palm springs - Frontiers Media



palm springs - Frontiers Media
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NOVEMBER 15, 2011
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NOVEMBER 15, 2011
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VOL. 30, ISSUE 20
Cruising Along
Elevate Yourself
Maui Musts
Oh, Canada
London Luxury
Hollywood Rush brings together 40 of the
entertainment industry’s finest writers, directors,
producers and actors and gives them the task
of creating six 10-minute plays—all within 24
hours—to benefit the L.A. Gay & Lesbian
Center’s Baby Dragon Fund.
Frontiers gives newly arrived aspiring actors the
basics for navigating pilot season in the daunting urban labyrinth that is Los Angeles.
Become aa fan
fan on
on and
and follow
follow us
us at
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JANUARY 10, 2012
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VOL. 30, ISSUE 20
Takano Would Be Poised
to Become First Out
Congressman of Color
Family Equality Council Wants
LGBT Families in Obama’s
State of the Union
Why Fred Karger Isn’t Just
Tilting at Windmills
West Hollywood
Film Reviews
Theater Reviews
Theater Listings
Music Reviews
Billy Masters
Little Miss Know-It-All
Palm Springs
Orange County
Long Beach
Out & About
Frontiers Market
Getting Personal
Academy Award-nominated actress
Glenn Close dishes on gender-
bending in Albert Nobbs, wrapping up the TV show Damages
and the repeal of “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell.”
Peter DelVecchio is an attorney and freelance writer living in West Hollywood. He writes some of the news for each issue of Frontiers and manages
the magazine’s monthly substance abuse column. His work has also appeared
in The Advocate online, The Bay Area Reporter, Windy City Times and
“I enjoy my reporting gigs because I sometimes get to interact with crooks
and politicians, and because freelancing provides me an occasional escape
from the mad alternate universe that is the law.”
Mike Ciriaco has written for numerous publications, including L.A. Weekly,
Frontiers, RealGayLA and L.A. Times imprint Brand X magazine, and contributed
sketches for Special Ed, Fungasm and Second City L.A. He’s currently collaborating on an original independent comic book with East Coast artist Andrew Tencza.
Mike is also an accomplished actor, having starred in diverse projects including
The Weathered Underground, Deicide: A Sorta’ Musical, Second City’s American
Standard and the American premiere of F*cking Men. He currently portrays
Vinny in The Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin’ Rock Opera, which won Best Ensemble in
this year’s International New York Fringe Festival.
Michael Stokes,
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 © 2012, Frontiers Media, LLC.
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NOVEMBER 15, 2011
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Web Contents
Frontiers sits down with the former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg to discuss his recently
published memoir, Fit to Serve, his early life experiences run by fear and guilt and how it
propelled a vision of promoting self-acceptance and understanding for the LGBT community.
Ezra Miller dishes about his role as a bad, bad boy in
We Need to Talk About Kevin, director Lynne Ramsay’s
adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s chilling novel about a
sociopathic teen and his tormented mother.
Gay author Edmund White discusses his
irresistible new novel, Jack Holmes & His
Friend, which chronicles the trials of Jack,
a gay man, as he falls in love with his
straight best friend Will.
On Sunday, Feb. 5, fans of fashion
will take over Disneyland wearing
their slickest attire for Dapper Day.
Check out our latest reviews for 30 Lessons for Living:
Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans by Karl
Pillemer and Tuesday Night Miracles by Kris Radish.
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5657 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 470
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Jeff Rosenberg, Billy Wright
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McCarthy, Dana Miller, James F. Mills, Paulo Murillo, Karen Ocamb, Brian
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©2012 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
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“What we’ve tried to
do is not share it
with the children.
They’re not completely aware of the
—Frederic Deloizy, a gay French national married
to a California man, regarding the possibility that Deloizy will be deported and thereby forcibly separated
from his husband and their four children.
“I think it’s the
wrong side of
history. I think
everyone understands it might
be the last leg of
the civil rights
—Actor George Clooney regarding GOP presidential frontrunner and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney’s
anti-gay rights positions, backstage at the Golden Globe
Awards Jan. 15.
“Putting it as
simply as I can,
California is on
the mend. ...
California is still
the land of
dreams—as well
as the Dream
A new LGBT group, Freedom to Work, is pushing the Obama administration to issue an executive order prohibiting federal money from going to
companies that do not have nondiscrimination policies protecting LGBT persons, the Washington Blade
reported Jan. 17.
The demand stems from a $155,000 settlement
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
reached with military contractor DynCorp International, which receives 96 percent of its revenue from
federal contracts. James Friso, a straight employee,
was allegedly subjected to daily bullying, including
being called “faggot,” “queer” and “dick sucker.”
DynCorp had no LGBT antidiscrimination policy and
did not institute one after the settlement.
White House Press Secretary Jake Carney said he
had no knowledge of the case at a Jan. 17 press conference.
DynCorp has reportedly expressed willingness
to consider a nondiscrimination policy. Freedom to
Work has posted an online petition at urging it to do so.
Maryland Bill
Would Make HIV
Transmission a Felony
All-Star Cast
for ‘8’
A Democratic Maryland State Senator, Norman Stone Jr., has introduced a bill in that state’s
Senate that would upgrade the knowing transmission of HIV from a misdemeanor to a felony,
the Washington Blade reported Jan. 17. Stone’s
bill has no companion in the lower chamber of
the legislature.
A majority of states now have HIV-specific
criminal statutes, according to the Center for HIV
Law and Policy. LGBT activists argue that these
statutes are sometimes abused to criminalize conduct that does not risk HIV transmission. For
example, in Texas, an HIV-positive man who spit
on a police officer is serving 35 years.
“I would suggest that perhaps Sen. Stone
should be more concerned with advocating for
more education about HIV/AIDS and social services for those already infected instead of trying
to stigmatize people with HIV by treating them
as de facto criminals,” said Bil Browning of the
Bilerico Project.
The American Foundation for Equal Rights and
Broadway Impact have cast the West Coast premiere
of 8, a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to Prop. 8. 8 was written by Oscar winner and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black and directed by actor/director and AFER Founding Board Member Rob Reiner.
The cast includes White Collar star Matt Bomer,
journalist Campbell Brown, Oscar-winning actor/director George Clooney, Golden Globe winner Jamie
Lee Curtis, Emmy nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson, gay
rights activist Cleve Jones, Academy Award winner
Christine Lahti, Emmy winner Jane Lynch (who’ll
play NOM’s Maggie Gallagher), Emmy nominee
Matthew Morrison, Tony nominee Rory O’Malley,
Rob Reiner, Emmy winner Martin Sheen, Emmy winner Yeardley Smith and Star Trek star George Takei.
8 will premiere at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on
Saturday, March 3, for an exclusive, one-nightonly fundraiser to benefit AFER.
—California Gov. Jerry Brown in his Jan. 18 State of
the State address.
AS OF 3:01 P.M., JAN. 17, 2012
American Deaths
in Iraq and Afghanistan:......................6,360
American Wounded in Iraq: ..............47,125
Iraqi Dead since 2003: ..104,794 – 114,466
Cost of Iraq and Afghanistan Wars:
National Debt: ......$15,275,378,330,024.89
U.S. Trade Deficit: ............$25,377,000,000+
Acclaimed fine art photographer
Wayne Martin Belger uses a camera that circulates HIV-positive
blood while shooting portraits
of HIV-positive people for his
“Bloodworks” installation at the
Royal Ontario Museum in December. “There’s artistic beauty
that emanates from HIV in so
many varied ways,” said portrait
subject Michael Kearns. To
participate in February, email
[email protected]
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Takano Would
Be Poised to
Become First Out
of Color
Democrat Mark Takano has embarked on a campaign that, if successful, will make him the first out gay person of color to sit in the U.S. House of
Representatives. Takano, a 51-year-old
Japanese-American, is running to represent the newly created 41st Congressional District, which includes the cities
of Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris, Jurupa Valley and the unincorporated area
of Mira Loma. The new, diverse district
leans Democratic, even if its communities are not generally known for progressive politics.
Takano believes he would be the
best person for the job, noting that he
“was born and raised in this District.”
“I remember the smog alerts while
growing up,” Takano told Frontiers in a
recent email interview, “and know the
value of government action to clean up
the air. More needs to be done.”
Takano also noted his commitment
to public education. ”I attended public schools,” he said, “and because of
the good public education I received, I
was able to attend Harvard College. I
returned to my community to serve as
a teacher in a low-income school district. The Inland Empire suffers from
some of the highest dropout rates and
some of the lowest college-going rates.”
Takano explained that when he was
elected to the Riverside Committee College Board in 1990, he helped guide
the college district through a recession
and “had to open new campuses during [a] time when, as now, people were
walking [away] from their mortgages.”
Takano also believes he would be
the best representative because of his
familiarity with the district. “I am the
only candidate in this race who has represented nearly all of the residents in
the 41st Congressional District, and I
know the communities that comprise
it. I understand the history of this area,
having lived here nearly all my life. It is
a diverse district. I understand the challenges facing its people and I believe
in their potential.”
Takano thinks being a member of
two minority groups would be a distinct advantage in Congress. “I believe
being Japanese-American and gay has
given me a double awareness of what it
means to be vulnerable,” he explained.
“The truth is we are all vulnerable when
we allow injustice, inequality or oppression to prevail with any group. Martin
Luther King said it best when he said
‘an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.’ Being gay and Japanese-American will allow me to speak with authority about protecting civil liberties and
freedom and striving for full equality.”
Takano’s parents and grandparents
were among the Japanese-Americans
interned by President Franklin Roosevelt
during World War II, a shameful chapter in American history that directly affected Takano. “Growing up, I went
through a process of taking ownership
of my family’s history,” he said. “Recently, I had the poignant experience
of viewing the contract of sale for land
that my paternal grandmother owned
in Bellevue, Wash.”
Takano’s grandmother lost the property because she could not pay property taxes while interned. “I was in my
early 20s when I watched the United
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Mark Takano
States Congress pass the redress bill
for Japanese-Americans and President
Reagan signed it,” Takano said. “It officially apologized for the wrongs committed against Americans of Japanese
descent and made a token compensation of $20,000 for those interned. This
action made me think what a great country I lived in and gave me hope it could
do right by other groups of people it
has wronged. This is why I believe we
can repeal DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act], pass ENDA [the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act] and legislation
protecting LGBT young people from
school bullying.”
If elected, Takano said his “top priority will be to pass a jobs bill,” noting that the new district “suffers from
15 percent unemployment” and that
“economic distress poses a threat to
vulnerable minorities and the LGBT
community in particular.” He also hopes
“to lay the ground for marriage equality and nondiscrimination laws in the
Takano is pleased with President
Obama’s record on LGBT issues. “Repealing DADT was a huge accomplishment,” he said. “He has done a lot with
his use of executive orders to help the
LGBT community. It is important that
he be re-elected to appoint fair-minded
jurists to the federal bench, appellate
courts and the Supreme Court. I believe
he will be on the right side of the fight
for marriage equality. Now is not the
time to undervalue what the president
has done. It would not have occurred
under a Republican president.”
This is not Takano’s first congressional campaign. In 1992, he lost by
fewer than 550 votes in California’s
43rd District to Republican Ken Calvert
and ran unsuccessfully again for the
seat in 1994.
Takano sees his chances as much
improved this time. “Now, I have a much
better district,” he said. “It is far more
diverse, and I can feel that people in my
area are hungry for change from the 20
years of Republican representation.” Additionally, as of yet, he has no Democratic primary challengers.
In 1994,Takano said, his “opponent
sent out mailers implying [Takano] would
make a better representative for San
Francisco rather than Riverside.” He expects no such tactics now. “I think times
have changed because of the hard work
of many LGBT organizations,” he said.
“The bar for what is acceptable behavior in campaigns has been raised.”
For more, go to
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
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Family Equality
Council Wants
LGBT Families in
Obama’s State
of the Union
Cheryl Jacques and her spouse, Jennifer Chrisler, with their twin sons, Tim and Tom
This is an election year, and President Obama is expected to fight back hard against repeated Republican assertions that he is a “failed” president. But the annual State of the Union speech
is supposed to be a report to Congress—and hence,
the American people—on where the nation stands
on a number of important fronts—wars, the economy, jobs—as well as Obama’s plans for the future.
Given the ongoing attacks against marriage equality, recent reports indicating that children of samesex couples are “psychologically well-adjusted”
and more open-minded, and the fact that 2012
marks the 30th anniversary of the start of the LGBT
family movement, Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler called on the president to stand up for LGBT families in his important address.
“This year provides a unique opportunity for
the president to reference an LGBT family during
his State of the Union address to help demonstrate there are now two million children in this
country whose parents are lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender,” Chrisler told Frontiers in an email
statement prior to Obama’s address on Jan. 24.
“These families live their lives, raise their children,
worship and pay their taxes in small towns and
big cities, and want their families to be recognized, respected and protected like all other American families.”
Chrisler noted that there are three pieces of
pending federal legislation that are “critical” to
improving the lives of LGBT families nationwide:
the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA),
the Respect for Marriage Act that repeals the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Every
Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDFA).
ENDA: Only a handful of states have laws
that ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and more than
two-thirds of the children being raised by LGBT
parents live in jurisdictions without explicit, inclusive and comprehensive workplace protections for
their parents. “In today’s tough economic times,
passing ENDA is critical to the day-to-day survival
of our families,” Chrisler says.
DOMA: LGBT families are denied access to
the 1,138 federal marital benefits and protections,
and they face multiple harms—direct and indirect, tangible and symbolic. “DOMA sets apart
and stigmatizes LGBT families and sends the message that we are less valid, less respected and less
worthy than other families,” says Chrisler.
ECDFA: There are more than 400,000 children nationwide in foster care, and every year
25,000 of them age-out because there are not
enough qualified available homes to provide them
with “forever families.” Only a handful of states
prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in foster and adoptive placements. “The Every Child
Deserves a Family Act would prohibit such discrimination, and would increase access to the safe,
qualified and supportive homes of more than 2
million additional LGBT people who would consider serving as foster or adoptive parents, but
who currently face barriers due to existing state
laws, regulations and policies prohibiting them
from doing so,” Chrisler says.
As of July 2011, there were 35,223 children
receiving child welfare services in L.A., 15,390 of
them in “out of home” care. The Family Equality
Council is part of a supportive coalition that
includes the Pop Luck Club in an L.A. County
Department of Children and Family Services campaign called to encourage LGBT
“My experience has been that frequently LGBT
parents can be some of our best parents. They are
more likely to access services, and because of the
struggles many faced during their adolescence,
they don’t ‘give up’ on our kids when they go
though those difficult teen years,” DCFS Recruitment Administrator Sari Grant told Frontiers. “As
to those who ask how we could possibly encourage LGBT families to care for our kids, I say the
same thing that I do when asked about transracial or single-parent adoption: it is not the configuration of the family, but the love and stability
the family can offer that gives a child the greatest chance of growing up to be a successful adult.”
Interestingly, the LGBT family movement started in 1979, two years after Anita Bryant raised hell
with her “Save the Children” campaign, followed
by the ugly California Briggs Initiative in 1978 to
ban gays from being teachers. What is now the
Family Equality Council actually started as a support group for divorced gay fathers.
To celebrate the movement’s 30th anniversary,
the group is launching a campaign that will celebrate the progress made and, Chrisler said,
encourage “a new generation of people to commit themselves to raising their voices in fairness
for all and creating new connections for the growing number of American families with parents and
grandparents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and
The Family Equality Council will kick off the
year-long campaign at its Los Angeles Awards Dinner on Feb. 11 at the Universal Studios Globe Theatre. Honorees include Chad Griffin, co-founder
of the American Foundation for Equal Rights; former Rep. Patrick Murphy, who helped lead the
effort to overturn the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and award-winning children’s author Todd Parr.
“Our honorees, through their tireless efforts,
have worked to create that world—a place where
not only our families but all loving families can be
recognized, respected and protected,” says Chrisler.
For more info on the dinner, please go to
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
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Why Fred
Karger Isn’t
Just Tilting at
Reading his email dispatches as he traveled to Iowa, New Hampshire and now Michigan for his Republican presidential campaign, it’s
easy to think of Fred Karger as a modern-day Don Quixote. Surely, like
the fictional Man from La Mancha, Karger is tilting at windmills as he
dreams the impossible dream of an openly gay man becoming president of the United States.
But the Los Angeles-based candidate says he has role models and
mentors who instilled in him the dream and the experience to make it
happen. Before Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama competed for the
Democratic nomination in 2008, there was Shirley Chisholm, the first
black woman elected to Congress. Karger reminded Frontiers during a
long lunch interview in West Hollywood on Jan. 18, that on Jan. 25,
1972, Chisholm became the first major-party black candidate for president and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress, was the first woman to run for the Republican presidential nomination.
“I’ve always been a frustrated candidate, but I knew I could never
run for office because I was gay and I was not out,” said Karger, chuckling at how he captured 137 more votes than anti-gay Rep. Michele
Bachmann in the New Hampshire primary. Karger skipped the North
Carolina primary and was barred from the ballot in Florida.
But watching the Jan. 19 CNN Republican presidential debate in
South Carolina at home was frustrating, especially since much of the
news centered on charges Newt Gingrich’s second wife Marianne made
in an interview to ABC News that Gingrich wanted an “open marriage”
so he could continue seeing his mistress Callista, now his third wife. Marianne said Gingrich wanted the new marital arrangement at the same
time he was slamming President Bill Clinton’s morality for his affair. Gingrich has signed an anti-gay pledge, saying he believes marriage should
be between one man and one woman.
But instead of showing contrition or publicly apologizing to his exwife, Gingrich blasted CNN’s John King for even asking the question.
“I watched the 17th debate tonight, which was difficult. I really
want to be on that stage to talk about my moderate and inclusive
views. The debates have gone from nine participants down to four,
and for the most part every Republican is portraying himself as a farright conservative. This is not where the country is, nor [where] the
Republican Party should be heading. There should be a diversity of
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Fred Karger
opinion in the debates as there is in the Republican Party,” Karger said
in an email after the debate. “The ‘Newt Gingrich and ex-wife number two’ controversy is the classic ‘she said, he said.’ We know that
he is a serial adulterer. Newt Gingrich is also a signator on the National Organization for Marriage’s 2012 Marriage Pledge. This identified
hate group calls for a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay
marriage across the land. Newt should be far more concerned with
his marriages and not our ability to marry. I worked for Ronald Reagan, and I am sure that he would blast NOM and those candidates
debating tonight for spewing their hate and divineness.”
Indeed, Karger has considerable Republican credibility, but like fellow second-tier candidates former four-term congressman and former
Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, he has been denied the microphone and exposure the debates
Karger has been an avid lifelong Republican. In 1977, Karger was
hired by Bill Roberts to work at the Dolphin Group, a Westwood-based
political consulting firm. Roberts and his partner Stu Spencer were famous
for managing the election of Ronald Reagan for governor of California
and his re-election in 1970, as well as working on the presidential campaign of Gerald Ford in 1976. Karger worked on George Deukmejian’s
election as attorney general in 1978 and a slew of other federal, state
and local campaigns during which he became an expert in opposition
research, survey polling and other campaign techniques that the firm
had pioneered.
“I learned from the best,” Karger said. “But I knew I could never
run for office. It’s just like going to a wedding and sitting there knowing that could never be me up there. I just got used to it. So I worked
for dozens of candidates—knowing that I could never run because of
my deep, dark secret. Now, when I retired eight years ago, Jan. 1, 2004,
I did what I’d been dreaming of doing—which is sleep late, no alarm,
travel, worked a couple projects on my house.”
But people nudged him, saying he was too young to retire at 54.
“I wanted to do something significant with my life, but I didn’t know
what it was. Then I fell into this thing to save the Boom Boom Room in
Laguna.” And though he was relentlessly teased because of the name
of the bar, his life changed—he officially came out.
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
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Mitt Romney
“I’d been out to family, friends and co-workers, but I’d never been out publicly,” Karger said.
“The fact that I’d worked in Republican politics—
I was no [closeted former Republican National
Committee Chair Ken] Mehlman—not that stature.
And I’d never been involved in anti-gay stuff. But
I came out, and [Laguna Beach Mayor] Bob Gentry was my guide. He was my hero, the first openly gay mayor in the United States. He held my hand
through the whole thing and gave me the courage
to do it.”
Karger’s aggressive campaign to save the
Boom Boom Room also entailed taking on a multi-billionaire—who happened to be Mormon. A
subtextual political pattern was developing.
When Prop. 8 came up in 2008, Karger knew
he had to somehow be involved in beating back
the initiative that would strip same-sex couples of
their legal right to marry in California.
Karger met with leaders linked with the ‘No
on Prop. 8’ campaign—including Equality California’s Geoff Kors, Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson and Dewey Square campaign consultant Steve
Smith—and told them he wanted to do opposition research independently from the campaign.
“I want to make it socially unacceptable to
give massive amounts of money to take away the
rights of a minority. It should not be bragging
rights,” Karger said. “And there’s that famous story in the San Diego Union Tribune when Doug Man-
chester was gloating about his $125,000 contribution, and this Terry Castor—who ended up giving $693,000—said marriage between two men
would create a ‘sick society.’ That pissed me off.
So I decided to boycott Manchester.”
The boycott of the San Diego-based Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, launched in July 2008
in coalition with UNITE HERE Local 30, cost the
largest hotel in Southern California $7 million in
the first eight months. Karger’s description of how
this and other boycotts and protests were organized are documented in a new book about his life,
which uses as its title the catch phrase for his longshot presidential campaign: Fred Who?
Through his Californians Against Hate organization, Karger noticed that people were contributing to the ‘Yes on 8’ campaign under different
names. “They would give under their spouse’s
name, so they put down ‘homemaker.’ I wondered—who are these people? $50,000 from a
dentist?” That’s when the Mormon connection
surfaced and he got national press. In September,
the Wall Street Journal’s Mark Schoofs got on a
Mormon conference call and heard orders for Mormons to give $25,000. His exposé prompted Karger to become more aggressive against the Mormons, “to try to stop them—which was too little
too late, because that train had left the station.”
But by then he had developed a Mormon following, church members who would send him
tips, some of which led to documentation. He discovered that the Mormon involvement in anti-gay
marriage activities goes back to 1995. “They were
in Prop. 22 [the anti-gay marriage initiative passed
by voters in 2000]. They’ve been involved in every
single election—invisibly—until we caught them.
And they’ve not stopped because they don’t,”
Karger said, noting that they continue to be
involved, albeit invisibly. “They don’t back away
until they get a revelation, and they’ve only had
two of those under duress—when the IRS came
down on them for polygamy and for not allowing African-Americans membership in the church.
That was the most recent—1978. So I’m trying to
deliver a revelation.”
Karger’s crusade to force the Church of Latter Day Saints out of the marriage discrimination
business has caused the Mormons huge headaches.
He filed a formal complaint with the California
FAIR Political Practices Commission, charging the
church with hiding how deeply involved it was in
financially supporting the ‘Yes on 8’ campaign.
After an investigation, the FPPC found the church
guilty of 13 violations, for which they paid a fine.
Karger has called himself the “anti-Romney”
candidate. He believes that a member’s obedience
to the LDS Church supersedes loyalty to family and
country, and hence, if Mormon Mitt Romney were
to become president, he would have no choice
but to obey an order from the president of the
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Mormon Church.
Karger has also gone after the
Catholic-centric National Organization
for Marriage, filing a formal ethics complaint in Maine about how they hide
their political contributors as well. He
turned over all his research to the
Human Rights Campaign for its ‘NOM
Exposed’ website, hoping HRC would
follow up.
It was during the summer of 2008
that Karger first considered running for
president. “In the middle of all this, I
thought, ‘Wow, I’m certainly out now.
So what’s stopping me from running
for political office? Nothing.’ I want to
make a difference, and that was my
reason for becoming an activist—
because I had a terrible struggle growing up. I had it better than most,
because I wasn’t bullied and teased in
school, but I had this shame and guilt
and confusion all through high school
and college and I went to shrinks to try
to change. It was not an easy time. So
I want to make it easier for younger
people. I want to help others,” Karger
And even when closeted, that
included gay activism. Karger met longtime LGBT activist David Mixner fighting the Briggs Initiative in 1978 when
Karger was trying to make the ‘No on
6’ campaign bipartisan.
“First I got the Los Angeles County Young Republicans to come out and
oppose it, which was a battle royale,”
Karger said. “I was working by day for
George Deukmejian for Attorney General, and then at night I would meet at
Mixner’s apartment and do whatever I
could to make this bipartisan.”
When progressive Democrat
George McGovern mentioned the L.A.
County Young Republicans at a ‘No on
6’ event, the media went crazy. But
that was only a hint of what was to
come. “I was part of this team with two
guys—I was lower on the totem pole—
Marty Dyer and Dennis Hunt, who had
been boyfriends and worked for Reagan when he was governor,” Karger
said. “They helped get Pete Hannaford
involved in the campaign, and Hannaford set up the famous meeting with
Mixner and [his consulting partner
Peter] Scott with Reagan to ask for Reagan’s endorsement of ‘No on 6.’ We
were behind about 2-1 in the polls.
Hannaford, who was gay but not out
then—this is 1978—said, ‘He’s not
going to come out against it. The best
we can hope for is that he’ll stay neutral.’ This is after Reagan had run in
1976 and narrowly lost to Ford and
was gearing up to run in 1980. Well,
after the meeting, Reagan told these
guys, ‘I’m going to come out against
it,’ and he did. He wrote an op-ed and
the polls flipped.”
And that example of bipartisanship
is one of the main reasons Karger is
running for president. “What I believe
is a necessity in our civil rights movement is to have that bipartisanship,”
he said, citing GOP support for the
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repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and
the passage of marriage equality in New
York. “I wish I had a dollar for every person who said, “How can you be a
Republican?” But I’ve been trying to
make that change in the Republican
But his efforts to do that have been
stymied by the changing of primary
and caucus dates—he has relied heavily on college voters—and getting into
the debates. Some of that is a result of
the media making decisions about the
debate process. Moderate Republican
political strategist Mark McKinnon
points out in a new Harvard Kennedy
School of Government report that Karger, Roemer and Johnson were systematically excluded by the media in a concern about ratings over democracy.
“The process of electing the next
president of the United States is not a
joke. That leads us to the question: Does
the current primary debate process best
serve voters, the candidates, the parties and the nation, or is there a better
way?” McKinnon writes. “[A]s evidenced by the 2012 Republican primary process, control of the debates
has been lost. That is a danger.”
In his report, McKinnon cites the
selection criteria for who gets in the
debates as a significant problem.
“Because of an absence of any central
organizing entity or party control, there
were no clear or consistent criteria for
qualifying for the debates. The criteria
changed from debate to debate.
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“Fred Karger has gone further than
either of his excluded colleagues, filing
lawsuits alleging the violation of federal election campaign laws against a pair
of debate sponsors that kept him off
their stages,” McKinnon writes. “The
first case charges the Iowa Faith and
Freedom Coalition of exclusion from
their March 7, 2011, Presidential Forum
‘based on the subjective prejudices of
the IFFC’s president, Mr. Steve Scheffler.’ Citing an email exchange between
himself and Scheffler, Karger claims that
he was not invited to the forum based
on his support for gay marriage and
general advocacy in favor of the ‘radical homosexual community.’
“The second case,” McKinnon continues, “accuses the Fox News Channel and its owner News Corporation of
discrimination in spite of Karger meeting the necessary polling numbers for
the Aug. 11 debate. ‘It appears that
because I met their originally stated criteria, Fox News changed their criteria
in order to exclude me,’ concludes Karger.”
With the Republican candidates
steadily whittling down, Karger hopes
to get on the debate stage in Michigan, where he will be one of the last
standing GOP presidential candidates
on the ballot.
Whether he gets on the stage or
not, Fred Karger has paved the way for
other LGBT people to dream the impossible dream of one day being elected
president of the United States.
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Actors Jamie-Lynn Sigler
(The Sopranos), Edi Gathegi (Twilight) and Natalie
Zea (Justified) perform
in an Adam Shankmandirected musical at 2011’s
first annual Hollywood
Rush event
You know that recurring nightmare in which you have to get up
in front of a packed auditorium and
have no idea what to say or do?
That’s how Jodie Sweetin describes
Hollywood Rush, an event that takes
place Feb. 19 and benefits the L.A.
Gay & Lesbian Center’s Baby
Dragon Fund.
Now in its second year, Hollywood Rush brings together 40 of
the industry’s finest writers, directors, producers and actors and gives
them the task of creating six 10minute plays—all within 24 hours.
The writers assemble the evening
prior and have 12 hours to compose all six scripts (last year’s collection included a musical about a
severed penis). The morning of the
event, those scripts are then handed
off to the writers and directors, who
only have a short time to rehearse
before the curtain goes up.
The Full House alum acted in
last year’s inaugural event and also
served as co-host, and she can testify, “It’s terrifying. But you’re doing it with other people who have
the same amount of time, and it’s
just really fun. It’s crazy, and any-
thing can happen. My play was
about a bank robbery. But there’s
a lot of camaraderie because you’re
all kind of like, ‘Alright, well, here
goes nothing.’ And we all know it’s
for a good cause.”
Executive Producer Jason
Kennedy said he heard a lot of positive feedback from the actors last
year. “Some of them said they finally felt like actors again because
of the theater camp atmosphere of
the rehearsal process.”
But it’s not just the performers who get struck with a case of
the jitters. Writers from last year’s
show had a hard time sleeping the
night before they had to write because they were so nervous. “These
are writers who deal with billiondollar studio and network notes,
and this project kept them awake!”
Kennedy says.
So what could go wrong? Well,
about an hour before last year’s
show, the lights and audio went
dead (they came back on just in
time). Also, some of the directors
of the LAGLC were almost in tears
before the show—worried that it
would not come together. “They
were pleasantly surprised, as they
often tell us,” Kennedy says. “So
surprised that they signed us on to
produce this show for them for the
next five years.”
This year’s lineup includes actors Sweetin, Eddie Kay Thomas,
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Yeardley Smith,
Jonathan Bennett and David
Krumholtz; and directors Peter
Paige, Matthew Lillard and Dan
Harris—along with the evening’s
host, George Kotsiopoulos.
Hollywood Rush came about
in 2011 when Kennedy and fellow
Executive Producers Kate Payne
and Zibby Allen decided to assemble a team of dedicated friends so
they could put on a fun show and
raise a few bucks for a charity very
near and dear to their hearts, The
Baby Dragon Fund. “It’s a charity
that was created in honor of Hunter
Allen, a good friend and Zibby’s
brother,” Kennedy explains. “He
lost his battle with meth addiction
several years ago when he made
the choice to take his life. The Baby
Dragon Fund exists so that we never
have to lose another friend, loved
one or youth to that powerful mon-
ster. We were blown away by the
level of celebrity participation,
audience turnout and the amount
of money the night raised.”
The struggle with substance
abuse is one that Sweetin is familiar with, so she was quick to jump
on board with this project. “I know
what a horrific experience it is and
how hard it is to pull yourself out
of it,” she says. “I feel like I have
a real opportunity to give back. I
know so many people in recovery
who were in prison or living on
the streets or had no contact with
their family or lost their kids. But
after a period of being sober and
really doing the work, their lives
are unrecognizable from what they
once were. You can come back
from the depths of despair and recover or repair relationships and
turn your life around. Just because
you’ve been through this, doesn’t mean it has to be the end of
your life.”
Hollywood Rush takes place
Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Wilshire
Ebell Theatre. For more details and
to purchase tickets, visit holly
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SAT., JAN. 28
SAT., JAN. 28
FRI., JAN. 27
Neither Micheal Jackson nor the
works of Cirque du Soleil need introduction, but the partnership of
the two will put your imagination
into overdrive. The Immortal World
Tour debuts and will feature riveting visuals, music and choreography that literally turns MJ’s moves
upside-down. The show was written and directed
by Jamie King, which means you won’t be disappointed. Jan. 27-29. 8 p.m. Tickets start at $50.
Staples Center, 1111 Figuerora, Downtown L.A.
Stabat Mater, which translates
to “the Mother was standing,”
is a musical depicting the Virgin
Mary’s suffering as she watches
her son’s crucifixion. Originally
composed by Giovanni Battista
Pergolesi, dating back as far as
1778, Stabat Mater’s sorrowful
nature gained notoriety, making it the most popular piece
of sacred music ever written. 8
p.m. $15-49. AT&T Center Theatre, 1150 S. Olive St., Downtown L.A.
Performance artist Vaginal Davis
is the center of a special afternoon
inspired by the influential L.A.based Woman’s Building. My Pussy
is Still in Los Angeles (I Only Live
in Berlin) combines spoken-word
by Davis along with live performance. The show “explores the
Utopian promise of L.A. and the
dystopia of the late 1970s through
the lens of the Woman’s Building,
gender issues and her own career
as an underclass performance
artist.” 1-3:30 p.m. $50. Bullocks
Wilshire at Southwestern Law
School, 3050 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.
FEB. 1
Mixing ballet with modern
dance and breaking barriers
in the process, the Joffrey Ballet has redefined American dance.
Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance
is the first documentary to tell the
company’s story—of accepting and
cultivating diverse groups of dancers,
resurrecting nearly lost 20th century masterpieces and commissioning daring new
works by visionary choreographers. Mandy
Patinkin narrates the film, which is followed
by a Q&A. 8 p.m. $20. The Colburn School, 200
S. Grand Ave., Downtown L.A.
MON., JAN. 30
SUN., JAN. 29
Chinatown kicks off the new year with the 113th
Annual Golden Dragon Parade, which will feature
hundreds of floats, decked-out cars, firecrackers,
dancers and bands. Attendees will enjoy Chinese
cuisine from many of the area’s restaurants and local food trucks. Jan. 28-29. Noon-6 p.m. Central
Plaza, 943 N. Broadway, Downtown L.A.
SUN., JAN. 29
The Welcome Inn is transformed
into a journey back in time through
pivotal moments in L.A.’s music
history. Welcome Inn Time Machine
will have over a dozen micro concerts in its motel rooms, turning
them into music venues that allow you to experience our city’s
music eras from 1949 to 1977.
This six-hour tour will sequentially
feature works from orchestras, jazz
and other influential L.A. artists.
4-10 p.m. The Welcome Inn, 1840
Colorado Blvd., L.A.
SAT., FEB. 4
Enter The Dragon commemorates Hold Up
Art’s two-year anniversary show by featuring art pulled from a private collection in celebration of the many rising
stars of the art scene. The
collection will
display alongside the launch
of the gallery’s
new retail storefront, containing
apparel designed by local artists,
collectible records, magazines
and more. 7-11 p.m. Hold Up
Art, 385 E. 2nd St.,
Downtown L.A.
The hardest-working woman
in entertainment and the Roast
Queen on E!’s Fashion Police supports musical theater and artistic quality. An Evening With Joan
Rivers is Rivers in top form. As a
comedienne, author and Emmy
Award-winning talk show host,
Rivers has made the world laugh
for the past four decades and
looks to add one more notch
to her fashionably decorated belt.
8 p.m. $75. Freud Playhouse,
245 Charles E. Young Dr., Westwood.
SUN., FEB. 5
Chris Isaacson presents the third season in Upright
Cabaret’s American Icon Series with The Troubadours. An all-star cast from American Idol to Broadway will appear singing songs from musical greats
like Bob Dylan, Carole King and James Taylor. Expect to hear classics such as “Blowin’ In The Wind,”
“Times They are A Changin’,” “Will You Still Love
Me Tomorrow?,” “Natural Woman,” “Fire and
Rain,” “You've Got A Friend” and tons more! Yvette
Cason and Jake Simpson are just two of the stars
expected out of a list of many gracing the stage
to honor these American favorites. 8 p.m. $24-49.
Annenberg Theater, 101 N. Museum Dr., Palm
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In the gay vernacular, ‘cruising’ comes with multiple meanings. On one hand, it implies trolling
for anonymous hookups. On the other hand, it refers to voyaging on a big, fancy boat. Now
let’s put those palms together, boys, because the two terms can easily—and enjoyably—overlap. Here’s a look at some of the most fabulous gay-friendly cruises 2012 has to offer. So oil
up, slip into your Speedo and gear up for some maritime debauchery.
June 3-10
Got a little sugar in your sandals, twinkle toes? This cruise is handcrafted for all you dancing queens. Dancing With The Stars Celebrity Dance Pro and season 13 champion Karina
Smirnoff christens Carnival’s inaugural dance-themed cruise aboard The Splendor with a week
of choreography, fitness and fun.
“Cruising With The Stars will set a new standard in dance cruise excursions,” explains
husband-wife event organizers/hosts Mike Tuttle and Sharon Savoy. “Add the rare opportunity
to join one of America’s hottest dance celebrities—DWTS’ Karina Smirnoff—for a full week of
unmatched dance instruction and exhilarating performances, and it’s a formula for success.”
Smirnoff knows a thing or two about success herself. Her accomplishments include five
U.S. national championships, debuting on Broadway in Burn the Floor and releasing a fitness
DVD, Shape Up with Karina Smirnoff. Karina and her fellow dance instructors will be lending
their talents to provide nearly 60 hours of ballroom, latin and club-style dance classes, on
top of nightly dancing, parties and performances. Add in exotic locales such as Cabo San
Lucas and Puerto Vallarta and you’re in dance paradise.
The world’s largest gay cruise gets even
gayer. Atlantis Events has announced that
Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel will be joining Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas as a
special on-board guest. Homos in the know
will recognize Menzel for her work in Rent,
Wicked and FOX’s hit muscial comedy Glee.
Other entertainers include Miss Richfield 1981,
Jonathan Hellyer of The Dame Edna Experience, comedian Jim David and zaftig funnyman Bruce Vilanch. For those of you who
prefer dance floors over comedy clubs,
Allure hosts over 20 original parties featuring the musical talents of DJs Abel, Wayne
G., Pagano and Manny Lehman. There’s
really something for everyone.
“We’re completely reinventing the gay
cruise on the world’s most magnificent ship,”
says Atlantis Events CEO Rich Campbell. “In
the last 20 years we’ve had the opportunity
to create truly magical and extraordinary
experiences for our community, and the
Allure presents a unique opportunity to
take this to an entirely new level.”
This new level includes shipping out from
beach party mecca Ft. Lauderdale and circumnavigating the Caribbean, porting in hot
spots such as Labadee, Costa Maya and
Cozumel. Factor in Allure’s restaurants, cafes,
ice rink, rock wall, surf simulators, plus the
world’s largest open air deck, and you’ve got
a solid week of activities to fill time between
flirting. Sometimes bigger really is better.
NOH8, the now-iconic photo crusade
against 2008’s discriminatory gay marriage
ban in California, is reputable for breaking
boundaries. Rising star photographer Adam
Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley have traveled the country shooting men, women
and children of all ages, races and sexual
orientations with their mouths duct-taped
over. These images serve as a silent but powerful protest against homophobic legislation.
This summer, NOH8 pivots into a surprising
new direction—the South Seas.
Bouska and Parshley have teamed up with
David Morris International and MHM Destinations to create NOH8 Cruise to Tahiti, aptly
set on the luxury cruise ship Paul Gauguin.
The cruise, which will visit the islands of
Raiatea, Bora Bora, Taha’a, Moorea and Tahiti,
will be emceed by Bump TV host Charlie David.
“We are excited about this partnership,”
says Bouska. “In the true spirit of the
campaign, the cruise is open not just to the
gay community, but to friends, family and
others seeking to make a difference.”
On top of receiving a personal NOH8
shoot, passengers can look forward to a latenight pool party hosted by the NoH8 founders,
an invitation to the Charlie David Bloody
Mary party, an exclusive group dinner,
pillow gifts, Martini Monday and Sail Away
parties and a no-host beach party. You can
cruise the South Seas, you can cruise for a
man and you can cruise for a good cause all
in the same week.
Jan. 29 - Feb. 5
June 16-23
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Winter in Los Angeles sucks.
The sunshine and bronzed
beach bodies that typify our
city are replaced with tepid
climes and neurotic wannabe
actors obsessing over pilot
season. It’s time for an
escape. Fortunately, party
guru Tom Whitman provides
sanctuary from these urban
doldrums with another round
of Elevation gay ski weekends. Elevation: Mammoth and Elevation: Utah offer the gay community a unique
opportunity to hit the slopes, inhale some crisp mountain air and blow off steam.
Feb. 23-26
For all those poor, unfortunate souls not located in Southern California, Tom
Whitman provides an alternative gay ski weekend in the form of Elevation: Utah.
But don’t expect it to be a carbon copy clone of Mammoth.
“I really am building Elevation: Utah to be a sister event to Elevation: Mammoth, but there are some differences,” explains Whitman. “For one, Park City is
a very unique location. It’s one of my favorite ski towns in the world. Park City
has a huge advantage over most resorts because it is so easy for people from
across the country to get to Salt Lake City and drive for 30 minutes—much easier than it is to get to Mammoth. So Elevation: Utah has the potential to be even
bigger than Mammoth. Plus, Salt Lake City has a really vibrant gay population,
a ton of hot semi-Mormon guys who don’t have many national gay events in their
As with Mammoth, days are filled with crushing powder while the nights
are packed crushing the dance floor. Mormon ‘mos can shake off their religious
undergarments at one of the myriad nightly parties. Salt Lake City resident DJ
Chris Barnes will throw down beats at several events, as well as Elevation alumni
DJs Josh Peace and Brynn Taylor. Again, each artist lends a unique vibe to the
“Josh Peace is one of the most talented DJs in L.A.,” says Whitman. “He can
make any party crazy, but he’s especially good at riding the line between pop,
dance and underground perfectly. Brynn Taylor is like the lesbian version of Josh—
very vocal in her music, but definitely knows how to make an event feel like an
off-the-hook house party that has gotten a bit out of control.” While providing
the same skiing, boarding and party opportunities as his big brother, Elevation:
Utah continues to evolve into its own unique escape destination. Papa Whitman
declares, “Your first year at Elevation will not be your last.”
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March 14-18
Elevation: Mammoth celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and the weekend getaway is guaranteed to be bigger, better and gayer than ever.
“I’m really excited about our 10th anniversary,” beams event founder Whitman. “We are adding a bunch of special events to the lineup to make 2012 a really special year.” One of these new events is the VIP Snowcat Dinner.
“No, we are not eating cats. This is a gourmet dining experience that begins when guests are taken up the mountain at night in a VIP Snowcat. A Snowcat is a giant enclosed tracked vehicle. You see them grooming the slopes,” adds
Whitman, “but this one is outfitted to take people up the mountain in style.”
The gourmet dinner, severed at the restaurant Parallax, is available exclusively to
Elevation participants.
Other additions to the Mammoth experience are performances by Broadway’s
David Burnham and the hilarious Dixie
“Many people know [Dixie] as the
trailer trash Tupperware lady, famous from
the Atlantis cruises, as well as her own
off-Broadway show. I use the pronoun
‘her’ loosely. Heck, I use the term ‘lady’
loosely when talking about Dixie. David
is an incredibly talented singer, and is
most famous for his work in Wicked and
Light in the Piazza.”
If this entertainment is too mild for
your tastes, then focus on the après-ski events and scandalous late-night parties.
Returning to the turntables are the talents of DJs Josh Peace, Pornstar, Brynn Taylor and Roland Belmares.
“Each brings unique sounds to their events,” Whitman describes. “Roland
Belmares has spun some of the biggest parties on the circuit, including the main
events of Gay Days Orlando, Alegria, White Party and Winter Party. Add Elevation: Mammoth X to that list. Pornstar is always fun at the decks, with a more
dance-driven beat. And it doesn’t hurt when he spins in a jockstrap either.” This
year DJ Pornstar is bringing more than music to the slopes.
“I’m bringing three surprise pornstars with me to go-go dance!” promises
the DJ. “This is my third year in a row doing Mammoth. Elevation has become
a DJ Pornstar tradition, one of the highlights of my year.” After a decade of providing snowbound solace to WeHo-weary party boys, Elevations has evolved
into a West Coast winter institution.
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Whether you’re visiting the island for the first time or you regularly hop the Pacific
to this tropical paradise, these Maui attractions are not to be missed.
As you make your way around the
Southern coast of the island (a trek
people like to ‘warn’ you about), you’ll
enjoy breathtaking views of seemingly
endless acres of variety. One minute the
landscape is thickly grassed farmland, then
rainforest jungle, then rocky desert.
Kaho’olawe—smallest of the islands and
uninhabited—will be visible on your left.
Eventually you’ll find yourself in a woodsy
area reminiscent of Northern California; it’s
here you’ll stumble on the Maui Winery,
home of the famous pineapple wine and
champagne. Made from hand-picked Maui
Gold pineapples, this affordably priced
treat is, surprisingly, not too sweet and
perfect for a hot afternoon with friends.
The vivacious, sassy staff will happily allow
you to try many of their show-stopping
vintages. Because you’ll be driving, you
won’t know until it’s too late that you
should buy more than one bottle. Trust
me—go ahead and buy a little extra.
This new shop in the Four Seasons
Hotel Wailea is the resort wear store you
have been looking for. Cabana, a men’s
store, features designers like Rag & Bone,
Paul Smith, Etro, Vilebrequin, Vince and
Ever, showcased densely in a modern
beach vibe. The shop—and its women’s
counterpart, 22 Knots—feels as if it had
scoured the racks of Barney’s, American
Rag, Opening Ceremony and dozens of
boutiques, found every resort piece you
could ever want and put it in one place.
Consider packing light and buying your
vacation wardrobe on the island. The store
has even partnered with Los Angeles
designer James Perse for an exclusive collection of apparel available only here, making it a true home away from home for
the savvy L.A. shopper.
The Mai Tai didn’t originate in
Hawaii, but few places on Earth make it
this well. Thanks to the availability of
fresh, sweet produce, a Hawaiian Mai Tai
is often crowned with so much delicious
fruit, it’s like you get a complimentary salad with every glass! The Westin Ka’anapali has a specialty Mai Tai they’ve named
“Da Kine”—it involves fresh mint and lots
of raspberry—but tops is their house Mai
Tai, based on the original Trader Vic’s
recipe. If you frequent their Ocean Pool
Bar & Grill between 4 and 6 p.m., you
can take advantage of everyday happy
hour prices. You’ll be perfectly tipsy in
time for the spectacular sunset.
Chef James McDonald’s seafood
restaurant has become a Maui staple, located at the end of Front Street in the tourist
destination town of Lahaina. McDonald
seems to have privileged access to some
of the islands’ best fish. Much of his produce is organic, and 100 percent of his
salad greens and herbs are grown on his
O’o farm in Kula. (Don’t miss the Roasted Maui Onion and Goat Cheese salad!)
His fusion of traditional, Hawaiian flavors with upscale, tourist-friendly twists
make this a not-to-be-missed restaurant.
The floorplan is such that there is no table
without lovely, oceanside dining. (Bring
sunglasses if you’re there for lunch!) The
waitstaff is friendly and attentive, and can
expertly guide you in your choices,
whether it’s the adventurous appetizer
Oysters Moana, served on a bed of chewy,
fluorescent green wakame (an edible seaweed) or something more familiar like the
Fish and Chips, made with Mahi-mahi so
fresh and succulent it may ruin you for any
other seafood shack back home. It may
seem impossible, but do order the Banana
Pineapple Lumpia (think of a fruit-filled
egg-roll) with Macadamia Nut Ice Cream
for dessert—it’s easy to share and worth
going up a belt-notch.
Celebrities flock to this secluded little gem on the North East shore of the Island.
Just getting there is a thrilling experience all its own. The Hana Highway is 68 miles
long (from Kahului to Hana) and can take anywhere from two to four hours depending on how many times you stop, and because it’s dotted with many achingly
beautiful creeks and waterfalls, you will stop more than once.
The Hotel Travaasa feels sprawling and spacious, a collection of connected rooms
in single-story buildings on perfectly manicured, rolling hills that lead to a sheer
cliff face over the ocean. They offer a variety of vacation experiences. Having recently been taken over by Travaasa, a new destination hotel group, the resort is going
all-inclusive, offering three meals a day, lodging and spa treatments for prices as
low as $699 a day.
Spend the afternoon in your sea cottage, reading on your private lanai; enjoy
a lunch of tasty tuna poke and garlic fries by the tile-bottomed infinity pool; then
retire to a truly world-class spa.
For more on Maui and Moloka’i, go to
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Our neighbor to the north, British Columbia is a prime vacation destination for
Angelenos, offering up everything the big city dweller requires for a relaxed and
invigorating escape from L.A. Vancouver is consistently ranked one of the best
places in the world to visit, and much like our own city, it offers stunning mountain and ocean scenery, an eco-conscious yet cosmopolitan lifestyle and top-tier
dining and accomodations. Just north of Vancouver sits Whistler, one of the
world’s best known ski resorts. While it’s renowned for its winter fun, Whistler is
actually a thriving four-season resort that draws tourists throughout the year.
More and more discerning LGBT
travelers head to Vancouver each year,
as the city boasts the largest gay population in Western Canada. Much like
L.A., Vancouver has a number of vibrant
gay communities and unique gay neighborhoods. The West End is where
much of the LGBT population lives, an
area characterized by diverse restaurants, gay nightlife venues and independent and designer storefronts. Vancouver’s Chinatown is North America’s third-largest, after San Francisco
and New York. Gastown is the city’s
most historic neighborhood, complete
with cobblestone streets and restored
Victorian buildings—a great place for
dawdling or dining.
With more than 25,000 hotel
rooms, Vancouver has no shortage of
luxury accommodations, though the
OPUS Hotel offers the most sleek and
stylish boutique experience to the L.A.
traveler. Not only is the hotel a mere
32 footsteps from the Canada Line Station (22 minutes from the airport),
but it’s the only hotel located in the
trendy and fashionable Yaletown neighborhood. The area connotes urban
charm at its finest, with converted warehouses that are now some of the city’s
most stylish and talked-about boutiques,
art galleries, restaurants and lounges.
The guestrooms feature vibrant
colors, spa bathrooms (I couldn’t get
enough of the heated tile floor) and five
lifestyle-inspired décor schemes. OPUS
is one of the world’s top hotels.
After a meal in one of Vancouver’s
unrivaled dining establishments, you’ll
need to partake in the city’s after-dark
excitement. Downtown’s safe, walkable streets ensure an enjoyable experience wherever you go. Celebrities
is a Vancouver institution, the city’s
largest gay bar, and one that features
a mixed crowd with top DJs and special events throughout the week. Sunday afternoons should be spent at
PumpJack Pub (PJs), a casual atmosphere where friendly leather men and
bears meet. Numbers is another
Vancouver landmark, a multi-level space
with DJs and events all week long.
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Located 79 miles north of Vancouver, you’ll find yourself in this mountain resort after a scenic two-hour journey on the Sea to Sky Highway, also
known as Highway 99. The route recently underwent a $600 million upgrade, so it’s smooth driving alongside views of the rugged coastline,
picturesque waterfalls and glacial peaks.
Pacific Coach Lines offers service
between Vancouver’s airport or downtown Vancouver hotels to Whistler several times each day.
After disembarking from your
mountain ascent, check into your highclass accomodations. Whistler has more
than 24 hotels, as well as an extensive
range of townhomes, condos and B&Bs.
The Listel Hotel is perfectly situated
in the main village and is a close walk
to local restaurants and the base of
Whistler mountain.
In the winter, it’s no secret that skiing and snowboarding are the resort’s
main draw—though Whistler offers tons
of other engaging activities for visitors.
During the warm winter months, there’s
mountain biking, golf, fishing, swimming and hiking to fill your time.
Whistler is the only ski resort in
North America where the ski season
is long enough that one can ski in
the morning and golf in the afternoon.
Even while the valley ‘greens up,’ the
glacier on Blackcomb Mountain stays
open into late July. The ‘Whistler
triathlon’ refers to skiing, golfing and
biking in the same day.
With more than 95 restaurants, bars
and lounges, Whistler has become
known as a culinary mecca for visitors,
featuring a diverse range of regional
and international cuisine. You’ll find
everything from local pubs and steakhouses to true culinary experiences, as
at Bearfoot Bistro, home to Whistler’s
finest kitchen. Begin your experience
with caviar and Moët, then venture into
the bistro’s underground wine cellar or
deep-freeze vodka room for a tour
and tasting. Melissa Craig, the youngest
and first female to win the title “Best
Chef in Canada,” serves up a unique
blend of West Coast and international
For more on Vancouver and Whistler, go
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French-inspired bistro and wine bar is
actually a sister restaurant to New York’s
Bar Boulud, and carries the same clout
and high-class reputation. Perhaps even
more so than the bistro’s menu—specializing in classic seasonal French cooking, along with signature terrines and
pâtés made on site—the electric clientele makes Bar Boulud a must-stop
dining adventure. While the high-end
menu could easily lend itself to a stuffy
environment, instead you’ll find a young,
hip crowd in the mood for a casually
comfortable dinner and drinks before
hitting the town.
With nonstop flights from L.A. to
London Heathrow, flying Premium Economy on Air New Zealand is the only
way to cross the pond in style. The airline’s cutting-edge 777-300ER aircraft,
featuring Spaceseats and the Skycouch,
bring first-class luxury into the other
cabins. Arrive in London fully refreshed
and ready to take on the sights of this
amazing city.
Upon boarding the plane and
arrival at your personal Spaceseat—
where socks, an eyemask, toothbrush,
pillow and blanket await you—you’ll
first be amazed at the ability to lounge
and get comfortable on the upcoming
11-hour flight. Each passenger has ample space and privacy, and due to the
seats’ design, the person sitting in front
of you can’t recline into your personal
space. These seats are ideal for those
looking to sleep for the duration of the
flight, or for those needing uninterrupted
work time.
There’s no better way to cast your
glance upon the expansive city than
from above, and the best way to do so
is aboard the London Eye, at this point
a landmark symbol of modern Britain.
For those seeking the utmost luxury—
even in their sightseeing—the London
Eye offers private capsules. Whether
you’re seeking a romantic respite for
two or a private get-together with three
to 25 friends (with or without champagne), you’re guaranteed a view
of London like no other. Needless to
say, hopefully the weather will be kind
while you’re 135 meters in the air.
Indulge your craving for culture by
visiting The British Museum, located
in London’s quaint Bloomsbury neighborhood. It’s a vast place, with over
100 galleries—organized by geography, history and theme—and a huge
range of extraordinary objects you’ll
Queerness is in London’s DNA. A jaunt through the city’s hallowed history—
from its pink literary chronicles and Shakespearean gender-bending to Beefeaters
in uniform and the Queen’s royal pomp and circumstance—reveals that
nowhere else in the world will gay travelers find such sacred ground. London is
a perfect amalgamation of the world’s gay meccas, and everything is right at your
fingertips—or, more accurately, at your feet—thanks to London Underground’s
particularly extensive Tube system, which provides reliable access to anywhere in
the city.
Understanding the importance of luxury and, above all, comfortability
while abroad, we’ve got you covered on your next trip over the Atlantic. Here’s
how to arrive in style, and once there, where to indulge in the city’s—and life’s—
finer things.
Air New Zealand’s Spaceseat
British cuisine may not have the
best reputation, yet I assure you that
London’s fine dining is oftentimes
unparalleled. With such a diverse array
of cultures and ethnicities present
inside the city, there’s no shortage of
luxe dining options to appease the most
discriminating of tastebuds.
Be seated in the very lap of luxury
at Bar Boulud, found in the heart of
London’s swanky Knightsbridge neighborhood on the street level of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, a name synonymous with luxury worldwide. The
want to peruse, including The Rosetta
Stone, pieces of the Parthenon and
countless Greek and Roman statues
(many still in tact) and gilded Egyptian coffins. Plan to spend a large chunk
of time exploring over 6 million
There’s no shortage of flamboyantly
exclusive nightlife venues in London,
but after a day of luxury eats and
cultured endeavors, if you’re like me,
you’ll be ready to loosen your inhibitions on the seedier side of town. Comparable to L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood, Vauxhall is where you’ll find
many of London’s leather bars and fetish
nights but also wall-to-wall-packed,
throbbing dance clubs. Unlike here in
the States, on weekends you’ll find a
nightclub open at any hour. You may
even come across gay London residents
awake from Thursday night until the
sun sets on Sunday evening.
High on your list of nightlife indulgences should be Sunday night’s Horse
Meat Disco, a wildly successful party
that caters to the gamut—from fashionistas and guerilla drag queens to
The Eagle London’s traditional bearish audience. Dance along to the
musical stylings of an acclaimed London DJ collective—from which the party
gets its name—while sipping Coronas
out of the bottle or Stella Artois on tap.
For more on London,
go to
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By Mike Ciriaco
In Los Angeles, January marks the advent of pilot season, the four-month-long process of casting next fall’s newest television series.
Thousands of optimistic performers eagerly relocate to the West Coast to participate in this potential opportunity at stardom. L.A.,
arguably the most vibrant and dynamic megalopolis on the face of the planet, can be an equally daunting urban labyrinth to these
starry-eyed neophytes. Fortunately, Frontiers has crafted a guide to ease the assimilation process. Master these basics early and you’ll
have a head start on fulfilling your aspirations and enjoying SoCal’s unique lifestyle.
Critical Mass
Mass transit systems are more centralized and
respected in cities like New York and Chicago. L.A.
is defined by a strong ‘car culture,’ which can
unnerve those who haven’t driven in years, if ever.
For those transplants with limited transportation
options, Los Angeles has an effective system of
buses and metros that can schlep you from point
A to point B. Be warned, this image-conscious city
attaches a stigma to mass transit, although this
option has several perks. First, parking in some
parts of town is nightmarish, so taking the Red
Line from Hollywood to Downtown, for example,
is a savvy strategy. Second, in light of astronomical gas prices, taking buses and metros gives your
exhausted wallet a breather.
Creatures of the Night
If you moved here to be an actor, keep your
days available for auditions and callbacks. The best
approach to surviving is working bar/restaurant jobs
in the evening, which has its pros and cons. As a
plus, you’ll leave your shift with much-needed
cash in hand. The calibre of eatery will usually dictate your level of income (Servers at Katsuya can
earn up to $700 a night; waiters at Cheesecake
Factory are lucky to get $100). The catch with
high-end restaurants is the major stress that accompanies their coveted server positions. Throngs of
entitled, catty patrons may have you too exhausted to make your auditions in the morning.
Goodwill Hunting
Los Angeles is all about image, so looking your
best at all times is crucial. This doesn’t mean you
need to hemorrhage money every time you go
shopping. With a keen eye and a small wad of cash,
hit up any Goodwill and start scouring. Not only
are these items ridiculously inexpensive, but you
can breathe easy knowing no one else will be rocking your outfit at Saturday’s house party. (There’s
nothing worse than rolling into an event and
bumping into three other queens donning the
exact same H&M T-shirt.)
Rent it ‘Til You Make it
Those who are saving up to purchase their own
set of wheels and cringe at the thought of rubbing shoulders with the hordes of tweakers populating L.A.’s metro system may want to rent a
vehicle. 699 Rental offers car rentals for under $7
a day. Be warned, these beaters wont impress a
judgmental queen, and the company requires
renters to have car insurance, but on the flip side,
you’ll have an autonomous transport to your auditions.
I Want to Ride My Bicycle
Another viable option is cycling. This is the
greenest and most inexpensive mode of transportation, and a decent bike is easy to obtain off
Craigslist. Your level of athleticism will limit how
far you can travel, but all city buses provide bike
racks, so both travel methods work together nicely. Most importantly, you receive a satisfying cardio workout while peddling to your destination,
thus tightening your core and lifting the glutes.
When’s the last time a sedan made you sexier?
Stick to What You Know
If you possess a skill outside of your artistic
talents, pimp it out. Adept at editing? Make extra
cash cutting actors’ demo reels. Got a decent camera? Consider shooting headshots. Teach singing,
diction or dance on your weekends. You can easily promote this side business on Craigslist and
Facebook for free. The income will be meager in
the beginning, but you’ll have the freedom to set
your own schedule and not have to sweat a goony
manager breathing down your neck.
The Background Fallback
If all else fails, you can always make cash off
of background extra work for television and film.
The pay rate is laughable and the respect is zilch,
but the job grants an opportunity for extroverted
actors to network with working production staff
and may lead to earning SAG vouchers. Once you
snag your third voucher and are eligible to join
the Screen Actors Guild, it’s highly advisable to get
out of the background game. Agents and managers want to know you’re available during the
day to audition, book real acting work and make
them money.
Wrap It Up To Go
If your tastes demand high-end labels but your
budget is dwindling, race over to It’s A Wrap. After
clothing is shot in television and film, it can’t be
used again. Studio wardrobe departments will sell
said used articles to this secondhand clothing store,
which then sells it to the public at a drastically
slashed rate. If you are bold enough to sport the
best designer threads last season had to offer, or
have the patience to nab a piece and wait for it
to cycle back into style, then It’s A Wrap will be
your fashion mecca.
Free Fit
You can swaddle yourself in as much Dolce
and Armani as your credit card can handle, but if
you’re sporting a gut and a pair of man boobs
underneath, what’s the point? Healthy is sexy, and
you don’t even need a pricey gym membership
to keep cut. Most gyms offer free one-week trial
memberships, so milk a facility for a week, then
when your pass expires, politely decline the commitment they will inevitably try to pressure you
into. (You’re gay—dodging commitment is hardwired into your DNA.) Once you’ve eventually
exhausted your gym choices, take advantage of
the myriad free exercise opportunities L.A. has to
offer. Perform chin-ups in Pan Pacific Park, jog the
shoreline of Venice Beach or simply hike up Runyon Canyon. As long as you’re breaking a solid
sweat, you’re on the right path.
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Class Act
L.A. undeniably has its share of
good times, but don’t forget why you
uprooted your life to relocate here. You
are an artist, and its crucial you continuously hone your craft. SoCal offers
a multitude of classes covering varying
fields and experience levels. Like all other aspects of the city, these will add up
financially. Performers with limited
incomes who want to pursue artistic
education should scout out free classes and seminars. Most reputable acting studios offer audits, so a few simple Google searches can yield opportunities to better yourself as an artist
every night of the week. Once you’ve
drained these options, look into open
mic nights, improv jams and any other chance to hit the stage and flex your
performance muscles.
Many New York transplants find
L.A.’s 2 a.m. last call disarming. Yes, it
sucks, but kvetching isn’t going to help
matters. Fact is, the best part of the
night is after the bars close and those
‘in the know’ caravan to coveted afterparties. These are almost always hosted by some affluent old ‘mo in his palatial home up in the Hills. The booze is
free, and the unpleasant trolls have
been ditched behind. The after-party
is the best part of the night, but no one
is going to invite that annoying newbie who keeps whining, “If we were in
New York…”
Time Is Valuable
Once you find a teacher that resonates with you, you’re going to have
to make a commitment. If a lack of
money is holding you back from studying with a great instructor, inquire
whether they offer internships. Many
schools will provide free or discounted classes in exchange for you volunteering in their offices or monitoring
their workshops. Take the initiative and
approach them. If they decline your
offer, you’re exactly where you started, but If they accept your deal, you’re
one step closer to achieving your dream
of stardom. Once you book that first
professional job, all the stress of navigating L.A.’s concrete jungle will have
been worthwhile.
Happy Hour=Happy You
WeHo drink prices are absurdly
steep, and until you befriend enough
bartenders to coast by on freebies, you
should utilize happy hours. Most bars
on the Santa Monica strip will offer
two-for-one drink specials at least once
a day. If you’re bored and low on funds,
hit these bars early when the booze is
affordable. In fact, this is the time to
buy that cute guy a drink. Rack up the
favors, then when the full price kicks
in, make it his turn to buy a round.
Drink smarter, not harder.
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G SPOT — A show featuring the fiercest
divas in L.A. Here Lounge
GODDESS — L.A.’s biggest trans night.
MJ’s Bar
MONDAY MAYHEM — Happy hour, Silver
Lake–style. Load up on cheap pitchers of
beer. Eagle L.A.
MUSICAL MONDAYS — Current and oldschool musical theater video clips. Eleven
MUSTACHE MONDAYS — Great DJs and performances. No facial hair required.
La Cita
ROCKSTEADY LOUNGE — NorCal ska, reggae, punk and rockabilly. Akbar
THE SASSY SHOW — A drag revue with
weekly special guests. Here Lounge
SHOWGIRLS — An always entertaining drag
revue in WeHo. Micky’s
BOYS NIGHT OUT — Make it a hot night out
with the Latin boys. Circus Disco
DREAMGIRLS REVUE — Some of the best
drag performances in town. Rage
DRUNK ON STAGE — A hilarious night of
LGBT stand-up with Bruce Daniels and Erin
Foley. Akbar
Gays take back the Abbey at Tom Whitman’s Sanctuary. Leading the crusade
are great DJs, hot go-gos and the sexy
crowd of WeHo gays that made the bar
what it is today. On this night, DJ Casey
Alva provides the soundtrack. The
Abbey, 692 N. Robertson Blvd., WeHo.
If you missed the inaugural Dirty Pop
on Jan. 14, here’s your chance to get
dirty all over again. Take a walk on the
wilder side and add a little raunch to
your diva-dancing Saturday night. This
week includes a live performance by
Temper Tantrum, featuring Anjulie,
Caroline D’Amore and Hamilton. DJs
Josh Peace and Brynn Taylor man the
decks. Ultra Suede, 661 N. Robertson
Blvd., WeHo.
IGNITE — 21+ Tuesdays by Club Tigerheat.
KARAOKE TUESDAYS — Themed karaoke
nights with a weekly cash prize. Fubar
At Monster, indulge in $5 well
cocktails from 10-11 p.m., a hosted bar at midnight, free shots
at the door, two dance
floors, special live performances and DJ sets by Ray
Rhodes and Howie T.
What more could
you possibly ask
for? Eleven, 8811
Santa Monica
LIP TICKLER — Dance music, performances and an early hosted bar. Mickys
MR. BLACK L.A. — Old Hollywood glamour
with a New York attitude. Guest DJ sets and
performances. Bardot
RIMJOB — The filthiest night in L.A.,
complete with fetish and bondage shows
and tons of hot go-gos. MJ’s
cheap beer. Eagle L.A.
One of the Eagle L.A.’s most popular parties, Meat Rack brings in
hotties from around the city for a
night of fetishistic debauchery.
Throbbing rock and dance music—
and throbbing bear go-gos—await
you, so don that leather harness and
let your inhibitions go. Eagle L.A.,
4219 Santa Monica Blvd., Silver
Get dressed up in your sheep’s clothes
for Shawn Morales’ Big Bad Wolf.
Catch Morales and his ‘Wolf Pack’ up
on the go-go boxes, Ryan Jones behind
the DJ booth and $5 well drinks/$3
Bud bust. Faultline, 4216 Melrose Ave.,
Silver Lake.
STARLETTE REVUE — Jewels hosts a zany
drag show at 10 p.m., no cover. Hamburger Mary’s, Long Beach 18+
Earlier this month
saw the debut of one
of WeHo’s newest
nightlife parties, Billy Francesca’s Lip
Tickler. Put your
mouth where your
money is every Tuesday night, with
dancing, zany performances, a little bit
of this and a whole
lot of that. Micky’s,
8857 Santa Monica
Blvd., WeHo.
DJs Chris Bowen and Victor
Rodriguez join forces with The Eagle
L.A. and San Fran’s Lady Bear to
bring you Cub Scout on the first
Friday of every month. Quirky music
in a backwoods setting makes for
one of the best parties in town. The
Eagle L.A., 4219 Santa Monia Blvd.,
Silver Lake.
End your weekend by dancing up a
storm at Decade, a WeHo party where
you’re sure to hear nothing but the
classics while tearing up the dance floor.
Indulge in disco-dancing go-go boys
and live drag performances before you
head back to work on Monday. Micky’s,
8857 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo.
Every Monday night, gender-bending divas Rhea Litré and Courtney
Act host WeHoe’s Got Talent, the
city’s best karaoke, sing-along and
singing contest. The competition
started Jan. 16 and the winner will
be chosen in May, receiving $1,000
cash and fabulous prizes, including
a ride on the Revolver Pride float. 9
p.m. Revolver, 8851 Santa Monica
Blvd., WeHo.
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[ S H OT S
1. 1.
AMP — Cheap beer, hot porn and old-school
rock ‘n roll tracks. Faultline
CLUB WH*RE — Live acts, DJs, drags and
go-gos. MJ’s Bar
CRAFT NIGHT — Feeling crafty? A different
project every week. Akbar
FUEGO — The place to come for the best
Latin music and club hits. Rage
GLITTER POP — Remixes of Top 40 music
and cheap well drinks. Gold Coast
HOT ROD — The sleaziest party in WeHo,
2-for-1 til midnight. Micky’s
INFERNO — Cheap Absolut drinks and hot
dance beats. Club Cobra
KARAOKE WITH KENNY — WeHo’s longestrunning karaoke show. Fiesta Cantina
LEGENDARY BINGO — Games start at 7
and 9. Hamburger Mary’s WeHo
PEACH FUZZ — DJ Eric Adams and guest
hosts. Eagle L.A.
STRIPPER CIRCUS — Hot go-gos, cheap
booze and carnival games! Here Lounge
BIG FAT DICK — Trashy music, sexy guys and
the infamous photo competition. Fubar
CLUB HEAT — Josh Peace spins hip-hop,
reggaeton and Latin dance music. Arena
CLUB NUR — The Middle East and some of
its fans find their way to Silver Lake. MJ’s
longest-running porn show. Micky’s
DIRTY DIRTY HOUSE CLUB — DJ Tony Powell earns his night’s name. Akbar
HO KARAOKE — Sing along with Wendy
Ho. Hamburger Mary’s WeHo
PAN DULCE — Boys, booze, food and musica. Two levels of entertainment. Micky’s
SANCTUARY — Tom Whitman and his gays
take back a WeHo mainstay. The Abbey
TIGERHEAT — Where the young boys go
to dance the night away. Avalon
THROBBING THURDAYS — $100 wet shorts
contest. Eagle L.A.
UNDY NITE — Pants check, specials on
Absolut and quarter pool. Faultline
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3:53 PM
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3. 3.
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ADDICTION — Two floors of L.A.’s hottest DJs.
Open til 4 a.m. Micky’s
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[ S H OT S
BERLIN — Gear, uniforms, rubber, leather and
bondage, Germany-style. Monthly. Faultline
BIG BAD WOLF — Act like a pig around a group
of sexy, hairy gents. Monthly. Faultline
BLUF — The breeches, leather and uniform
fan club, every second Friday of the month.
Eagle L.A.
BOY BAR — Hot bod contest and more. Hamburger Mary’s Long Beach
BOY’S ROOM — Pop, hip-hop and ‘80s dance.
Exec Suite, Long Beach
CUB SCOUT — Bears and cubs earn merit
badges. First Fridays. Eagle L.A.
DANCE BITCH — Billy Francesca tells you what
to do, and you do it. Fubar
4. BFD
D.I.L.F. — DJ Ryan Jones spins tunes to attract
L.A.’s hot older daddies. Faultline
EL! FRIDAYS — Three full bars that stay open
til 3. Club Cobra
FRESH FRIDAYS — World-class DJs come to
WeHo for a breath of fresh air. Eleven
FRESH MEAT FRIDAYS — Step inside for a
raunchy show. $5 drinks. MJ’s
FUZZY — An adorable monthly dance party
with fun music and special guest performances. Three Clubs
GEAR — Leather, uniforms, rubber and fetish
wear, every third Friday of the month.
Eagle L.A.
GAME BOI — Pop music, hip-hop and music
videos. Rage 18+
HYPE— This new WeHo party lives up to its
name. Ultra Suede
JOB SITE — Get the job done—participate in
the Deep Throat Contest. Faultline
POPSTARZ — Come for some of the best dancing in town. The Factory
RAUNCH — Get raunchy with hot porn go-gos
at this monthly party. Faultline
REHAB — Detox gives you in-your-face 21st
century drag. Hamburger Mary’s
RUB OUT — A night for those who love latex,
every fourth Friday of the month. Eagle L.A.
MANDARIN FRIDAYS — A night for our Asian
brethren and the guys who love them. Micky’s
I recently caught up with Eagle L.A.’s very own DJ Candy after his stellar Meat Rack set a few weeks ago. Candy started working at the Eagle
back when it was still the Gauntlet II, where he’s been a resident DJ for
nine years now, spinning Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. He started DJing while in college in the ‘80s, when he was still a closeted Christian singer who was so intrigued with L.A.’s underground club scene
that he began throwing his own parties. He found himself spinning at
underground clubs and corporate parties initially, which in turn led to
his current gig at his home away from home, our very own Eagle. He’s
also a founding member of the L.A. chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual
Indulgence. “I’ve been a drag nun for 17 years.” he says. “It’s where
my DJ name comes from—Sister Candy Cide = DJ Candy. Nun work
takes up most of my free time. But when I can, I’m either hiking the
San Gabriels, at the beach or catching a movie with friends.” Be sure
to catch one of DJ Candy’s sets at Eagle L.A., or head to Mineshaft in
Long Beach for the first Friday of the month or the annual Hard Heroes
party at MJ’s Bar in Silver Lake.
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meal is served from breakbig gay
fast to late-night snacks,
tailor-made for all-day (and
night) hangouts thanks to a
hip, salvage-chic aesthetic and
a variety of seating options. Chef
Jason Tuley comes to L.A. after a much-lauded
run at Santa Barbara’s Square One restaurant, and he turns out specialties like seared
sea scallops with honey-grilled stone fruit
and romaine-sorrel butter. Order one of the
pizzas for the table, especially if it’s the one
with marinated artichokes, pistachios, burrata
and olives. 8384 W. 3rd St., L.A., (323) 6558384;
FRENCH QUARTER: The menu here has undergone a culinary facelift, celebrating its Southern California locale. Heavier fare has been
replaced with fresher options, reflecting the
sensibilities of its L.A. patrons. Beloved dishes
are still represented but in a heightened fashion—like The French dip sandwich is now
served on a crusty baguette from Basque
bakery Extea. The French Quarter remains a
popular brunch locale for the WeHo set, and
with some of the best huevos rancheros in town,
it’s not difficult to see why. 7985 Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo, (323) 654-0898;
MERCATO DI VETRO: Gone are the dark corners and dim lighting. The whole façade has
been replaced with windows looking out onto
Santa Monica Boulevard. What else would you
expect from a restaurant whose name means
“Glass Market”? Guests can enjoy anything
from a drink and an appetizer to a full meal
on either floor of the restaurant. The first is
a convivial bar area reminiscent of an Old
World trattoria, whereas upstairs guests have
a few more options and can dine in deep
booths, at small tables, along the marble
counter overlooking the first floor or at elevated tables in the small bar area. 9077 Santa
Monica Blvd., WeHo, (310) 859-8369;
SPREADLA: With its stacks of artfully arranged
product in sleek packaging against an all-white,
high-gloss interior, this Melrose Avenue storefront is more fashion-forward boutique than
hayseed jamboree. Once inside, numerous 4 oz.
jars are opened, tiny spoons appear and the wild
tastebud rumpus starts! From savory (No. 137:
rose petals, sea salt and basil) to simple (No. 1:
super smooth peanut) to silly (No. 32: cinnamon, silver leaf and goji berries) to sinful (No.
34: butterscotch toffee peanut), all are handmashed, all-organic and out-of-this-world. 7350
Melrose Ave., L.A., (323) 424-7445;
VODVIL: As children we’re told not to play with
our food, but that’s precisely the spirit behind
Vodvil, a restaurant and lounge whose philosophy co-owner and host Cal Iseminger describes
as “game night for grown ups.” Guests team
up in groups of two to four people and participate in a new game every 20 minutes. Top
Chef favorite Jamie Lauren created the menu of
updated Americana classics like pigs in a blanket, mini sliders and full “TV Dinner” entrees like
fried chicken or classic meatloaf. 351 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A., (323) 951-0406;
Striking Gold At Eva
cacy, is exquisite, but Gold’s cooking style is perhaps
Executive Chef Mark Gold has cooked his way
best experienced in the tagliatelli with the black Périgthrough some of L.A.’s most venerated kitchens, includord truffles. The brilliance of this dish lies in its apparing stints at Patina and The Water Grill, to earn his
ent simplicity. Allowing the ingredients to speak for
spot as one of the most sought-after culinary powerthemselves—the rich earthiness of the truffles is starkhouses in the Southland. At his Beverly Boulevard
ly juxtaposed with sharp Parmesan traces—Gold effortmainstay Eva—named for both his grandmother and
lessly executes this complicated,
daughter—Gold maximizes local
Eva Restaurant
graceful and rewarding balancing
agricultural opulence to serve up
7458 Beverly Blvd., L.A.
modern American fare that is at
(323) 634-0700;
Winter also brings with it a
once fantastically inspired and
bounteous supply of crab, and
refreshingly comfortable.
Gold’s live Dungeness crab ravioli
Start the evening with one of
cooked in its own juices and dressed is nothing short
Mixologist Gabriella Mlynarczyk’s innovative libations.
of flawless. The delicate eloquence of the yuzu and
In My Time of Dying, an absinthe-based concoction
mascarpone dressing perfectly complement the prowith hints of gin, tequila and colloidal silver, harkens
tein, highlighting both its flavor and texture beautiback to the gothic ethos of Edgar Allen Poe, while
fully. Thankfully the ravioli has warranted space on
the Sinnerman, a delightful blend of Herbsaint and
Eva’s $34 dineL.A. Restaurant Week menu.
bourbon, is nicely lightened by citrus notes and PeyWith seasonally inspired, ever-evolving menu
chaud’s Bitters.
items, a bottomless mimosa Sunday brunch and a pheChef Gold’s menus are heavily informed by seanomenal “family style” Sunday fried chicken dinner
sonality, and as such, black truffles are making multiple appearances this winter. The Schaner Farm Duck
with an almost cult-like following, Eva continues to
egg, slow-cooked in chicken jus at 63 degrees and
offer Angelenos with discerning palettes myriad selectopped with generous portions of this seasonal delitions to satisfy even the largest appetites.
food2know: Fried Chicken
Nothing says home cooking
like crispy fried chicken. Here
are a few of our favorite fried
chicken go-to establishments.
Campanile, 624 S. La Brea,
L.A., (323) 938-1447
Chef Mark Peel’s Monday
night family dinners have
become so popular they
inspired his 2009 cookbook,
and his fried chicken offerings
continue to draw the crowds.
Roscoe’s House of Chicken
‘N Waffles, 1518 N. Gower,
Hlywd, (323) 466-7453
Chicken? Check. Waffles?
Check. Soul? Double check!
(And don’t pass up those collard greens and mac and
cheese, neither!)
Cha Cha Chicken, 1906
Ocean Ave., Santa Monica,
(310) 581-1684
This Westside favorite has been
serving delectable coconut
fried chicken to beachgoers
for years.
Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken, 9537 Culver Blvd., Culver
City, (310) 202-5453
Golden and crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the
inside, Honey’s is light on the
wallet and heavy on the flavor—a pretty sweet deal in
our opinion.
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[ S H OT S
BALLER BEATS — Dark and dirty underground
house music. Gold Coast
BOOTIE L.A. — The best bootleg pop tracks. First
Saturday of every month. Echoplex
BRUTUS — Hot boys search for hidden treasure.
Second Saturdays. Faultline
CHERRY POP — Pop music brings hot guys out
to dance. 2nd Sat., Super Cherry Pop. 3rd Sat.,
Cherry Boom. Ultra Suede
F.U. SATURDAYS — 2-for-1 drinks til 11 p.m. and
hot go-gos. Fubar
FURR TRADE — A night for the hairier among us.
6 . third Saturday. Faultline
MEAT RACK — Hot pieces of meat make for a fun
night out. Every second and fourth Saturday.
Eagle L.A.
5 . S A N CT U A RY
MONSTER — Playing the monster hits of today and
yesterday. Eleven
NEON SATURDAYS — State-of-the-art lasers and
lights, a glow bar and electric garden. Here Lounge
6 . ST R I P P E R C I R C U S
L.A.’s top DJ’s til 4 a.m. Micky’s
STAR F*KR — Local and imported DJ talent, with
hot boys and go-gos. Rage
STUD ‘79 — Party like it’s 1979! Bootblack on
duty. Every fourth Saturday. Faultline
— All the drag and burlesque glamour you can handle with hostess Calpernia
Addams. Hamburger Mary’s WeHo
ANTHEM — High-energy diva anthems and allnight drink specials. Rage
BEARS IN SPACE — Cheap beer and disco tracks.
Second Sundays. Akbar
CLASSIC BEER BUST — Bears and otters drink
super cheap draft beer from 2-8 p.m. Faultline
DECADE — Music from the ‘80s, ‘90s and today.
. and $4 draft beer. Micky’s
FULL FRONTAL — A super-sexy, sleazy dance party. Monthly. Akbar
LUMBERJACKED — For bears, cubs and otter
admirers. Eagle L.A.
SIZE U — The WeHo version of Sunday school, with
drinking games. Here Lounge
VINTAGE — Your favorite ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s music
and music videos. Gold Coast
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City Hall
“My understanding and experience
with CSW Pride has been centered
around the parade, booths, bars and
party. I think that it would be great for
us to gather in an arena setting and
have amazing guest speakers who can
share, encourage and really inspire us
to move forward with some of our
common interests and issues that
bring us together as a community.”
—Eric Leonardos
“With so many young people attending Pride now, I hate to see it portrayed as a big drunk fest—enough
with the giant blow-up beer bottles.
I would like the focus to go more
towards innocent fun. A carnival would
be a nice change at the festival.” —
Gabriel Suarez
“Pride is supposed to be a celebration
of the LGBT lifestyle, but it has turned
into a money-making machine. We
should bring back what it means to be
proud about being LGBT, and we
should provoke social changes and
increase awareness about gay rights.
That’s what Pride used to be all about.”
—Sam Mraovich
The board of directors and other CSW Pride event
organizers attended the Jan. 17 West Hollywood City
Council meeting to have an open dialogue about
proposed changes and improvements for future CSW Pride
events in West Hollywood.
Councilmember John D’Amico raised concerns
surrounding Pride at a previous Council meeting, citing
that gay issues have drained away in favor of commerce,
and that members of the community have complained
about the parade being too long, that people have a
problem with the $20 admission fee and attendees feel
caged inside the festival. He also heard from WeHo residents who don’t feel the event is inviting to the local community, and there were also talks of a nighttime parade.
West Hollywood has served as the official host city of
L.A. Pride since its incorporation in 1984, providing space
for the festival and parade, waiving permit fees and paying for the L.A. County Sheriff’s presence. In return, West
Hollywood is promoted globally as an LGBT mecca and L.A.
Pride is billed as a highly sought-after cultural event.
Money matters were discussed at the meeting. CSW
is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It has 10 volunteer
board members. There is one paid staff administrator and
five consultants during the Pride season. According to
Rodney Scott, the president of the board, money has been
tight due to the bad economy as well as challenges met
by the ongoing construction at West Hollywood Park. He
estimates that they made $1.2 million over the last three
years with expenses ranging from $1.1 to 1.2 million. The
festival brings in around $400,000 in ticket sales. Scott
stated that removing the fence would bring a loss in revenue; the fence also protects equipment and supplies left
overnight by exhibitors. He added that a nighttime parade would not bring in the same crowd and would raise
other security issues.
Councilmember John Heilman agreed that Pride could
be more exuberant, but the cover charge is the wrong focus, considering local dance clubs charge $20 or more on
that weekend. He prefers the focus to be on how they can
make Pride a better experience so people are willing to pay.
Mayor Pro Tempore Jeffrey Prang pointed out the challenging task in pleasing a diverse group of people. He feels
history, education and politics need to be an important focus and they have obligations as leaders to convey a message about civil rights and empowerment even if some people would rather dance.
D’Amico said he’s happy with the open discussion,
even if it makes people uncomfortable. He suggested the
city partner with CSW to make improvements over the next
18 months in time for Pride 2013.
Mayor John Duran offered to support CSW in raising
money, allowing them to focus on organizing the event.
He and D’Amico volunteered to participate with CSW in a
limited fashion before June of this year and in a more extensive fashion for Pride in 2013.
The 2012 L.A. Pride festival is scheduled for Friday
through Sunday, June 8-10, at West Hollywood Park. For
more information, visit
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
3:56 PM
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Gossip Gay has said it before and he’ll say it again. We will never
out someone, even when we get the DL scoop on someone’s LGBTQness before it hits the mainstream airwaves. Like that time we were
at an all-gay BBQ with Doogie Howser (long before his public stepping out). Or the night we caught Zachary Quinto playing
drunken tonsil hockey with our BFF on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Or that weekend we spent with Taylor Lautner—umm … we mean
… nevermind—scratch that (for now)! Regardless, our homo lips
are sealed when it comes to one’s sexuality.
However, in La La Land, there is a whole other type of coming
out, especially when it comes to Tinseltown A/B/C/D-Listers—and
that’s the outing of the has-he/hasn’t-she had a little “refreshing
work” done on the face. Yes, folks, it’s no secret. Nipping and tucking has long kept Hollyweird looking young (and expressionless)—
and in light of the in-progress awards season, we’ve got some dish
from an asked-to-remain-anonymous doctor’s assistant on Sunset
She tells us, “Throughout the year we get a few celebs now
and then, but right around Christmas, it’s like a Hollywood who’s
who. Right before the Golden Globes, we had so many people come
in. The doctor makes us sign off saying we’ll never reveal who.”
But as we pressed the busting-at-the-seams assistant, of course,
we got some of the DL dish. Four actor nominees (one woman and
surprisingly three men), a musician and a presenter—not to mention a handful of cast members from one of the nominated comedy shows—all stopped by to get a refreshing overhaul. “Mostly
botox or laser treatments, but there was one pretty hefty surgical
procedure. All in all, I like it. We get to mingle with the rich and famous, and I get overtime.”
Oh, Botox. Never before has any other deadly nerve toxin better defined the haves and have-nots of West Hollywood better.
We admit it. We’re a fan of the $1 rack at Out of
the Closet. If you’re willing to sift through the aisles of
old Gap trash (and boy, are we!), there’s a slew of Dolce,
Versace and Hugo Boss treasures to be found. (Seriously!) But let’s face it—Gossip Gay is no high-paid
celeb, so we are kinda forced to pinch our pennies as
tight as the next unkept boy.
But it tickled our queer eye when, last Sunday, we
saw a name-withheld former Bravo “star” aggressively
making her way through the women’s $1 rack. Now,
we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with bargain-hunting; but for a celeb that prides herself on
dropping dough and perpetually looking red-carpet
fab, Out of the Closet is so … un-Rodeo.
Yes, this was one photo-op that Us Weekly would
have front-paged in a trash-tastic heartbeat!
(PS: To the aforementioned ‘celebrity’—I pray to
god that you didn’t buy that blazer. Yellow is so not
your color!)
For more Gossip Gay,
check out his Queersay column
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3:56 PM
Criminal defense attorney
Michael Kraut says few people
ever expect to use his services.
“Virtually everybody who comes
into my office never thought they
would be setting foot into a criminal defense attorney’s office,” says
Kraut, the managing partner of
the Kraut Law Group.
Whether it’s a DUI or drug
charge or something more complex like arson, domestic violence,
white collar fraud crimes or even
homicide, Kraut is one of the leading criminal defense attorneys in
the region. Educated at Case Western and Harvard law schools,
the upstate New York native made
a name for himself during the
14 years he spent as a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, heading up the Hardcore
Gang Homicide Division and the
Major Frauds Division. While there,
Kraut tried over 80 felony trials
and had an astonishing 99 percent success rate in jury trials.
Since starting his own firm
three years ago, he’s helping
defend those he once prosecuted.
He prides himself on thorough
pre-trial investigation, independent of the police investigation.
“I truly love what I do,” says
Kraut, who many may recognize
as the legal commentator on KTLA
news and the Legal Broadcast Network. “I honestly really care about
the client I represent and do everything I can to help him.”
He doesn’t accept every client
who comes to him, explaining it
has to be a “great match between
us” since he devotes himself so
fully to his clients. Believing everyone should be able to get top
legal representation, he also offers a sliding fee scale.
“No one should be turned
away just because of financial
stress,” says Kraut, who in his spare
time competes on the rodeo
circuit as a calf roper.
LGBT clients he takes on can
rest assured they’ve got someone
on their side. “I used to sit in a
courtroom as a senior trial lawyer,”
he says. “I guess I looked the
part of a white Republican prosecutor. I had so many lawyers
come up to me and say the most
derogatory things about their gay
and lesbian clients. I decided that
no matter how successful this firm
got, I would always make myself
accessible to the gay and lesbian
community, so that they knew
there was somebody who not only
knew how to try cases and protect the client, but was very well
connected within the ranks of the
district attorney’s office and law
And are there certain crimes
which LGBT people are charged
with more frequently?
“The gay and lesbian community is as diverse as any other community, and the crimes they are
charged with are not much different than that of any other community,” says Kraut. “The only
thing that the gay community has
more crime around is some of the
drug and sex crimes.”
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
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for which she was been nominated as Best
Actress in a Motion Picture Drama, Glenn Close
is doing some last-minute press from her Los
Angeles Four Seasons hotel room. While she
ultimately didn’t take home a statuette the next
night, Close’s performance is a bona fide winner—and represents “closure and joy” for a
passion project 30 years in the making.
In Albert Nobbs, which Close also produced
and co-wrote—she even co-scribed its Globesnominated, Sinead O’Connor-performed original song, “Lay Your Head Down”—she portrays
a woman who camouflages herself as a man to
work as a hotel butler and survive in 19th century Ireland. Janet McTeer co-stars as Hubert,
a swaggering lesbian who also poses as a man,
while Mia Wasikowska portrays a beguiling maid,
Helen, to whom Nobbs takes a romantic shine.
The five-time Oscar-nominated Close turns
in a vulnerable, kindly, enigmatic and multilayered performance (quite literally so, with
subtle facial prosthetics to butch up her
features) that represents the polar opposite of
her defining role from recent years, iron-fisted,
manipulative lawyer Patty Hewes on FX/DirectTV
series Damages, which wraps its fifth and final
season this year.
Via telephone, Close dished on genderbending, whether the awards really matter,
wrapping up Damages and the repeal of “Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell.”
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You first played Albert Nobbs in a 1982 OffBroadway production of the play, and have toiled
for years to bring a film version to screen. Do
awards matter to you, both for this performance specifically and in general?
It sounds kind of disingenuous when I talk like this,
but I honestly think that you’re almost a winner when
you’re nominated, and the whole craziness around who
wins and doesn’t win I just can’t buy into. For the winner, yes, it’s wonderful, and it would be wonderful to
win everything, particularly because this is the most I
have been invested and it was an incredible journey
for me. But the journey itself had great closure and was
challenging and satisfying in every way, so I don’t feel
like awards would change that. Know what I mean?
Of course it would be great, because I would love for
a lot of people to see it. That’s where the nominations
are very helpful.
Were you a fan of movies about gender-bending characters, like Yentl and Victor Victoria,
before Nobbs?
Yeah. I remember seeing Yentl onstage with
Tovah Feldshuh [during the 1970s]. It blew me away.
But those were different from Nobbs. What was really
important to us was to make the characters in the movie
not seem oblivious for thinking this character is a
man. I wasn’t convinced that Julie Andrews was a
man, and I don’t think necessarily that Barbra Streisand
was the most convincing of men. It was very important
for us to be very authentic and find ways of subtly changing Janet’s and my faces so that would be believable
to the people within the story.
When you and Janet were in your male drag did
you have some fun with it?
Yeah. Janet accosted Brendan Gleeson, whom she’d
played opposite as Lady Churchill in the HBO series Into
The Storm, and he didn’t have any idea who she was.
[Laughs] I tell you, it would have been fun to get all
duded-up and walk through Dublin. But I just didn’t
have time to.
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Did you consider adding a new
character—a young woman pretending to be a teenage boy, so
you could cast Justin Bieber in it?
Think of the box office dollars that
would reap!
[Laughs] Ah, Justin Bieber. [Laughs]
He’d probably be very good at that. I
don’t know if it would be convincing in
a period movie in Victorian Dublin,
but you never know!
While researching the time period
in which Nobbs takes place, did you
learn whether living as a male was
typical for lesbians back then?
My research mainly turned up
women who did this either to fight in
wars, have a job or go on adventure.
And then there are cases of people who
married women, and the women found
out later [their husbands] were women
and not men. So I don’t know. It was a
mixture, and whether they were lesbians or not, homosexuality was against
the law. I’m not sure whether lesbianism was also against the law, but it
was certainly considered aberrant and
something to hide.
You’ve called Patty Hewes the role
of your life. What can you tell us
about this last season of Damages?
Oh, it’s a good, juicy season. Patty
goes after a Wikileaks Julian Assangelike character. She’s prosecuting him
and Helen is defending him, so it’s
pretty good.
Is there a gay character or storyline?
No. I always thought it would be
a good idea, but no, there’s not.
How do you like working with Rose
Byrne, who plays Patty’s protégérival, Helen? Do you maintain a
faux antagonistic relationship
between scenes?
No. Her nickname for me is
‘Trish.’ She goes [in British accent],
‘Trii-iish?’ The danger with Rose is if she
starts one of her giggle fits, she literally can start crying. It’s so funny. And
if you feel she’s on the brink of it, you
can’t look at her. It almost happened
the other day. I was really tired and we
got around to a scene in her office and
I knew if I looked at her it would be over.
Does the season come to a conclusive, all-tied-up end, or does it leave
things open so there could be a
Damages movie later down the line,
à la 24?
I don’t know necessarily how our
writers are going to end the season.
We’ve had some general conversations
about it, but knowing them, I doubt it
would all be in a tight and nice package with a bow.
If you were in a legal pickle, would
you want Patty to represent you?
Absolutely. [Laughs] Yeah. We couldn’t afford her, but I’d like her to represent me, yes.
You famously played lesbian military vet Margarethe Cammermeyer
in the 1995 TV movie Serving in
Silence. When “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell” was repealed, was it a big
moment for you? And did you two
talk about it?
Yes, it was. Definitely. I was in touch
with Grethe when that all happened,
and I would’ve loved to have gone to
D.C. for that, but I just wasn’t able to.
We talked about how proud we were
that, back then, we did Serving in
Silence, and to think of the time that’s
gone by since and the lives [military policy and DADT] affected in an unfortunate way. But thank god DADT doesn’t exist anymore. Not that everything’s
going to change, but at least it has on
the books. I think, ultimately, [gender
and sexuality] shouldn’t matter. I’ve said
this about our film. In some ways, gender should be irrelevant. It shouldn’t
matter who someone is connected to
and finds love and a life with. I hope
[full federal equality] will come to be a
reality for the LGBT world.
Albert Nobbs
comes to theatres on Jan. 27.
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Starring Glenn Close, Janet McTeer, Mia Wasikowska
Opens Jan. 21
As a male waiter in 19th century Dublin, Albert Nobbs (Close) disguises her gender to keep her job.
The film—handsomely made but totally vacant—gets at the issue of how gender roles of the Victorian
era were constructed. But Albert Nobbs is alternately fascinating and frustrating as it depicts its title
character’s knotty sexuality. Watching the tightly wound Close not express herself is where her Oscarbaiting performance is best. In presenting Nobbs’ stifling self-control, there is no feeling for the character and her situation; Close’s ‘mannish’ performance is often too mannered. A major plotline has
Nobbs romancing the disinterested Helen (Wasikowska), who is involved with the strapping Joe (Aaron
Johnson). However, Nobbs’ attraction to Helen is never believable. Far more compelling is a subplot involving Nobbs’ friendship with fellow cross-dresser Hubert Page (McTeer). The disappointing Albert
Nobbs ends with an unexpectedly touching and suitable coda—one that subtly conveys the same message the film has expressed repeatedly. Close may have a memorable turn as Nobbs, but this period
drama is completely forgettable. —Gary M. Kramer
Starring Valérie Donzelli, Jérémie Elkaïm
Opens Jan. 27
Thirty minutes into Declaration of War, the Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language film from France,
Juliette (writer-director Valérie Donzelli) phones her partner Romeo (co-writer Jérémie Elkaïm) from a
Marseilles hospital to tell him their 18-month-old son Adam has a brain tumor. A montage of various
family members in the midst of earth-shattering breakdowns ensues, followed immediately by a musical number as Romeo races to Juliette on the next train out of Paris. It’s a crazy sequence from which
Declaration of War never recovers. Donzelli shoots the film in the French New Wave manner—freewheeling, improvisatory and all wrong for the story of a toddler with a life-threatening illness. Not
that a somber, straightforward narrative would have kept Declaration of War from its borderline
campy tone—that occurs from the wooden acting to the strangely eclectic soundtrack, which ranges
from punk rock to classical to techno to the late-’60s music the New Wave masters used to love. And
the “war” of the title—against cancer, mortality, whatnot—never arrives; unless, of course, Donzelli
intended a war against sanity, which she achieves miraculously in every scene. —Dan Loughry
Starring Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis
Opens Feb. 3
Nerdy young slackers Claire (Paxton) and Luke (Healey) work at the crusty, reportedly haunted Yankee
Pedlar Inn. With the inn scheduled to close for good, the pair spends these last hours attempting to
document spooky happenings. When Leanne (McGillis), a bitter and boozy has-been actress turned spiritual expert checks in, Claire becomes even more determined to unearth the secrets and spirits within
the walls. Writer/director Ti West’s follow-up to 2009’s retro-horror hit The House of the Devil was shot
in Connecticut’s real-life, functioning Yankee Pedlar Inn, where West and crew stayed during that film’s
production. West claims to have experienced spooky moments at the property and was inspired. Billed
as a slow-burn, this is more like a no-burn. Pluses: McGillis, making a new career in indie horror roles
since coming out, gets some of the better material to work with (and pathos), and there’s a short,
funny cameo by Lena Dunham, of Tiny Furniture fame and HBO’s upcoming Girls series, as a more-annoying-than-Claire barista. Kudos to West for his nods to horror classics past and not going the found
footage route (the odious Apollo 18 was a reason to put the kibosh on the entire genre), but this soda
is flat. —Lawrence Ferber
Opens Feb. 3
This interesting surfing documentary, set and shot in the village of Vanimo in Papua New Guinea, is
less about catching waves than catching the rhythms of the lives of the surfers. Angelus is the local
king, with washboard abs and impressive skills on a surfboard. His father discovered surfing in 1980,
when a pilot landed in the village and introduced the sport to the locals. Angelus is given the opportunity to prove himself in the area’s first national surfing finals, but a subplot involving his ex-wife’s
efforts to jail him for unpaid alimony may end his chance to compete. His story is contrasted with
three other locals: Ezekiel, who is in the same surf club, and Lesley and Susan, two sisters who have
to fight for gender equality in surfing—even when it comes to sharing boards. Splinters’ focus is on
the impact surfing has on the community as a whole. During the finals, director Adam Pesce concentrates more on the viewers’ reaction shots than on the surfers’ routines. This may be a missed opportunity to show these athletes perform, but it reinforces Pesce’s message—that winning can help these
surfers escape poverty. Unfortunately, for diehard surfing fans, Splinters comes up short. —Gary M.
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
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CELEBRATION THEATRE | 7051B Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.
Through Feb. 18 | Tickets $34 |
After focusing on his unconventional
career path in his last solo show, My
Trip Down the Pink Carpet, Leslie
Jordan—best known as Karen Walker’s
deliciously bitchy nemesis on Will &
Grace—devotes this latest work to his
complicated and evolving relationship
with Miss Peggy Ann, his long-suffering Southern Baptist mother. Under
the shrewd and economical direction
of longtime collaborator David Galligan, the pixie from Dixie is blissful company for the delightful 90-minute journey, inducing belly laughs and even a
few lumps in the throat in this charming if slightly choppy piece.
Jordan begins with a slideshow, taking us through his childhood and revealing his early penchant for fashion
and baby dolls. He remembers fondly
the “magic garden” created by his
mother and maternal grandmother,
where he could do things like “make
potholders,” as long as he follows
Mother’s repeated advice: “Don’t tell
Daddy.” Jordan clearly adored his Daddy,
whose untimely death offers the diminutive actor one of many opportunities to
impressively revert his entire being to
boyhood as he replays critical moments
from decades ago.
As little Leslie grows up, things get
a little less ideal with Peggy Ann. Adolescent explorations with other members of the Chattanooga Boys Choir have
hilariously adult consequences, and Jordan’s reenactments of visits to an illegal black speakeasy called Miss Odessa’s
Goodtime House are priceless. Jimmy
Cuomo’s inviting set suggests a warm
and well-appointed Southern sitting
room, giving Jordan several different
playing areas to cavort in.
The world-premiere piece loses its
shape a bit once Leslie declares he is
forgoing college and moving to Atlanta
to be “a female impersonator.” It seems
Peggy Ann cut contact for a long time,
so the show starts to hopscotch through
time, stalling in an extended section
on Mother’s “hysterical blindness.” One
longs to know more about the gaps
of time leading up to the wonderfully
healing gay cruise to Alaska that Jordan shares with his mother and two
sisters. And while Jordan hilariously
declares at the outset that his show
explores the question “Do gay men
really become their mothers?” in
actuality the piece doesn’t.
These criticisms are trifles, however, in an evening that is an overall
delight. Jordan—equally gifted as a writer
and performer—is so at home onstage
it is difficult to know if he is ad-libbing
at times, and he makes us feel like guests
in his parlor as he shares his well-told
tales with great humor and his irresistibly
mischievous twinkle.
—Christopher Cappiello
GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE | 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A.
Through Feb. 12 | Tickets $65-85 |
It might be helpful to at last have a
cursory knowledge of who Molly Ivins
is before seeing the Geffen Playhouse’s
latest production, Red Hot Patriot: The
Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. For the uninitiated, Molly Ivins was a newspaper
columnist who was most famous for her
quick-witted barbs and outspoken personality. She was also known for having
written Elvis Presley’s obituary for The
New York Times.
Raised in Houston, Texas, Ivins had
a troubled relationship with her father
which left her wary of his authority
and therefore, skeptical of those in power.
A liberal, she frequently commented on
the politics of the day and was clearly
a supporter of the oppressed. She was
most notably fired from the New York
Times when she covered a “community
chicken-killing festival” in New Mexico,
referring to it as a “gang-pluck.”
Over the years she wrote for the Texas
Observer, Washington Post and Dallas
Times Herald, as well as writing books
and becoming a public speaker. She was
diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999
and eventually passed away from the
disease in 2007. But her brash charms
live on in Red Hot Patriot.
As performed by the legendary Kathleen Turner, Ivins is a gravelly voiced
shit-kicker not afraid to speak her mind
and always glad to regale an audience with her stories and opinions.
Turner is highly engaging (even when
you worry for her seemingly strained
vocal chords) and embodies Ms. Ivins
with not only pluck and sass, but vulnerability as well.
The 75-minute show written by Margaret and Allison Engel (both former reporters) is an amusing romp, but one that
lacks emotional heft. Bookended with
Ivins writing an apology of sorts to her
father, we don’t truly get or feel the
connection between her disdain for abusive authority and her father. After a cursory explanation of her family dynamics, Dad isn’t mentioned again until she
gets to the day he passed away. By then,
the connection is weightless.
What’s left is a ribald concoction
of stories that a brassy lady tells about
herself at a dinner party. Loud, proud
and clever, Ivins is the kind of woman
that you’d want to hate at a gathering of strangers, but by night’s end
you’d be enraptured by her often humorous tales of the political figures she
has met and the relentless jabs she
makes at their expense. Turner captures this audacity well, playing to
her own strengths as an actress. Fans
of Turner will be held captive by her
performance. Others might find it a bit
aimless and only mildly diverting.
—Kevin P. Taft
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Former lovers, Jared and Sean reminisce a love once shared as they explore the hits and misses of their relationship. Expecting to Fly is a performance that dives into the curious
minds and memories of two men who
seek to experience the final, perfect
kiss that will send them on their separate paths. Through March 4. Tickets $20. The Elephant Space, 6322
Santa Monica Blvd., WeHo.
Finding Fossils is a familiar story of
an estranged father and his gay son
who, through the death of a family member, are reunited. At a fam-
ily cabin during the Fourth of July
weekend, the two explore their
absent past and try to come to terms
with what lacked in their relationship. Through March 25. Tickets
$25. Historic Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., NoHo.
A grief-stricken couple have their minds
stretched to the limits as their world
turns from normal to a fantastical
world of imagination and healing
when they encounter a singing Tooth
Fairy, a cross-dressing flight attendant
and G.I. Joe offering family counseling. It could happen! Through Feb.
19. Tickets $25. The Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., WeHo.
The world-premiere fantasy play by
Joan Beber pinpoints Roy Cohn, the
brilliant attorney whose hunger for
power and prominence ultimately
destroyed him. Best known for his
involvement in prosecuting Soviet
spies, he died of AIDS in 1984 leaving many to question who Cohn really was. Through March 11. Tickets $25-30. Odyssey Theatre, 2055
S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. odyssey
Dynamic performance duo Liz Casebolt and Joel Smith have put together
a fast-paced show of song and dance.
Relying on their friendship and shared
sense of humor, the pair reveals their
choreographic methods and collaborative rapport to analyze gender and
sexuality politics as well as the overly
serious traditions of modern dance.
Through Feb. 19. Tickets $22-30. The
Actors Company Theatre, 916a N.
Formosa Ave., WeHo. caseboltand
Joe Orton, an English writer, enjoyed
a short life as a playwright during the
years of 1964-67 before being attacked
with a hammer by his distraught lover,
who then took his own life in his rage.
Orton amused, outraged and shocked
audiences with his black comedies, including Entertaining Mr. Sloan, Loot
and Funeral Games. What the Butler
Saw, first performed in the West End
of London at the Queen’s Theatre after Orton’s death in 1969, arrives in
L.A. Through March 11. Tickets $2530. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.
Based on the Alfred Hitchcock film,
The 39 Steps is a two-time Tony and
Desk Award winner that takes its audiences on an unforgettable ride of
laughs, mayhem and murder. With
a cast of four massively talented actors, the production boasts of 150
zany characters, an on-stage plane
crash, loose fingers and romance—a
recipe for stage magic. Through Feb.
12. Tickets $35-50. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada.
The struggles of African-Americans
in the 1950s may not be a secret anymore, but a clear understanding of
how families stayed together in those
years is perfect reminder of the uniformity of times—past, present and
future. A Raisin in the Sun displays a
family’s pursuit of the American
Dream while overcoming obstacles
of conflicting aspirations, betrayal
and racism. Through Feb. 19. Tickets $30-45. Ebony Repertory Theatre
at Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. center
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Lana Del Rey — BORN TO DIE — (Inte
major scrutiny in the blogosphere.
naivety has been the subject of
Lana Del Rey’s breathless doe-eyed
lash, but
Rey’s career for the inevitable back
ically a single, with
seems extraordinarily early in Del
tiful “Video Games—a song so atyp
a full year for the
to prominence this
dead tempo and five-m
can. Does Born
it’s detached, crooning lyrics, halfalbum
By the time it did, Del Rey had most
song to really launch her career.
final nail in the child-sized coffin
ght on
y Star
To Die live up to expectations brou
d, Black Box Recorder and Mazz
not that bad. Echoes of Portishea
“Diet Mounpop;
of her career? Well, it’s definitely
uced CD. “Blue Jeans”
are all over this immaculately prod
façade fades and Del Rey does
fun. There are times when the
tain Dew” is also memorable and
er wou
alt-girly hip-hop Nicole Scherzing
the hipsters want you to
across as slinging the kind of faux
, but the truth
(see the painful “National Anthem”)
—Dominik Rothbard
o Games” promised it would be.
believe, nor is it as good as “Vide
The Big Pink
Field Music
Imperial Teen
Little Barrie
The Maccabees
(Memphis Industries/
Revolver U.S.)
(Merge Records)
(Tummy Touch Records)
British indie duo The Big Pink
caught huge buzz with their stellar 2009 debut, showcasing the
strains that have been engulfing our ears as of late. But they
also fall someplace between a
mélange of The Cure, MGMT
and The Flaming Lips. They claim
that hip-hop played a part in influencing this sophomore follow-up, and that’s heard in their
loop-heavy beats, perhaps due
to the in-demand Paul Epworth
(Florence + The Machine, Foster the People), who mans the
production with considerable
spunk. The atmosphere here is
rich and resonant, yielding to its
electronic elements while remaining firmly entrenched in indie pop savoir-faire. Lead single “Stay Gold” is one giant chorus, bouncing along to euphoric
“shut the light for the rest to follow” chants and some reverbsoaked drums. Also of note is
the sample of Laurie Anderson’s
1981 minimalist hit “O Superman” on “Hit The Ground (Superman)” and the dance-commanding “Jump Music.” Admittedly, the disc’s middle-section
starts feeling a bit generic, but
further spins reveal it’s an effort chock full of fearless, schizophrenic beats and electro-rock
bombast. It should also be noted
that singer Robbie Furze’s soaring vocals are definitely a big
part of this band’s allure.
The Sunderland-based Field Music—whose core members are
brothers David and Peter
Brewis—are one of the richest
progenitors of English rock,
semi-prog variety. From their
eponymous 2005 debut to
2010’s Field Music (Measure)
double CD, the brothers and
their studio helpmates have
merged the herky-jerky smarts
of XTC to the tonal experimentations of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis (complete with tricky time
signatures) within the confines
of digestible pop-sized nuggets.
Plumb, their latest offering, may
also be their most baroque. The
15 tracks clock in at 36 minutes, yet don’t let the brevity
fool you. The songs run the
gamut from The Who Sell Outera snippet “A Prelude to Pilgrim Street” to the jaunty “Is
This the Picture?,” redolent of
mid-’70s Todd Rundgren, to
opener “Start the Day Right,”
which is basically a prog-rock
opus prelude. Yet they never
get mired in their own snot;
they’re formal experimentalists
who’d just as soon race you to
the next sing-along chorus as
impress you with their studio
chops, or, more precisely, to do
them simultaneously. And while
all those bands referenced
above might give you bearings
into their music, the trick is
that—on Plumb—Field Music
sound, finally, like nothing so
much as themself.
Though it’s doubtful they
started out to become the perfect cult band, that’s what Imperial Teen is. Sure, they flirted
with semi-stardom in 1996
when “Yoo Hoo” garnered
nominal airplay on KROQ, then
again in 2002 with the handclapping “Ivanka,” but that was
the extent of it. Too bad for the
band; awesome for the rest of
us who still feel that Roddy Bottum (ex-Faith No More), Will
Schwartz (with his dance-y sideproject hey willpower), Lynn
Truell (formerly of Sister Double Happiness) and Jone Stebbins (previously of The Wrecks)
are our own secret cult heroes.
Though there are tons of openly
gay artists these days, the mid’90s were still bereft of boys
and girls who like boys and girls
who like to rock. (What’s up,
Pansy Division?) So when Bottum spit out “You take it like a
man, boy” on 1996’s revved
up “You’re One,” it was like
manna from gay heaven. Feel
the Sound, their fifth release,
doesn’t make rock ‘n’ roll from
sexual politics—middle age will
do that to you; the closest they
get here is the scathing “Over
His Head.” Yet it doesn’t matter—Imperial Teen have never
been more melodic or more
generous with hooks.
Every now and then a very good
band puts out a record that’s
both a consolidation of what
has come before it and a fresh
start, a repurposing of original
intent (Coldplay’s Viva la Vida
springs to mind). Though the
Nottingham trio Little Barrie still
ploughs a particularly retro
patch of English psychedelictinged rock, their third release,
King of the Waves, is like running into an old friend whom
you immediately notice has
been working out big time.
These guys have never sounded
so muscular. Like their American counterparts The Black
Keys, they’re not reinventing
any wheels, but they know exactly where they’re going and
they get there with little fuss.
From the psycho beach party
of opener “Surf Hell” to the
White Stripes stomp of closer
“KOTW – BC109,” this is barebones rock ‘n’ roll that’s a thrill
per minute. Singer-guitarist Barrie Cadogan compensates for
his plangent, Liam Gallagher
rock whine with intensive guitar shredding (especially on the
blues freak “Now We’re
Nowhere”) and when the songs
might lose steam in the hands
of lesser mortals (near the midpoint of the “New Diamond
Love,” for instance), drummer
Virgil Howe and bassist Lewis
Wharton double-down to drive
the tunes home. Simple, slamming, perfect.
The Maccabees are what the
British press refer to as “landfill indie.” The sort of stuff that
drifts in the ether around bigger bands (Coldplay?) who get
all the chart success and critical praise. This is a reputation
built on their marginal debut
album (2007’s Colour It In), but
one that should’ve been nullified after the release of their
gorgeous sophomore record,
Wall Of Arms. Seemingly determined to change the tide of
their public perception, London’s The Maccabees deliver
Given To The Wild, their most
assured collection of songs yet.
Borrowing LCD Soundsystem’s
production team, the band created a lush soundscape of an
album, borrowing from David
Bowie, Kate Bush, Stone Roses
and, most apparently, The Arcade Fire. Lead single “Pelican”
has a jaunty punch, akin to the
band’s earlier singles, but it’s
the windswept ballads that really shine here. “Feel To Follow”
is heartbreaking, with a hook
so sharp it could catch a fish.
“Forever I’ve Known” is also a
showstopper, over five minutes
of a slow build that explodes
into one of the most exciting
climaxes in recent pop music
history. While the band seems
a touch self-serious this time
out, it’s justified. Putting out an
album this great is serious business.
—Paul V.
—Dan Loughry
—Dan Loughry
—Dominik Rothbard
—Dan Loughry
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
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“They ask me every year, and I just can’t do it. I
tell them why: ‘You guys keep saying every year
you’re going to get A-list people, and then it’s the
girl that was with George Clooney!’”
—Jenny McCarthy explains why she keeps turning down
offers to appear on Dancing With The Stars. When Jenny
McCarthy thinks she’s too good for your show, you’re in
Billy’s back in Hollywood and already overbooked. In fact, I came back
a few days early just so I could settle
in before the craziness starts. By the
time you read this column, I’ll have attended the Cybersocket Awards, the
People’s Choice Awards, the Golden
Globe Awards and—drum roll, please—
the Miss America Pageant. Oh, the glitz,
the glamour, the gaiety—the sashes!
It’s almost an embarrassment of riches.
The only person who could possibly out-gay my schedule is Johnny
Johnny Weir and
Victor Vornov
Weir. But he’s got news of his own.
On New Year’s Eve, the skater and his
boyfriend Victor Vornov got married in NYC. Weir revealed the news
via Twitter, which is how everyone
makes announcements these days:
“I’m married! No more livin’ in sin!”
Being Johnny Weir, he’s not gonna
settle for some little civil ceremony.
He’s planning a big splashy wedding
in the summer.
We also heard that designer Isaac
Mizrahi (currently judging the turgid
and vacuous Project Runway All Stars)
married his longtime beau Arnold
Germer back in November. Bravo—
no pun intended.
And a big announcement was
made—Kristy McNichol is a lesbian. That’s breaking news? Have I
stumbled into a time warp? What year
is it, 1976? Happy Bicentennial!
For years, people have speculated
about Robbie Williams’ sexuality.
The once and future Take That singer
has certainly done a lot to fuel the speculation. And now he’s saying he’s available—for a price. When asked how
much it would cost for him to have sex
with a man, he priced the experience
at 2 million pounds, or roughly $3 million. He did say he’d negotiate for Brad
Pitt. In fact, he added, “It’s a freebie
for Brad Pitt. How much would I have
to pay him?” And now we know...
Let me congratulate Hugh Jackman, who just wrapped up his oneman show on Broadway and broke
quite a number of records. First, it garnered the highest weekly gross ever
recorded in Broadway history. And it
raised over $1.75 million for Broadway
Cares/Equity Fights AIDS! If you missed
him on the Great White Way, don’t
panic. In 2012, he’s slated to be starring in a new musical based on the
life of Harry Houdini, which is being written by Aaron Sorkin and
Stephen Schwartz.
Adam Lambert was recently
dealing with some drama while in Finland with his boyfriend, Sauli Koskinen (who is a Finnish reality star). Apparently the two were out partying at
a Helsinki gay bar, Don’t Tell Mama,
when they got into a fracas (which, I
believe, is a Finnish version of a fight).
They were thrown out of the club
and continued their contretemps (a
Finnish version of a brawl) outside. The
couple had been clubbing with former
Miss Helsinki, Sofia Ruusila. Let me
interrupt this story to say I really wish
I were famous enough to be hanging
out with a Finnish beauty queen. Even
an ex-one. Or, frankly, anyone who
spells their name with two U’s in a row!
Anyhoo, the police were called and the
they announced their engagement back
in 2009. Alas, those hopes were dashed
when Martone reported that the two
were no longer together last summer.
Since then, there have been a few
names floated about in alleged relationships with Marc. Recently, Marc
became romantically linked with porn
star Harry Louis, who, like Martone,
is Brazilian. The rumors started after
Harry tweeted a photo of the two of
them and said, “What a great weekend, thanks to the sweetest guy on
earth, Marc Jacobs, see you soon in
Paris baby.” The two of them allegedly
met in London. Harry later tweeted a
photo of himself in Paris, saying, “See
was outspoken, blunt, brilliant and passionately loyal. But most of all, she had
the quality I admire most in people—
she was unapologetically unique. She
held firm to her convictions, even when
they resulted in professional (and personal) limitations. These days, when
everyone wants to conform and play
the game, Lynn was true to one thing—
herself. She truly lived exactly the
way she wanted to. You can listen to
some of her classic moments and join
in the remembrances of her life at
Our “Ask Billy” question comes
from Stan in Kansas City: “I heard
that one of the guys on Top Chef either posed nude or did porn or something like that. Do you know anything about that?”
Which season? It seems someone
on Top Chef always turns up naked
somewhere! This season we have TyLör Boring—and let me say that this
is the first time in 16 years that an umTy-Lör
Marc Jacobs
and Harry Louis
Adam Lambert and Sauli Koskinen
boys were arrested at 4 a.m. But no
one has said what happened to Ruusila! The next day, Adam tweeted,
“Jetlag + Vodka = blackout. Us + blackout = irrational confusion. Jail + guilt
+ press = lesson learned. Sauli + Adam
+ hangover burgers = laughing bout
it. :-)” Me + this story = Yawn!
I dunno about you, but I was waiting for Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo
Martone to get married ever since
you soon Paris ... Love every single
minute of it, and yea, I’m in love again.
... It feels nice, and I’m so happy!!”
Not one week later came photos
of Marc and—quelle surprise (as they’d
say in France)—ex-fiancé Lorenzo
Martone, strolling along the beach in
St. Barts. So what is going on? Is Marc
with Lorenzo? Harry? Both? Neither?
Who knows. The only thing we know
for sure is that Harry and his enormous
appendage are no longer on—and that usually means
love. Or a conviction. Often it’s hard
to tell the difference!
Let me take a moment to acknowledge the passing of one of my favorite
people in the world. Lynn Samuels,
a radio broadcasting legend, passed
away unexpectedly on Christmas Eve.
This is almost poetic since Samuels,
who was raised in a Jewish household, loved Christmas more than anyone I knew. She’d play Christmas carols on her radio show every year, singing
along at the top of her lungs in her
trademark off-pitched tones, which delighted (and horrified) listeners. Lynn
laut has popped up in my column! Boring appears to be anything but (sorry,
I had to). He’s posed nude in a couple of magazines. Last year he dropped
trou for Butt magazine—obviously
showing his posterior. More recently,
he revealed a different side of himself
in an issue of Headmaster, which I believe is self-explanatory. Both pics can
be found on
When I’m trying to figure out if
anyone on Top Chef is an actual top,
it’s definitely time for me to end yet
another column. Plus, I have more important things to do—like plan outfits
for these big events. What I want to
convey is respectability, sexy, slim,
trashy, youthful, sophisticated, older
and powerful—all at the same time. I
think the answer may lie in one word:
crotchless. If you’ve got suggestions,
[email protected] and I promise to
get back to you before I dress my age
(so you’ve got a while). Until next time,
remember, one man’s filth is another
man’s Bible.
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Sunday, Jan. 8 was one of the best
nights of my life! Picture it:
The historic Los Angeles Biltmore...
It was Betty White’s 90th birthday celebration, and I was fortunate enough to be Kate
Flannery’s date. You may know Kate as Meredith, the messy drunk who often flashes her
boobs on NBC’s The Office. She played Neely
O’Hara opposite my Helen Lawson, eight shows
per week for crap money, in the hit off-Broadway production of Valley of the Dolls. We go
way back.
After enjoying tapas-style small plates of
roast beef, horseradish mashed potatoes, sushi,
risotto, gnocchi and pot stickers, we made our
way into the stunning Crystal Ballroom to find
our seats for the big tribute. To our surprise,
we were seated with Amy Poehler and Joel
McHale at the best seats in the house—front
row—with a great view of both the stage and
the guest of honor, Betty White herself, who
was seated nearby.
I have met many celebrities in my over
20 years as a C-List performer. Please understand, I do not have low self-esteem—I simply know the reality of my level of fame.
Despite the fact that there are people—four
that I know of—who have tattoos of me, I
realize that 99.9 percent of the world has no
idea who I am. Anyway, my point is that I
have met a lot of famous people (Robert
DeNiro, Madonna, Liza Minnelli), but tonight
it was really hard to act ‘cool.’
Kate and I were in heaven being surrounded with the sitcom/variety show icons of our
childhoods—people like Mary Tyler Moore,
Valerie Harper, Ed Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Carl
Reiner and Carol F*cking Burnett. I hope that
doesn’t sound disrespectful, because I mean it
with the ultimate reverence. I’m sorry, but I
cannot be standing less than five feet way from
one of my comedy idols—a woman who not
only made being a misunderstood little flaming gay boy bearable, but helped shape me
as a performer—and not refer to her as Carol
F*cking Burnett. I just can’t.
And then there’s Betty White herself. Not
just the last surviving Golden Girl, but Sue Ann
F*cking Niven. Sorry!
The woman is a legend. She is sweet, sassy
and, dare I say it, sexy! The next time you’re
feeling old, think of Betty White, who is 90 years
old and is not only still going strong, but at
the top of her game. Betty is like the walking,
talking embodiment of “It Gets Better.” And
don’t even get me started on her tireless work
for animals. The woman is a saint. A saint with
impeccable comic timing and quite the
naughty streak.
Once the glowing tributes and hilarious
video packages were over, the birthday show
ended with all the special guests—and the audience alike—singing a rousing rendition of “Thank
You for Being a Friend.” I can die now.
On our way out of the Biltmore, Kate and
I stopped to talk to a few people and I was
introduced to Betty’s Hot in Cleveland co-star,
Valerie Bertinelli, who I am convinced has a portrait aging in a closet somewhere. The woman
looks amazing. To me, she will always be Barbara Cooper on One Day At A Time—the first
(and last) girl I ever had a major crush on.
Mere seconds after meeting her I confided
that, when I was a kid, I wrote a fan letter asking her for an autographed photo—a fan letter in which I claimed to be (are you sitting?)
dying of cancer. My young mind just assumed
that this horrible lie would help my letter stand
out from the rest. “And it worked,” I told
Valerie. “You sent me a signed photo!”
“You are going to burn in hell!” Valerie
cheerfully chirped. She may be right, but you
know what? It’s OK, because I will always have
my memories of tonight.
Kate, thank you for asking me to be your
guest for this once-in-a-lifetime event. And
thank you for being a friend.
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Bookstores may be a dying breed, but plenty of people are still
reading books. One of the greatest joys is discussing a good book
with others, and many a friendship has been made while sharing a
good novel. The LGBT Community Center of the Desert sponsors a
monthly book club for lesbians, meeting on the fourth Sunday of
each month from 7-9 p.m. The book being discussed at the Jan. 29
gathering will be Happy Accidents, the new memoir by openly gay
Glee actress Jane Lynch. New members are welcome.
Got something on your mind? Got an opinion about something happening in
the world or in your backyard? Feel strongly about a certain issue and need to
share it with others? The place to do that is at the LGBT Community Center of
the Desert. Their weekly Men’s Chat Group is their longest, continually running
group, giving guys a place to talk about what’s on their minds. The Men’s Chat
Group meets Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Drops-ins are welcome.
Even in high season, hotel deals can be found. Cathedral City’s clothing-optional
male resort Cathedral City Boy’s Club (CCBC), is running a special promotion
throughout January. If you stay two nights, you can get a third night for half
price and a fourth night for free. That’s four nights for the price of 2.5 nights.
Located on 3.5 acres with a giant swimming pool and two hot tubs, the 46room resort has a nature walk, a “military compound,” a leather dungeon and
a video room.
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
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With a style and voice that recalls paragons such as Frank Sinatra
and Tony Bennett, singer Steve Tyrell has become a leading standard bearer of the Great American Songbook. The Grammy-winning vocalist has reinvented and repopularized pop standards for
the modern audience. Here’s your chance to see what the fuss is
about as Tyrell performs at the McCallum Theatre on Wednesday,
Feb. 1. The Los Angeles Times noted Tyrell sings songs with “love
and respect—to the composers and to his audience.”
A cotton-candy colored, nonstop pop musical blast from the past, The Marvelous
Wonderettes takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom, where you
meet the Wonderettes, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline
skirts and voices to match. Featuring classic ‘50s and ‘60s songs such as “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “It’s My Party” and “It’s In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop
Song),” this jukebox musical will be the most fun you ever had at the prom. The
Marvelous Wonderettes plays Friday through Sunday, Feb. 3-5 at the McCallum
Dating back 2,000 years, Chinese acrobatics started as folk entertainment for
the masses but soon evolved into entertainment for the ruling class. And the top
Chinese acrobatic troupe, the Peking Acrobats, is now known worldwide. Often
performing daring maneuvers atop a pagoda of chairs, the Peking Acrobats are
experts at wire-walking, trick-cycling, juggling, precision tumbling and somersaulting. Watch them push the envelope of human possibility when they come
to the McCallum Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.
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Even Ol’ Blue Eyes can get a jukebox musical as Come Fly Away flies
into Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Telling the story
of four couples who fall in and out of love at a swinging nightclub,
Come Fly Away blends Frank Sinatra’s recorded vocals with a live,
on-stage big band. Dances designed by choreographer Twyla Tharp
complete the show, making this a must-see musical. Time magazine
said the show “delivers the purest jolt of pleasure to be found on
a Broadway stage.” Come Fly Away plays Tuesday, Jan. 31 through
Sunday, Feb. 5.
Fullerton’s Hunger Artists Theatre has a hit on its hands with the original show
The Muses. Exploring the relationships of women, this ensemble tackles the joy,
pain and insecurity that all women face in their lives. In various vignettes, the
play shows those moments that women share as mothers, daughters and individuals, leaving you laughing, crying and wanting to hug your best friend. The
Muses plays through Sunday, Jan. 29.
Learn what you need to know to get your finances in order as the Center OC
sponsors a financial workshop for LGBT seniors on Friday, Feb. 10 at noon in
Laguna Woods. “It’s a general advice workshop, things people should be paying attention to, things they may want to get answered,” reports Center Communication Director Thomas Soule. “We’re finding that not all LBGT people are
getting good advice on estate planning and tax issues, so we wanted to provide some help.” The workshop is free and open to everyone, but RSVPs are
needed for people living outside of the Laguna Woods gated community (so the
guard will allow access).
The Orange County Playwrights Alliance offers staged readings of two new oneact plays from O.C. playwrights. Look Who’s Having a Baby! by John Franceschini deals with a gay man’s insecurities about becoming a sperm donor to a lesbian couple. Warner Bros. by Andrea Sloan Pink looks at Hollywood hopefuls in
the 1980s trying to hang onto their dreams. The staged readings are Saturday,
Jan. 28, 3:30 p.m., at The Empire Theatre (home of Theatre Out) in downtown
Santa Ana.
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Long Beach has been named one of the 15 gayest cities in America by The Advocate magazine. Using criteria ranging from openly
LGBT elected officials to International Mr. Leather competition semifinalists to softball teams that competed in the Gay Softball World
Series, the gay mag ranked Long Beach number 14 on their list.
The writeup said, “Its Pride celebration is one of the country’s biggest,
and the Long Beach Pride float seems to make its way to every other Pride event within 500 miles! There are a ton of gay and lesbian
bars, restaurants [and] a big boat suitably named the Queen Mary.”
A playground altercation between 11-year-old boys brings together two sets of
Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter in the 2009 Tony-winning
play God of Carnage. Diplomatic niceties are observed at first in this caustic
comedy, but as the rum flows, it quickly deteriorates into a finger-pointing, furflying hilarious brawl. Performances for God of Carnage will take place at the
Long Beach Performing Arts Center through Feb. 19.
Find out how the Center Long Beach is doing as they host their annual State of
the Center Brunch, providing not only breakfast, but also a review of 2011 and
a preview of plans for 2012. “This year we’ll also be handing out the first President’s Award to people or organizations that have supported the Center’s mission in a major way,” reports Board Chair Ron Sylvester. “Our first two recipients are L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe and Interval House.” The State of
the Center Brunch is Saturday, Jan. 28 at 9:30 a.m. Free and open to all.
Something is askew in Fairy Tale Land—the residents aren’t living happily ever
after anymore. Turns out the Brothers Grimm are missing and as Mother Grimm
investigates, she discovers all sorts of mayhem and murder. That’s the premise
behind Act Out Mystery Theatre’s latest audience-participation dinner theater
mystery, Once Upon a Murder. Skewering all the fairy tales we’ve come to know
and love, Once Upon A Murder opens Saturday, Jan. 28 for a six-week run at the
Reef on the Water restaurant, overlooking Long Beach Harbor.
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
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he anticipated fireworks around the issue of
West Hollywood’s gay Pride festivities never
materialized at the January City Council confab, yet seeds of ideas were planted as fertilizer was strewn about. The Council questioned
Christopher Street West President Rodney Scott
on a number of issues, plus several scripted props of people
and a few truly civic-minded folks spoke. I have written before that I like Mr. Scott and believe him to be more than
capable of producing a world-class event.
Though gracious to the Council’s queries, at times his
tone was like Boehner chastising the president—a sort of lecture vibe. And while the questions were far from complex,
Scott surprisingly either couldn’t or wouldn’t offer answers
to fairly banal yet specific questions. Either he was evasive
or needs to read up on Pride.
There were speakers of all shapes and sizes, some critical and some quite moving: Young people who spoke of their
first Pride experience last year and what it meant to them.
One board member spoke of his journey and how it had
changed his life. And smart dame Genevieve Morrill from the
Chamber of Commerce dutifully put on the record just how
important Pride is to local business. That was all good.
I only threw up a little in my mouth when a gent from
the board took his time to lecture gays on how important Pride is to gays. This was a revelation? Really? He was
a boorish, sanctimonious gent who represents all that is
wrong with this Pride debate. Lord dude, we know Pride
is important. We know how it unites, celebrates and brings
all the colors of the rainbow together. No one wants to
change that.
Yet you and your fellow board folk don’t have a rat’s ass
to do with that aspect. We the people do. See, we dug the
Pride parade with the white tigers down Hollywood Boulevard decades ago. We still dig what coming together means.
We embrace the Pride part. It’s the presentation, stupid.
By not doing it as well as possible is simply not respecting what it could be. This dolt’s argument against criticism
of Pride is tantamount to saying a sucky high school production of Williams’ The Glass Menagerie means the writing
is dreadful and in fact, the entire theater experience is as well.
No, it doesn’t. It just could be better. And this ain’t Fargo.
This is the entertainment capital of the world. Entertainment—get it?
To say Pride brings folks together and often facilitates
life-changing revelations is correct. To say those calling for
improvement to that gathering is an affront on all gay people is just asinine. It is a shallow argument meant to divide
while puffing off about unity. That is obscene!
We will not stand idly by as you take credit for an effort we are all responsible for and achieve when you are
simply in charge of packaging. Many of us are also proud
the 362 days per year there is no Pride. You didn’t create
it, you doll it up.
The gent suggested, “We don’t want the Rose Parade.
If you want the Rose Parade, go to Pasadena.” Well, as the
guy behind the Elizabeth Taylor tribute float for her service
to people living with HIV and AIDS last month in the Rose
Parade, funded by thousands of folks honoring the memories of ones they have lost with the tribute of a single rose,
I believe him to be wrong. Having spent a few weeks in
their culture, I know there is a ton we could learn from the
Rose Parade. AIDS Healthcare Foundation intends to present a version of that float in this year’s Pride parade.
So perhaps ramping up production value is a good place
to start. And perhaps some of us need to put up or shut up
as we debate this canyon between good and bad.
So here’s the deal: In the spirit of ramping up quality
and doing the right thing, and being good citizens, AIDS
Healthcare Foundation offers up this challenge to all community-based nonprofits: If 10 organizations will pledge to
commit to designing, producing and entering a quality float
to spread the word of their mission in the 2012 Pride parade,
AHF’s Out of the Closet thrift stores and pharmacies will
pledge $2,500 to each organization to assist in bringing quality to Pride.
The galoot made reference to the difficulty of fundraising today and for that he may be correct. But Scott spoke
of volunteers who are dedicated to this event and I watched
firsthand as folks from the Girl Scouts, staffers from AHF
and APLA and just caring souls came by to decorate the
Elizabeth Taylor float for Jan. 2.
Let’s start with Pride production values in 2012 and
pursue the myriad of other issue around the event in the
future. There is likely not a gay soul who disagrees with
the chappie on the wonderful meaning of Pride. But don’t
lecture—deliver. And don’t fight against improvement under the guise of unity. It is both disingenuous and an outright lie.
If you are a community not-for-profit organization
and want to take up the AHF offer, email me.
[email protected]
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By Jefferson Hendrick
What Can I Get For
$2,000,000 And More?
A million, $750,000, under $500,000—I’ve covered a few price
ranges here in the past few months. I thought I was done. I was
surprised, though, at the amount of feedback I got asking, “What’s
out there for the high-end buyer? What’s hot, and what does
that kind of money get you in today’s market?” Wanna talk luxury homes? You don’t have to ask me twice! This issue, let’s cap
it at $6 million. Off we go.
1841 Outpost Dr.
5br/3 1/2 ba in 3,688 sq. ft.
on a 9,580 sq. ft. lot
Private Spanish compound, remodeled and restored. Wood
coffered ceilings, period details,
gourmet kitchen, sunken living room, 10-foot ceilings, fireplace, sunroom, lavish pool/spa,
wired for sound. Absolutely gorgeous. Check out the full virtual
tour at
5063 Aldea Ave.
6br/7ba in 7,817sq. ft. on a
18,095 sq. ft. lot
It’s no secret you’ll get more
bang for your buck out in the
valley. $3 million in Encino gets
you almost 8,000 sq. ft. of newer
construction, privately gated
Spanish/Hacienda luxury, complete with resort-style pool/spa,
wine cellar, screening room,
grand spiral staircase, gourmet
kitchen—a true estate! Fantastic virtual tour at
26966 Malibu Cove Colony Dr.
3br/3ba in 2,948 sq. ft. on
6,538 sq. ft.
So you’re the beachy type? I’ve
got you covered. Peace, quiet
and security coupled with the
brilliance of the ocean are yours
everyday with this dramatic architectural home in guard-gated
Malibu Cove Colony. Soaring
spaces incorporate the natural
elements of wood, stone, sky
and water, which together create a visual statement both daring and uncompromising.
Gourmet kitchen, fabulous great
room, huge garden/deck. Perfect for entertaining, showcasing art or just enjoying the
ocean. Full virtual tour at
1244 Bel Air Rd.
3br/5ba in 3,040 sq. ft. on a
$16,810 lot
If you follow my real estate page
on Facebook, you know what a
sucker I am for mid-century modern. This is no exception. Breathtaking reimagining of a 1959
classic, ultra-hip, sophistication,
warmth, elegance. Jetliner views
from Downtown to the ocean.
High ceilings and walls of glass
that open to the sleek pool and
outdoor entertaining space. Stateof-the-art technology, extremely
quiet and gated motor court.
Now, where’s my lotto ticket?
Don’t miss the virtual tour at You won’t be sorry!
Whether you’ve made your millions or you’re just looking for something to slap onto your vision
board for future reference, there’s something out there for everyone. One of my favorite things about
this business is getting to see these types of properties. If you see something here that interests you
and you’re considering ‘movin’ on up,’ give me a call! If you have any questions about real estate, I’m
always available by phone or email.
Jefferson Hendrick is an L.A.-based Realtor with Keller Williams.Contact him with questions, concerns and real estate
inquiries at [email protected] or
2649 La Cuesta Dr.
4br/4 1/2 ba, 5,000 sq. ft. on
an 11,238 sq. ft. lot
I saw this one called a “glassy
cliff-hugger” in one write-up.
Newly completed, architecturally
groundbreaking, three levels of
floor-to-ceiling windows and
doors showcasing spectacular
views of Nichols Canyon from
every room. Open floor plan,
chef’s kitchen, stunning saline
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Mulholland and Runyon
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FEBRUARY 7, 2012
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By Dr. Bethany A. Marshall, Ph.D., Psy.D., M.F.T.
The Simple Truth About Happiness
Axiom No. 1: Happiness is
Possessing the Strength of
Character to Make Good Choices
Imagine for a moment that you are
watching a film. The events in the film
are your future life, and the main character is you. From the vantage point of
the observer, you watch as your life
unfolds. You observe the successes and
failures of your career. You watch as your
relationships deepen, mature and
change. You are able to see from a bird’s
eye perspective the events that will influence and shape your life. You watch
romances, unions, deaths, graduation—
the ceremonies of a life fully lived.
Now imagine that you discover that
your life will be a happy one. To what
would you attribute the joy and happiness of your future life? Would you walk
away from the movie theatre and say,
“Life is going to deal me a pretty good
hand?” Or would you reflect on the
events that transpire and say, “I’m glad
I knew how to choose well”?
If you are of the former mindset,
then you have not yet learned the simple truth about happiness. If you chose
the latter, then you are well on your
way to understanding the secret of joyful living.
Developing a philosophy about happiness is important. Indeed, one of the
most common questions I face in my
psychotherapy practice is, “How can I
find happiness?” Of course, the question is rarely asked directly. It usually
surfaces in the form of statements such
as “I wish I felt good today”; “Why am
I so depressed?”; “I want that feeling of
joy in my life again...”; “I want to be a
bubbly, charismatic person.”
Throughout my years of clinical
work, I have made the observation that
people who struggle unsuccessfully with
happiness adhere to the philosophy that
happiness will magically come upon
them. They hope to possess happiness—
much as one would buy or possess a
valuable item. Or they wait for outside
circumstances to bestow happiness upon
them: “If I won the lottery I know I’d
be happy,” or “If I just had the right
relationship, I just know I’d be happy
and content for the rest of my life!”
Although the popular saying “Happiness is a choice may be appealing, it
is really a distortion of the following simple truth: “Happiness is possessing the
strength of character to make good
This simple truth means that happiness is a by-product, not a commodity
that can be possessed or bought. The
simple act of making good choices, one
at a time, is the only way that happiness
can naturally be obtained. These choices
can be as simple as standing up for oneself, or as complex as learning to think
for oneself or preparing for the future.
Even the smallest of choices have the
power to exert a great influence on our
lives. I like to think of choices as being
like the rudder on a very large ship. Despite the disproportionately small size of
the rudder in comparison to the larger
vessel, even a small shift can greatly alter the ship’s course.
For instance, the moment an individual puts on a condom during sex, he
is potentially altering the course of this
life. Making the choice to use this small
prophylactic may determine whether
the final years of his life are spent in convalescence or in happy retirement. And
the moment one decides to abandon
a destructive environment or relationship, he is potentially influencing whether
his future years will be lived in a depressed or emotionally fulfilled state of
In order to live a happy life, one
must set his course and learn to value
the impact of smaller choices along
the way. Setting a course means being
able to focus on one’s ultimate destination, despite temporary fluctuations
and setbacks.
Do you want to be financially successful? Healthy? Loved? In love? What
small choices may determine the longterm course that you have set? Learning to think for yourself? Learning to say
“No”? Obtaining an eduaction? Practicing safe sex? Investing emotionally in
those who are important to you? Seeking sound advice? Learning to separate from the inequities of youth or
the collective prejudices of society?
Many of my patients enter psychotherapy with the hope that they will
quickly find one simple clue or answer
that will immediately bring happiness
into their lives. What they eventually
come to realize is that happiness is the
by-product of good choices made daily,
rather than a quick fix.
Axiom No. 2: Happiness is
Possessing the Capacity for
Inner Tranformation
In order to be happy, one must also
develop the depth of character and
insight to make personal change. They
believed that personal change, or tranformation, was possible through living a disciplined life. Richard Foster, a
Quaker philsopher, writes, “Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine
of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but
for deep people.”
The great Catholic mystics such as
Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas practiced the art of inner transformation
through disciplines such as solitude,
meditation and study. In our modernday culture, we have neglected the
disciplines embraced by each of the four
major world religions—disciplines that
have the power to transform us into
healthier, more centered people. Leo
Tolstoy, the great Russian philosopher
and author of War and Peace, once observed, “Everybody thinks of changing
humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself.”
Learning to bring about personal
change creates the possibility for taking
responsibility for one’s personal happiness. It creates the possibility of an inner life that is calm and impervious to
the ups and downs of life. It creates
the possibility for understanding the
storm of emotions that can so easily
overtake us. It creates the possibility for
freedom from ingrained habits. It creates the possibility for thinking outside
the box, and evolving to new levels of
Learning the simple truth that happiness springs from the capacity for inner change is important, because inner change is more powerful than manipulation of external circumstances and
events. In other words, learning to
change oneself is the only way to change
one’s world.
Lessons in inner transformation can
be learned from others who learned to
cope in the face of difficult circumstances. I have been personally influenced by the story of eminent author,
psychiatrist and philosopher Victor
Frankl. Dr. Frankl was a longtime prisoner of Nazi concentration camps. His
mother, father, brother and wife all perished in the camps or were sent to
gas ovens. Only his sister survived.
Dr. Frankl was subjected to all sorts
of concentration camp atrocities—
hunger, cold, deprivation, the loss of
personal belongings and the loss of
choice. After surviving degradation and
torture, Dr. Frankl made a great discovery, which he writes about in the
book Man’s Search for Meaning. In this
book, he writes, “The last human freedom is the ability to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
Dr. Frankl, amid catastrophic circumstances, discovered that peaceful
security ultimately comes from within
and is dependent upon how we choose
to think and feel about the situations
in which we find ourselves.
Perhaps freedom and happiness are
not solely dependent upon social phenomena such as group tolerance, acceptance, compassion and understanding.
Perhaps the final frontier of freedom involves the choice to look inward, the ability to effect personal change and the ability to value the myriad of smaller choices
that ultimately affect our level of satisfaction and the quality of our lives.
Bethany Marshall, M.F.C.C., has offices in Beverly Hills and Pasadena. She can be reached at Bethany Marshall and Associates, Inc. (626) 796-9028 or (310) 247-0442. If
you have any questions and/or comments, please direct them to: Frontiers, 5657 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 470, Los Angeles, CA 90036, or e-mail them to
[email protected] © 2012 Bethany Marshall. All rights reserved.
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