I have to say, the LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood yesterday did, at times, seems endless.
There were 130 entries!
At one point, I paraphrased Shirley MacLaine’s 1984 Oscar speech and posted on Facebook: “I’m gonna cry because this parade has been as long as my career!
But it was wonderful.
From the special group of “Pioneers” at the front of the parade (including retired LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl) to the grand marshal Demi Lovato who was the absolute last entry.
In between there was LA Mayor Eric Garcetti riding in the back of a convertible with a microphone so he could engage in repartee or just shout out: “Happy pride!”
I enjoyed when the mayor conversed in Spanish with Chico’s Angels who served as parade commentators and were, as usual, a hoot!
Close behind Garcetti was a fire truck filled with elected city officials including our openly gay controller Ron Galperin and our openly gay council members Mike Bonin and Mitch O’Farrell.
Also participating in the parade were Community Grand Marshals Jeff Zarillo and Paul Katami who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit that brought down California’s Proposition 8.
Other familiar faces in the parade included: World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Darren Young who came out last year; actor Wilson Cruz who came out 20 years ago; trans actress Candis Cayne, and outspoken attorney Gloria Allred who is a parade regular.
US Congressman Adam Schiff also rode in the parade one day after finishing the 545-mile AIDS LifeCycle – a seven-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Among the groups and businesses marching or riding in the parade were the LA LGBT Center, Lambda Legal, Project Angel Food, PFLAG, Outfest, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, GLAAD and Bank of America.
And many, many, many, many,. many more.
The parade kicked off the final day of the three-day festival in West Hollywood.
On Saturday night, festival grounds were packed for a highly-anticipated performance by Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson.
Her mini-concert was a lot of fun as was walking virtually the entire grounds of West Hollywood Park and visiting the booths, having some food and bumping into friends – and even making some new ones.
Sidenote: In past years, security has been absolutely over-the-top all during the parade along Santa Monica Boulevard. You would stick a toe over the curb and some deputy would ride over and scold you. This year it was very, very relaxed – until Demi Lovato was coming by. As if she was Queen Elizabeth, the deputies cleared the way as your royal pop highness rode by. She was lovely by the way.
Hugh Jackman is a host with the most as he proved once again as host of The Tony Awards.
The guy is phenomenally fit – you’d have to be to do all that bouncing!
Here is is very bouncy opening number.
Love Rosie O’Donnell and am so happy that she was presented with a special Tony Award last night for her commitment to helping provide arts education to students in New York City public schools.
‘To this day, sitting in a velvet seat and hearing the orchestra tune up is better than Prozac for me,’ Rosie told the crowd about how the theater provided an escape during a troubled childhood.
‘The best thing that ever happened to me in my life was getting to grow up on Long Island because just a Long Island railroad train away was the magic and beauty (of Broadway) that made me dream of a life better than the one I had.’
‘I always thought that if it was possible to stand at a stage door and see sweaty people that I had just watched perform magic on the stage, I knew there was a place to go.’
‘Hollywood was vague and an illusion. But Broadway was real and tangible and I touched those people as I waited outside the stage door with the waxy Playbill in my hand.’
Rosie received the Isabelle Stevenson Award which each year goes to a theater community member for their humanitarian, social service or charitable contributions. She is the founder of the nonprofit arts education foundation called Rosie’s Theater Kids. It provides students with training in dance, music and drama as well as mentoring programs and exposure to professional theater.
Rosie joked that in 10 years, she will tell people her Tony was for best performance by a featured actress in a musical: ‘Felt so bad for Kristin Chenoweth and Idina (Menzel), Betty Buckley, Patti LuPone. Those bitches didn’t win!’
In addition to hosting the Tonys three times, Rosie has graced the Broadway stage as a performer on several occasions including in productions of Grease, Seussical, and Fiddler on the Roof. She also produced the Broadway production of Taboo.
So yesterday I stood out on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood in the hot sun taking in the endless LA Pride Parade.
I do believe it was the longest the parade has ever been – at least it felt that way!
I believe there were 130 entries but it only felt like 230!
But hey, it’s always a blast to be around your people and to just see that endless parade of pride going by in front of you.
And, let’s face it, there is also an endless parade of hot men – most not wearing shirts.
So, I snapped some pics of them with you all in mind.
Did you watch tonight’s Tony Awards?
In case you did not, I’ve put together most of the acceptance speeches (Neil Patrick Harris’ is in the previous post) so you can see them if you missed them or want to see them again.
I’ll put together some of the performances in a post tomorrow.
Best Musical: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Best Revival of a Musical: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Jessie Mueller, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Best Play: All the Way
Best Revival of a Play: A Raisin in the Sun
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (Record sixth Tony and first performer to win Tony’s in the four different acting categories). “I want to thank all the shoulders of the strong and brave and courageous women that I am standing on,” she said. “I am standing on Lena Horne’s shoulders. I am standing on Maya Angelou’s shoulders. I am standing on Diahann Carroll, and Ruby Dee, and most of all Billie Holliday,” she said. “You deserve so much more than you were given when you were on this planet. This is for you, Billie.”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Mark Rylance, Twelfth Night
Neil Patrick Harris not only dazzled the Tony Award audience with a provocative number from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, he also won the Tony Award for lead best actor in a musical.
It’s the first Tony triumph for the four-time Emmy winner.
NPH said in his speech: “A year ago I was hosting the Tony’s, this is crazypants!”
He thanked all involved in the production and was sure to make special mention of costume and make-up people who transform him.
He said to fiance David Burtka: “I love you so much … thank you for your sacrifices and for putting up with me through all of this.”
Neil also promised kids Gideon and Harper that as soon as his Broadway run is over “I’ll be able to read books to you again and put you to sleep.”
Hedwig has also won the Tony for best revival of a musical.
BONUS VIDEO: NPH answersquestions from the press backstage after his win:
This is absolutely delicious!
Neil Patrick Harris steals the show at the Tony’s tonight with his performance of Sugar Daddy from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The real fun begins when he goes into the audience, licks Samuel L Jackson’s glasses, gives Sting a sexy lap dance and ends up sitting on the lap of cutie pie Kevin Bacon.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson sat down with some of this year’s Tony Award nominees in honor his second annual Tie the Knot Tony bow tie.
Watch as Audra McDonald, James Monroe Iglehart, Tom Kitt, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Brian J. Smith, and Sutton Foster, share insider information about their nominations, receive some words of advice from Jesse, and offer a few surprises.
Are you ready for tonight’s Tony Awards?
It will be great to have a singing and dancing Hugh Jackman back as host.
It’s the best of both worlds since four-time host Neil Patrick Harris is a nominee for Hedwig and the Angry Inch and will be performing as well.
In case you have been thinking of Hugh lately as Wolverine in the latest X-Men film, it seemed like a good idea to remind us all of what a great song and dance man he is.
Jonah Hill has a new movie coming out on Friday (22 Jump Street) which means he can’t duck the controversy surrounding his calling a photographer a “faggot” last weekend.
Unlike Alec Baldwin, Hill copped to having said the word, apologized profusely, and may not suffer any long-term damage a la Baldwin and Isaiah Washington in 2006.
Hill’s 22 Jump Street co-star Channing Tatum came to his defense this week in an interview with Extra:
Said Tatum: “I’ll jump in and just say that I think most of the time when people have to go on and sort of apologize for something it might not come off all that well because it’s not actually like what they mean. I can honestly say that is not who he is. It came off well and he did it well because he really means it, that wasn’t who he was that day.”
Melissa Etheridge and Linda Wallem were married last weekend in California.
The Grammy winner (and Oscar winner!) has posted on YouTube: “Here’s a clip from the song I sang to Linda as my vows. I wanted to share it with you…with Linda’s blessing.”
In one of the most competitive women’s finals in recent years, Maria Sharapova has just won the French Open for the second time.
Sharapova, competing in the finals in Paris for the third straight year, scored a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 victory against fourth-ranked Simona Halep of Romania.
I’ve never heard of Halep who will be ranked third on Monday.
But Sharapova has been one of her sport’s biggest stars for a decade and her win is a boost for a tour that has lacked true superstars in recent years outside of Serena Williams.
Speaking of superstars, one of the biggest in the history of the game presented Sharapova with the trophy: seven-time French Open champion Chris Evert who is now a commentator for ESPN.
Like Evert, Williams, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Margaret Court and Billie Jean King, Sharapova has won each of the sports big four titles – Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open and French Open – at least once,
Jonathan Groff is so, so good in HBO’s Looking which I am thrilled has been renewed for a second season.
One of the advantages of being on pay cable is that the sex scenes can be quite realistic.
In this panel discussion, Groff describes how a costume designer has designed an ‘anal cover’ for him to wear when his character is being rimmed by his sex partner.
‘The intimacy on Looking is challenging because we are in nothing but like a dick sock and an anal cover and our legs are in the air,’ he says.
Groff adds: ‘I feel like in some ways those scenes are the most challenging and easiest at the same time.’
I’ll be doing a lot of coverage of LA’s Outfest , one of my favorite events all years, in the coming weeks.
But wanted to give you a little preview since the full line-up has just been announced and my friend JD Disalvatore has just completed this terrific video reel of some highlights (see below).
Outfest promotes equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen and next month marks its 32nd film festival. It will be held will be held July 10-20.
The notable line-up of actors starring in this year’s movies include Robin Williams and Kathy Baker (Boulevard), Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, Adam Brody, Kate McKinnon and Gabourey Sidibe (Life Partners), Matt Bomer, Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler and Jerry O’Connell (Space Station 76), Ben Wishaw (Lilting), America Ferrera, Common and Melonie Diaz (X/Y), Patricia Clarkson, Zachary Booth, Joseph Cross and Judith Light (Last Weekend), Patrick Stewart, Matthew Lillard and Carla Gugino (Match), Mary-Louise Parker, Campbell Scott and Bruce Davison (Longtime Companion), Nia Vardalos (Helicopter Mom), Noah Silver, Cameron Monaghan and Morgan Saylor (Jamie Marks is Dead), Gaby Hoffman (Lyle), Guinevere Turner and Candis Cayne (Crazy Bitches), Alex Karpovsky (The Foxy Merkins), Greg Louganis (Back on Board: Greg Louganis), and Alec Mapa (Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy).
The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre will once again host the Under the Stars series, kicking off with The Wizard of Oz: The Sing-Along.
In its Five in Focus series, Outfest spotlights a quintet of exciting new talent behind the camera and on the big screen. The 2014 selections include: Abdellah Taïa (writer/director, “Salvation Army”), Ken Roht (writer/director/composer, “Perfect Cowboy”), Sydney Freeland (writer/director, “Drunktown’s Finest”), Stewart Thorndike (writer/director, “Lyle”) and Mariana Rondón (writer/director, “Bad Hair”).
This year’s Outfest UCLA Legacy Project screenings celebrate the 25th anniversary of Longtime Companion, the groundbreaking theatrical feature examining the harrowing impact of the arrival of HIV/AIDS and celebrate the 80th birthday of filmmaker and activist. The Legacy Project will unveil the world premiere restoration of Sign of Protest.
“In the year following major civil rights victories across the country, Outfest 2014 pays tribute to the artists and the activists who refused to play nice and color inside the lines. The films in this festival remind us that artists lead the charge for a better world,” said Director of Programming, Kristin Pepe (KP).
As previously announced, Outfest Los Angeles 2014 will open with Susanna Fogel’s Life Partners on July 10. The festival closes on Sunday, July 20, with Jack Plotnick’s Space Station 76.
For more information and for a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to www.outfest.org/fest2014 or call 213-480-7065.
Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein has another successful play this season: Casa Valentina which he wrote and is up for four Tony Awards on Sunday.
It’s the latest triumph in what has been an astounding Broadway career.
Harvey, who turns 60 today, is coming off the huge success of the musical Kinky Boots for which he wrote the book. It was was nominated for thirteen 2013 Tony Awards and won six, including best musical.
And a year before that, Harvey was Tony nominated for writing the book for the stage musical Newsies.
It was back in 1982 that Harvey won his first two Tony Awards (Best Play and Best Actor in a Play) for his best-known work, Torch Song Trilogy.
The next year, he wrote the book for La Cage aux Folles and won another Tony Award.
In addition to Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles and A Catered Affair, Harvey’s Broadway acting credits include playing the mother, Edna Turnblad in Hairspray (2002), for which he won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He later replaced Alfred Molina as Tevye in the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof.
Here are a two interviews with Harvey about 30 years apart:
The folks marketing the gay-themed military drama Burning Blue certainly know how to get my attention: they sent over a bunch of stills of the movie’s hot leading men.
They’ve also sent over some clips to show that this is a movie, out in select theaters and on VOD today, about more than eye candy.
Originally an acclaimed Off-Broadway play, the story centers on the relationship between two Navy fighter pilots during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era. The romantic drama is now a film directed and co-written by DMW Greer, who wrote the original play.
After a series of fatal accidents, a close-knit squadron of male Navy pilots begins to splinter—and becomes the focus of a criminal investigation. As a government agent digs to uncover the cause of the accidents, two of the pilots engage in a secret, forbidden relationship. Their affair is exposed…and the squadron is engulfed by an incendiary scandal that will challenge each pilot’s notions of friendship, love, honor and courage.
I’m sold! Gotta see it!
It is the final weekend of tennis’ French Open in Paris.
Today’s Morning Man, Benoit Paire, is not one of the four men remaining but he is French – and damned cute!
He made it to the third round in Paris this year and had climbed as high as #24 in the world last August.
But he missed every tournament in February and March due to knee injury and his ranking has tumbled to #63.
At 25, Benoit is at the point where he will have to show soon whether he will ever be more than a journeyman pro.
Good luck to him!