Armistead Maupin Hub

Embarrassing Typos Mar Otherwise Sparkling Roll-Out of LGBT 'Rainbow Honor Walk' in SF: VIDEO


Yesterday, in San Francisco's Castro District, organizers unveiled the first bronze sidewalk plaques dedicated to LGBT heroes in the Rainbow Honor Walk, a queer take on Hollywood Boulevard's "Walk of Fame" meant to honor those "self-expressed LGBT individuals, now deceased, who made significant contributions in their fields."

The first 20 honorees are Jane Addams, James Baldwin, George Choy, Federico Garcia Lorca, Allen Ginsberg, Keith Haring, Harry Hay, Sylvester James, Christine Jorgensen, Frida Kahlo, Del Martin, Yukio Mishima, Bayard Rustin, Randy Shilts, Gertrude Stein, Alan Turing, Tom Waddell, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, and Virginia Woolf.

JorgensenThe unveiling was marred by some unfortunate typos which immediately made their way to social media. Oscar Wilde's plaque celebrated the writer's "bitting" wit while trans pioneer Christine Jorgensen was described as "trangendered". More than $100,000 in donations which paid for the plaques will cover the cost of corrections, reports KGO.

According to Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin, who was there to help unveil the Virginia Woolf plaque (see below) with his husband Chris Turner and their dog Philo, the plaques with errors will be auctioned off to benefit the Honor Walk campaign and replaced.

Other attendees included Senator Mark Leno and SF Supervisor Scott Wiener, as well as activist and veteran Dan Choi.

The Walk has been in development for years:

The idea for the project had a dual genesis. In 1994, Perry suggested the idea and received media attention and the support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. However, the overwhelming priorities of the AIDS/HIV pandemic put the project, and its fundraising goals, on hiatus. In 2009, Lindenauer, unaware of the earlier effort, envisioned the Rainbow Honor Walk. Lindenauer and Perry joined forces, put together a volunteer committee of community leaders and received the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

“These are just the first 20 of what we hope will be hundreds of names,” says Lindenauer, noting the Walk stretches from Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th Street at Diamond down to Castro. On Castro Street — the LGBT community’s “Main Street” – the walk will continue up to Market Street with additional wings along 18th Street. On Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, the Walk will continue to the LGBT Center at Octavia Boulevard.

Check out a big Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter gallery of the roll-out and all the sidewalk plaques as well as some local news coverage from KGO, AFTER THE JUMP....


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Final 'Tales of the City' Book, 'Days Of Anna Madrigal,' To Be Published Later This Month

MaupintalesIt has been a long road, but Armistead Maupin's classic Tales of the City is coming to an end on January 21st with the publication of the ninth and final book in the series. Titled The Days of Anna Madrigal, the new book ends a literary tradition begun in 1978 as a newspaper serial. Fans of Maupin's work, like blogger Cory Doctorow, are lamenting the conclusion of the beloved Tales, but are also looking forward to reading this final book.

Doctorow, writing for Boing Boing, reports:

I grew up on the Tales books, and when I moved to San Francisco, I was delighted to see so many of the places and scenes from the novels playing out in real life (as I mentioned in my recent review of The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, Maupin's books chronicle an age of personal and political activism that seems unimaginably far behind us today).

The serial format served Maupin well, making for a story that's so compulsively readable by dint of the need to finish each thousand words with a cliff-hanger -- shades of Dickens -- that it's nearly impossible to stop reading them. Each subplot is firmly grounded in its moment, through topical references and subplots revolving around everything from Jonestown to AIDS, that re-reading them is something like inhaling a stack of Doonesbury treasuries.

It's been too long since Maupin gave us another glimpse at Anna and Michael and the rest of the people in the orbit of 28 Barbary Lane. I can't wait to read it (and I dread being finished with it).

The Days of Anna Madrigal will reportedly follow the title character, a 92-year-old, trans woman, as she travels to Burning Man. 

What are your favorite Tales of the City memories and moments? Share in the comments below!

Have Yourself A Very Barbary Christmas: VIDEO


One of the main themes in author Armistead Maupin's works, particularly his iconic Tales of The City series, is the idea of the logical family: if our biological relations reject us, we can make our own kin.

Still, with this family in place, there's then the added pressure to find a partner, a stress Michael "Mouse" Tolliver struggled under for a large portion of the Tales narrative. Even amidst all the mystery and intrigue at 28 Barbary Lane, relationship woes still creep in.

AFTER THE JUMP, Mouse and Mary-Ann, played by Marcus D'Amico and Laura Linney in the original mini-series adaptation, discuss the pressures Christmas can put on the single among us. (Relevant scene begins at the two-minute mark.)

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'Tales of the City' Musical to Open

Tales The NYT today posted a big story on the new musical based on Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City and its collaborating creative team of director Jason Moore, librettist Jeff Whitty, and composers John Garden and Jake Shears:

The result of that five-year collaboration will make its debut in — where else? — San Francisco this month as a $2.5 million production that includes a company of 21 actors, nearly four dozen characters, at least two pairs of knee-high patent-leather go-go boots and more than 200 other costumes. (And God knows how much polyester.)

It’s the most expensive show ever produced by the American Conservatory Theater, whose schedule usually mixes classical revivals with more experimental pieces. Single-handedly producing new musicals isn’t typically part of its programming, but Carey Perloff, the theater’s artistic director, said that “Tales of the City” fit both the company’s mission of doing work about the Bay Area as well as providing a low-pressure environment for creators.

“It’s a nontraditional kind of piece — lots of characters, lots of story lines, lots of sex and drugs — and I think we fit what they were looking for,” said Ms. Perloff. “This isn’t a particularly ‘Broadway’ audience. This audience is very game for unusual musicals.”

Previews start May 18, and the show opens on May 31.

Watch: Jake Shears, Jason Moore, Jeffy Whitty, and John Garden Discuss 'Tales of the City' Musical

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Director Jason Moore, librettist Jeff Whitty, and composers Jake Shears and John Garden, the creative team behind the forthcoming Tales of the City Musical, talk about how they were introduced to the book.

The show has its world premiere on May 18 at San Francisco's ACT Theatre.


Continue reading "Watch: Jake Shears, Jason Moore, Jeffy Whitty, and John Garden Discuss 'Tales of the City' Musical" »

'Tales of the City' Author Armistead Maupin Told He Couldn't Use Bar Restroom Because It's Reserved for 'Real Men'

Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin, on a book tour in Australia for the latest book in the series, Mary Ann in Autumn, was told he couldn't use the restroom at Bojangles Saloon in Alice Springs, because it was "reserved for real men."

ABC News Australia reports:

Maupin Armistead Maupin, writer of the popular Tales in the City series, was in Australia on a book tour when he visited Alice Springs with his husband Chris Turner last week.

They went into Bojangles Saloon to have lunch and approached a staff member behind the bar to ask if they were serving food. According to Mr Maupin, they were told to take a seat, after which Mr Maupin's husband Chris asked if he could use a rest room.

"The guy said, sorry, we don't have one in here but you can go across the street to the public facility."

Mr Maupin, who had used the toilet in Bojangles the day before, said he pointed in the direction of the toilet and said 'what's that over there?'

"[The barman] gave me a very pointed look and said that's reserved for 'real men'," said Mr Maupin.

Maupin left the bar and made an official complaint at the Visitor Information Centre. Shortly thereafter he was contacted by and received apologies from Tourism Central Australia.

Phil Walcott, Regional Director of Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia says that Alice Springs is an inclusive community and that the incident was likely a 'one-off'.

"By and large, Alice Springs has moved beyond tolerance to acceptance of gay & lesbian people," he said. "We are proud of our very vibrant 'rainbow' community here with people in all spheres of government, business and even politics. The comment attributed to one individual who may well have issues with his own sexuality is seen as an isolated incident."

Maupin wrote about it on his Facebook page, saying: "We went here for lunch. When Chris asked where the toilet was, the bartender told us to go across the street because their toilet was reserved for 'real men.' So we did what real men do and crossed the street to the visitor's center where we filed a complaint. Impressively we received an email apology from the bartender that afternoon. Fair dinkum, mate. Next time don't f**k with the poofters."

He added later: "I was interviewed tonight by a newscaster from Alice Springs. Honestly, that town has responded like a champ to the homophobia Chris and I encountered in the local saloon."

(photo via Facebook)

In related news, check out this new story in the Wall Street Journal interviewing director Jason Moore and librettist Jeff Whitty about the musical adaptation of Tales of the City!

The musical version will contain all of those elements, along with polyester clothes and big hair. But the show will focus on what it felt like to be in that time and place, rather than what might be "archaeologically accurate," Mr. Moore said.

Moore For example, Mr. Moore said that he and his lighting designer decided to ditch disco lights authentic to the period. "By today's standards, that lighting might seem really banal," he said. "But the experience of people going to [a disco] was amazing, trance-inducing and exciting."

While gently poking fun at how much has changed in nearly four decades, the play's script also highlights issues that remain controversial, such as the battle over gay rights. The story line features anti-gay rights crusader Anita Bryant, and a key song in which one character writes a letter to his parents to come out of the closet.


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