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Theatre News: Anne Hathaway Off-Broadway, Jim Parsons to Play God, and Bradley Cooper in London

Anne-hathaway

> Anne Hathaway and director Julie Taymor are teaming up Off-Broadway at the Public Theater this spring for Grounded, a new play by George Brant. The solo show, which was previously produced in New York by Page 73 Productions and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival prior to that, is about a pregnant fighter pilot assigned to operate a remote-controlled drone from her suburban home. Previews begin April 7 for an official opening on April 23.

Jim-parsons> Jim Parsons will star as the title character in An Act of God, a new comedy arriving on Broadway this spring at Studio 54, producer Jeffrey Finn announced last week. David Javerbaum, a former head writer and executive producer on The Daily Show With John Stewart, penned the 90-minute satire based on his own 2011 book The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. Directed by Joe Mantello, the show will begin previews May 5 and open on May 28.

> The Heart of Robin Hood, a play by David Farr that was headed for the Marquis Theatre on Broadway next month, will extend its run in Toronto and postpone its arrival in New York, producer David Mirvish revealed last week. Billed as an imaginative and acrobatic retelling of the classic Robin Hood story with original music performed by Parsonsfield, the show is directed by Gísli Örn Gardarsson’s and was previously staged at the American Repertory Theatre. Future Broadway plans have not been announced.

Bradley cooper

> The current Broadway revival of The Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola, will transfer to London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket to begin performances on May 19, producer James L. Nederlander announced last week. Directed by Scott Ellis, the revival will continue its limited engagement at the Booth Theatre through February 21, where it has broken box office records since opening this fall.


Harlem Hate Pastor Says Justin Bieber Is A Transgender Man, And It's President Obama's Fault: VIDEO

Manning

The world's most entertaining anti-gay hater is at it again, delivering perhaps his most hilariously insane diatribe yet. 

Harlem pastor James David Manning, who recently admitted he's been tempted by gay sex, now seems to have a strange fascination with Justin Bieber's torso. In fact, Manning is convinced that Bieber is a transgender man who cut off his breasts and probably regrets it.

Manning blames churches, the media and politicians — including President Barack Obama — for leading people like Bieber to believe that they can choose any "sexual orientation" they want. But Manning vows to protect the children in his flock from those influences by chasing every "sodomite" and "lesbo" with the "chariots of fire." 

Here's a transcript: 

Bieber"I want people to hear this so they can understand that you and I are not lunatics, we're not haters, we're not filled with evil. They need to know that these young girls, if we don't stand like you and I are standing and preach, they can be led or influenced to cut off their breasts once they get into puberty. They can be led to have operations like Justin Bieber. They can think that the best choice for their life is to cut off their breasts, and go through this period that's so pervasive in television and everywhere else, and then by the time they reach the age of 20 years old, they look and say: 'I wish I had never cut off my breasts. I wish I had nee mutilated my flesh. I wish I had never mutilated my penis. I wish I had not done that. I was just young, and the people in the church or the people in the media said or gave the impression that I had the right to choose any sexual orientation that I wanted to choose, and so I cut off my penis, or I cut off my breasts, but now I'm 20 years and I wish that I hadn't done that.' I will not as a pastor allow that to be said by any child that's under my leadership or under the sound of my voice. I will chase every sodomite, I will chase every lesbo, I will chase every political leader with the power of God, with the chariots of fire, that these children be not misled by people in congregations, and people in business or in politics like Obama, that are influencing these children to throw their lives away the way Justin Bieber threw his life away, and then at 20 years old can't grow their breasts back, at 20 years old can't grow their penis back. People need to wake the hell up and see what's going on in our world. They need to understand just how diabolical this devil and evil spirit is."

Last week, Pastor Manning appeared on The Young Turks and defended his statements that gay people should be stoned to death, acknowledging that he agrees with ISIS and the Taliban on the issue. He also elaborated on his claim that Starbucks puts gay semen in lattes, and confessed to some homosexual urges: 

"Absolutely, no doubt about it. I spent three and a half years in prison, and I tell you that I saw a lot of that activity going on in prison. It was just the order of the day, par for the course. ... I was tempted, but I didn’t yield to temptation, by the way. You need to know that. Make sure you publish that, as well.”

Who knows, perhaps someone who served time with Manning will come forward with a conflicting account.  

Watch video of Manning's rant about Bieber and his interview with The Young Turks, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Harlem Hate Pastor Says Justin Bieber Is A Transgender Man, And It's President Obama's Fault: VIDEO" »


NYT Icon Bill Cunningham Documents the Men Pushing Fashion Forward in NYC: VIDEO

Men

Bill Cunningham, the NY Times' longtime fashion eyes-on-the-street, says it's men who are pushing fashion forward in NYC these days. In a new video he makes note of the felt hats, evolutionary mohawk haircuts, fur and faux-collared coats, and winged sneakers that are facilitating it.

Men are also documenting their looks with selfies, and Cunningham is delighted.

Check out his latest clip on fashion-forward lads, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYT Icon Bill Cunningham Documents the Men Pushing Fashion Forward in NYC: VIDEO" »


'Out NYC' Hotel Owner Ian Reisner Pays $10.1 Million for Fire Island Pines Gay Resort

The winning bidder on the Fire Island Pines commercial district which went up for auction yesterday is Ian Reisner, a real estate developer and the owner of the Out NYC hotel. Reisner's bid was $10.1 million, the NYT reports:

ReisnerIn a telephone interview, Mr. Reisner said he, his business partner and a small team of investors planned to spend $4 million over the next 18 months to “renovate and rejuvenate” the property, which includes a hotel, a nightclub, a restaurant, a bar and retail space.

“My idea for the Out was to have a place for L.G.B.T., because we didn’t have that at the time,” said Mr. Reisner, who said he has been visiting Fire Island Pines since he came out as gay in 1989. “The Pines is the Out.”

Mr. Reisner bought the property in a partnership with P.J. McAteer, who manages the Sip-N-Twirl, a nightclub in the Fire Island Pines commercial district.

Full story here.

According to the paper, an opening bid failed to meet the $12 million reserve, and Reisner negotiated the terms privately.

The Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association (FIPPOA) appears to be thrilled with the new owner, writing, on Facebook:

FIPPOA is delighted with the news of the sale of the commercial properties in the Pines and congratulates Ian Reisner and P.J. McAteer for pulling off the purchase. The new owners led by Ian and PJ are long time Pines residents and either Pines or NYC businessmen. This bodes well for the success of the new venture. This is a WIN WIN for the Pines!


Fire Island Pines Gay Resort Hits Auction Block Today; Bids Start at $8.5 Million

Fip

The historic and iconic commercial district of New York's longtime gay resort Fire Island Pines, which includes the Pavilion nightclub, several restaurants, a hotel and retail spaces, goes up for auction today in Islip with a suggested starting bid of $8.5 million, less than half of the nearly $20 million it sold for to Andrew Kirtzman, Seth Weissman and Matthew Blesso in 2010.

See the auction page here.

The NYT reports:

Several familiar parties are said to be vying for the property, including the former owner. The sale may be a letdown for Mr. Kirtzman and his partners, but the Pines itself has remained popular even as homosexuality has found acceptance in places like wedding chapels and prime time television, and on beaches from Montauk to Cape May.

“It’s a beautiful, glamorous place, a place that was central to gay liberation,” said Jay Pagano, president of the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association. “That’s still very important to the people who lived the struggle, and to the people who benefited from it.”

Among those who have expressed interest in the auction, according to the NYT, is the manager of the adjacent Sip-N-Twirl nightclub, OUTNYC Hotel owner Ian Reisner, and Eric von Kuersteiner, a Manhattan entrepreneur who owned the property from 2003 to 2010.

Stay tuned for news on the outcome of today's auction...


Tony Danza Opens in ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’ on Broadway: REVIEW

Honeymoon2

BY NAVEEN KUMAR

Honeymoon in Vegas, a new musical comedy that opened on Broadway January 15 at the Nederlander Theatre, feels much like an extended trip to its title city: fun, shameless and even a bit thrilling at first, but by mid-stay you may find yourself feeling restless, tinged with regret and just a little bit used.

Honeymoon1Based on the 1992 film starring Nicholas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parker, the musical was written for the stage by the movie’s writer and director Andrew Bergman (also known for comedy classics Blazing Saddles and Soapdish), with a characteristically clever and lovely score by Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County and The Last Five Years).

By turns dirty and family friendly, the show tells the story of everyman Jack (Rob McClure) and his girlfriend Betsy (Brynn O’Malley), who has all her ducks in a row but no ring on her finger. Standing between them and the altar is Jack’s dead mom, Bea (Nancy Opel), who forced a deathbed promise on her son: that he’d never wed, because no one could ever love him as much as she does. Despite the curse, Jack bites the bullet and flies Betsy from Brooklyn to Sin City to get hitched. Mayhem ensues when Vegas vet and high roller Tommy (Tony Danza) eyes Betsy and hatches a plan to snatch her away (she’s a ringer for his dead wife).

Honeymoon3The musical’s ‘90s-New York brand of comedy works in its favor (off-beat yet on the nose), particularly in Brown’s playful lyrics (what rhymes better with fiancé than Jay Z and Beyoncé?). Danza naturally finds himself in his element here, and exudes the comfortable charm that became his small screen signature in shows like Taxi and Who’s the Boss. He has a smooth, mellow croon that does well with softer, Sinatra-like numbers, though he stands on shakier ground when asked to deliver more forceful tunes. McClure (Tony nominated for Chaplin: The Musical) and O’Malley pair well together and make nice work of Brown’s score and the show’s humor.

Anyone who wondered how a woman who looks like Sarah Jessica Parker could wind up torn between Nick Cage and James Caan will perhaps have less to ponder here: We are, by now, well used to male-fantasy narratives in which the schlub ends up with the knockout (plus, Danza’s not looking too shabby and McClure didn’t quite crawl from the gutter, either).

Honeymoon4But unfortunately and to its detriment, Bergman’s stage adaptation is uncomfortably (and bizarrely) heavy on both masculine neuroses and blatant misogyny. The story’s mommy issues are writ large (scaled up significantly from the movie), and its women are either dead nags (like mom), desperate to wed and procreate (Betsy), or else they’re showgirls, airheads or hookers. A tasteless number during the characters’ sojourn in Hawaii finds a hypersexualized, overtly stereotyped Polynesian whore vigorously seducing the schlub on boss’ orders.

Vegas is a town of obvious, low-hanging thrills and sensory pleasures, catered, more often than not, to male desire. Bergman and Brown’s musical has plenty of both, mixed in with moments of broad appeal. But the longer this trip goes on, the more glaring it becomes just whose honeymoon this is—and that he might be in need of a diaper change.

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Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: joan marcus)


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