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May 16, 2006

Can't Take His Eyes Off of You

Malbug_17Morrison Most TV news anchors can't ad lib their way out of a crumpled up tissue.

But it can be fun to watch them try, because sometimes the unscripted banter will reveal the deepest thoughts of local news personalities.

Take WNBC's "Today in New York" co-anchor Rob Morrison.  He was at his tinfoil hat-wearing best this morning, convinced that his TV talks to him as he introduced a piece on today's Tony nominations.

Sure, his bio says he has a wife.  But it sounds like he might also be willing to carve out some conjugal space for "Jersey Boys" star John Lloyd Young.

[Watch video – 0:50, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 0:50, WMV format, low bandwidth]

May 10, 2006

Rent Lied, My Career Died

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Clavin At work, I needed to find out how many minutes are in a year, so I naturally went to Google, having forgotten about those famous lyrics from "Seasons of Love."

While the answer "525,600" is right for a typical calendar year, Google returned an answer for the actual number of minutes in a year as 525,948.766.  Turns out, that is the exact length of time is takes the Earth to revolve around the sun, and nearly six hours more than Jonathan Larson wrote.

This explains why we add a leap day every fourth year, and the extra imprecision entailed in "almost six hours" means leap years will occur only in some years divisible by four.

Here's another strange piece of trivia: If you copy a Web URL that begins with "http" and paste it into the Windows calculator, it spits out the value of pi:

Pi

I found that one out by mistake.  But I'll have to remember it next time I need to figure out how big a pizza is.

May 07, 2006

Not So Sure We Want More

I had been contemplating a short New York excursion to see Elton John's musical adaptation of Lestat. I've always been a big fan of Anne Rice's earlier works before she found Jesus and suckitude. The reviews have not been good. Theater critic Ben Bratley thrashed the play in the NY Times, comparing it to "The Boys in the Band," and reducing subplots to "Claudia Has Two Daddies."

Not promising. Still, others who have seen it insist it's a very good musical. A friend passed the following along. It seems to be a bootleg version of Allison Fischer as Claudia singing "I Want More." I present it at arm's length.

April 24, 2006

Sir Elton Visits Lady Ellen

Elton_john I'm afraid at some point we'll need to discuss his shoes and debate the merits of whether or not an intervention needs to be happening.

Adidas of Great Hideousness aside, Elton John dropped by Ellen today to discuss the legalities of gay marriage in Britain and the resulting wedding and domestic bliss with new husband David Furnish. The audience was also treated to a small clip of his upcoming musical, Lestat, which will hopefully be far better in New York than the horrific San Francisco version.

His Eltoness polished off the show with the performance of a classic song during closing credits.

[Watch video – 16:33, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 16:33, WMV format, low bandwidth]

March 05, 2006

Entertainment, Tonight

Malbug_13All those trips to East Hampton, and I never knew that we had been in the presence of a piece of kitsch history.

The husband has turned me onto the phenomenon known as "Grey Gardens."  Originally an acclaimed documentary about a pair of eccentric (to put it mildly) ladies who were related to Jackie O, and now in production as a movie to star Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, it has also inspired an Off-Broadway musical that has been even harder to get tickets to than "Wicked."  (Really.)

Well, we did manage to get tickets, but they are for tonight.  Oscar night.  So I present for your reading pleasure a selected mix of sites that will be providing ample live-blogging snark for the Oscars:

First, there are my eternal lovers at The Pen15 Club.  Bookmark these guys, now.

And then there are the rest:

LA Weekly's Deadline Hollywood Daily

Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch

PAJAMASMEDIA's team coverage

The indispensable, fantastical Cinematical

Robertik's Oscar fashion snark forum

Popbytes

If you're aware of any others worth mentioning, let me know.

February 13, 2006

"Straight-Washing" Entertainment

Rapp

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It's all the rage among the 'mos to denigrate the "gay" American TV networks, such as Logo, Here! TV and the faltering Q Television Network.  You've heard the rap before:

"They reinforce negative stereotypes.  They don't show our lives.  Their production values are a disgrace to right-brained queens everywhere.  Their content is recycled, derivative of other sources, or redundant, given the existence of other channels like Bravo or E!"

But guess what, boys?  We need these networks.  We should support them and encourage them to put on realistic and entertaining gay programming that is relevant to our "community," insofar as there is one.

Why?  Because although gains are being made, we still don't get quite a fair shake in the mainstream media.

Exhibit A, the first clip from "The Tony Danza Show" that will ever be played on MalcoVision.  (And judging by Danza's ratings, possibly the last.)

Actor Anthony Rapp, one of the most talented performers in almost any medium who also happens to be an out gay man, stopped by this morning to promote his new book, "Without You," a memoir that focuses on his 11-year association with the musical "Rent."  The dominant themes of the book include Rapp's life as a gay man, and the loss of several friends to AIDS.  The book jacket even mentions Rapp's partner, Rodney To.

So what was Danza interested in talking about?  The death of Rapp's father.

The Washington Blade ran an editorial on Friday about the "straight-washing" of the news, a phenomenon that seems to cross over into some daytime talk shows.

Until it becomes second nature for straight America to talk to and about gays like we're just anybody else, there will be an important spot at the electronic hearth for Logo and its cousins.

[Watch video – 6:57, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 6:57, WMV format, low bandwidth]

January 09, 2006

Bad Pictures of Famous People, IV

Malbug_13The Malcontent mounted neither the stage nor Ian Somerhalder himself on Saturday night, but I did have an encounter sufficiently close enough to warm the chilly evening air.

Thanks to the logistical efforts of some D.C. friends, I saw "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead," and then played stage-door queen afterward in order to snap a couple of pics.

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"Other than that, how was the play?" After the jump ...

Continue reading "Bad Pictures of Famous People, IV" »

December 20, 2005

People Are Broken

Have you ever read a sentence in an article and found yourself stopping directly on the period and simply staring and staring, your jaw slack from sheer incomprehension? Queer Conservative passed along one of the most horrifying articles I've ever read. What is wrong with these people:

Around the holidays, the biggest challenge for many theater companies is convincing audiences to care about yet another staging of "A Christmas Carol." This season in Atlanta, however, Actor's Express wants to stir up buzz about a less familiar property -- namely, a pedophile musical.

Mal once asked if pedophilia is ever funny. Maybe, maybe not, but it sure as hell doesn't deserve a kick-line. While I laughed uncomfortably at the Family Guy segment - more out of disbelief than genuine amusement - there's something awful and truly horrible about this theater company's sentiments:

A delicate, often heart-wrenching piece of theater, the show, which preems Jan. 22 at the Express, never descends to shock-value tactics as it explores volatile terrain, and its lilting country songs give the characters emotionally vulnerable texture. Should it manage to attract a crowd, "Love Jerry" could very well leave them cheering.

Unless the musical ends with the uncle's testicles being flattened by a sledgehammer, there is hardly any kind of scenario I can envision that would leave me cheering at the end of a show like this.

It gets worse. Not only is the theater company whacked out of their gourds, but the writer of this Variety article is really effing shady.

Continue reading "People Are Broken" »

December 19, 2005

Blood Suckers Possibly Sucking?

Lestat2 The new Elton John musical based on Anne Rice's Lestat began previews this weekend in San Francisco in preparation for a March premiere on Broadway. The latest adaptation of Rice's Vampire Chronicles reunites John with lyricist Bernie Taupin as the pair collaborate on their first stage production together.

The musical is intended as a linear blending of Interview With The Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. As these are the two best novels in the series before Rice mutated into a Catholic Marquise de Sade, I've been fairly excited to see what Sir Elton would do with the material. While he doesn't wield the repetitious, mind-destroying powers of an Andrew Lloyd Webber, his previous Broadway endeavors have been pretty decentish. With that in mind, I eagerly gave the preview song from Lestat over at Amazon.com a listen.

I don't know.

I must say, Taupin's awkward lyrics with John's quasi-spoken opening immediately brought the truly, truly awful Jekyll and Hyde to mind. (You have not lived until you've found yourself rolling on the floor, heaving with laughter at the television production of Jekyll and Hyde starring David Hasslehoff).

However. The song, especially the chorus, did seem to really grow on me as I continued listening. Perhaps in the hands of an accomplished theatrical singer (Elton sings this version) and slightly altered instrumentals, "Make Me As You Are" will prove somewhat less frightening.

Here's hoping.

December 17, 2005

Ian Somerhalder Plan of Ingress

Iansomerhalderattackplan_1Malbug_13OK, we're back, and a big "F you very much" to Typepad.

My tickets are now confirmed for the Off Broadway show "Dog Sees God," an Avenue Q-esque flash-forward of what life might be like for the "Peanuts" gang as they reach adulthood.

The somewhat notable cast includes Eddie Kaye Thomas of "American Pie" fame and Eliza Dushku of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."  And last, but not Lost, er, least – the extremely likeable lickable Ian Somerhalder.

I have planned my assault on the stage of the Century Theatre from the eighth row.  The only thing that might prevent me making it to Ian would be my husband clambering over my lifeless corpse to get his own piece of the action.

[Image from Bent Blog]

December 02, 2005

Color Dave Obsequious

Oprah cherishes Dave

Oprah "Cherishes" Dave

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After a 16-year absence, the grand dame of daytime television returned last night to David Letterman's show.

After making a Valerie Cherish-esque entrance (I will always associate that pose with her, even in cancellation) to a standing ovation, Oprah stuck around through four segments, at the end of which Letterman escorted her out of his theater and to the home of the new musical "Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Color Purple."  (If the Broadway run is a success, I hear she will be "presenting" the rest of the colors of the spectrum.)

Despite a rumored feud – denied by both – the mutual up-sucking couldn't have been more deafening.

Favorite personal revelation: Oprah and I have the same favorite children's book, "Love You Forever."  I think it is safe to safe to say that merely contemplating the title of that book is enough to send both my mother and me into a blubbering fit.

[Watch video – 9:11, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 9:11, WMV format, low bandwidth]

See also: Jossip and Rod 2.0.

November 22, 2005

I Love Holiday Specials

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Malbug_13The pimp daddies at VH1 have extracted every conceivable penny from the sequined clutch of its "I Love the (Decade)" whore. ("I Love the '80s ... 3D"?)  And now they have set their sights on conquering one-sixth of the entire Gregorian calendar.

"I Love the Holidays" focuses on the period from Halloween to New Year's Day.  In fact, probably half of the show focused on Halloween, which was old news more than three weeks ago.

I was about to note that the "celebrities" chosen to riff on the indignities of sitting at the kids' table are so far down on the list that they need an express elevator to get to the D-list, until I saw that my friend Stephanie D'Abruzzo was among them.  Oops.

The "celebs" came down hard on "turducken," which is possibly the most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth.  I'm serious, it was like crack for my tongue.

They also managed to get in a few Rick Sanchez-esque comments about fruitcake.  Just like "Law and Order," ripped from the headlines.

MalcoVision has a nice, steaming chunk of holiday cheer for you.

[Watch video – 8:55, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 8:55, WMV format, low bandwidth]

November 21, 2005

Little Sitcom of Horrors

Malbug_13

Mrherbertfamilyguy Is pedophilia ever funny?  "The Family Guy" seems to think so.

I am a big fan of the Fox show, but rarely am I more uncomfortable laughing than when it features creepy Mr. Herbert, the walker-assisted oldster who takes too much of a shine to the neighborhood boys, Little League players, etc.  But I have to confess that I still do laugh, a little.

In last night's episode, young Chris Griffin accidentally breaks a window in Mr. Herbert's house and works off his debt by doing odd jobs for him.

This leads to an extended fantasy sequence cribbed directly from one of my favorite musicals, "Little Shop of Horrors."  (On a related tangent, I was surprised they didn't call Robbie's plant the "Audrey II.")  That it never crosses the line from being a fantasy is the only thing that helps me watch without needing a cleansing shower afterward.

[Watch video – 2:32, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 2:32, WMV format, low bandwidth]

November 03, 2005

The Inner Queen

Sure, I like sports. I can rummage deep within the bowels of a car and understand what I'm looking at. I know that drywall is out and sheetrock is in, and I can tell you what all those little pipes and wires running through a house do. I even have the fashion sense of a Pennsylvanian coal miner.

Some days, it's a minor miracle I identify as gay at all. How is it I even know that I'm really a homosexual?

Because, when I saw this, I let out a squeal that set every dog in the neighborhood to howling:

Tony Award-winning American director Frank Galati will stage the pre-Broadway world premiere production of The Pirate Queen, by Les Misrables writers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schnberg in Chicago in fall 2006.

Mmph. Mmph. Mmph.

October 17, 2005

Everyone's a Little Bit Capitalist

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For those of you who are Avenue Q fans (like me) but not in New York (unlike me), it might either gratify you or piss you off that the Tony-winning puppets have sold out to cross-promote a new anchorman at WCBS-TV.

[Watch video – 1.3mb, 0:15, WMV format, high bandwidth]

October 06, 2005

The Malcontent Does the Red Carpet

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I am no pretender to the throne that the Gossip Kingdom queens rightfully inhabit, but this is New York, after all.  One can't swing a dead rat without hitting at least the stray celeb.  Here are a few random snaps I got from a screening of a film about the El Salvador civil war:

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Jennifer Connelly arrives on the red carpet ...

... and meets the press.

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Anthony Rapp of Rent fame.  Two days ago, I coincidentally bought the soundtrack from the movie version of Rent with his picture on the cover, a story I told him.  He was whelmed.

C'mon, Anthony, smile!

Mullet_1

And finally, Ladies and Gentlemen: mondo faux.

August 04, 2005

Stephanie's Purpose

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Stephanie_2 The Malcontent was all a-twitter to hear that our friend, 2004 Tony nominee Stephanie D'Abruzzo, has signed up [reg. req.] to continue with the cast of Avenue Q on Broadway, after a run of more than 800 shows so far.  (We are also debating whether to continue using this haughty first-person-plural way of referring to ourselves.)

Stephanie on life on Avenue Q:

[S]o many people still see me as only a puppeteer. People have actually asked me, "Can you sing without the puppet?" I can't take myself too seriously. I walk out the stage door that shares a service entrance with the Milford Plaza. So I leave the theater every night surrounded by garbage or laundry or mattresses.

Perhaps it is not an irony that one of our first and most indelible memories of Stephanie was weeping together with her the day Jim Henson died.  For one who was practically a citizen of Sesame Street, it was a very sad day indeed, as if a family member had died.  It was also the first and only time The Malcontent has wept at the death of a celebrity, although we do recall getting a good lump in our throat over the passing of Fred Rogers.

Stephanie always was the frenetic, highly creative kind.  We thought her life would take either a downward or a very sharply upward trajectory, but probably not anything in between.  We are glad to see that it was the latter, and even happier that she has apparently found her purpose.

July 29, 2005

Julia Burnishes Fag-Hag Cred

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Julia_1 Openly gay Broadway mega-director Joe Mantello (Wicked, Take Me Out, Glengarry "Glenn Close") has bagged pretty woman Julia Roberts for his next show, a revival of 1997's Three Days of Rain.  Mantello's Odd Couple revival with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick is slated to open in October.

"Three Days of Rain" is just the latest revival to tap Hollywood talent for a limited run, a list that includes Denzel Washington ("Julius Caesar"), Jessica Lange ("The Glass Menagerie") and Kathleen Turner ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"), who all appeared on Broadway last season.



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