Grammy Award-winning artist kd lang has announced she will be making her Broadway debut next year in the jazz musical After Midnight. Lang will be replacing American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino as the second guest headliner for the show, which centers around Duke Ellington's years at the famous Cotton Club nightclub in Harlem. Lang's limited engagement performance will begin February 11th and continue through March 9th.
Here's the Playbill summary for After Midnight:
"Jazz is a state of mind. It's a structure for innovation, forward momentum and freedom. The evocative new musical After Midnight will take the sexy, smoke glamour of the original Jazz Age and catapult it into a whole new era of heart-pounding, mind-blowing entertainment for modern Broadway audiences. Refracted through a contemporary lens, After Midnight will celebrate Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a world-class big band of 17 musicians hand-picked by living jazz legend, Wynton Marsalis. The timeless tunes set against a narrative of Langston Hughes poetry will provide an authentic backdrop for an array of cutting-edge performances by 25 sensational vocalists and dancers, including special guest stars, whose interpretations will shatter everything you think you know about music, nightlife and Broadway. Welcome to the new Jazz Age."
With pop, folk, country, and torch songs under her belt, its no surprise that the talented lang is now cutting her teeth on jazz. Tickets for lang's engagement will go on sale November 4th and can be purchased here.
You can also join us AFTER THE JUMP for additional footage of lang's great performances and songs of the past.
Ex-NFL quarterback Steve Young is set to speak tonight about the relationship between Mormons and the LGBT community at the 32nd annual Affirmation International Conference in Salt Lake City.
Steve Young and his wife are scheduled to speak Saturday night. Young is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and played football at Brigham Young University.
The Youngs said in a statement they are happy to be a part of the conference and “lend their voices to the healing work of making our families, our society and our church more welcoming places for our LGBT brothers and sisters.”
Having Young, a role model for both Mormons and young athletes, speak at the conference is yet another sign of a growing movement among straight Mormons to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brethren, [Affirmation president Randall] Hacker said.
Young has previously come out in favor of gay rights. In 2008 Towleroad linked to news that Young had posted a "No on Prop 8" sign in his front yard and that Barbara Young, his wife, had donated $50,000 to the anti-Prop 8 campaign. She said at the time, "We believe all families matter, and we do not believe in discrimination, therefore, our family will vote against Prop. 8."
UPDATE on Young and his wife Barb's speech:
"More and more people are opening their hearts every day," Barb Young said Saturday in the concluding speech at the 2013 International Affirmation Conference for LGBT Mormons, their families and allies. "You are teaching them about [gays] and Jesus and that his love is infinite."
Young used metaphors involving his football career:
"Throwing without knowing is pure faith," the football giant said. "Faith is the fuel for all human experience. … We are all too short at something."
His goal, Young said, "is to build bridges with my gay brothers and sisters. We need to see each other as Jesus sees us."
Barb Young, whose older brother is gay, actively opposed California’s Prop 8 in 2008, even though leaders in the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enlisted members to work for its passage.
At this conference, she urged Affirmation participants to be "patient like Jesus" and to love LDS Church members as they move toward understanding of their LGBT family members.
Amnesty Calls on Zambia to Free Gay Couple Held for 4 Months as Court Orders Trial for Activist: VIDEO
Zambian activist Paul Kasonkomona, who was arrested back in April after speaking out iagainst the criminalization of homosexuality on Zambian TV, has been ordered to face trial under the nation's penal code.
From the Times of Zambia:
THE Lusaka High Court has ruled that trial should commence in the subordinate court in a matter in which gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona is facing an offence of idle and disorderly conduct.
Kasonkomona, 38, is charged with one count of idle and disorderly conduct by soliciting for immoral purposes.
Particulars allege that Kasonkomona, of Chilulu Garden Township is on April 7, this year solicited for homosexual rights to be respected in Zambia during ‘The Assignment’ programme on Muvi Television.
Before commencement of trial, Kasonkomona had applied to have his case referred to the High Court for determination of Constitutional matters. He had contended that the constitutionality of Section 178 (g) of the Penal Code was vague and violated Article 18 and 20 of the Constitution. And Magistrate Lameck Ng’ambi in his ruling after the application stayed the proceedings and allowed the application of Article 18 and 20 in which the accused claimed that the section violated his fundamental rights.
But in her ruling yesterday, High Court Judge Anne Sharpe Phiri dismissed the application on grounds that there was no Constitutional issue raised concerning the contravention of fundamental rights.
Watch a news report on Kasonkomona's case from last May, AFTER THE JUMP...
James Mwansa and Philip Mubiana, both 22, will appear in court Monday for a judge to decide if they should be detained longer.
"It is high time that individuals stopped being persecuted because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Human rights are about the dignity and equality of all people," said Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International's Zambia researcher.
The pair was arrested after a neighbor reported them to the police, according to Amnesty International. Authorities subjected them to anal examinations without their consent and forced them to confess, the human rights group said.
"Anal examinations conducted to 'prove' same-sex conduct are scientifically invalid, and if they were conducted without the men's consent, contravene the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment under international law," said Simeon Mawanza, an Amnesty researcher in Zambia.
Amnesty's full statement here.
Scientists have discovered an insect which possesses something they've never seen before: its own mechanical gears.
To the best of our knowledge, the mechanical gear—evenly-sized teeth cut into two different rotating surfaces to lock them together as they turn—was invented sometime around 300 B.C.E. by Greek mechanics who lived in Alexandria. In the centuries since, the simple concept has become a keystone of modern technology, enabling all sorts of machinery and vehicles, including cars and bicycles.
As it turns out, though, a three-millimeter long hopping insect known as Issus coleoptratus beat us to this invention. Malcolm Burrows and Gregory Sutton, a pair of biologists from the University of Cambridge in the U.K., discovered that juveniles of the species have an intricate gearing system that locks their back legs together, allowing both appendages to rotate at the exact same instant, causing the tiny creatures jump forward.
The finding, which was published today in Science, is believed to be the first functional gearing system ever discovered in nature.
Watch how it all works, AFTER THE JUMP...
Rachel Maddow takes a look at the sudden crush conservatives and anti-gay "pro-family" groups have on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"It’s one thing for the right to fall in love with its own politicians, to make Reagan a saint, Sarah Palin their own collective girlfriend, but the president of Russia, he is not that into you. Seriously, I know you guys hate President Obama, so it feels good to have a man-crush on somebody else, but this guy is the president of Russia. Zip it up, you guys, seriously. Have some respect."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
A student at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg received a letter of discipline from the school for reporting that his roommate threatened him with a knife because he's gay, Fox4 Kansas City reports:
“He was like, ‘I do have a knife and I’ll use it if I have to,’” said Worthley.
Worthley told FOX 4 that at one point he asked the roommate to turn down his music.
“And that’s when he repeated that and he was like ‘I don’t like gay people,’” Worthley said.
Worthley said he reported the threat to the Office of Student Housing. An investigator agreed to put the two students in separate dorm rooms, but Worthley said he was shocked when he received a letter of discipline just like his accuser.
“Made it feel like because I’m gay that it was my fault that those threats were made,” said Worthley.
In the letter, the school blamed Worthley for being threatened:
“There seems to be a strong possibility that some of your own actions and comments were part of the reason this situation escalated from jesting to threatening.”
Worthley said the problem could have been solved before it even began by not putting the students together. Worthley said his roommate told school officials that he didn't want a gay roommate but the school says it "does not make room assignments or reassignments based upon sexual orientation, race or other university protected status.”
It also won't comment to the news about the incident.
Watch FOX4's news report here.