out for a new place to live along with Kia (Kaosainam) and her uncle Purple (Phongam), a man who channels James Brown. Ultimately, Ahlo hopes to build a rocket to win a local competition’s large cash prize and restore luck to his hardscrabble family. If there are no surprises as to what transpires, The Rocket features some glorious moments (and scenery), including an underwater swim, a mythical funeral ceremony and the rocket competition itself. Australian writer/director Kim Mordaunt has crafted an atmospheric film that addresses issues of tradition versus modernization. He coaxes affable performances out of his entire non-professional cast and celebrates Ahlo’s determination to prove himself and find his self-worth. The Rocket is a real sleeper.

—Gary M. Kramer

—Gary M. Kramer

WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW? Starring Richie Jen, Mavis Fan, Kimi Hsia Opens Jan. 17

****

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? is a sweet and sentimental Taiwanese import about a handful of interconnected people struggling in their lives and relationships. Weichung (Jen) is a married optometrist whose manager leaves the store in his hands and literally flies away in the enchanting pre-credit sequence. His wife, Feng (Fan), wants to have a second child. However, at his sister Mandy’s (Kimi Hsia) engagement party, Weichung reconnects with his old friend Stephen (Lawrence Ko), a gay man. The glum Weichung soon finds himself reconsidering his repressed same-sex feelings and questioning his marriage—especially when he meets Thomas (Wong Ka-lok), an adorable flight attendant. Meanwhile, after Mandy breaks off her engagement to San-San (Stone), he enlists Stephen and his queer friends to help him win his fiancée back. The various romantic crises prompt these characters to find happiness. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? has moments of melancholia, but writer/director Arvin Chen infuses the film with magical realism that never seems cloying—as when Feng performs the title song in one buoyant sequence. Chen’s vivid visual palette and a lush orchestral soundtrack bring an old-fashioned Hollywood feel to modern day Taipei. Audiences will be charmed by this fun and sunny comedy-drama. —Gary M. Kramer

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MUSIC

Beyoncé Beyoncé (iTunes)

****

REVIEWS

Hey, did you hear? Beyoncé surprised everyone with 17 new songs/videos, and pretty much ‘pwned’ the internet and the iTunes chart. For her fifth album, she straddles multiple genres anchored together with everything from stream-of-consciousness lyrics, trap beats, the gurgles of her daughter Blue Ivy and even oldschool Destiny's Child footage. It’s kind of a mature listen (with atmospheres created by Timbaland, Detail, Pharrell, Hit-Boy and Boots), and she lyrically tackles her fears, indecision and even marital worry on the steadfast “No Angel” and “Jealous.” She also assails the delusion of size-zero beauty with lines like “Perfection is the disease of a nation” on “Pretty Hurts,” while swaggering her feminist side on “**Flawless.” Yet on “Blue” (her ode to her daughter), she conveys serious pride and adoration. This is not to say that she’s not serving up some expected sultry and playful sex appeal, which is found in spades on “XO” (written and produced by The-Dream and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder) and the twerktastic “Yoncé.” Truthfully, this is Bey’s most personal and distinct record to date. And though she might be bored of record labels and bored of what she’s doing (her words), all we can do is pretty much hang on every word. —Paul V.

I Break Horses

Lacrosse

Mary Lambert

Strangers

TOY

Chiaroscuro (PIAS America)

Are You Thinking of Me Every Minute of Every Day (Tapete Records)

Welcome to the Age of My Body (Capitol)

Close (Empire Records)

Join the Dots (PIAS America)

*** The term chiaroscuro is the interplay of light and dark in art. Often it infers the absence of color. Though it’s a perfect title for the sophomore release from this Swedish indie duo, progenitors of what Pitchfork called “homemade shoegaze,” the result is less blackand-white than you might expect. The guitar-based electronica of I Break Horses’ debut gives way here to a gentle electro canvas that begins with harsh monochromes—bleak synthesizers, programmed beats—yet deepens with each new element introduced. The Bat for Lashes melancholy of opener “You Burn,” its distorted minor key piano line echoing the softly distorted keyboards, becomes poignant with the lowkey soprano of singer Maria Lindén. “Faith” is a motorik drive through a Krautrock landscape; all hissing beats and percolating bass (some ambitious remixer could have a club banging hit with it). “Ascension” and “Denial” take the musique concrete blueprint of OMD and open it up with sweet femme vocals. Overall, Chiaroscuro is a more commercial work than Horses; its rhythms are soothing as opposed to agitating. And to remind us that the band is still noise experimentalist, Lindén and her co-conspirator Fredrik Balck go out on an eight-minute drone that’s like Sigur Rós with nothing by synths. —Dan Loughry

****

Sweden, you're so weird. And in the best way. For decades, Sweden's been giving us some of the most creative, quirky, art pop that could teach Lady Gaga a lot about what 'different' sounds like. Lacrosse has always been a solid band—its first two albums are pleasant and just interesting enough, but producer Henrik Svensson has creatively rejuvenated the band. After a four-year absence, Lacrosse has created its smartest, most enigmatic album yet. Are You Thinking of Me Every Minute of Every Day is 10 tracks of pure joy, with weird surfsynth summer anthems (lead single “If Summer Ends,” “Give You More”) and moody, thoughtful songs like album opener “Don't Be Scared” and the gorgeous closer “Easter Island.” Vocal duties are evenly split between Nina Waha and Kristian Dahl, trading off and sharing the spotlight with equal appeal. These songs were written over the past four years, during the band's hiatus, and that break allowed Lacrosse to experiment with arrangements and maximize its potential. The time off worked. Every song on this album is infectious and lovely, but the avant pop of “I Need Your Heart/I Need Your Soul” will tell you everything you need to know. Someone play it for Gaga. —Dominik Rothbard

***

One of the greatest musical moments of 2013 was Macklemore & Lewis’ “Same Love” and that such a powerful, moving song about LGBT equality was reaching the masses in an unprecedented, game-changing way. And what made the song so emotionally resonant? Mary Lambert’s chorus lyrics. Those seven simple words—“I can’t change, even if I tried”—sure tugged on the heartstrings. Now it’s time for her glorious voice to shine in the spotlight. Though just a four-song sampler, Mary's official debut packs quite a punch. Included is her interpolation of “Same Love,” which is now a fully realized, sapphic power ballad entitled “She Keeps Me Warm,” and it’s the exquisite other side of her personal story/message. Elsewhere, she speaks truth to power when it comes to being openly gay and a big girl on “Body Love Pt. 1,” a spoken-word manifesto addressing social norms, materialism and depression. Then more declarations like “You are more than just a waistline. You are no less valuable than a size 4” on “Body Love Pt. 2.” Both tracks need to be on repeat for every young girl on the planet, because Lambert is their heroine of self-worth and self-love. “Some women just have more guts than others”—indeed. Here’s to even more in 2014.

*****

****

David Maddox-Jones has been a part of three brilliant but woefully unknown bands in the past decade—The Departure, NewIslands and now Strangers. Each band has explored a different aspect of electronic music, owing huge debts to the 1980s. Finally, after toiling in obscurity for an undeserved eternity, MaddoxJones has finally found a modicum of success with Strangers. Close compiles a series of singles that were given away by the band across 2013 with a handful of new material. The result is phenomenal. It plays like a greatest hits record. Each track is a huge, epic, glossy, dance-y synth masterpiece. Close is how Depeche Mode would’ve sounded had they lightened up, but that's not to say dark themes aren't explored here. “No Longer Lost,” “Sense of Liberty” and “Don't Lie to Me” show a multifaceted side of Strangers, but it's “Fires” (available in three versions here—regular, acoustic and remixed) that really stands out. Other highlights include album opener “Devine” and “Promises.” These guys are finally breaking through in the UK, and this stateside release is good enough to help them do it over here, too. If these guys don't explode in 2014, I’ll be shocked.

This psychedelic indie quintet from Brighton, U.K., released a much-lauded eponymous debut in 2012. Honestly, I can’t remember a thing about it. I listened to it, then filed it away with all the other digital clips in storage (most likely never to return to my iPod again). Join the Dots, the band’s sophomore release—produced by Dan Carey, who also helmed the debut—reportedly took twice as long to record, yet that time sounds well-spent on the results. The band, anchored by Tom Dougall (younger brother of former Pipettes’ Rose Elinor Dougall), is less hell-bent on impressing listeners with its knowledge of modern shoegaze/ psychedelica and more concerned with simply servicing each of the songs to their best ability. The instrumental opener “Conductor” sets a suitably muscular, ambient stage. The title track makes like Stereolab ripping through My Bloody Valentine. “Left to Wander” recalls a great, unheralded U.K. post-punk outfit called The Sound. And much of the work here shares the dreamy underbelly of Australia’s The Church (Dougall’s voice is a ringer for Steve Kilbey). They could learn to edit, as more than half these tunes might be more pungent if shortened. Yet even at maximum length, they make an impact.

—Dominik Rothbard

—Dan Loughry

—Paul V.

JANUARY 21, 2014

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THEATER REVIEWS GOD’S GYPSY LILLIAN THEATRE | 1076 Lillian Way, Hlywd. Through Jan. 12 | godsygypsy.com PHOTO: SYLVIA SPROSS

Religious fervor, scandal in the Catholic Church and the horrifying rule of the Inquisition in 16th century Spain form the backdrop for actor-playwright Coco Blignaut’s three-hour biographical opus, God’s Gypsy, in its world-premiere run. Based on the novel Sister Teresa by Barbara Mujica and directed by Joel Daavid, the ambitious production clearly reflects the dedicated efforts of several creative artists. Unfortunately, the project doesn’t fully succeed in its premiere rendition. During a recent performance hampered by an apparently ineffective heating system on one of the coldest recent nights, the proceedings were slow-going, despite intermittently powerful scenes and some stirring performances. The production is compromised by unwieldy dramaturgy and insufficient narrative focus. St. Teresa of Avila (1516-1582), who

was said to experience rapturous visions and was eventually considered a mystic, was secretly a half-Jewish woman who decided to become a Catholic nun. She quickly established herself as a freethinking and hard-driving rebel. She fostered more respect and influence for women in the church, combated political corruption there, established monasteries and shared her commitment to spiritual salvation through meditation and prayer. Along the way, she was accused of blasphemy and demonic possession and suffered the abuses of deranged priests while becoming a source of faith and hope for the other nuns on her way to becoming a saint. The script seems overstuffed with details as characters constantly come and go and settings frequently change during cumbersome transformations. Three

actresses (Carole Weyers, Abbe Rowlins and Jeanne Witczak) perform multiple duties as nuns, haughty society ladies and a giddy group of gossipy seamstresses. Coherence fades in and out during a dizzying series of episodes, though they are intermittently powerful. Blignaut gives a committed and moving portrayal as the strong-willed Teresa, and she shares affecting scenes with the nun who she befriends, Sister Angelica (in a heart-wrenching characterization by Tsulan Cooper). Daniel de Weldon is suitably despicable as a sexually depraved priest who violates the nuns in disturbing rape scenes. Another highly unnerving scene involves the torture of ever-valiant Sister Angelica at the hands of a sadistic Inquisitor (David Haverty). The sexual content and violence in the production are potent without crossing

over into excess or exploitative. As Javiar, a man who was briefly Teresa’s fiancé, before each of them joined the clergy and returns to her life in subsequent years, Edison Park gives a credible portrayal. The elaborate production design in the compact Lillian space is atmospheric, with salutes due to Daavid’s sprawling set, Leigh Allen’s lighting, Michael Mullen’s costumes and Chris Moscatiello’s sound. Of special note is Lili Hayden’s gorgeous original music, which she performs on her violin at some performances, including the show reviewed. Blignaut’s dramatic vision is driven by a worthwhile concept and powerful themes, but the piece needs considerable refinement to be the cohesive and fully resonant human drama that she appears to strive for. —Les Spindle

WALKIN’ IN A WINTER ONE-HIT WONDERLAND FALCON THEATRE | 4252 Riverside Dr., Burbank Through Jan. 19 | falcontheatre.com

PHOTO: BY CHELSEA SUTTON

The unique group known as the Troubadour Theatre Company, founded in 1995, largely focuses on wacky spoofs that combine commedia del arte, musical theater and sketch comedy. The company offers fast-paced parodies of classic works (often Shakespeare) and bizarre mashups of popular entertainment (as in 2011’s divine A Christmas Westside Story, which simultaneously skewered Leonard Bernstein’s Broadway classic and the vintage film A Christmas Story). Ensconced at Garry Marshall’s venerable Burbank venue, the Falcon Theatre, the Troubies are now offering their 10th annual yule48

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tide confection. This year’s spoof forgoes parodying a specific work for a free-form revue. It lightly kids the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol midway through, but it’s essentially built around the conceit of a gaudy Vegas-style lounge act, defying any concern for coherency. Ever-hilarious artistic director/actor Matt Walker, sporting a frightening 1960sstyle Lucille Ball-red wig is the Dean Martin-esque host for the evening. Patrons (or critics) who don’t wish to be in show business are forewarned that the baiting of audience members is a given when you

attend a Troubie show. The impromptu “best and worst-dressed” competition, with contestants selected and summoned to the stage, was probably not something participants wanted to write home about afterwards. This year’s package is filled with references to past Troubadour holiday season shows, complete with projected video. Understanding the references and responding to the verbal and visual gags will be dependent on one’s familiarity with the past holiday presentations and Troubie inside jokes. The company’s fan base is clearly loyal, as the near-capacity opening night crowd was filled with many who enthusiastically responded to the sardonic jabs. The Winter Warlock character—sort of a scary version of Frosty the Snowman from the perennially popular televised cartoon Santa Claus is Coming to Town— has appeared in several of the group’s holiday shows. He/she is here again, in the form of veteran Troubie luminary Beth Kennedy, atop long stilts and sporting an awe-inspiring costume by designer

Sharon McGunigle, including startlingly long and pointed fingernails. This led to the spoofing of Dickens’ Scrooge saga, which comes across as less hilarious than was apparently intended, though Kennedy earned robust chuckles with her valiant and clever portrayal. Pop and rock hits from yesteryear (“Brandy,” “I’m Too Sexy,” “Love Will Keep Us Together, “You Light Up my Life” and more) are included, primarily performed with spoofy new lyrics, à la Forbidden Broadway Musical director/drummer Eric Heinley, keyboardist Kevin McCourt and Dana Decker and Kevin Stewart on bass provide superb accompaniment. The performers—most tackling multiple roles, are likewise superb. The triple-threat troupers supporting Kennedy are Walker, Rick Batalia, Katherine Donahoe, Andy Lopez, Suzanne Jolie Narbonne, Katie Nunez and Lisa Valenzuela. This isn’t quite a cream-of-the-crop Troubie effort, but it should please devoted fans. —Les Spindle


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LORD OF WAR DENIS O’HARE STARS IN ONE-MAN SHOW ‘AN ILIAD’ By Michelle McCarthy Denis O’Hare is the kind of actor you recognize immediately. No matter which role he plays, he’s guaranteed to steal every single scene. His list of projects is quite impressive: True Blood, American Horror Story, Milk, The Proposal, Dallas Buyers Club, C.O.G. and Michael Clayton. O’Hare is also a veteran of the stage and will be appearing in the one-man performance of An Iliad at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Jan. 14 to Feb. 2. Based on Homer’s epic war poem The Iliad, An Iliad is O’Hare’s debut as a theater writer. We talked to the out actor about how grueling a one-man show can be, the obstacles gay actors still face and how his hatred of George Bush made him say ‘yes’ to this project.

What drew you to this poem? Lisa Peterson, my collaborator, co-author and director of the piece actually came to me. It was 2005 and she was thinking, Where are all the war plays? We were mired in two wars at the time, Iraq and Afghanistan. She came across The Iliad as a great example of war literature and asked me if I wanted to sit down and read it. The only reason we were able to do this is because we didn’t know what we were getting into. If I knew I had to do a one-man play, 100 minutes long, playing Homer, I would’ve said no. But it was, Well, let’s talk about The Iliad and war and how much you hate George Bush. I was like, I’m in! Five years later, we produced a script. How did you strive to make this version more contemporary? We tried to figure out who these people were for contemporary audiences. We would read a chapter and then I would suddenly improv. Lisa would turn the camera on me and say, Who was Paris? We said, How do we relate this to our audience? How do we get a modern audience to bypass intellect and react with their gut? We wanted the text to be vital and hit people where they live.

Is there a specific passage that speaks to you? The Priam/Achilles story I find really heartbreaking. Priam comes to Achilles at the height of the battle and asks for his son’s body bag. I find that passage just awful. It’s so moving. Doing a one-man show has to take a lot out of you. It’s a physical challenge, kind of like running a marathon. I literally got so used up at a couple points that I remember getting dizzy and thinking I was going to pass out. I couldn’t get my breath. I end up sweating through my clothes. I lose weight after I do it for a while. It’s also very tough on my throat, so I can’t do that many shows in a row. Not to mention the psychological toll it takes on me because it’s such a devastating topic. It’s really entertaining and funny at times. It’s a story told by one guy in a room with no props using his hands and his voice. In the audience’s mind, these characters spring to life. You’ve played roles that call for a lot of makeup. On the first American Horror Story, half of your face was burned. Does that help you mentally transform into the character faster? Definitely. I’m all for not

acting when I don’t have to. So if my face is actually half-burned off, I’m actually having a hard time seeing and I’m actually having a hard time hearing—then I don’t have to act. I don’t have to act like I’m in pain. I’m actually in pain. Wearing a fantastic wig for [True Blood’s] Russell Edgington gives me a certain kind of confidence I don’t normally have. Wearing incredibly expensive clothes and having fantastic things to say enables me to be outrageous in a way that I’m not normally outrageous. Spaulding [from AHS: Coven] has these rotten teeth I wear and these long nails, so I can’t really eat or talk. I also have these very strange, painful shoes that make me a little elevated, but they’re impossible to walk in. So it’s not acting—it’s responding to the world. I have to be honest, I didn’t know you were gay. Do you think actors coming out and having a huge press event around it is a thing of the past? Sadly, no. We now have this strange notion that if you’re religious you can

discriminate against people. Because of your religion, you get to be a bigoted asshole. Those bigoted assholes watch TV. They watch movies and buy tickets. They have opinions and channels like Fox News so they can spread their misinformation. So a young actor looking to have a career, I do not envy the choices he has to make if he’s gay. I’ve always been out and never had a problem with it, but I’m a character actor. You’re now married and have a son. How has becoming a father changed you? It changes everything. I ride my bike everywhere in New York. I’m pretty reckless. It occurred to me one day while coming home across the Manhattan Bridge at three in the morning that, Oh, I can’t die. If I die, I’ll be abandoning my boy. I suddenly slowed down. It also changes you because you want the world to be a better place for him or her. I started thinking about what kind of world he’s going to inherit. I want that world to be better for him. You start to take these things personally.

For tickets to An Iliad, go to thebroadstage.com or call the box office at (310) 434-3200.

JANUARY 21, 2014

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BILLY

MASTERS I was shocked to read a recent headline stating that Pope Franny was campaigning against me. Me, America’s most beloved gay gossip columnist! Now, admittedly, Time magazine’s Person of the Year didn’t say, “Stay away from Billy Masters— he’s the devil.” The headline actually said, “Pope warns against mediocrity and gossip in the Vatican”—at the end of a year when I had done no less than three stories about mediocrity in the Vatican! This condemnation took place during the Christmas gathering of the Vatican Curia, which I believe is kinda like an Italian Tupperware party. During his address, Franny said, “There is a slow drift downward towards mediocrity that fills us with trite and lifeless information.” I don’t know who is more insulted by this—me or Kim Kardashian! In case he didn’t make his point, he added, “We must exercise a conscientious objection to gossip.” I guess he won’t be renewing his subscription to BillyMasters.com. Despite all of this, I must say I like Pope Francis. Yes, he’s stuck within the workings of the Catholic Church, but he’s sure pushing the limits. For instance, last month he summoned Jack Andraka to the Vatican. Who is Jack? He’s the 16-year-old scientist who discovered a way to detect various cancers within five minutes with a test that only costs three cents. And, oh yes, he’s gay! Well, gay or not, the pope recognized this prodigious pup and gave

Jack Andraka

him an award. As Andraka said, “It’s really amazing to be recognized by the Vatican— especially as a gay scientist.” Indeed, it is. But if I were the pope, I’d sleep with one eye open. Remember what they did to the last pope who rocked the boat. The Bible made quite a comeback this year, thanks to a mega-successful miniseries on the History Channel produced by Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey Jr. It was such a ratings blockbuster, a real network has ordered a sequel. How do you top Jesus rising from the dead? Follow some nutty American to look for golden 50

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“The movie didn’t do well at the box office, so I should quit? Hold on a second. If I was somebody else, you wouldn’t have said that. I have the number one album this week, and I shouldn’t have released it? Come on, man. You sound like a dickhead.”

plates? Talk to aliens via Tom Cruise? NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says, “You might think the story is over at the crucifixion, but as most of the world knows, that was only the beginning.” I’d compare it to The Osmonds: Second Generation—in theory, just as much fun as their uncles. But are they really? It may be the beginning of 2014, but I want to look back at a few of the big stories from 2013—and perhaps update a few of them. The biggest story of the year was the Supreme Court striking down Prop. 8 and California resuming gay marriages. Making the situation even more historic, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first Supreme Court justice to officiate a gay wedding. While all of that was monumental, more far-reaching was the court’s ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. This led the way for many states to legalize same-sex marriage. To date, 18 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. If I can be so bold as to make a prediction, I believe gay marriage will be legalized on a federal level within five years—perhaps as soon as Obama’s last months in office. Dot-Marie Jones and Bridgett Casteen

As the year drew to a close, Dot-Marie Jones from Glee surprised guests at her Christmas party by announcing that they were really there to witness her marriage to girlfriend Bridgett Casteen. The two got engaged in October while visiting Disneyland during the annual Gay Days Anaheim celebrations. In 2012, another Glee castmate got married—Jane Lynch married girlfriend Lara Embry. Last year, the couple split up. Rumors of Lynch’s desire for a quickie divorce were thwarted when Lara filed for $93,809 per month in spousal support. Since the twosome didn’t have a prenup and married in California, this is a sticky situation. Speaking of sticky situations, Cheyenne Jackson found himself in one this past year. In 2012, he married longtime beau

Monte Lapka. Less than a year later, they divorced. Shortly thereafter, a video of Jackson “pleasuring himself” to completion was ... um, leaked (and can be seen at BillyMasters.com). Reportedly the dashing singer was sending the video out to a West Coast paramour. Next time, might I suggest Skype? And some Handi Wipes? Dylan Sprouse

This kinda leads into our first “Ask Billy” question of the year. Rolf, who is allegedly in Sweden, asks, “What do you know about these nude photos of Dylan Sprouse? Are they real? Does he actually show his penis?” First I had to figure out, who is Dylan Sprouse? I mean, who do I look like, an Oscar-winning writer? Dylan was one of the two brothers who were on the Disney Channel show The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (which eventually moved onto a ship). Apparently he was Zack ... or was it Cody? Anyway, he’s now a 21-year-old student at NYU studying video game development. He caused a bit of a kerfuffle recently when a couple of racy selfies surfaced online. One had him flexing in a mirror, while the second found him completely nude but cupping his genitals. (Well, maybe half a cup.) Dylan Tweeted, “Whoops, guess I’m not 14 and fat anymore.” Of course, his twin brother entered the fray by saying, “Cold in that bathroom, huh?” Ah, brotherly love. Anyway, Dylan later addressed the issue directly: “The reason I’m making light of the situation is because I don’t think what I did was wrong. To be blunt, I was proud of my progress in the gym, thought I looked hot, and wanted to share it. The real problem here was not me sending my pictures to someone, but rather, sending them to the wrong someone.” While that wrong someone was not moi, I’m not above posting them—along with two others that have been heretofore

—Justin Timberlake responds to criticism regarding the film Runner Runner and his CD, The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2. You know what they say—if you can’t take the heat ... do a musical on live TV. squelched, but are far more explicit (if they are real) on BillyMasters.com. It may be weeks away, but the upcoming Sochi Olympics are poised to be the most scandalous event of 2014. Even Jay Leno seems to think so. During an interview with Meredith Vieira, he said, “I don’t know how it’s different from ... I mean, this is how it started in Nazi Germany. ‘Oh, the Jews? Just put them over here.’ It just makes me uncomfortable.” Then we heard that President Obama, Michelle Obama and Joe Biden will not be attending the Sochi Games. Instead, Obama has selected a presidential delegation, which will include a number of openly gay athletes, such as Billie Jean King, Caitlin Cahow and Brian Boitano. Just weeks ago, a reader asked me if Brian Boitano really thought anyone believed he was straight. At the time, I said that having a series on the Food Network, making a cameo in Blades of Glory and Brian Boitano

doing a television special called Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular with Barry Manilow was tantamount to coming out. And now he’s actually done so. Shortly after his appointment to the Presidential Delegation to the Olympics, Brian issued the following statement: “I am many things: a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am.” One small step for man.... When Brian Boitano being gay is news, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column. What a fun way to kick off the year. We even threw in some celebrity penises. And they’re all available to you at BillyMasters.com, the site that never skimps on skin. As you know, I’m always available to answer your questions. Just drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before the pope sends in an “Ask Billy” question of his own! So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.


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It’s time for the very first installment of my new column! It’s simple, it’s to-the-point, it’s…

ILLUSTRATION BY

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13 QUESTIONS WITH JACKIE BEAT! This issue’s subject: SHERRY VINE

If this were speed dating, how would you describe yourself to a complete stranger in just one sentence? Can I quote you? “Middle-aged Barbie!” If you could watch only one movie every single day for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? have to pick two that are completely different. Death Becomes Her because it never ceases to make me laugh, and Kill Bill. I think it’s the best streamlined revenge story, and I love watching women kick ass! If I must pick only one, then Kill Bill. Hold onto your seat, it’s about to get real. What’s your favorite color? And think of a pretentious new name for it. Purple. And “EveryOtherColorIsBoring!” Complete the sentence, “I could not live without …” Foreskin! Which celebrity would you have wild, passionate, dirty animal sex with? Joe Manganiello of True Blood and Magic Mike. What song title could also be the name of your autobiography? “I Want Your Hands on Me” by Sinéad O’Connor.

Describe, in detail, your “death row meal.” Filet mignon cooked medium-rare, asparagus with lemon and garlic, roasted red potatoes, greasy garlic bread and pecan pie with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra Ice Cream. If you could come back in your next life as anyone or anything, who or what would you be? One of Dale Bozzio’s cats. Worst job you’ve ever had? Waiting tables at the Cheesecake Factory in Marina del Rey. Share your favorite beauty tip with us. Calendula cream! Who or what is your spirit animal? My childhood cat, Felicity. Yes, I named my cat Felicity! Gay? Tell me a secret! I’m not really blonde … or 23. Shhhh! Finally, be a total shameless whore and plug whatever you want. I’m performing with you at Casita del Campo on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in a show called Sister from Another Mister. For tickets or more info, people can visit Miss JackieBeat.com/schedule.

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I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT APATHY “People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up,” President Obama said last week about his health care plan. Hell, he could have been speaking about Congress, drones and climate change— in fact, any myriad of challenges where we the people seem content with inaction. Apathy is a strange state of mind. I think public apathy is way more powerful than public opinion. In 2011, West Hollywood voter turnout was just 25 percent, and last March, in a kind of ‘don’t vote, you’ll only encourage them’ mindset, the blasé proletariat neglected the count down to 20 percent. So there we go. Eighty percent of WeHo residents don’t vote, and surveys show 80 percent of Americans don’t read recreationally. Let’s hope it’s the same 80 percent. In the 264 columns I’ve written over the past 11 years, nothing came close to making readers wiggle more than my Oct. 14 take on how lousy our gay Pride festivities are. Emails, phone calls and even over-served assaults at parties all overwhelmingly supported my assertion that “Pride as we know it in the entertainment capitol of the world is broken.” But that’s where it stops. Always does. The hotwired, heat-seeking, warm-hearted cool customers all don’t like it, but they don’t wanna do a damn thing about it. They are content with inaction. The mantra is ‘I don’t know, and I don’t care.’ It’s a drag to assert an opinion demanding innovation, feel a very real surge of support and have nothing occur. We practice procrastination made easy for the apathetic. And come June, the discontent rabble will again bitch and moan over the parade, prices for the festival, the talent singing, the grand marshal waving and virtually every element of Southern California’s preeminent celebration of our giant family. And why not? Historically speaking, no one is listening, and betterment has been a sad breach-of-promise issue. I’ve often thought Pride’s principals believed both promises and eggs were easily broken. For months now, Councilmember John D’Amico has used his bully pulpit in an attempt to forge some agreement of change for the better from the Pride people. In November, on the cusp of some semblance of an accord, Pride President Rodney Scott unexpectedly stepped down after 12 years and has been replaced by two longtime

board members, Steve Ganzell and Patti DiLuigi. Feeling a bit like a good 80 percent in town, I figured we were in for more of the same. So I was expecting little when I jumped on the phone the other evening with Mr. Ganzell. Seventy-five minutes later, I had hope. I had never spoken with him before, yet he did recall I brazenly called him a “galoot” in an earlier column. Steve was brutally honest and forthcoming about his perception of Pride. Even with my relentless criticisms, we found a wide swath of common ground. I was taken by his openness and straight talk and hung up the phone truly convinced he and his co-president are committed to having a real impact on future Pride celebrations. He expressed a sincere desire to reach out to dispassionate niche pockets that make up our family to get their take on improvement. We spoke about the parade and the talent and grand marshals and all the elements that have made so many of us grumpy. He was conciliatory yet not condescending, and unless he has me skunked, I believe he is open to both transmutation and reformation. We agreed that people would forget what you say and what you do but people never forget how you made them feel. For all the souls who attend Pride, that responsibility to move the masses now falls on Steve and Patti. These two are the zookeepers. They must attempt to control the wild, restless and often delusional monkeys and their bundle of absurdities. Former Pride spokesperson Sam Borelli still to this day will tell anybody 450,000 people attend Pride. Nonsense. And a paid consultant in charge of past parades presents press clippings from Singapore to bolster his claim that our parade is “the best of all Pride parades.” Lord have mercy. But numbers and specifics don’t matter right now. What matters at this moment is that Christopher Street West and gay Pride has a bona fide rare opportunity to alter its course, listen to voices and attempt to deliver something fresh and new. Improvement is what is required to reengage the giant element of apathetic skeptics that has all but left Pride for dead. Let’s offer the benefit of doubt and give this new leadership a chance. Even if we won’t lift a finger, let’s at least let our eyes open our minds. I just hope you care.

The opinions of this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Frontiers magazine.

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Queersay GAYS GONE WILD I’m terrified of the QueFeMa [pronounced kwee-fee-mah] ... and, frankly, y’all ought to be, too. No, I’m not talking about some on-the-verge-of-erupting volcano just outside Malibu or Paris Hilton’s new dance single. No, the aforementioned term represents something far more terrifying—the gaggle of gays oft referred to as the Queer Fetal Mafia. Yes, folks, as yesteryear’s Hollywood executives age away, a whole new generation of gay Tinseltown twinks are taking to the scene, their hungry eyes ready to dominate the entertainment industry. And while they make me both cry and dry-heave, I have a confession to make. I am semi-dating a QueFeMa agent! To be honest, things are going OK, meaning the conversation is banal and eyeroll-inducing, but the perks and the bump-and-grind are stellar. I can deal with that—at least until we get through the holidays. However, his company Christmas party now has me secondguessing. You see, his entire office threw an all-you-can-eat shindig at Beverly Hills’ CUT, the to-die-for steak house that’s just a hop, skip and sashay away from where those sales reps didn’t let a hooker Julia Roberts shop. For me, a fancy night is The Cheesecake Factory and a 3-D flick at Arclight, but since I wasn’t paying, I set my frugal, Chili’s-loving proclivities aside and readied myself to indulge. Upon arrival, my date—let’s call him Flavor, because gurlfriend is little more than the flavor of the month!—said we had to stand in the valet. He told me it’s “Def totes awesome!” to watch his fellow QueFeMas roll up in their “hawt-bitch rides!” (Beware, the QueFeMa speak only in abbreviation and text talk!) Although I hate to admit it, Flavor was right—hardtop BMWs, a Spyder, a Hummer—an impressive collective of autos that cost five times more than my college education. Our table wasn’t ready, so the putupon hostess sent us to the adjoining bar. Picture a country club meets the W hotel with extremely low lighting and

violin music penetrating the air. Yes, the vibe is a bit Hollywood—agents, actresses and assholes abounding— but the joint still remains classy. The QueFeMa, however, is anything but classy. Binge-drinking commences. Within 10 minutes, they are two drinks in. Five minutes after that, they’re already onto shots. Three minutes after that, they’re yelling at the bartender to change the basketball game on the flat screen to Britney’s “Work Bitch!” so they can “twerk it, gurl!” A minute after that, Adele’s “One and Only” comes on. I should note here that whenever the QueFeMa hear Adele, it is nonnegotiable that they burst into song. It’s also important to note that the QueFeMa has absolutely no musical talent whatsoever. Despite multiple requests from patrons that the boys quit their queer caterwauling, they continue— even attempting the octave jump in the second verse. This is why, just 19 minutes after walking in, we are unapologetically removed from the bar. Devouring my high-priced CUT steak became little more than a wet dream. That is why I spent Friday night in the WeHo IHOP with eight drunk QueFeMas, watching them binge on smothered and covered fries while talking in abbreviations and discussing the artistic merits of Britney Spears’ latest album. I didn’t eat. I wasn’t hungry. The moral of the story here, readers? If a Tinseltown twink invites you to his holiday party next year, be sure that he describes it as “utterly and absolutely fabulous” and not “utt ab fab!” Unless he employs complex sentence structure, just like with Julia Roberts, Beverly Hills ain’t gonna let you shop!

For more QueerSay, go to FrontiersLA.com/QueerSay. Drop your dirty little secrets at QueerSay@hotmail.com. And don’t worry, I never give up my deep throat!

JANUARY 21, 2014

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VALET PARKING FEES ARE SET TO INCREASE IN WEHO

CONSTRUCTION OF FUTURISTIC ROBO-GARAGE TO BEGIN AT WEHO CITY HALL BY PAULO MURILLO

The West Hollywood City Hall Automated Garage and Community Plaza Project located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard is scheduled to begin construction in the beginning of 2014, shortly after City Council awarded a $10.8 million contract to T.B. Pennick & Sons of San Diego at a Dec. 16 council meeting. The project is off to a rocky start after R.J. Daum Construction of Garden Grove, the second lowest bidder at $12.2 million, filed a protest claiming irregularities with the city’s handling of the Pennick bid. Five contractors submitted bids on Nov. 21 that ranged from $10,748,800 to $14,366,368.93. According to Daum’s protest, the Pennick bid failed to submit a non-collusion affidavit stating that Pennick had come up with the bid on its own using a history of previous contracts that were subject to the federal Equal Opportunity requirements. Daum representatives failed to show up for their own hearing before City Council. A representative for Pennick stated that there was a

minor irregularity in their bid, but they did not get an unfair advantage. City attorney Mike Jenkins said the Pennick bid was not affected by the late submission of documents. Councilmember John D’Amico opposed the award, stating that the city had not followed its own established procedures for soliciting bids. City council voted 3-1 in favor of Pennick. The City Hall parking lot is scheduled to close at the beginning of January to commence construction, which is scheduled to last approximately 18 months. City Hall visitors will park at the Kings Road Parking Garage (City Hall will validate parking), while City Hall employees will park at the lot on Hancock Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard or the parking garage at the West Hollywood Gateway Plaza on the corner of La Brea and Santa Monica Boulevard. To learn more about the new automated parking structure, visit weho.org.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW AUTOMATIC PARKING STRUCTURE GOING UP IN WEHO? “I think the automated parking structure is overkill. I don’t think it’s really necessary. I think it’s a lot of money to be spending on something that’s not going to be too beneficial for the city. It would be wiser to spend the money in different ways that give back to the community. A mechanized parking structure seems frivolous to me.” —John Pirrone

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“I think the idea, thought and concept is cool, but I could also think of hundreds of better ways they could spend that money besides a parking structure. If the money is coming out of city money, I think it should go to good causes like feeding the homeless for starters. —Michael Kusmann

If the West Hollywood Department of Public Works has its way, valet parking regulations are in for some major changes in 2014. A proposal scheduled for a public hearing before City Council on Jan. 21 is calling for changes to the current system in which valet firms and their affiliates pay a fee to reserve metered spaces during the daytime hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and during the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. This will likely open up parking spaces to the public, and it may also increase valet parking fees at night. The proposal aims to have valet services pay for specific hours for the use of metered parking spaces with a minimum of four hours a day and a minimum of four consecutive days. The fee will be determined by the parking meter rate and number of hours metered parking is enforced in a designated area. According to the proposal, the fee increase is still less expensive in West Hollywood than in neighboring cities, where calculations suggest the annual cost to a business of two valet parking spaces in WeHo averages $4,865, including a $200 annual fee. Santa Monica has an annual fee of $15,309 and Beverly Hills charges $15,364 annually. Changes could go into effect as early as July.

SPEAK OUT “It sounds cool and progressive, but not for millions and millions of dollars. It seems very expensive. I’d rather have that money spent on building a new recreational center. All I can think of is all the parking tickets I’ve gotten in West Hollywood, and really, that’s where my money is going—a mechanized parking structure?” —Nicholas Kimutis


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ONE-NIGHT PERFORMANCE LAUNCHES ANNENBERG THEATER’S 2014 SEASON BY JAMES F. MILLS A one-night-only performance of a beloved Moss Hart/George S. Kaufman play is turning out to be a star-filled event as both nationally known and local celebrities are slated to appear. The Man Who Came to Dinner, which opened on Broadway 75 years ago, will perform on Sunday, Jan. 19, 6 p.m. at the Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs Art Museum. Veteran stage, television and film actor G. W. Bailey has been cast as the outlandish radio wit Sheridan Whiteside, the role played by Nathan Lane in the show’s 2000 Broadway revival. Bailey, best known for playing Captain Harris in the Police Academy movies and Lt. Provenza in TV’s The Closer and Major Crimes, is joined by funnyman Fred Willard (Everybody Loves Raymond, Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind) and Phillip P. Keene, who also appeared in Major Crimes and The Closer as Buzz Watson.

Additional celebrities in the cast list are Joyce Bulifant (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Airplane!), Jim J. Bullock (Too Close for Comfort, Hollywood Squares, Broadway's Hairspray) and Mo Gaffney (Absolutely Fabulous, That ‘70s Show, Kathy and Mo: Parallel Lives). Local celebrities scheduled to appear in the performance include Valley philanthropists Annette Bloch, Barbara and Jerry Keller (Acqua Pazza, Lulu) and Terri Ketover, as well as Wells Fargo financial planner Gary Hall. Radio host Bill “Bulldog” Feingold, CBS Local 2 meteorologist Patrick Evans and restaurateur Tony Marchese (Trio, Purple Room) are also in the show. “We are excited to have such a talented lineup perform at our benefit,” says Chuck Yates, Founding Artistic Director of Coyote StageWorks, which is putting on the performance. “Stage and screen stars, as well as local luminaries, are still

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being confirmed for this production, which promises to be a huge success. I look forward to seeing the Annenberg stage filled with celebrities!” Set in a small town in Ohio in the 1930s during the weeks leading to Christmas, The Man Who Came to Dinner involves radio wit Sheridan Whiteside of New York City being invited to dine at the house of rich factory owner Ernest W. Stanley. Before entering the house, Whiteside slips on a patch of ice outside the front door, injuring his hip. He is attended by Dr. Bradley, the absent-minded town physician, and Miss Preen, his frantic nurse. The song “What Am I to Do?” was written by Cole Porter specifically for the play. The one-night-only event will benefit Coyote StageWorks, a fiveyear-old nonprofit theater company with the mission to bring “affordable, entertaining, and thought-provoking theater to Palm Springs and the surrounding communities of the Coachella Valley.” Tickets are $75 or $125 per person for the performance only; $250 and $500 tickets include VIP cast reception following the performance. Voted “Best Live Theater” by Desert Magazine in 2013 and 2014, Coyote StageWorks was also presented with 15 Desert Star Awards by the Desert Theatre League on Oct. 6.

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Following the single performance of The Man Who Came to Dinner, Coyote StageWorks offers a four-week run of The Andrews Brothers: A Madcap Musical Salute to the Swinging '40s from Jan. 24 to Feb. 16 at the Annenberg Theatre. The Andrews Brothers tells the story of a USO show threatened with cancellation when a certain famous trio of singing sisters fails to show, so three earnest stagehands decide to go on with the show. From Roger Bean, creator of The Marvelous Wonderettes, The Andrews Brothers features over 25 songs made famous by the Andrews Sisters. Mistaken identities and madcap adventures, along with the music of an entire generation, make this a valentine to the heroes of World War II. From Feb. 28 to March 9, Coyote StageWorks offers the fastpaced whodunit The 39 Steps, billed as the mix of “a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel and a dash of Monty Python.” Then, from March 28 to April 6, the company offers Love, Loss and What I Wore, based on a collection of stories by Nora and Delia Ephron, using clothing and accessories and the memories they trigger to tell funny stories. coyotestageworks.org


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JANUARY 21, 2014

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SPRINGS

WINTER CLASSIC SOFTBALL RETURNS TO THE DESERT BY JAMES F. MILLS

Who says gay men aren’t good at sports? Come early February, hundreds of gay men will be proving they can throw, pitch and run the bases with the best of them. The 23rd annual Palm Springs Winter Classic Softball Tournament will see hundreds of LGBT softball players competing over the Feb. 79 weekend. Participating teams are members of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, NAGAAA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting amateur athletics for the LGBT community. The tournament is made possible in cooperation with the City of Palm Springs and the Palm Springs Gay Softball League. Proceeds benefit the AIDS Assistance Program. “Last year, we were able to raise more than $3,000 for AIDS Assistance Program, which made it that much more rewarding for us,” says Vicki Oltean, Tournament Director. “In addition to helping such a great organization, this is always a really fun weekend, and the players look forward to seeing each other every year.” The weekend starts off with a public opening reception on Friday, Feb. 7 from 7-10 p.m. at Hunter’s Nightclub, 302 East 58

FRONTIERSLA.COM

Arenas Road in Palm Springs. Throughout the weekend, teams will be competing on several fields, primarily Demuth Park at 4375 Mesquite Avenue in Palm Springs and the Big League Dreams Sports Field at 33700 Date Palm Drive in Cathedral City. Competition is open to a maximum of 80 teams in various divisions of play. Registration for teams is $450 and must be received by Jan. 17. The Winter Classic was established in 1991 as a fundraising event to help offset out-of-town tournament travel expenses for the Desert Heat Softball team members. Local host hotels have also agreed to donate 10 percent of that weekend’s proceeds to AAP. For more information, visit pswinterclassic.com or call (760) 323-8277. Founded in 1991 by the late Gloria Greene and Jeannette Rockefeller, the AIDS Assistance Program is dedicated to feeding low-income people with HIV/AIDS living in the Coachella Valley. The group provides grocery store vouchers to 500 clients each month and has almost 200 people on its waiting list. aidsassistance.org.


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JANUARY 21, 2014

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HIV

LIVING WITH MICHAEL WEINSTEIN PHOTO: GREG GORMAN

President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) president@aidshealth.org — aidshealth.org

LOVE IS THE BEST PROTECTION: WHY GAY MARRIAGE WILL SAVE LIVES By the time you read this, it will be the new year and AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s ‘Love is the Best Protection’ Rose Parade float celebrating same-sex marriage will have successfully made its way down Colorado Boulevard before a worldwide audience of 84 million television viewers. This year, AHF’s float honored same-sex marriage and the role it can play in helping to reduce new HIV infections among gay men. Playing off the Tournament’s 2014 ‘Dreams Come True’ theme, AHF’s float included a Rose Parade first: a same-sex wedding performed live during the historic New Year’s Day parade and telecast. The couple, Aubrey Loots and Danny Leclair, has been together over a decade. Loots, originally from South Africa, and Leclair, from Canada, own Studio DNA Salons, a chain of successful Los Angelesarea hair salons. Joining them on AHF’s float were Mina Meyer and Sharon Raphael, a lesbian couple together 42 years and who were legally married in California in 2008. Meyer and Raphael are also co-founders of the AIDS Hospice Foundation, AHF’s predecessor organization in the 1980s. In 2004, Massachusetts—the state with the lowest divorce rate in the nation— paved the way for same-sex marriage, and despite fear and protestations, the Commonwealth somehow survived. In the heart of the Homeland, Iowa soon followed. Today, 15 additional states—most recently Illinois, Hawaii and New Mexico—have changed laws to allow same-sex marriage. Suddenly everything seems different. It is hip to be gay and be married. But from the time that we first heard wedding bells and pledges of lifelong fidelity from gay men (and lesbians) in Massachusetts and elsewhere 10 years ago, we continue to have soaring rates of HIV in homosexual men. Legalized same-sex marriage will not mean that there will suddenly be a radical change in gay male lifestyles. Much of the sub-culture will still revolve around sex. Same-sex marriage—and the values

any sanctioned marriage encourages— may be one of the single most successful ways to promote safer sex. Most importantly, it will cause more gay men to protect their partners and themselves if they see a future in a committed relationship. The current momentum to recognize samesex relationships through marriage could be one of the most significant breakthroughs for HIV prevention in the gay community. In short, gay marriage will save lives. The gay community’s determination to see our relationships recognized, however, should not silence our ongoing discussion of the health crisis that still exists in our community. Any fear that we might have that airing our dirty laundry will hurt our cause must be tempered with the recognition that our first and foremost obligation is to take care of ourselves. Communities that show an ability to take care of their own and address their needs are strong and earn the respect of others, even if grudgingly so. There is more than a little irony that the same fundamentalists who preach fidelity are so vehemently against recognizing gay relationships. From a public health point of view, health officials and epidemiologists recognize the most effective method of reducing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases has historically been a reduction in the number of sexual partners. Logically, a public commitment to a marriage or domestic partnership should result in gay men having fewer partners. Both AHF’s 2012 Rose Parade float— a tribute to Elizabeth Taylor for her AIDS advocacy—and our 2013 entry—a global salute to AIDS Healthcare Foundation patients and medical staff from around the world—were honored with the Tournament’s ‘Queens Trophy.’ Today, as more and more gay and lesbian Americans like Aubrey and Danny and Mina and Sharon are able to enjoy and exercise the right to marry, AIDS Healthcare Foundation is proud to honor and celebrate those ‘Living the Dream,’ confident in the knowledge that ‘Love is the Best Protection.’

The opinions of this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Frontiers magazine.

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METH BY TOM PARDOE

TURNING 20 AND 50 IN 2013 My name is Tom. I was introduced to crystal meth on the dance floor of the Apache Bar in The Valley in 1990 by a man named Neil. He gave me a hit of ecstasy, so I moved in with him that night. Turned out he was dealing crystal. Of all the guys, of all the bars, of all the nights.... What began as a whirlwind of excitement, rejuvenated life force and super powers in and out of bed turned methodically into a shrunken, paranoid journey to a frozen underworld where no one sleeps and everyone was out to get me. I tried hard to maintain a carefully crafted schedule of “normal” in order to prove that balance and control were still in my court. I wasn’t like the others, whose before-and-after images were overdone to scare you. I kept a job. OK, so I was teaching step aerobics with no voice (I had dry mouth, so I used hand signals, and my BPMs were out of this world, but packed classes = successful), and I was turning tricks. My jobs were no longer related to my career but to my true love—crystal. I would always keep three or four days off in a row. Like clockwork, 24 hours before the end of my last class, my body would pound with excitement and anticipation, for soon I would be set free from this world of “have tos” and escape to the land of “fuck you, I am power.” Flash forward to 1992. Driven by meth to a frozen ball in the corner of my rented room for eight hours, the race inside my head to kill myself was approaching the finish line. In a moment of what I call grace, I chose to move back to my parents’ home in the Midwest. There, with no accessible crystal in sight, I drank like a fish, until April 28 of 1993, my first day of sobriety. I attended 12-step meetings daily, had the cotton removed from my ears and inserted it into my mouth. I had to relearn how to take direction, to slow down my speech and my gait and to sweat through those moments of absolute uncertainty. And every time I did I gained sober experience. One baby step at a time, not picking up “no matter what,” slowly began to reveal a new hope. Today I celebrate 20 years of continuous sobriety, a day at a time, by the grace of God and the help of countless addicts. It’s a ‘we’ thing. I get that now and am grateful.

Tom Pardoe sits on the board of directors of Christopher Street West and has produced several fundraisers for AIDS organizations and recovery events.

JANUARY 21, 2014

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OFF THE ESY COURT PHOTO

VO TV OF BRA

COUCH

By Dr. Greg Cason

WHAT WOULD BRIAN BOITANO DO? When Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson ruffled gay feathers across the nation by placing homosexuality in the same category as bestiality and saying that “a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Dr. Greg Cason is a licensed psychologist based in West Hollywood, specializing in cognitive therapy with individuals and couples. He can be contacted by going to DrGreg.com.

He continues by squawking, “neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the Kingdom of God.” (And here I thought being left out of my parents’ will was bad.) But them was fightin’ words to the folks at GLAAD, who have spent years saving us from the anti-gay trespasses of bullies who get a camera and microphone pointed at them. Wilson Cruz—the cool, out gay actor who is now an even cooler spokes-savior at GLAAD—fired back immediately, saying, “Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe.” Now I am not going to argue with Mr. Cruz because (1) I believe he is probably correct, and (2) I really want to believe what he is saying even if he isn’t correct. But some statistics suggest that he is. A 2013 Pew Research Center survey finds that 60 percent of those in the U.S. believe “Homosexuality should be accepted,” while only 30 percent disagree. And a healthy 44 percent percent of those who attend religious services once a week or more believe the same thing. So far I am putting my money on Mr. Cruz. But, not surprisingly, a Christian research group called LifeWay found something a little different. Of those Americans surveyed in November 2012 by LifeWay, 44 percent believe “homosexuality is a sin.” And of those who attended religious services once a week, LifeWay found that 61 percent believed homosexuality is a sin. Chalk one up for Mr.

Robertson. So it seems to me that Mr. Robertson and Mr. Cruz are in a battle of ideologies where from each person’s perspective, he is correct. I have no doubts that Mr. Robertson’s friends and family would agree with Mr. Robertson, and Mr. Cruz’s friends and family would echo Mr. Cruz’s sentiments. And in the social sciences, those friends and family members are part of a person’s reference group. A reference group is just what it sounds like—a group of people that you use to reference yourself and evaluate your behavior and the behavior of others. For Mr. Cruz, his reference group appears to be the hip and happening Christians, while for Mr. Robertson, his reference group appears to be Christians that happen to shoot from the hip. By listening to and basing your behavior on your preferred reference group, you will gain status and kudos from those in that same group. So we tend to do it—without even questioning these beliefs or behaviors. So Phil Robertson and Wilson Cruz appear to be locked in verbal fisticuffs about homosexuality and Christianity. And according to each person’s reference group, they are correct. But that still leaves us with the question of who is the winner. This reminded me of the skirmish between my two favorite superheroes in the 1995 animated Christmas short entitled The Spirit of Christmas (but more popularly called “Jesus vs. Santa”) that served as the precursor to the series South Park. (And no, it is not because Phil Robertson looks like a dirty St. Nick and Wilson Cruz has angelic eyes.) Confused about which one to help in the fight—Jesus or Santa—the kids stop and ask,

“What would Brian Boitano do?” In glides Brian Boitano. Brian Boitano is a figure skater who (among many other accomplishments) won a gold medal in the 1988 Winter Olympics and just so happened to have come out publicly as gay the very day after Phil Robertson opined about a man’s anus. In the 1995 Christmas video, Brian Boitano says, “This is the one time of year on which we all try to get along no matter what we believe in. This is the season to be good to each other.” It inspires a resolution between the two. During the 2013 Christmas dust-up between Phil Robertson and Wilson Cruz, Mr. Boitano skates in the next day to inspire another possible resolution by saying, “I am many things: a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am.” So maybe that is the answer. Being gay is only one part of ourselves (albeit a pretty damn big part). No matter what your belief system, condemning someone based on one aspect of them is flat-out wrong because you end up negating all of the other aspects of them that you (and your reference group) may find redeeming. By the way, this applies to us, too, when we condemn people because they are conservative Christians, live in the swamps of Louisiana and take their fashion cues from ZZ Top. The real winner here? A&E. All of this controversy means that ratings for the highestrated cable reality show in history are about to get a little higher. Now that’s a perfectly executed Triple Lutz.

If you have any questions and/or comments, please direct them to: Frontiers, 5657 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 470, Los Angeles, CA 90036, or email them to feedback@frontiersla.com. .62

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FRONTIERS4MEN.COM

SEX ED

PHALLIC FRAUD BY JIM LARKINS Despite the $100 million generated annually from phallic-enhancing pharmaceuticals, there is no scientific or medical proof of their effectiveness. Yohimbe, gingko biloba and various other ingredients are the stuff of these penis enlargement pills, and while they may give your pocket rocket a serious boost, there has never been any evidence that they permanently increase penile length or girth. Remember the creepy Cheshire grin on “Smiling Bob,” the TV commercial mascot for the popular penile supplement Enzyte? Just as Bob seems to have faded into commercial history, so too did any artificial man meat growth of Enzyte customers once the concoction wore off. But what penis pills don’t accomplish isn’t nearly as disconcerting as what evils lurk in their inert ingredients. A joint analysis venture conducted by Flora Research of California and the University of Maryland has revealed a number of harmful contaminants in various “penis enlargement” pills. Mold, lead, pesticide residues and E. coli from animal waste are among some of the non-herbal elements that have turned up in some supplements. The lead content of some pills even exceeds the limit set by California’s strict labeling laws for chemicals causing reproductive toxicity. As for E. coli buildup, investigators believe this is the result of animals depositing substantial doses of fecal matter as they graze near herbs that are used as ingredients.

“The real problems are in contamination of the products, mislabeling, misbranding and just the fact that they’re not regulated, so you don’t know what you’re getting,” says Dr. Dana Nelson, a pharmacist in San Luis Obispo, Calif. “There are no clinical trials done on any of these pills, so basically a company can put anything they want in them.” There doesn’t seem to be much regulation when it comes to internetbased companies that peddle these modern ‘snake oil’ supplements, either. Word has traveled fast among those who prey on the naiveté and desperation of men who seek to wield a mightier sword, and the web is awash with companies promising to make that happen. One company—C.P. Direct, before its collapse in 2002—peddled over $70 million worth of penis enlargement pills called Longitude. Although corporate spokesmen claimed on their website that the product had gone through scientific testing and reviews from experts, it was later discovered that neither had been conducted. Before the company’s founders were busted for illegally charging customers’ credit cards, more than 350,000 consumers bought bottles of the well-known phallic up-sizer. In the end, as long as there are those who dream of someday sporting a bigger bulge, there will presumably be companies claiming they possess the magic ingredients to make that dream a reality.

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ADULT K 160 Models/Escorts K 170 Massage/Body Rubs K 180 S&M

K 190 S&M Models K 200 Relationships K 210 Want to meet

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