Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Divine Madness," a Tribute to Bette Midler and Lady Gaga, to Benefit the Trevor Project on Halloween

Dance Party & Cash bar follow the show!

Monday, Oct 31st, 2011
9:30 PM - 11:45 PM
The Divine Miss B: Jen Brooks
The Bathhouse Bettie's: Landen Jones as Chelsea Piers & Jared Ross as Velvytte Winters
The Haus of Mimosa's:
Travis Barr as Anita M Buffem
Steven Incammicia as Gina Marie Rittale
Plus Special Guests!

Reservations highly recommended
Dance party and Cash bar to follow show!

All proceeds will go to Trevor Project.

Tickets: $20 general admission/ 2-drink minimum

Three easy ways to get your tickets! 
* Purchase your Tickets securely online by credit card  
* Or make a Reservation online at no charge and pay cash at the door 
* Or call the 24/7 ticket hotline at 1-800-838-3006.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Earl Dax Presents "Pussy Faggot!" Tonight at The Delancey

Earl Dax Presents
Guest Co-curated by Edwin Ramora
Resident hosts Penny Arcade & Jordan Fox
Photo booth by Liz Liguori
Door by La China Loca

Thursday, October 27 | 8pm-4am
The Delancey
168 Delancey St. (at Clinton), New York, NY
THREE Floors! 5 DJs! Over 20 Performers! Rooftop Installations! Video Art!
$10 cover / $6 with RSVP to

Queer Comedy Showcase at 8p | Open Vodka Bar 9-10p | $3 Well Drinks Midnight-12:30a

It's that time again... PUSSY FAGGOT! returns home to The Delancey for the first time since April. For this edition they have instituted a new "guest co-curator" role, and Edwin Ramoran has exceeded all expectations. Building on his background as a curator for fine art institutions, he has brought a stronger visual arts element to the event with video screenings (including the premiere of a new video by Ivan Monforte, New Sound Karaoke and Robert Melee's "Home Movie Montage"), mixed-media installastions by Jeffrey Owen Ralston, Paulo Rojas, it/EQ (Carol Quispe + Ethan Shoshan) and Jordan Eagles and the roaming performance installation that is Jacolby Satterwhite. Together he and Earl have gone a long way toward making the event more diverse, more inclusive and more surprising -- exactly what was hoped for when the guest co-curator position was conceived.

Things kick off at 8 pm with another PUSSY FAGGOT! first -- a Queer Comedy Showcase hosted by Sirius Radio personality Keith Price and featuring Obie-nominated playwright, performance and comic Marga Gomez. You'll also the exceptional comic talents of Janine Brito, Jessica Halem, Ben Lerman and Greg Walloch.

The open vodka bar happy hour (9-10p) is hosted by This is FYF. Join them at the main bar (street level) for the Monforte and Melee videos as well as music provided by DJ Cody Critcheloe. Cody recently relocated to NYC from Kansas City, and his band Ssion has quickly become one of the most exciting musical acts in town. Street level performances throughout the night by David Antonio Cruz, Raul de Nieves, Lotus Eater Machine and Coco Chizzle.

Downstairs the evening shifts into high gear as Penny Arcade takes the reins as host of a performance set beginning around 10p featuring Warhol poet Taylor Mead, Tomashi Jackson, Machine Dazzle, Nicholas Gorham, and Gio Black Peter. Later in the evening, our late night host, Jordan Fox, is sure to regale you with tales of his adventurous road trip for PUSSY FAGGOT! NOLA. Performances by Lawrence Graham-Brown, Shane Shane, Clifton, Sick Cell, Nana Nazario, Z Collective and Neko (with the House of Old Navy).

DJs throughout the evening include Designer Impostor, Austin Downey, Chauncey Dandridge and Michael Paul, so you know that this is set to turn into a serious late night dance party!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paige Turner Talks About "So You Think You Can Drag" -- Finale Will Be October 26th

By Byrne Harrison

Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner has been working the NYC scene for the past few years - with a little retro flair and a whole lot of showstopping theatrics. She is everybody’s girl, not to mention the ultimate Barbie!

Her trademark phrase “Slurp!” has become an epidemic, and she currently headlines at Vlada, Stonewall and Splash. Her hosting skills have landed her with Logo, the Grammercy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, Pride, Fire Island and corporate events for Rite-Aid and Microsoft. Michael Musto of the Village Voice says “Paige is the Holly Golightly of drag,” and the NY Times says “Paige ALWAYS gets everyone to sing along.”

Paige is also the host of “So You Think You Can Drag” at New World Stages, showcasing the hottest new queens on the scene.

"So You Think You Can Drag" is coming up on its finale (Wednesday, October 26th at 10:30 PM). How has the competition been this year?

Incredible, we've had to turn contestants away. The response has been overwhelming, and everyone who has competed has come to win this thing! I'm very proud of everyone involved both onstage and behind the scenes.

Any highlights that particularly stand out in your memory?

I have to say what stands out is the dedication and the spirit. You know sometimes you forget why you do drag or maybe why you should be doing it. There has been a lot of joy and celebration this year in watching people not only improve each time, but consistently give it their best! It has really been about the performing and entertaining aspects this year.

Who will be judging the finale?

Cast members from Priscilla Queen of the Desert! How perfect right? Emily Mcnamara is our resident judge and my partner in crime throughout the season, and they will join her.

What can the audience expect for the finale?

They can expect a group number with me and the girls, lots of outfits and quick changes, not to mention show stopping performances from last season's winner and other special guests!

I think the audience won't know who to vote for because the final five will be in it to win it! There have been about a dozen girls competing weekly since the start, but we narrow it down to five for the finale.

How did SYTYCD get started?

The producers of New World Stages had an idea for a drag competition -- they have a very successful karaoke competition every year. I judged that and they started talking to me about hosting the drag competition. They brought in promoter Austin Helms from 21st Century Life and we started meeting and discussing how we can make something fresh and different and still celebrate the spirit of drag. Doing it in a theater venue really helps that.

What else is coming up for you this year?

Sleep hopefully! I was just nominated for a GLAMMY Award for Best Comedy Performer! These next few months will be crazy. I have several weddings I'm doing, my 1-year anniversary show for SLURP! at Vlada. Many Halloween shows, then I will be back at New World Stages December 10th for A Paige Turner Christmas with lots of guest stars and special performances. Very much like a retro Xmas TV special! You can find me at or sit on my facebook and watch my demo!

So You Think You Can Drag - Finale
Wednesday, October 26th at 10:30 PM
Lower Theater Lobby of New World Stages
340 W. 50th Street
$5 COVER at the door

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Southern Comfort" - A Polished and Nuanced Production

Review by Rob Hartmann
Cross-posted from

Southern Comfort (playing through October 29th at CAP 21 Theatre Company) is a new musical adaption of Kate Davis’ award-winning 2001 documentary about the life and death of Robert Eads, a transgender man living in rural Georgia. This polished and nuanced production has the relaxed and comfortable feel of an off-Broadway hit enjoying a long run; the ensemble cast, lead by Annette O’Toole in a striking performance as Eads, creates a world that feels authentic, lived-in and familiar.

The musical (like the documentary) follows Eads in the last year of his life, from Easter through the following winter. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, found it difficult to find proper medical treatment, as doctors and hospitals claimed their other patients would be made uncomfortable by his presence.

Although the gradual progress of Eads’ illness provides the underlying tension, the musical does not wallow in sentimentality or anger. Instead, the smart and understated book and lyrics by Dan Collins chronicle the close-knit community of individuals surrounding Eads, detailing their family rituals and traditions in tiny Toccoa, Georgia. Robert sings in the opening sequence of a backyard Easter celebration:

Family’s an iceberg we ride into the sea
The parts that break away we gotta lose.
But it could melt entirely and I know I’ll still be
Kept above the water by the family I choose.

Jeff McCarthy (as Lola Cola, left)
and Annette O'Toole (as Robert Eads)
Photo by Matthew Murphy
At the Easter gathering, Robert has invited his new girlfriend, Lola Cola, to meet his “chosen family”, who gather every Sunday: transman Cas and his wife, Stephanie (Todd Cerveris and Robin Skye); and Maxwell, a young transman (the impish Jeffrey Kuhn) who has a sometimes-testy father-and-son relationship with Robert. Lola (played by Urinetown’s Jeff McCarthy, in a sharp performance which evokes a mixture of Allison Janney and Anjelica Huston with a basso Kathleen Turner voice), is less comfortable in her own skin than the others. In one of the standout songs of the evening, “Bird”, Lola sings of her desire to escape her masculine frame and deep voice, as she strips away her women’s attire to resume her everyday male identity, John, proprietor of a heating-and-cooling repair shop.

In the song, McCarthy duets with a member of the band, Lizzie Hagstedt (also playing bass), whose pure soprano is what Lola wishes her own voice could be. Hagstedt and three other actor-musicians (Allison Briner on percussion, David M. Lutken on guitar and Joel Waggoner on violin) function as singing storytellers, occasionally stepping into the story in the roles of outsiders (primarily medical personnel and estranged parents – including standout work from Briner and Lutken as Eads’ mother and father, who stubbornly call him by his birth name, Barbara.) Astonishingly, they all play the score from memory (led by music director and pianist Emily Otto.)

As time passes, Lola becomes part of the circle, while Maxwell finds a girlfriend of his own, transwoman Cori.  As the group prepares to attend Southern Comfort, the annual Atlanta transgender conference, conflict arises between Robert and Maxwell over the younger man’s decision to pursue phalloplasty – what the characters refer to as “the bottom surgery.” The script delves into the conflicting opinions surrounding the procedure without becoming didactic.

ROBERT: This is crazy.  We always agreed that man or woman was about what’s in your heart and your head, not between your legs.

MAXWELL: Then why’d we start takin’ testosterone?  Why’d we get the top surgery? 

ROBERT: That’s just about bein’ able to function out in the open as who we are without gettin’ ourselves killed. We gotta pass.

MAXWELL: Well, I want to pass more.

ROBERT: So what does that make me?

MAXWELL: Ain’t about you, it’s about me.

ROBERT: Like Hell it ain’t about me.  You think what’s happenin’ to me – my cancer –  is just Barbara eatin’ me up inside cuz I ain’t real.

Being ‘real’ and what that means is one of the central themes of the story: in the CAP21 space, the audience surrounds the stage – throughout the evening, you are aware of watching the audience watch the performers. This awareness adds an extra layer of tension to the performance – underlining the constant stress the characters are under to “pass.”   Unlike some film-to-stage adaptations, the piece reveals itself to be innately theatrical because it is so much about the actors’ performance of gender, in every variation. This aspect of the show is distilled in the joyous and energetic second act song “Walk the Walk”, when Cori (a luminous Natalie Joy Johnson) leads a seminar on ‘Sensual Feminine Movement’ at Southern Comfort:

Cuz a girl ain’t what she’s wearin’
And a boy ain’t how he’s born.
You’re the moves you make n’ they gotta take you
Past the things you’ve worn
Cuz what a body is or not
Is just a whole lot a’ talk
You gotta walk the walk.

Annette O'Toole (as Robert Eads)
Photo by Matthew Murphy
The cast’s work is subtle, detailed and completely believable. Annette O’Toole, perhaps most widely known for her role as Martha Kent on Smallville, throws herself into the role of Robert Eads in a fearless and full-bodied performance. Her voice, throaty and clear, is well-suited to composer Julianne Wick Davis’ folk and bluegrass score. Davis, also responsible for orchestration, builds interesting instrumental textures, and sensuous, layered vocal harmonies. The music is at times restrained, at times soaring, finding rhythmic complexity in the folk idiom. Occasionally the density of the text setting makes lyrics difficult to catch on first hearing, but the joy of hearing natural, unforced and unmiked voices in the intimate space is worth losing a word or two here and there. Davis makes clever use of vocal ranges, often placing male and female voices in unison.

Robin Skye (as Stephanie, left)
and Todd Cerveris (as Cass)
Photo by Matthew Murphy
The costumes, by Patricia E. Doherty, instantly define character in their bulls-eye specificity, from Robert’s western-cut leather jacket with bolo tie to Lola’s Talbot’s-pantsuit ensembles; the warmly humorous Robin Skye as Stephanie wears Wal-mart pharmacy eyeglass frames exactly right for a particular type of Southern trailer-park gal whose culinary specialty is Snickers salad (“Snickers, green apples, cool whip and vanilla puddin’.  Secrets in the puddin’.  It’s gotta be instant!”) The hair and wig design by David Brian Brown, along with April Schuller’s makeup design, bring the characters to fully realized life, while never veering into Southern-eccentric caricature. The hair and makeup work comes into play in one small but moving moment when Cas (the low-key and affecting Todd Cerveris) shaves off his beard, as he prepares to visit the family who only know him as their daughter Debbie.

The set, by James J. Fenton, transforms the small CAP21 black box into Robert’s weathered porch and backyard. Shelves illuminated by small sconces filled with curios and bric-a-brac line the walls: closer inspection reveals that the objects are totems of masculinity and femininity (a toy truck, a ‘Skipper’ doll carrying case, a tobacco can.) In one subtle effect, the sconces light up during Robert’s song about his childhood, “Barbara”, illuminating actual photos of Robert Eads as a young girl.  (Careful observers will also spot a small photo of Eads as you enter the theater.)

The beautifully textured lighting design, by Ed McCarthy, manages to depict not only the Georgia sun in every seasonal variation from summer to winter, but also the unforgiving harshness of blue-white hospital lights for several crucial sequences.

Thomas Caruso’s fluid direction nimbly handles the script’s shifts from naturalistic scenes to documentary-style direct address, to the more abstract moments when the musicians enter the story as peripheral characters. The pace is leisurely at times, but does not drag: Caruso trusts that the small, nuanced moments of the story will hold our interest (which they do), and does not try to rush the story unduly.

Southern Comfort is also very funny: bookwriter Collins deftly punctuates the script with sly humor that feels true to the characters. The script handles the more emotional moments skillfully, never descending into oversentimentality or cliché. The show stealthily builds to an emotional climax: a substantial percentage of the audience was reaching for tissues to dab at suddenly-moist eyes. The message of Southern Comfort is universal and simple:

            Down with living your life under there.
            Up with spring.
            Oh, spring up everywhere.

With Southern Comfort, CAP21 continues their tradition of presenting intelligent and moving new musicals. One hopes that this production will find the backing it needs to make the transition to an open-ended run. This is a powerful evening.

Southern Comfort runs through October 29 at the CAP21 Black Box Theater, 18 West 18th Street. Show times are Wednesday-Saturday at 7 PM.

Tickets are $18 and are available through OvationTix or online at

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Matt Alber Hides Nothing For His Provincetown Debut

Interview by Greg Waagner
Photo by Rob Davidson

On Saturday, October 8th, the Crown and Anchor welcomes Matt Alber to the Paramount for his Provincetown singing debut. Alber released his solo album, "Hide Nothing," in November of 2008, an autobiographical and sentimental collection of love songs reminiscent of singers like Ben Folds, Iron & Wine and Imogen Heap, all of whom Alber counts as influences. Matt enjoyed five years, seven albums and two Grammy awards as a soprano in America's premier classical a cappella ensemble, Chanticleer.

As Matt prepared in Seattle for his first weekend in Provincetown, GT-NYC's Greg Waagner called from the Cape to catch up with the singer about music and life and the upcoming release of Matt’s as-of-yet untitled second album.

Greg Waagner: I won’t be coy, Matt. I think "Hide Nothing" is a beautiful collection of music, and I have no sense that I’m alone in this estimation.

Matt Alber: Aww, thanks Greg.

GW: Have you been surprised by responses to your album?

MA: Yes, all the time.

GW: How so?

MA: I’m surprised every time people show up for the concert, even after three years. I keep thinking this time it’ll be all over and no one will be there. But they do.  They keep showing up…and it’s great, and you all really seem to like what I’m doing.

GW: Matt, thank you. I heard “End of the World” for the first time at exactly the ideal moment for me to do so. I already had the breaking heart, but your song - and delightful video - made it okay to feel all the pain and complicated emotions while still shining that ray of sunlight on the hope for what would come after. The power of the song is that it comes from your own real experience. What’s it been like sharing something so personal?

MA: I wrote that on a bus in San Francisco, remember scribbling on a bank statement as it all came to me, notes, chords… and started to feel like it wanted to be a song. Maybe a good one. It’s been cool how this one song has introduced me to so many people.

GW: Did singing him the song get your guy back up in that giant balloon?

MA: What? Oh, it did not. It didn’t work very well in that regard.

GW: But what a song. Your music resonates with honesty and hope and seems to go hand-in-hand with so many great things we’ve seen recently: advances in marriage equality, the It Gets Better campaign, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. How does it feel to be some part of that, to be making the sort of music that you must have longed to hear as a gay kid growing up in Missouri?

MA: I’m grateful to have survived life as gay kid, to have grown up to be where we are now. I remember, as a little kid, watching a Superman movie and imagining what it would be like to be Lois, to be there in the Fortress and lay my head on a strong man’s chest, to fly with him. You’re right, there is this wave of momentum and it does feel good to be some part of it. It’s good to let young people know that they’re okay, that they have every right love someone, to hold hands. But it’s a little bittersweet, too. It’s exciting to be in the cities of change – New York, San Francisco, Seattle and so on – but in places not at all far away from those cities are other places where there’s nothing for the same kids, except maybe the Internet, with no protections or safety.

There’s a church not far from here that has a program called The Tower of Light, which is essentially teaching young homosexuals that they should “find their holiness” by rejecting what they feel, who they are. It’s outrageous. And I try to figure out why it works and I see how they can suck these kids in and prey on their fears and shame and such that comes of the dark places a young queer kid is still forced to go to find answers, which is usually some cruising spot or Internet sex hook-up website. And all the while they have to sneak around, because ‘it’s wrong.’ They’re told it’s wrong and shameful. And I’m not saying get rid of Manhunt or Craigslist or whatever, those things are fine for adults, but its too easy to click a button and say ‘sure, I’m eighteen’ and find yourself into something more than you were ready for.

GW: I seem to recall at a younger age I really just wanted to talk to someone who felt the same way about things as I did, somebody I could ask all kinds of questions of. Perhaps that’s one of the coolest things about “It Gets Better”, that it is – I hope – something that queer kids can easily find on the Internet that gives them some reason to believe.

MA: Yes, exactly. Dan and Terry hit the nail on the head with this. It Gets Better is so amazing, so positive. We need to keep creating more positive and visible, accessible safe places for young gay kids. We need to keep asking the question, how to make it better. Answering those questions and being part of the change, that makes better futures.

I guess we should be talking about the music more.

[It’s at this point the interviewer wishes he’d had the presence of mind to point out that we were, still, talking about Matt’s music, that he is already creating safe friendly spaces for queers young and old, with his songs about romance and love and heartache and holding hands, songs in which pronouns don’t need to be changed. Songs about self-discovery, like "Monarch," or gay history like "Beotia," in which he pays tribute to the Sacred Band of Thebes and in so doing reminds us there was once a strong and brave army of male lovers who can’t be erased from history.]

GW: Matt, I think we’re all lucky you’ve decided to explore a solo career, but you’ve spent so much of your life involved with chorale groups one way or another. Chorale singing is the sort of powerful experience that sticks with a person. Do you miss it? Are you singing with a chorus these days?

MA: Yes. Yes! I’m blessed to be able to sing with the chorale ensemble Conspirare - which means “to breath together” in Latin - in Austin, Texas. The group was started by Craig Hella Johnson, who brought me into Chanticleer back in San Francisco. In early December there’s a sort of non-Christmas Christmas concert: there’s so very much to celebrate in the season beyond Christ and we have a great time.

GW: Your show at the Crown and Anchor this Saturday is, I believe, your singing debut in Provincetown, but is this also your first trip to the Cape of Cods?

MA: Yes, finally! Ever since I saw the movie “Splash” I’ve wanted to visit the Cape. It’s where he meets Daryl Hannah. So often I’ve wanted to dive into the sea and the arms of a beautiful mer-man.

GW: So Matt, are you traveling with a Field Trip Buddy to Provincetown this weekend?

MA: Yes, my boyfriend’s coming along on the trip and we’re looking forward to it.

GW: What’s on your Must See/Must Do list for the weekend?

MA: We don’t really have a list. We’ll be on the red-eye Wednesday, so at first just a lot of recovery from that, but we’re looking forward to walking around and taking it all in, exploring the town. Saturday is the concert, so most of that day I’ll be rehearsing, getting ready for that. You might find us out dancing at some point.

What about you, Greg? Are you bringing a Field Trip buddy to the show?

GW: Oh, no. Not really. I guess I’m sort of comfortably single these days. But it has been about three years now since the End of the World, so I keep an open mind. For now I’m content to be in love with our whole tribe.

MA: Three’s a magic number, you know. Better bring that open mind on Saturday. Sometimes things happen at my shows, between the people who show up. I’m just saying.

GW: And are there still Field Trip Buddy t-shirts available through your marketing people (or suitcase)?

MA: There are only about ten left, sadly all Mediums. I promise we’ll do another run once we get the new album out.

GW: "Hide Nothing" holds such delightful diversity. What can we expect from the new album in November? Is there a working title?

MA: I have a couple ideas I’m considering. Maybe “These Tall Tales”…o r “Taller Tales.”

GW: T-a-l-e-s?

MA: Ha, yes. Or maybe “Atoms”.

GW: Like molecules? That’s kinda catchy… and there’s the whole homophone thing. Adams.

MA: …like Atom and Steve…

GW: Yah, like that. Can you tell us about some of the new tunes you’re most excited about, or are you all about building suspense for the show on Saturday?

MA: I do wanna try out some new stuff. I haven’t decided yet. If I’m feeling really brave, you might hear “Old Ghosts”. You may hear “Wallingford.” It’s a neighborhood in Seattle, where Dave Matthews is from. But it’s not about that, but an incredible date I went on there once…

GW: I can’t wait for the concert. What else would you like us to know, Matt?

MA: Whatever I call the new album, I’ll be releasing it on November 15th. Watch my website at for all the details. And come join us at the show in Provincetown Saturday night!

The Crown and Anchor presents Matt Alber: One Night Only.

Saturday, October 8th, 2011.
8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35/$25 and available online at
Preferred seating for Central House Dinner Patrons.
The Crown and Anchor, 247 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA.

(508) 487-1430

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Looking for something to do today?  Check out Noċtú, the dance performance that Judd Hollander of calls, "one of the best shows of the 2011-2012 season and one that should definitely be seen by all - and as many times as possible."

Check out some amazing photos from the show (Photos by Carol Rosegg).


Dancers: Jack Anderson, Peta Anderson, Ellen Bonner, Orlagh Carty, Joseph Comerford, Niamh Darcy, Gyula Glaser, James Greenan, Kyla Marsh, Megan McElhatton, Ashlene McFadden, Kienan Melino, Nick O'Connell, Katrina O'Donnell, Aislinn Ryan, Callum Spencer

Conceived and directed by Breandán de Gallaí
Lighting Design: Michael O'Connor
Costume Design: Nikki Connor
Original Music: Joe Csibi
Script Consultant Seán De Gallaí

Irish Repertory Theatre
132 West 22nd Street
Tickets: 212-727-2737 or
Running Time: 75 Minutes

Closes: October 2, 2011