The Underwear Expert has begun a series of interviews with underwear models, because they're not just pretty bodies, they're pretty bodies with opinions!
In this segment, Mark MacKillop addresses a series of queries while ably displaying Hugo Boss' Innovation 1 Boxer Brief.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
BY NAVEEN KUMAR
How do you go about staging landmark riots considered the birth of the LGBT civil rights movement? Landing your play a stone’s throw from Stonewall Inn, at an Off-Broadway theatre known for its spare, intimate and emotionally raw productions seems pretty much the perfect place to start. In Hit The Wall, which opened Sunday at the Barrow Street Theatre, playwright Ike Holter also throws in a lot of heart, kinetic rage, and sass talk so fast it spins into poetry.
New York City, June 27th, 1969—it’s hot as hell, the air is thick with civil unrest, and Judy Garland’s funeral draws thousands of loyal fans to the Upper East Side. Downtown, it’s just another smack-talking morning on the neighborhood stoop, where sharp-tongued young hustlers Mika and Tano (Gregory Hanley and Arturo Soria, imposingly fierce) read every unwelcome queen who steps onto their turf.
There’s Roberta (Carolyn Michelle Smith) the righteous black lesbian, shunned equally by the women’s movement and the Black Panthers, pounding pavement trying to start her own revolution. (“Get your a** back to Sarah Lawrence, girl, MOVE.”) ‘The Newbie’—buttoned-up, naïve, and mostly in the closet. (“This is our stoop, this is our spot, you don’t like the pot then spit out the smoke and cough.”)
Mika and Tano meet their match in Carson (Nathan Lee Graham) a seasoned (and by the end of the night, legendary) cross-dressing black diva, who serves them a read so fast and furious their limp tongues snap to the back of their heads. More than just delicious high-camp, Holter makes clear that these queens' vicious attitudes are part of a carefully honed defense against a harsh world. That they reserve the worst of it for each other shows the contentiousness among a splintered group of outcasts not yet thinking of themselves as a group.
Though they are of course anything but typical, Holter’s cast of characters each stand in for a sort of type—including Cliff (Ben Diskant) a draft-evading drifter, and the unnamed ‘A-Gay’ (Sean Allan Krill), all business suits and discretion. That most of the characters introduced during the day lack fleshed-out backstories seems exactly the point. By the time they’re all dancing in the dark at Stonewall, what matters is we know why they’re there—to drink, get laid, and not worry about hiding themselves.
Under Eric Hoff’s dynamic direction, actions leading from the sweltering day to that fateful night flow one into the next with all the restless momentum and energy of a city street. The historic event is staged with some concern for accuracy, as characters shout out what official reports say happened next.
Holter’s play doesn’t shy away from showing horrifying trials faced by transgendered patrons at the hands of police who raided the bar. In a wrenching and intimate scene, Carson and Peg (Rania Salem Manganero) are both held back as the bar is evacuated and brutally harassed by the play’s lone cop (an intimidating Matthew Greer).
The riot that follows is choreographed like something of a wild dance. If it seems at moments to descend into theatrical chaos—well, it is a riot, after all. Imagination deserves some rein, as reliable accounts of the explosive events are difficult to come by—aside from those able to say, as these bold characters do: “I was there.”
Dragged out of the bar on her way to the back of a cop car, it’s Peg whose indignant cries rouse an initially complacent crowd into action: “No more watching!” It’s a welcome battle cry for any era.
Recent theatre features...
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Zosia Mamet Opens in ‘Really Really’ Off Broadway:REVIEW
Fault Line Theatre’s ‘From White Plains’ Opens Off-Broadway: REVIEW
Tectonic Theatre Project Presents 'The Laramie Project Cycle' At BAM: REVIEW
Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: matthew murphy)
Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General and son of VP Joe Biden, speaks out for marriage equality in a new video:
"All Delawareans should be able to marry the person they love, the person who they want to spend their life with. The freedom to marry is the fundamental, defining civil rights issue of our time."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
SF Supervisor Wants to Rename City's 'Lech Walesa Street' After Founder of the Gay Games Tom Waddell
A San Francisco Supervisor angry at Nobel Prize Winner Lech Walesa's homophobic remarks earlier this month says she wants to rename the street that bears his name, the Mercury News reports:
Supervisor Jane Kim said she is seeking to rename Lech Walesa Street, a small alleyway located between Grove and Hayes streets and Van Ness Avenue and Polk Street.
Walesa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 after co-founding the Solidarity independent trade union movement in Poland, made controversial comments in a TV interview on March 1, saying gay people should not be allowed to hold prominent political posts.
Kim, whose district includes Lech Walesa Street, said she is considering renaming the street after Tom Waddell, a gay activist, or reverting back to the alleyway's previous name of Ivy Street. The Tom Waddell Health Center, which includes a transgender clinic, is located on Lech Walesa Street. Waddell worked at the clinic and also created the Gay Olympics, later renamed the Gay Games, Kim said.
Waddell died in 1987 of AIDS-related causes in 1987.
Kim says she will do LGBT outreach on the issue and make her decision.
Obama: I Cannot Imagine That Laws Banning Gays from Marrying Will Pass Constitutional Muster - VIDEO
In a wide-ranging interview with George Stephanopoulos to air on Nightline tonight , President Obama talks about marriage equality and the cases ahead at the Supreme Court.
Asks Stephanopoulos: "Do you still believe that, or do you now believe that gay marriage is a right guaranteed to all Americans by the Constitution?"
Obama (from transcript):
Well, I’ve gotta tell you that in terms of practical politics, what I’ve seen is a healthy debate taking place state by state, and not every state has the exact same attitudes and cultural mores. And I you know, my thinking was that this is traditionally a state issue and that it will work itself out. On the other hand, what I also believe is that the core principle that people don’t get discriminated against – that’s one of our core values. And it’s in our constitution. It’s in the, you know, 14th Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. And...from a legal perspective, the bottom line is, is that gays have historically been discriminated against and I do think that courts have to apply what’s called heightened scrutiny, where they take a careful look. If there’s any reason for gays and lesbians to be treated differently, boy, the government better....have a really good...what I believe is that if the states don’t have a good justification for it, then it probably doesn’t stand up to constitutional muster."
"Can you imagine one?", asks Stephanopoulos:
I can’t, personally. I cannot. That’s part of the reason I said, ultimately, I think that, you know, same-sex couples should be able to marry. That’s my personal position. And, frankly, that’s the position that’s reflected in the briefs that we filed in the Supreme Court.
My hope is that– the Court looks at the evidence and and in the California case, for example, the only reason presented for treating gays and lesbians differently was, “Well, they’re gay and lesbian.” There wasn’t– a real rationale beyond that. In fact you know, all the other rights and and responsibilities of a civil union were identical to marriage. It’s just you couldn’t call it marriage. Well, at that point, what you’re really sayin’ is “We’re just gonna treat these folks differently because of who they are.” And I do not think that’s who are as Americans. And frankly, I think American attitudes have evolved, just like mine have, pretty substantially and fairly quickly, and I think that’s a good thing.
Excerpts from some other portions of the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...
Emotional Parents and Their Gay Son Give Powerful Testimony at Minnesota Marriage Equality Hearing: VIDEO
Jacob Reitan, an activist who helped found the Soulforce Equality Ride back in 2006, and his parents Randi and Philip, offered testimony at the Minnesota marriage equality hearings yesterday, after which both the Senate and House bills advanced to their respective floors for upcoming consideration.
I've written about Soulforce many times on the site and featured a video of Jacob and his grandparents speaking out for marriage equality last year.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Also at yesterday's hearings...
Emotional Former MN Lawmaker Who Cast Anti-Gay Vote Pleads to House: VIDEO
Man Offers Graphic Description of Anal Sex, AIDS as Reason for Opposing Gay Marriage in MN: VIDEO