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Arts & Entertainment

‘Blameless’: Journeys of grief

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

Despite wonderful casting and Gaye Taylor Upchurch’s sensitive direction, the world premiere of Nick Gandiello’s family drama, “The Blameless,” seems somehow under-cooked.

Developed in part in a reading at the Old Globe’s Powers New Voices Festival last year, the piece, which concerns grieving and forgiveness, continues at the White Theatre through March 26.

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Your 2017 “Dinah guide”

Posted: March 3rd, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Featured | No Comments

It’s the largest lesbian music and comedy festival in the world, right in our backyard By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Dinah Shore Weekend got its start more than three decades ago, when lesbians began to gather in small groups in various hotels in the Coachella Valley so they could attend the Colgate Dinah Shore Golf Tournament, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite women’s golfer in action. Later, Nabisco took over sponsorship and the event became one of four majors on the […]

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North Coast Rep nails Kushner’s ‘Illusion’

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

North Coast Repertory Theatre presents a fine production of Tony Kushner’s “The Illusion” — his thoroughly modern 1988 adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s 17th-century work, “L’Illusion Comique” — playing through March 19.

Playwright Kushner went on to write the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning epic, “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia of America,” in 1993.

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Making America hopeful again

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate

With an emotionally resonant acceptance speech, Dustin Lance Black accepted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2009 for “Milk”, a powerful tribute to gay political hero Harvey Milk. Could an Emmy be next?

It’s possible, even if the 42-year-old Sacramento native is too modest to admit that his latest screen ambition, “When We Rise,” the accomplished filmmaker’s tremendous seven-part undertaking chronicling the progressive uprising of the 1960s and ’70s, is certainly golden statue-worthy.

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Learning from the past

Posted: February 17th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Top Story | No Comments

By David Dixon | Theater Preview

Politics and sexuality are two timely subjects in 2017. That makes this an ideal year for Intrepid Theatre’s production of the 2016 comedy-drama, “Perfect Arrangement.”

Taking place in 1950, the story follows two U.S. State Department employees, Bob Martindale (John DeCarlo) and Norma Baxter (Jennifer Paredes). They are married to each other and pretend to be straight. What few realize is that both of them are in same-sex relationships.

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Mischief and scheming at the opera

Posted: February 17th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Featured | No Comments

By David Dixon Many operas that have been performed recently at the San Diego Civic Theatre haven’t been very happy tales. Stories such as “Tosca” and “Madama Butterfly” are the opposite of uplifting experiences. The San Diego Opera is taking a break from all the gloom with a comedy — Giuseppe Verdi’s “Falstaff.”

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Transforming minds one truth at a time

Posted: February 17th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi

For Ian Harvie, it’s not about earning the title of “first trans person in the world with a one-hour standup special” — though that’s a tag the FTM comedian can now claim — for him, he’s hopeful more trans comedians will walk through the door he swung open with “May the Best Cock Win,” airing on NBC’s digital network, SEESO.

“I’m so excited that a digital network like SEESO, an NBC-based company, has said ‘Yes’ to the first trans comic special, which will provide a pathway for others to come through,” said the Portland, Maine native.

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The ‘wisdom and hilarity’ of ‘Beau Jest’

By Charlene Baldridge

It’s 1989 Chicago. Miriam and Abe, Sarah Goldman’s parents, are ecstatic. She tells them she’s no longer dating Chris the Gentile (not true) and moreover, she has a nice, new, Jewish boyfriend (not true, either), who’s a surgeon at one of Chicago’s best hospitals.

A successful businesswoman, Sarah’s been on her own for quite some time, and now it appears that Miriam and Abe’s fondest wish for her may come true. They do what all good parents do: They invite themselves to dinner to meet the prospective son-in-law and even take Sarah’s brother, a divorced therapist, with them.

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Yes, they can (and did)

Posted: February 3rd, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi

Marriage equality was a mere pipe dream when Indigo Girls duo Emily Saliers and Amy Ray came out in 1988, coinciding with the release of their eponymous Epic Records debut. There was no groundbreaking television sitcom. Melissa Etheridge wasn’t formally out, and wouldn’t be until 1993, when she released “Yes I Am.”

With regard to popular entertainment, particularly within the music business, Saliers and Ray were at the forefront of the queer rights movement. They won a Grammy and released chart-toppers like “Closer to Fine.” And they refused to let their sexuality get in the way of their success, brazenly being themselves at a time when being a gay public figure was uncommon and even downright scary.

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This little light

Posted: January 20th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Interviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Chris Azzopardi | Q Syndicate

“It was a lot,” Tarell Alvin McCraney said of his oddly coincidental evening recently, when the out playwright attended the premiere of “Moonlight” in Miami, the city where he grew up.

Family he hadn’t met before came out in droves; his brother showed up and longtime friends, too.

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Fortune Theatre presents ‘Liaisons’

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

As readers may know, British playwright Christopher Hampton is renowned for his translations of classic literature for the stage. A case in point is his 1985 translation of Pierre de Laclos’ 1782 epistolary novel, “Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons),” which is being produced in splendid style by New Fortune Theatre at the Lyceum Space through Jan. 28.

The most astonishing thing about New Fortune’s production, directed by Artistic Director Richard Baird and Kaitlin O’Neal, is its utter lack of mannerism: it is played without affectation in the vital modern English vernacular provided by Hampton.

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Deep Inside Hollywood – Jan. 6, 2017

By Romeo San Vicente

Kate McKinnon already has an Emmy for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” and she’s managed to steal every scene she had in the ensemble comedies “Ghostbusters,” “Masterminds” and now “Office Christmas Party.”

The next step, then, for Kate McKinnon is leading lady. This being McKinnon, however, she will be playing a school lunch lady who is also a witch. Of course.

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