We’re all tightening our belts, cutting out one luxury or another as pundits warn the economic sky is falling. So, maybe it’s poor timing for a luxury resort to open—unless that luxury resort is sumptuous, indulgent, and about 45 minutes from Houston, meaning you don’t need to buy a plane ticket or a weeklong stay.
Archive for May, 2009
In early April, I joined San Francisco organizer Michael Petrelis and Box Turtle Bulletin editor Jim Burroway in launching an international boycott against Jamaica (www.boycottJamaica.org). While the island appears laid-back, gays are under attack.
This month we found four comics creators, all gay, all Texas residents, and talked to them about their work. The range in work covers, yes, superheroes, but also slice-of-life stories, dark fantasy, and things more difficult to categorize. One is just beginning, one is on the verge of making a national splash after years of self-producing comics, the other two are pursuing the medium without concern for commercial success but via different means. The only real connecting thread between these creators (besides sexuality and geography) is a love of graphic narrative and an independent spirit.
DATING BONUS. Christophe Brillard has announced a new enhancement to The Agency, the first private, exclusive, and personalized dating network for gay men in Houston. Brillard, president of the service, says new memberships now include a one-hour, complimentary coaching session with life coach, Melissa Hudson, C.P.C.C. Hudson, Brillard says, helps clients identify self-defeating influences and offers pro-active steps to overcome them. Details: theagencyhouston.com.
Houston Ballet fans will get a joy ride when the company premieres Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance) on its repertory evening this month. This delightful 10-minute work, originally choreographed for New York City Ballet’s 2002 centennial tribute to Richard Rodgers, is more of a dance than a narrative ballet. But any fan of the 1956 musical will see the entire story of doomed carnival barker Billy Bigelow and his love, even if the ballet is shorter than the commercial breaks in the movie.
You know you’re gay when you’re glued to the new Grey Gardens movie on HBO. You know you’re really gay when you’re still bitter that Broadway’s version of Grey Gardens didn’t win best musical at the 2007 Tony Awards. (Why, it’s the most disgusting, atrocious thing ever to happen in America!)
Garry Marshall began as a joke writer for standup comedians and moved quickly into television, and then films, as a writer, director, actor, and producer—all roles he continues to fill, sometimes two and three at a time. After moving to Hollywood, where he began as a writer for The Tonight Show with Jack Paar, he teamed up with Jerry Belson as a comedy writing team for some of televisions most successful situation comedies. He adapted and produced Neil Simon’s hit play, The Odd Couple for television and created and produced Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, and Laverne and Shirley (which starred his sister, Penny Marshall, now a director/producer with her own impressive string of hits). He was writer and director for the 1984 hit The Flamingo Kid ; his other directorial hits include Overboard, Beaches, Pretty Woman, Frankie and Johnny, Exit to Eden, The Princess Diaries, Raising Helen, and Georgia Rule. Of the 16 films in which he appears as an actor, he is directed by sister Penny in two— Jumpin’ Jack Flash and A League of Their Own. He currently co-stars in Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain, which hit theaters in March of this year. Marshall and daughter Kathleen founded and built the Falcon Theatre, which is located in the Burbank, California, media district, “where old friends and emerging talent can come together to create exciting work on stage.” On the telephone with OutSmart, Marshall also talks about his collaboration with Paul Williams on the stage musical version of his hit TV series, Happy Days (being staged by TUTS at Houston’s Hobby Center in May).
What the world needs now is pop, sweet pop, according to Neil Tennant of The Pet Shop Boys. The openly gay duo—Tennant and tech whiz Chris Lowe—deliver just that on their 10th studio album, Yes (Astralwerks). Keeping up with, if not ahead of the Joneses, the Pet Shop Boys enlisted hot UK hitmeisters Xenomania (Kylie Minogue, Sugababes, New Order) as producers. As of late they’ve also worked with “in” artists Girls Aloud (scribing their infectious single, “The Loving Kind”) and Lady GaGa, and are writing a 2010 ballet for London’s Salder’s Wells Theatre. On June 10 they kick off a “high-tech” international concert tour.