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LITERATURE PGN

Philadelphia Gay News www.epgn.com August 16-22, 2019

The

Local celeb debuts new novel

Guide to the Gayborhood

BY A.D. AMOROSI PGN Contributor

The Philadelphia Gayborhood is roughly centered at Locust and Camac streets. Look for the rainbow street signs at intersections and remember to be aware of your surroundings wherever you go. Boxers

1330 Walnut St. facebook.com/ boxersphl Sports bar with a TVs, pool table, brick pizza oven, sports specials

1316 Walnut St. 215.546.8888 Festively lit women-owned bar complete with a “beer” pong table

1221 St. James St. 215.735.5772 voyeurnightclub.com After-hours private club; membership required

202 S. 13th St. 215.545.1893 woodysbar.com Includes attached Walnut Street bars Rosewood and GloBar

m

m <—

m

206 S Quince St. 215.627.1662 Levi Leather men’s bar; pool tables, second floor sports; basement has enforced dress code

Chancellor St.

m

m

St. James St.

m Locust St.

Manning St.

m

Quince St.

m

11th St.

r

Latimer St.

12th St.

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Camac St.

13th St.

m

r

The Bike Stop

Walnut St.

m

Juniper St.

Voyeur

Toasted Walnut Woody’s

m Spruce St.

m

Pa. bars close at 2 a.m. unless they have a private-club license. Please drink responsibly.

Cypress St.

Writer’s Block Rehab William Way 1342 Cypress St. 267.603.6960 A cozy, comfortable bar and lounge perfect for escaping the norm

Frankie Bradley’s

LGBT Community Center 1315 Spruce St. 215.732.2220 waygay.org A resource for all things LGBT

1320 Chancellor St. 215-735-0735 Resaturant, dance club, live performers and entertainment

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1220 Locust St. 215.546.6660 Relaxing corner bar, easy-going crowd, popular for happy hour and window watching

Tavern on Camac

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West of Broad Street The Attic Youth 1705 Chancellor St. Center Stir Lounge

215.732.2700 stirphilly.com Fun two-bar lounge, DJ in the back, regular poker games and specials

U Bar

255 S. 16th St. 215.545.4331 atticyouthcenter.org Safe space and programs for LGBTs age 16-23 weekday afternoons and evenings

255 S. Camac St. 215.545.8731 Piano lounge with upstairs dance floor; Tavern restaurant below is open late.

Knock

225 S. 12th St. 215.925.1166 knockphilly.com Fine-dining restaurant and bar, outdoor seating, piano in back room

Tabu

254 S. 12th St. 215.964.9675 tabuphilly.com Three floors with a dance floor,, drag shows, lounge and rootop deck.

Bar X 255 S. Camac St. Bar and dancefloor

Twenty years ago, Philadelphia native Tony Sawicki crafted, wrote and produced “Under the Pink Carpet,” one of the first weekly television news programs to highlight LGBTQ-plus arts, nightlife and culture. What started locally on Philadelphia’s WYBE MiND TV eventually moved to New York City on WNYE-TV and became a national hit. Because of his show’s success, Sawicki was given entrée into the world of Hollywood entertainment. His new book, “Danny Smashed,” shows an intimate knowledge of Tinseltown, as it follows protagonist Danny, a complicated, conflicted and controversial gay celebrity down a path filled with success and failure. PGN: How did the success of “Under the Pink Carpet” affect your life? TS: Under the Pink Carpet was the ultimate learning and growing experience of my career. When I first started producing that show, I was a young 30-something who was interested in creating shock and awe television that would get attention. I was not conservative, and I wasn’t afraid because I really didn’t know any better. And so we broke many boundaries and are now credited with a lot television firsts. “Under the Pink Carpet” debuted before “Will and Grace,” “Queer Eye,” or “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” At that time, the real gay subculture had never been portrayed in the mainstream. We broke barriers. We were the first TV show in history to feature a drag queen reporter, Clover Honey — the audience loved, loved, loved her. We were the…first to question disco legend Donna Summer about her controversial comments on the gay community. “Under the Pink Carpet” was, ultimately, a great accomplishment for me. We gave tremendous exposure to LGBT artists, and we also brought an unsanitized version of the gay subculture into people’s living rooms. As a result, we are now recognized as helping to pave the way for mainstream acceptance of the gay lifestyle as portrayed in mass media. I’m very proud of that. PGN: After “Pink Carpet,” what did you do? TS: After “Pink Carpet,” I pro-

duced a series called “Urban Animals,” which was an educational show on PBS that ran for three years and focused on animals in city environments. I am now in production on my first scripted television series, a screwball comedy, “City and the Beast.” Beginning next month, episode one of “City and the Beast” will be distributed across multiple connected television platforms (Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV and Sony TV). It is a hilarious show about an aging hippie guitar player who inherits a goldfish rescue. Be prepared to laugh your ass off. I also have a recurring role in director Phil Scaringi’s “Admit One,” which is a “Park and Recreation” style show that streams on Amazon Prime. I play a kooky, eccentric theatre owner. PGN: The title of your new book is “Danny Smashed.” Who is Danny? TS: The thing about Danny is that, like most stars, he is an enigma. On one hand you feel as though you know him, but he is complex and mysterious, and he is guarded. You always want to know him more deeply, to unpeel the onion on this flawless looking, yet highly flawed protagonist. When the book is over, even though the story is all tied up, you want to understand him more. Everyone who reads this book is galvanized by the character and tells us, “I want more Danny. I want to know more about him. You have to do another book,” which is already in the works. The other thing about Danny is that we have been very careful to avoid putting his face on the book’s cover or in advertising artwork. We don’t want people to have a preconceived notion of what he looks like. We want each reader to be able to picture him in their own way. PGN: Tell me about writing with a partner, Gregory Mantore? TS: While a television series starts as a fairly solo experience, it quickly escalates into a group effort. Writing a book with just one other person is actually a smaller and more intimate endeavor. We write mostly over speakerphone, hammering out plot, developing characters and creating dialogue. The creative duality has its pros and cons. The pros are that two heads are better than one, and each one of us brings different backgrounds and experiences that, combined, make the story stronger PAGE 30

Profile for The Philadelphia Gay News

PGN Aug. 16-25, 2019  

“The Philadelphia Gay News is the nation’s most award-winning LGBT publication, and the largest LGBT media outlet in the region.”

PGN Aug. 16-25, 2019  

“The Philadelphia Gay News is the nation’s most award-winning LGBT publication, and the largest LGBT media outlet in the region.”

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