Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Temperamentals

Reviewed by Andrew Holinsky for "The Alternative"

The Temperamentals, written by Jon Marans and directed by Michael Matthews, is as an entertaining LBGT history lesson based on historical facts behind the origins of the Mattachine Society, one of the first LBGT activist organizations. The play, set in Los Angeles early 1950s, centers around Harry Hay, Rudi Gernreich, Chuck Rowland, and Bob Hull, their forming of the Mattachine Society, the love affair between Harry and Rudi, coming out publically (as being gay) in fighting police entrapment, McCarthyism, and concludes with the quartet resigning from the Mattachine Society board as a result of their philosophical differences and direction of the budding LGBT rights movement.

The play reveals an era where men choose marriage to conceal his homosexuality as well as for career reasons and touch in public by two men was all but explicitly forbidden. The play focuses on the early activism of the four founders of the Mattachine Society. Each has a different background though any gay man today can relate to all four. While the play is set in the early 1950s the underlying themes are just as relevant today.

The set by Kurt Boetcher is superbly designed to fit the era and tight theatre space. Dennis Christopher perfectly channeled Harry Hay. The rest of the cast was remarkable as well. This is a must see play for gays and straights and a fun way to learn some history.

The play is performing through June 5th at 2nd Stage Theater, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd, in Hollywood, CA.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rise Up and Shout! Voices of the Next Gay Generation

Rise Up And Shout! empowers gay and lesbian youth. Bridging the generation gap between the gay elders leading the community and the gay youth struggling through the coming out process, Rise Up And Shout! brings the two groups together in a year-long mentoring relationship. Through this process, the youth find, develop and finally showcase their unique voices in a performance event.

Rise Up And Shout! began in 2006 when Don Kilhefner, co-founder of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, and Mark Thompson, former editor of The Advocate sat down together to try and figure out a way to reach the thousands of gay and lesbian youth in area schools, many of whom had no contact with the larger gay community. Kilhefner and Thompson put together a team of activists, artists and other leaders to reach out to the youth by bringing community directly to them. Through auditions, one-on-one and group support meetings, education, rehearsals and the production and direction of the performance itself, Rise Up And Shout! helped usher in the next generation of gay and lesbian youth.

A wonderful evening to explore the talents of Queer youth in the Los Angeles area. The eveining featured talent by fifteen very dynamic youth and emceed by John Quale aka Price Poppycock. To get more information go to Riseupandshout.com

Love the show and loved the kids.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


By Andrew Holinsky for "The Alternative"

Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, currently performing on select Mondays through June 27th at The Renberg Theatre at the LAGLC’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza, is a series of 9 one acts plays performed by a rotating celebrity cast focusing on various aspects of gay marriage. The performance for May 9th featured Jay Harrington, Peter Paige, John Rubenstein, Peri Gilpin, Rachael Harris, and Julie Hagerty.

The entire ensemble performed the superbly satirical though poignant On Facebook by Doug Wright. Julie Hagerty displayed her dynamic range in The Gay Agenda by Paul Rudnick. With a portion of the proceeds going to the LAGLC, Standing on Ceremony is a perfect way to enjoy a night at the theater and support a worthy cause.