Armistead Maupin Hub




Tales of the City Musical to Debut at CT's O'Neill Center in July

The musical adaptation of Armistead Maupin's Tales in the City we first heard about back in January 2008 is moving along nicely, according to reports.

Maupin2 Variety reports: "The tuner adaptation of 'Tales of the City' and the latest play by Pulitzer-winner Nilo Cruz are among the new works to be developed this year during the O'Neill Theater Center's annual summer sessions. 'Tales,' with book by Jeff Whitty ('Avenue Q') and songs by Scissor Sisters musicians Jason Sellards (aka Jake Shears) and John Garden, will run as part of the O'Neill's 32nd annual National Music Theater Conference..'Tales,' which hopes to tap the Broadway potential of Armistead Maupin's series of books (and subsequent tube adaptations), will be seen at the O'Neill July 4-11."

The show's synopsis, as published by Playbill: "Based on the beloved series of novels by Armistead Maupin, Tales of the City follows a community of friends, lovers, and others who reside at the mythical address of 28 Barbary Lane in 1976 San Francisco. Mary Ann Singleton, a fresh arrival from Ohio, falls into a diverse band of Bohemians and blue-bloods, as families are created and rediscovered under the watchful eye of mystical landlady Anna Madrigal."

Avenue Q and Shrek the Musical director Jason Moore, while not mentioned here, has been attached to direct in previous reports.


EXCLUSIVE: Armistead Maupin on Harvey Milk's Last Love

Milkcover


We couldn't be more pleased to feature two excerpts from the just published MILK: A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF HARVEY MILK. Tomorrow, one by Milk screenwriter and Oscar nominee Lance Black. But first, author Armistead Maupin offers not just another look at Harvey Milk, but also another man. Maupin is, of course, best know for his Tales of the City.

Towleread Foreword Armistead Maupin

It’s not hard to imagine the joke Harvey Milk might have made about being the subject of an “oral history.” He was a bawdy and unembarrassed guy—“sex-positive,” as we now so tiresomely call it—so he never missed a chance to send up his own libido; he was part satyr, part Catskill comic, and both instincts energized his political career.

Maupin I can’t say that I knew Harvey well, but we were brothers in the same revolution. In the late 70s while he was campaigning for supervisor in the Castro, I was across town on Russian Hill cranking out “Tales of the City” for the San Francisco Chronicle. Since both efforts were predicated on the then-radical notion that queers deserved a voice in the culture, Harvey and I often found ourselves on the same bill, headlining events that ran the gamut from pride marches to “No on 6” fundraisers to jockstrap auctions at the Stud. We had come of age in a time when homosexuality was not only a mental disease but a criminal offense, so to be oneself and make lemonade from such long-forbidden fruit was exhilarating beyond belief.

Ridiculous as it seems to me now, Harvey and I had both been naval officers and Goldwater Republicans. Like so many gay folks who defected to San Francisco in the early 70s, we’d finally had enough of the shame and secrecy that had stifled our hearts to the point of implosion. Now we were catching up on everything we’d missed, the full fireworks of adolescence: the free-range sex and clumsy puppy love and the simple, giddy freedom of standing-on-the-corner-watching-all-the-boys-go-by.

Harvey was fond of saying that he never considered himself a candidate, that the gay movement itself was the candidate. I’m not sure he believed that completely—look at him on the back of that convertible—but it does show how brilliantly he understood the nature of the army he’d assembled. This really was about us: the clerk at Macy’s, the dyke cop on Valencia, that old tranny singing torch songs in the Tenderloin. It was a movement born of our long frustration and the comforting interconnectedness of everyone who had chosen that moment in history to tell the truth; it was born of a love that could finally speak its name.

Let me tell you a story.

In the last month of his life, Harvey Milk met a cute twenty-five-year-old named Steve Beery at the Beaux Arts Ball in San Francisco.

Continued, AFTER THE JUMP...

BELOW: Harvey Milk on the steps of San Francisco City Hall at his swearing-in ceremony. This scene is depicted in the movie. Just as Harvey was getting ready to be sworn in, and it started to rain, he said, "A few weeks ago, Anita Bryant blamed the drought in Northern California on the gays. Who's she going to blame the rain on?" (c) Jerry Pritikin 1978

Milk1

Continue reading "EXCLUSIVE: Armistead Maupin on Harvey Milk's Last Love" »


Jake Shears Penning Musical Version of Tales of the City

Spinner reports that Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears has been hard at work on a set of tunes for a musical version of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City.

Maupin_2Spinner reports: "Since his pal, Jeff Whitty, sent him a note asking him what he thought of the books a year ago, Shears has been coming up with ideas and melodies. 'Over a year ago, I got a note from him saying, 'What do you think of 'Tales of the City?' I'm crazy about 'Tales!' I grew up on the books,' Shears enthuses. 'They were a big part of my teenager-hood. They're just great, great books with amazing characters and I love the era. My heart just started racing. I got very excited about it.' He's spent almost a year working on the project already, amassing 15 numbers. 'It's poppy and since there's no arrangement yet, all of our writing is just piano and my voice,' he explains. 'As it take shape, it's gonna even take on more of a style.''

Whitty wrote the book for Avenue Q.

According to Spinner, Scissor Sisters have also just begun working in the studio again on their third album:

"The flashy New York City five-piece are currently forcing themselves to hit the studio on a daily basis, to pen a host of new tunes. So far, Shears said they've come up with a handful of new 'really dancy' pop numbers and at least one sparkling rendition of someone else's song. 'We've started out with a really cool cover, which I'm not even gonna say what it is,' Shears says coyly. 'I mean, no one would know anyway. It's a pretty obscure song.'"

Previously
Jake Shears Interviews Dolly Parton in UK Special [tr]
Jake Shears Would "Take That" if Asked [tr]
Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears and Partner to Get Hitched [tr]


Armistead Maupin on Gays and Scientology

Holy Moly reports on a book reading last night in London in which Armistead Maupin, who just released his latest novel, Michael Tolliver Lives, made clear his thoughts on Scientology — and Edna Turnblad:

MaupinMaupin: "...of course the Church of Scientology comes in very handy. (huge laugh from audience) It's the biggest ex gay movement in America. They catch you when you're young and confused, tell you they'll look after you, even provide you with a wife and child... Then of course you have to do what they call an audit, where you confess everything you've ever done into a tape recorder, so they've got the tapes. So once you're famous and successful you have to go along with all their nonsense about people falling into volcanoes... (pause)... then you play a woman in a movie musical, a part created by a drag queen and written by a gay man..."

We'd like many more tales of anything from Maupin, please...

(via dlisted)

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Gavin Newsom's Maupin Tribute: Tuesday is Michael Tolliver Day in SF [tr]
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Hairspray: a Review [tr]


Armistead Maupin's Partner Speaks Out on Age and Dating

Christopher Turner talks to the SF Chronicle about his relationship with Armistead Maupin, telling the paper that Maupin, who is 27 years older than Turner, cruised him on the street after seeing his profile on a website Turner runs, hotoldermale.com (site NSFW).

Turner_2"Shortly after Christopher Turner started his Web site hotoldermale.com in 2002, a hot older male approached him while walking on 18th Street in the Castro district. The man said he recognized Turner from his online profile; he'd even printed out a photograph of the Internet entrepreneur. 'Apparently he didn't post his picture because he was too darn shy about the whole thing,' Turner, 35, recalled."

Turner has a new site, DaddyHunt, which pairs older men with younger men, and they've just posted a number of new billboards around San Francisco. Turner talks about the phenomenon:

"I think when people see a young man with an older guy, they think, 'Sugar Daddy.' And I guess the same goes for straight relationships. But one thing people don't see is that a lot of people have a serious attraction to older men -- whether it's physical, emotional, intellectual -- and feel more comfortable in relationships with older men. I launched the site as sort of a political statement: You can have a loving relationship despite an age difference ... I think the Greeks understood it well, and so did the gay community. Back in the '70s, the gay community featured older, hairy guys in gay porn all the time. During the AIDS crisis, everything we saw, in advertising and porn, suddenly became young and clean...Attraction is hard to understand. My current attraction toward older men has been around since I can remember, but I imagine that could change. I'm really not sure. That's always the issue with an age difference. With Armistead, he's 27 years my senior and, you know, he'll likely die before me. So there's the big issue of any age-difference relationship. But who knows? It's hard to say where my attractions will be in 20, 30 years."

Maupin recently published the latest novel in the Tales of the City series, Michael Tolliver Lives, which rejoins his character Michael Tolliver some three decades later. Turner notes that many of the themes on aging in the book bear a striking resemblance to the couple's own experience.

FIVE QUESTIONS For Christopher Turner [sf chronicle]
Michael Tolliver Lives [amazon]

Recently...
Gavin Newsom's Maupin Tribute: Tuesday is Michael Tolliver Day in SF [tr]


News: James Holsinger, Andy Baldwin, NYC Hurricane, Sopranos

road.jpg Seattle man beaten by group after being taunted with a gay slur: "On Sunday, the couple was together about 2:40 a.m. in the 700 block of East Pike Street when they heard someone utter a slur toward gay men, according to a police report. The victim, a man in his 20s, turned and approached the man who made the comment. That man, who was with a group, punched the victim and threw him to the ground, at which point four to six others joined in the attack, according to a police report. The victim suffered a cut behind his left ear. Firefighters treated him at the scene, a police report said. The group ran to a nearby car and sped away."

Travolta_hairsprayroad.jpg Some gay fans call for a boycott of Hairspray because of John Travolta, Scientology, and the cult's position on gays.

road.jpg Gay marriage bill likely to pass State Assembly in New York. Senate a tougher nut.

road.jpg New Fest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival award winners announced

road.jpg Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell endorses Bush's anti-gay Surgeon General nominee James Holsinger: "Dr. Holsinger is a proven leader who has dedicated his career to improving health education and services in Kentucky and across the nation. He is an excellent choice for Surgeon General and I look forward to his quick confirmation."

road.jpg Jake Gyllenhaal spends some time with his fans.

road.jpg More on Armistead Maupin's new tome Michael Tolliver Lives: "Instead of randy hippies who smoke joints, as they did when the series began in 1976, the aging lefties of 'Michael Tolliver Lives' pop joint and arthritis pills. Instead of plotting nightly sexual conquests, as they did as 20-something singles, many profess shock at the level of promiscuousness practiced by today's youth."

Whitneyroad.jpg Anti-gay Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo's campaign webmaster Tyler Whitney is outed. Said Tancredo's senior advisor Bay Buchanan: "A person's sexual preference is a personal matter and has nothing to do with the campaign."

road.jpg Sopranos creator David Chase on the show's uneventful finale: "I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there. No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God. We did what we thought we had to do. No one was trying to blow people's minds, or thinking, 'Wow, this'll (tick) them off.' People get the impression that you're trying to (mess) with them and it's not true. You're trying to entertain them."

Andybaldwinroad.jpg Bachelor Andy Baldwin takes to the surf in Hawaii.

road.jpg U.S. States renamed for countries with similar GDPs. (via kottke)

road.jpg NYC due for major hurricane, experts say: "The last hurricane to hit New York was the so-called Long Island Express in 1938. It killed 50 people on the Island, more than 700 along the Eastern seaboard. In the years since, hurricanes with names like Bob, Floyd, and Gloria, have also made an impact, but we've been spared a direct hit. Experts say a major hurricane could pack 130 mph winds, and a 30-foot storm surge. There would be flooding in all five boroughs, the subways and much of lower Manhattan could be under water. Damage estimates would top $100 billion."

road.jpg Ted Allen talks desert island cuisine: "First of all, I'm not eating Carson [Kressley]. He'd be all stringy. Carson is a little too lean. Tom Colicchio is a delicious-looking man, but I think I'd have to go with Rupert. Many of us in the community would find him the most delicious. If we're on a desert island, I'd dig a pit. Something spicy or sort of Caribbean would be good for Rupert Everett."

road.jpg Kevin Spacey attended the Tony Awards after-party at the Hotel on Rivington's penthouse with his dog Minnie.


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