Author Archives: Lewis

How Filthy Can You Be? I Am Divine Goes IndieGoGo

Do you remember your first Divine movie?  For me it was John Water’s Female Trouble at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.   As a young, queer man I squealed, applauded and felt empowered by the “bearish” drag queen, who literally and figuratively chewed the scenes and her fellow actors to shreds; prompting me immediately to demand to all my friends, that I wanted “cha-cha” heels for ‘Xmas.

As a chubby, gay, film loving, Asian-German-Irish hybrid, I always felt out of place amongst my peers but for the first time I felt like had found my inspiration; a fearless role model who manifested all the rebelliousness, sexual freedom and joyous anarchy that was pent up inside of me.

That’s why it’s important to support Jeffrey Schwarz’s upcoming documentary I AM DIVINE  because:

– Jeffrey does beautiful work capturing cultural icons who have helped shape and influence entertainment. Definitely check out his other films, Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story and Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon.

– The King of Trash, John Waters has given his blessing and Mink Stole is officially on-board too!

– There’s some groovy incentives to give: t-shirts, posters and even a chance to tell your friends, with a stogie in your mouth, that “I’m a producer!”

– And finally for those of you familiar with this drag icon, I’m sure I’m not alone in my feelings of liberation and respect for Divine’s work.  And for the uninitiated, this documentary will introduce a new generation to the life of one of the original “It Gets Better” stories.

I AM DIVINE, directed by Jeffrey Schwarz and produced by Schwarz and Lotti Pharriss Knowles, will premiere in the Summer of 2012.

IndieGoGo campaign page:
http://www.indiegogo.com/I-AM-DIVINE-Fan-Fundraising-Campaign

Website: http://divinemovie.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DivineMovie

Check out the official trailer at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzF6dwyzZH4

NBC’s Smash…Will it live up to it’s name?

by Lewis

NBC is offering previews for their 2011/2012 television season and I couldn’t help but get excited about  “Smash,” a musical drama that turns its lens behind the scenes of the creation of a Broadway production.  The trailer is pretty sharp but will it work and how queer will it be?  The show is set to be a mid-season replacement, as the pilot has just been picked up and they are currently filming. “Smash” could work because of:

The talent: Features Debra Messing of (“Will & Grace”) fame, Katherine McPhee ( “American Idol”),  Megan Hilty (“9 to 5: the Musical”),  Brian D’Arcy James (“Next to Normal”), Angelika Houston.

The One to Watch: It’s a strong cast but keep an eye on Megan Hilty. Not only is she  a total sweetheart but girl has some serious pipes.  She easily stepped into Dolly Parton’s high heels to play the beloved Doralee by equally paying homage yet making the character her own!

Queer meter: The trailer alone features queer comedian Kate Clinton, Katherine McPhee’s character auditions with “Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz, from the folks who brought you Chicago and Hairspray: queer producers Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Marc Shaiman, who also writes some of the music…and it’s about the creative process of Broadway = GAY! Continue reading

Meet JT: Neo-Victorian-Diesel-Steam Punk

by Lewis

JT in steampunk gear

Traveling for work gives me plenty of opportunities to meet colorful people from all over and experience a plethora of delightfully, eclectic experiences. In between gigs, I rest my weary head in the Midwest as it gives me a perspective on work and life experiences;  I can get pretty introspective at times. The energy is refreshingly different and what I’m finding is a strong, queer community beyond what I encounter in major cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, etc.  I was brought up as an army brat, so being in different cities is no big deal to me ; it groomed me to be pretty adaptable in fact and I look at it this way:  there is something appealing in every city because at the end of the day, it’s really what you make of it, right?

Courtesy of GCG Studios

When I touch down in Indianapolis to be with my boyfriend, we always find time to spend with JT and Paul, who are also recent transplants to the Midwest – there seems to be more of us every day. We often share stories of what our friends from either coasts will say, often from them just being naive (“Does Fedex go there?”)  or “snarky” (“There are gay people there?”) .  Sigh, we do hear it all.

One evening at dinner, JT mentioned about going to a steampunk event, which had me doing a double take. Continue reading

I’m a fan of…COSTELLO TAGLIAPIETRA

by Lewis

I love, LOVE fashion.  I think it comes from being raised by my mother, who is not only fashion forward but is savvy enough to juggle basic pieces with fresh accessories while exuding confidence with her bold color choices.  I remember when I was a small boy, how excited I would get when I found out my mom was heading out for the evening because it meant that she would put together a ‘look’ and I would get to watch her prepare it.  And sometimes, I got to give my input or help with a zip of a dress or even fetch a pair of high heels for her.  Made me feel like I was getting ready too!

Yours truly and mom, sporting some very trendy glasses!

When I moved to the East Coast a couple of years ago and was learning my way around the ‘bear’ scene in the gay community,  a friend of mine told me he had interviewed a ‘bear’ couple for ‘A Bear’s Life’ magazine who had their own fashion label:  Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra.  Could this be a dream mash-up for me? Bearish men who design clothing? Who work in the clothing industry, creating jersey dresses, silky skirts and body hugging suits for the modern woman?

Photo courtesy Nick Heavican

Continue reading

I’m a fan of…SCISSOR SISTERS

by Lewis

Photo Credit: David Sherry

I’ve seen them in concert fifteen times.  It’s gotten to the point where my friends tell me “Why don’t you just do publicity for them, since you talk about them all the time?”  Ever since I encountered their self-titled debut “Scissor Sisters” back in the Spring of 2004,  I just couldn’t get enough.  I remember my first experience with the Sisters in Philadelphia at the now defunct Khyber Club later that year. Two hundred people squeezed into a tiny club, on a chilly, September evening.

August 27, 2010 at Electric Factory - Philadelphia Photo credit: Lewis Tice

Sweat, moisture or god knows what, was dripping from the ceiling. Later on that evening, between songs, Ana Matronic remarked about how hot it was in the club and that “man broth” was literally dripping from the ceiling. My friend Erik S. and I squealed and suffice it to say, we were no longer Scissor Sister “virgins” that night; and I fell in love.  I proceeded to see their show three more times for the remainder of the year. Continue reading

Pink Screens = Celluloid Dreams Part II: Queer Films 2011

by Lewis

Pink Screens = Celluloid Dreams is back again, as we continue with another list of upcoming queer films that I’m excited about and are certainly worthy of your support. Thank you to a couple of our readers who gave me some recommends…keep the queer films coming!

WEEKEND
A film by Andrew Haigh
For those who caught Haigh’s previous film Greek Pete at film festival his latest garnered the 2011 SXSW Emerging Visions Audience Award. Turning its lens on two men who meet in a club and what starts off as a possible one-night stand becomes more meaningful and emotionally resonant.

Continue reading

The World’s a Gay Stage…At Least on Broadway!

by Lewis

Tribeca Film Festival has just announced their program (full details HERE) so that means I’ll be spending more time in New York watching films and seeing friends/colleagues from the industry. But it also gives me a chance to indulge in my other passion: THEATER!

I usually check out out TheaterMania.com) for the latest and greatest updates on the “Great White Way,” and this particular season, certainly seems to be the queerest, in a long time!! These are the shows I’m excited about seeing and maybe this list will inspire to take a chance and see a theatre production. There is just something infectiously wonderful about seeing a show come together in front of you; that organic, thrilling and voyeuristic feeling of watching the action unfolds. And even though it’s rehearsed, there still is the possibility of something spontaneous that could happen at that performance to make it a special, personalized experience. Continue reading