Saturday, September 27, 2014

NYTimes LensBlog : Gay Africans Seeking Asylum in New York

NYTimes LensBlog : Gay Africans Seeking Asylum in New York

By Fayemi Shakur
Photos By Rahima Gambo

Nigeria’s passage of a law criminalizing same-sex relationships drew immediate international outrage earlier this year. In New York, gay activists held protests outside the Nigerian government’s offices, something that amazed Rahima Gambo. With so much of life hidden in Nigeria, she said, nothing so bold would have happened there.

That realization led Ms. Gambo, a Nigerian photographer raised in London, to explore the lives of the growing number of gay men who have fled to the United States seeking asylum and a chance to live freely. It was during the March protest in New York that she met Saheed Ipadeola, a young man living in Brooklyn who introduced her to other asylum seekers. They shared their stories in ways that would never be seen in Nigerian media, which she said reduced them to stereotypes without dignity.

Click on the above Link for full text and photos

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Film Society to Present Complete John Waters Retrospective in September

John Waters retrospective at the Film Society

Get ready for some of the "filthiest people alive" heading once again to the big screen. The Film Society of Lincoln Center will celebrate legendary director and personality John Waters's five decades in filmmaking with a complete retrospective, the first in the United States. The event, titled Fifty Years of John Waters: How Much Can You Take?, will be comprised of his 12 features, including Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Polyester, Hairspray, Serial Mom, and his first two, Mondo Trasho and Multiple Maniacs,

John Waters interview with the Film Society

John Waters began moving the pendulum of taste and decorum on the big screen, remarkably, 50 years ago this year. The Baltimore native who brought filth to the big screen in such romps as Mondo Trasho (1969), Multiple Maniacs (1970), Pink Flamingos (1972), and Female Trouble (1974) made his first short, Hag In a Black Leather Jacket, in 1964. Together with his high-school friend turned on-screen muse Divine, Waters paved a filmmaking DIY ethos decades before crowdfunding, social media, and the Internet made going it alone (or relatively so) plausible.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

James Baldwin street renaming Aug 2

The Year of James Baldwin: A 90th Birthday Celebration

August 2, 2014 3:00pm

A consortium of cultural organizations throughout New York City are uniting to declare 2014-15 The Year of James Baldwin on what would have been the great American essayist, novelist, playwright, poet, and activist James Baldwin’s 90th year (he was born in Harlem on August 2, 1924).

This commemoration of James Baldwin on the occasion of his 90th birthday will take place on Saturday, August 2, 2014, 12 Noon, culminating in the renaming of a section of West 128th Street as “James Baldwin Place,” in honor of the work, life, and legacies of one of the greatest writers and thinkers of the past century.!year-of-baldwin/c1hmz

Monday, July 28, 2014

No Strings Attached

Monty and Luis have had a happy romantic partnership for ten years. A chance encounter with Stefan, a sexy, mysterious waiter, disrupts their cozy lives: both Monty and Luis have a secret connection to him. Monty comes from a happy Italian family; Luis was raised over a bar by his shady Grandma. Stefan has trouble pinning down exactly where he came from though parts of his past are on display all over the internet. The three men’s lives intertwine in a number of surprising, romantic and potentially devastating ways. No Strings Attached stars Casey Burden as Monty, Afrim Gjonbalaj as Luis and Kevin Perez as Stefan and is directed by Robert Teague.“There are so many hot men in New York and I want to f—k all of them. If I can’t I would at least like a representative sampling.”

No Strings Attached (originally titled NSA) premiered at the Stage Left’s Left Out Festival in April with two sold-out performances. NY Theater Now, said: “Three highly individual, richly fleshed-out characters. They behave like real people rather than constructs or archetypes. It’s a real privilege to spend time with them…indulging along with them in their fantasies and foibles. We care for them when our time with them is over.”

Igrejas’ previous plays include Shrinkage, Kitty and Lina, Miss Mary Dugan, Hassan and Sylvia (both won Fresh Fruit Festival Best Play Awards), Margarita and Max (winner Best Short Play, Midtown Festival).

Info and tickets.

Running time – 90 minutes

All performances are at Stage Left Studio, 214 West 30th Street, 6th floor, NYC. Convenient to the A,C,E,B,D,F,N,R,1,2 and 3 lines

Tickets $18 (plus $2 ticketing surcharge)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Anthem: The Musical with Randy Jones of the Village People

Anthem: The Musical

Directed, Choreographed & Designed by Rachel Klein
Featuring Jason Gotay, Remy Zaken with Jenna Leigh Green
and Randy Jones of the Village People as the evil overlord, Tiberius!
Culture Project's Lynn Redgrave Theater
45 Bleecker Street
New York NY 10012

Information at the link:

LINK: Athem: The Musical

BAM presents Everybooty

BAM presents
Curated by SPANK, HEY QUEEN!, Earl Dax, and Big Art Group
Everybooty returns to BAM to celebrate Pride month Brooklyn style. Featuring the city’s hottest LGBT artists and DJs, with installations, music, performances, dancing, and drinks filling the BAM Fisher from basement to rooftop until 2am.

Click on the link for more information and tickets

LINK: BAM presents Everybooty Brooklyn Pride Party

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

29x/y - A New Play By Marcus Yi

Having seen The Procedure, we were eager to see Marcus Yi's latest play. If you're in NYC this coming weekend and have an appetite for raw, experimental, youthful, casual and fun theater, your last chance to see his 29x/y will be Saturday at 11AM or Sunday at 1:30PM.

From the author's website: "29x/y is a collage theater piece. 29 segments written in 29 days in the 29th year of the playwrights life, this is a play that fuses monologues, songs, dance and experiments in theatrical statements. Confessional monologues from a bathhouse, fag hag haters, dysfunctional ex-lovers, dancing Republicans, eccentric want-ads and Super Mario fetishists all make an appearance to help you understand the meaning of 29x/y."

I'm glad I went, but I remain convinced that what Yi needs is a good editor because the contents of both plays range from the very good to the very bad. For instance, in 29x/y, there is a slide show on a side wall of the theater going on during the play. It adds nothing to what happens on stage. After the play, I learned that in an earlier production elsewhere, those slides were an integral part of the set, forming the background to the action. The logistics of this performance space did not permit that, so Yi chose to have someone sitting in the front row working a slide projector aimed at one side of the audience space. No. (If you go, try to ignore the slides and the awful light from the projector.)

Surprisingly funny—because as a gimmick it could have been both annoying and flat— were two scenes in which the characters repeat only one word or phrase, such as "whatever," throughout the bit. I'd gladly watch those scenes again.

29x/y contains a whole slew of really good young actors who perfectly inhabit Yi's material. They seem very much at home in his head where they frequently and smoothly rearrange the furniture and the action giving us a well-paced composite that is engaging and humorous.

Two performers stand out. Caroline Mahoney elevates a bit about hamsters with adroit and polished delivery adding savory ingredients to the material.

Monique Sanchez has that rare and indefinable kind of stage presence that doesn't allow you to take your eyes off her.  Her delivery is instinctive. While others have to tell their face or limbs what to do on stage, she seems to simply flip a switch at each entrance and suddenly the lighting and the action around her seem brighter. Watching her, I kept thinking of Julie Halston or Christine Baranski. I hope she has a long and wonderful performing career.

29x/y is a "Hey, it is what it is" kind of play. Marcus Yi continues to pursue his colorful route as a playwright like someone blindfolded and rowing a boat under the Bow Bridge in Central Park. He'll take us on a lively ride, bumping into things that almost capsize us. A good editor/advisor would make for a smoother excursion, but we don't say no to the possibility of future outings.

Paradise Factory, at 64th E. 4th St New York NY 10003.