Monday, January 17, 2011

Collection of “It Gets Better”

If you don’t know by now, the “It Gets Better Project” is columnist Dan Savage’s response to teen bulling and suicide. The videos are very moving and touching. The first video is a CNN news story. Employees of Facebook made the second video. I know a couple of the people in the video. The third is an outstanding music video by the comedian Rebecca Drysdale. The fourth one is just funny: “It Gets Bitter”.

Dan Savage on CNN - Gays Most Targeted Minority


It Gets Better: Facebook Employees


It Gets Better: a music video by Rebecca Drysdale


It Gets Bitter with Matt Siegel


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GuyDads 2010 Theatre Wrap-up

2010 began for us with Ed still recovering from cancer surgery and with a major surgery still to go in April. Our usual number of about 100 plays, musicals, and operas attended thus fell a bit this past year to “only” 76. (Somehow, even in April when Ed spent a week in the hospital, we still saw 6 productions!)

For a complete list of our 76 productions and our ratings/summaries, go to

So, looking back, here is our “TOPS OF 2010” lists:

Top Ten Plays and Musicals We Saw in the SF Bay Area

#1: Or, - Liz Duffy Adams, Magic Theatre 
[Aphra Behn, former spy and soon to become England's first professional female playwright if she can finish the script. All that’s standing in her way are King Charles II, actress Nell Gwynne, and double agent William Scot. Double-crossing, cross-dressing, sex, art, and politics all come together in this hilarious bodice-ripper.]

#2: Superior Donuts - Tracy Letts, TheatreWorks[A story of a former '60s radical who owns a rundown donut shop in Chicago and his energetic but troubled young African American assistant who wants to update the establishment with lively music and healthy menu options.]

#3: Equivocation - Bill Cain, Marin Theatre Company 
[What if the government commissioned William Shakespeare to write the definitive history of a national crisis, the Powder Plot, in one of his plays.]

#4: Girlfriend - Todd Almond, Matthew Sweet, Berkeley Rep
 [Boy meets Boy in this two-character chamber/juke box musical that celebrates the pain and joy of first love with a Matthew Sweet playlist.]

#5: …and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi - Marcus Gardley, The Cutting Ball Theater
 [A fable of Demeter & Persephone and Jesus. A father flees the bonds of slavery and travels the river in search of his family.]

#6: In the Wake - Lisa Korn, Berkeley Rep 
[Lesbian drama that's a wild ride through the frustrations of the urban left during the Bush II years.]

#7: Opus - Michael Hollinger, TheatreWorks
 [A behind-the-scenes look at a string quartet. Forced to find a new member just days before an appearance, they are caught in a crescendo of talent and personality, their collaboration tested and their art insecure.]

#8: Jerry Springer: The Opera - Richard Thomas, Stewart Lee, Ray of Light Theatre
 [A crudely delightful yet heartbreaking operatic farce. "How does our American obsession with confessional and reality television, our aspirations for empty fame, and our glee at sneering over the mistakes of others function like a national religion?"]

#9: In the Red and Brown Water - Tarell Alvis McCraney, Marin Theatre Company 
[Part 1/3 "The Brother/Sisters Plays". Based loosely on "Yerma," Federico Garcia Lorca's 1934 tragedy of a woman tortured by her failure to produce a child. It also draws on a West African source -- Yoruba mythology. The woman, Oya, is a goddess of wind and fertility.]

#10: Scapin - Molière, Bill Irwin, Mark O'Donnell, A.C.T.
 [A lively baggy-pants comedy, the rascally Scapin balances his penchant for mayhem and mischief with a promise to help two pairs of wide-eyed lovers.]

Honorable Mention: A Christmas Memory - Truman Capote, Duane Poole, Larry Grossman, Carol Hall, TheatreWorks[New musical based on Capote's short story. A wistful memoir of cherished youth—a shy boy and his eccentric cousin launch kites, haunt speakeasies, and mail fruitcake to the President!]

Top Plays and Musicals We Saw in New York in July

(Actually, we really liked everything we saw this year except Mamet’s Race; but of the 14 productions, these six really stood out for us.)

#1: Memphis, the Musical - Joe DiPietro, David Bryan, 
[Sex and race and rock ’n’ roll, , a white radio DJ whose love of good music transcends race lines and airwaves in the turbulent south in the 1950s. The musical workshopped and premiered at our local TheatreWorks]

#2: La Cage aux Foilles - Jerry Herman, Harvey Fierstein, (Kelsey Grammer, Douglas Hodge) 
[The story of a gay couple who run a transvestite nightclub in St Tropez. The plot expands when their son declares to marry a woman that is a daughter of a moral crusader.]

#3: Lend Me a Tenor - Ken Ludwig, [An uproarious farce blending slapstick with classical opera, the play recounts the travails of world-famous tenor performing in a small city.]

#4: Fences - August Wilson, (Denzel Washington, Viola Davis)
 [Explores the life and relationships of Troy Maxson, an activist-minded trash-collector and former baseball hero. The protagonist represents the struggle for justice and fair treatment during the 1950s.]

#5: Promises, Promises - Neil Simon, Burt Bacharach, Hal David, (Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenoweth) 
[Based on the film The Apartment by Billy Wilder. it’s Manhattan in all its 1960’s and bachelor Chuck has what some of his colleagues desire: an apartment for fooling around.]

#6: Next Fall - Geoffrey Nauffts, [Two gay men, one very religious and one agnostic, are partners and lovers. Their relationship is so fun and funny until tragedy enters the scene.]

Top Operas We Saw in SF in 2010

(All 10 San Francisco Operas were outstanding overall. We were totally pleased with the year’s offerings.)

#1: The Marriage of Figaro - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, [Servants are preparing to wed, but the Count wants the woman for himself. Meanwhile, the pageboy Cherubino is panting after the Count’s wife while the governess is chasing Figaro. In the end, Figaro gets his bride, and the estranged Count and Countess reunite.]

#2: Aida - Giuseppe Verdi, [Bitter Egyptian love triangle. A captured Ethiopian princess comes between a military commander, Radames, and Pharaoh's daughter Amneriss.]

#3: Cyrano de Bergerac - Franco Alfano, Henri Cain, (with Plácido Domingo) 
[An operatic adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s celebrated play.]

#4: Die Walküre - Richard Wagner, [A epic tale of an emotionally volatile father, Wotan, and his disobedient children (Siegmund & Brünnhilde) done with a distinctly American touch while honoring its mythic roots.]

And the WOrst??

In every season, there will be some productions that just do not cut it. We all should expect that. But why must ACT in SF continue always to have 1-2 of the worst things we see on the list each year? This year, two of the VERY worst things we saw were there:

1. The Caucasian Chalk Circle - Bertolt Brecht, Domenique Lozano, A.C.T. (dir. John Doyle)
 [Left at intermission. The only time we did so this year! Attend the tale of ...John Doyle's approach to Brecht's parable about contested motherhood.]

2. The Tosca Project - Carey Perloff, Val Caniparoli, A.C.T.
 [An uninspired interpretive dance work based on a cultural timeline and the SF North Beach bar, Tosca Cafe. Joint work of ACT actors and SF Ballet dancers.]

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Another Birthday, Rock and Roll for January 9

I celebrate another birthday today. As a "baby boomer" I relate to it in rock-n-roll terms:
Born on this day, 1941, Joan Baez, folk rock singer/songwriter, (1971 No.3 single 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down').

1943, Kenneth Kelley, vocals, The Manhattans, (1976 No.1 single 'Kiss And Say Goodbye').

1943, Dick Yount, guitar, vocals, Harper's Bizarre, (1967 No. 13 single 'The 59th Street Bridge Song, Feelin' Groovy').

1944, Jimmy Page, guitarist and producer, member of the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin who had the 1969 US No.4 single 'Whole Lotta Love'. The bands fourth album released in 1971 featuring the rock classic 'Stairway To Heaven' has sold over 37 million copies. Formed The Honeydrippers, (with Robert Plant, Jeff Beck & Nile Rodgers) who had the 1984 US No.3 single 'Sea Of Love'. As a session guitarist in the 60's Page played on 'Here Comes The Night' by Them, 'Shout' by Lulu and The Who’s 'I Can’t Explain'.

1948, Tim Hart, guitar, vocals, Steeleye Span, UK folk group, (1975 UK No.5 single 'All Around My Hat'). Died on 24th Dec 2009.

1950, David Johansen, vocals, The New York Dolls, (1973 album 'New York Dolls'; single 'Looking for a Kiss'.) Now a solo artist and actor. Played Buster Poindexter in Saturday Night Live House band. (Single 'Hot Hot Hot').

1951, Crystal Gayle, singer, songwriter, (1977 US No.2 'Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue').

1963, Eric Erlandson, guitar, Hole, (1995 UK No.16 single 'Doll Parts').

1964, Phil Hartnoll, electronic dance, Orbital, (1996 UK No.11 single 'The Box').

1965, Haddaway, singer, (1993 UK No.2 'What Is Love').

1967, Dave Matthews, guitar, vocals, Dave Matthews Band. (1998 US No.1 album 'Before These Crowded Streets', 2001 US No.1 album 'Everyday'; single 'Crash Into Me').

1967, Steve Harwell, vocals, Smash Mouth, (1997 UK No.19 single 'Walkin' On The Sun').

1978, A.J. McLean, vocals, Backstreet Boys, (1997 US No.2 single 'Quit Playing Games With My Heart', 1999 UK No.1 single 'I Want It That Way').

Joan Baez (born 1/9/41) singing "Forever Young", a Bob Dylan song. The song was released on Dylan's 1974 record 'Planet Waves'. He wrote it after becoming a father and is based on a Jewish blessing.
“May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.”


Friday, January 07, 2011

A gay time in Fort Lauderdale

We spent just over 2 weeks in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Our holiday get-away was from December 18th to January 3rd. This was the third time in four years we have gone. (Last year we had to cancel our plans when I had to have my cancer operation.)

The pool at the Worthington Guesthouse and ResortThe first five days we stayed at The Worthington Guesthouse and Resort. It was the first time staying at this all male, gay resort. Friends of ours had stayed there before and recommended it. We had a nice large room with a kitchen. The place was clean and friendly. It had an interesting and fun mix of guests. A significant percentage of the guests were foreign. It is located two short blocks from the beach. It seemed to be a good value for the price.

Clothing Optional at Pineapple PointThe rest of the time we stayed at Pineapple Point Guesthouse and Resort where we have stayed at before. Pineapple Point is a first class, luxurious treat. It is pricy but the service and extra touches that the staff offers are amazing. Like us, many people return year after year. We have met some incredible people there. We have already booked our return reservation for next year.

We look forward to our return trips to Fort Lauderdale in order to visit friends we now have there. We have met people from the area on cruises we’ve taken, adventure travels we’ve done and from friends relocating to there. Most evenings we are out visiting someone.

Our typical day starts with a nice continental breakfast followed by several hours of relaxation around the pool, reading one of a dozen books we brought. In the late afternoon we go for a five-mile run along the beach and intracoastal waterways. We come back and get cleaned up for happy hour around the pool followed by dinner out. The evening is completed with a late night soak in the spa. On the few days that the weather wasn’t conducive to soaking up rays, we went shopping or movie watching. Saw “True Grit”, “The Fighter”, “Black Swan” and “I Love You Phillip Morris”.

There were a few new things we did this year:

Ed with Joe We attended the Joe.My.God readers meet-up at Georgie’s Alibi and met über gay blogger, Joe Jervis. Joe’s blog,, is a wonderful resource of GLBT news, culture, music and stories. If you are not reading him, I highly recommend that you start.

GuyDads pictured in a gay bar ragAnother activity we did was to go to a local benefit on a quite Monday night. I happened to see an ad for a GLBT fundraiser to purchase a vehicle for Father Bill Collins, founder of the Poverello Center and Food Bank. Poverello Center services the nutritional needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. The fundraiser was being held at a bar/male strip joint called Jonny’s. We thought it could be fun as well as supporting a worthy cause. As it turns out, I think we were the only “outsiders” there that didn’t know anyone. The entertainment was OK but I was expecting to see more strippers. We were soon bored and left after an hour. The following week I spied our picture in one of the “HOTshots” pictorials in HOTspots!, Florida’s largest gay publication. I think this is the first time we have been pictured in a gay bar rag.

Cashetta poses with EddieWe spent New Year’s Eve in Wilton Manors. Had dinner at Rosie’s Bar and Grill, hung out at Georgie’s Alibi, danced at Atomic Boom, and toasted the New Year at the outdoor block party hosted by the fabulous Cashetta.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...