Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lambda Literary Awards

Here's my Bilerico report on the 21st annual Lambda Literary Awards .

I sipped a little wine and chatted away with Andrew Holleran whom I rather idolize and who called me a rascal, and with Edmund White and Felice Picano who were much more complimentary on other fronts.The post contains photos, and if you go to TheBilericoProject on Youtube, you'll find my four video interviews with Michaelangelo Signorile, Kate Clinton, Edmund White and Felice Picano.

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Q-Talk

On Friday evening, I was onstage at the Metropolitan Room as a guest on Q-Talk, a monthly variety show (The View, only gayer).



The topic was religion, and with me were Steve Fales, author of Confessions of a Mormon Boy, and, Peter Napolitano who is a recent MAC award winner, and has the habit of converting to the religion of his every new boyfriend.

On the left is the handsome and entertaining Frantz Hall who had asked me to do this. I’m glad I agreed to it. Great fun and I suspect watching the tape won’t be too painful.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Do ask, do tell" is a two-edged sword.

Here is what I said about the gay census this week on the South Florida Blade.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tomorrow on Bilerico: "The Slut Who Won't Shut Up""

You will have to go to Bilerico tomorrow for my response to this:

Dear Father T,

Our friend “The Slut” has an annoying habit that we don’t like. At. All. He reads you so we hope he will see the mirror when he reads this.

We are a group of gay men friends in our 30s and 40s. Some of us have boyfriends or partners and some not. “The Slut”, who is single, gets around. A lot. But that is not the problem. The problem is that he has to talk about all the sex he has. In. Detail. He really can’t let it alone. It’s not like we are asking for all this graphic “blow by blow”. Even when we shout “TMI!” and block our ears, he always comes back with more. We don’t know why he does this. We want it to stop. How do we break him of this bad habit?

Friends of “The Slut”


Update: It's up. Get on it.

The NYC Protest of the California Court's decision to uphold Prop8

13

Everyone was there.
Here's a full set of photos from the rally.
Video tomorrow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Broadway - Car Free!

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Transportation Commissioner, Jannette Sadik-Khan, have scored another success. We got out of the subway at 50th St and walked down Broadway only slightly annoyed by the 7th Avenue traffic crossing it at Times Square.

Festive to say the least, and nice to know that this is permanent. It will be reviewed at the end of the year, but I can't imagine any one clamoring for the return of traffic to Broadway. If anything, the pedestrian-only sections will continue to multiply.



(I disagree with some of Nicolai Ouroussoff's review. He disses the tables and chairs, saying they are wobbly and out-of-scale. I guess he has no sense of humor. The furnishings are deliberately beachy and fun in an insubstantial non-monumental way. The people in this video will tell you the real story. No one lingers when the public space is not commodious.)

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Voluptuous

C provides us with 24 photos of Ernesto Neto's installation at the Park Avenue Armory.

Delicious in every way.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tomorrow on Bilerico: "When a Challenged Man Wants Casual Sex""

You will have to go to Bilerico tomorrow morning at 10:30AM for my response to this:

Dear Father Tony,

I am a very lonely and sex-starved 23-year-old gay man with mild Tourette Syndrome characterized by motor and facial tics. I repeat, mild tics. I am well aware of the fact that I am different and that most guys will not understand (or even care to understand) my situation. I am fortunate to have a few very good friends. I love them. They keep me sane. I have however given up on romantic love . I can accept my situation as a single man, and I know that there are many lonely men everywhere with all varieties of quirk, but I cannot accept the fact that sex is off limits to me unless I pay for it. I want everyone to know (anonymously) how humiliating it is for a man like me (young, hung and in excellent shape) to have to pay an escort for sex. The humiliation is compounded by the obvious discomfort of some of those paid escorts. I have only two regulars who put me at ease and actually build my self-confidence. To be clear, I want casual anonymous sex. I agree with what you have written about the dangers of online hookups and I will not jeopardize even the safety of my home, let alone my person. I live in a city with opportunities: a bathhouse, sex clubs and other establishments that facilitate sex but I have had the expected bad times at these places because of how I present. There are also ample online group sex parties held in private homes. My one experience with these was a disaster. The host asked me to leave. Again, I just want to be treated as the normal attractive young gay male that you would see in a still photo of me. My doctors tell me that I may outgrow this condition. I have avoided medication because of the side effects. I have a running joke with them that if it doesn’t clear up soon, it won’t matter. My predicament is worsened by the fact that I am sometimes approached by unattractive men who are willing to overlook my tics because they can’t score with anyone else. That is sometimes the most frustrating and depressing part of a night out. I actually welcome the occasional mercy-fuck. Is there some secret to my getting well and often laid that you know? My doctors are no help with this. Am I always to be relegated to pornography and masturbation?

On Shaky Ground.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

At the anti-gay NYC rally today (Correction: these are from Broadway Impact)

(Correction: these pics are from Broadway Impact which took place at 6th Avenue and 44th Street on the heels of the anti-gay evangelical rally)

C took these pictures at today's evangelical anti-gay-marriage rally of the Ruben Diazites in front of the Manhattan office of New York Governor Paterson.

Joe remarks about the paucity of our numbers and notes that the annual AIDS Walk in Central Park kept many good folks further uptown.

Representing our team are New York Assemblyman Daniel J. O'Donnell, in the center of this pic



and the unsinkable Eric Leven.

Wilton Manors Annual Gay Pride Festival in Financial Crisis

On Saturday, May 16th, I attended a meeting of 35 business owners who gathered at Georgie's Alibi to discuss a financial crisis that, if not resolved, might mean the cancellation of Wilton Manors' annual Gay Pride event, Stonewall Street Festival, scheduled for June 20-21.

With Pride events across the country facing the common fiscal difficulties caused by the current bad economy, the challenges faced by the organizers of this festival come as no surprise. Overhead is costly. Donations are down. Travel and tourism spending are diminished. What does come as a surprise is the fact that basic issues involving the immediate survival or death of this festival are still being discussed a mere six weeks before its occurrence. Should the festival be a two-day or a one-day event? Should the parade be at night or during the day? Should there be one stage or three? Should the festival be in June or in September? Is the festival just the concern of the businesses on Wilton Drive, or does it encompass the regional business community.

I was surprised to learn that Lance Horton, the Executive Director of the festival, had been hired very recently. In April! Even in flush times, it is difficult to step into a leadership position with only a few months time in which to organize and put on "a show". I know this from personal experience, having been named the director of a large three-week summer festival only two months before its start, with no bookings for entertainment, no food vendors under contract, serious electrical and plumbing problems in the building I was asked to manage, a disgruntled board of directors and a Governor scheduled to visit those premises and march in a parade that had yet to be organized. Oy. For four years I welcomed half a million visitors into my building annually and managed to turn a profit each year. I know it can be done. I listened carefully to Mr. Horton's presentation to see if he had the skills necessary to pull it off.

What became clear in the course of the meeting is that some business owners harbor some hard feelings, resentment and the serious need to express some anger about setting the record straight. It was sad to see that some of the key organizers of the festival feel that they have not yet had a chance to speak about their issues - even those issues that were not really on point - and it was sad to observe that raising funds and cutting expenses might be the least of Mr. Horton's problems. He will first need to earn some serious confidence and support with the persons at that meeting. If I had been in his shoes, I would have had that accomplished long before I had scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss finances. (Please keep in mind that it is very easy to pontificate about management skills from the sidelines of a situation like this. It would be totally unfair for me to judge Mr. Horton's abilities and tactics based on my observations at this one meeting.)

Mr. Horton distributed a Stonewall Street Festival Expenses two-pager that also included Committed Sponsors. This document pegs expenses at $136,419.00, with cash commitments at $39,750.00 and in-kind commitments at $19,500.00. This document is not a complete financial statement (and made me very curious to see the festival's P&L and balance sheet for the last three years). Nor is it a complete budget. It also did not track some of the financial information about donors published on the website, and it did not mention other sources of revenue such as entry fees for the parade and the art exhibit.

I think this hand-out was devised to elicit some financial support from the folks in the room, many of whom have yet to pledge any funds. Understanding that this might be Mr. Horton's motivation, many of the business owners reminded him that they derive no financial benefit from the festival. Some of them actually have diminished sales during its run. One clothing merchant got a big laugh when he said "The last thing anyone wants to do when they are drunk and sweaty is try on a pair of my stupid $300 jeans." One of the bar owners, questioning the need for an elaborate schedule of events, made the point that visitors are going to "get drunk, take off their shirts and party no matter what. That's why they come here."

The single largest expense on Mr. Horton's list was the main stage/sound/light/talent at $40,000.00. I remember spending a fraction of that amount for for that same expense for my three week festival so I found this amount questionable and I was glad to hear some suggestions for its reduction.

I was very surprised to hear that the festival planned to make a video marking the fortieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots. After the meeting, I spoke with the man who described that project. He was unaware of the fact that The Stonewall Library and Archives has already done exactly that. He intends to contact the library to see if the festival might use the library's product. This gave me some satisfaction that perhaps my presence at the meeting had accomplished some good, and it rather justified my eating one of the excellent sandwiches provided by Georgie's.

I kept to myself an opinion about the value of spending even a dime on the making of a video of Sharon Gless talking about Stonewall. It seems she cannot attend the festival but is willing to have her comments recorded. The person making the video warned the group that there would be expenses involved. Even if they had a million bucks to spend, I wouldn't...well I'll just bite my tongue.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

On the 89th Anniversary of the canonization of Joan of Arc

She heard voices when she was twelve years old. She was a peasant girl who demanded audience with feuding French royals. She road into battle in a man's armor. A political casualty, she was imprisoned by the English and continued to wear men's clothing perhaps to avoid rape. At the age of nineteen, she was burned at the stake for heresy, but really, her death was English retribution for her success against them in battle. The Catholic Church sheepishly pardoned her in 1452, and she became a patron saint of France when she was canonized on this day, in 1920, by Pope Benedict XV.

There is a sixteenth Benedict on the throne of Peter today. One who once held the modernized post of Inquisitor in charge of identifying heretics and bending them into either orthodoxy or breakage. I wonder how he will celebrate the anniversary of the canonization of a cross-dressing teenage girl who heard voices in her head and was fearless in her inconvenient convictions. How will Benedict XVI praise a young woman, practically illiterate and forcing powerful men to do the right thing, while making mortal enemies in both church and state along her route to the flames?

Almost six hundred years of Christianity have gone by since Joan, and I fear the Catholic Church has not evolved a bit since then. Still in bed with temporal power. Still dominated by old men. Still refusing to accept - God forbid celebrate - diversity. Still condemning the inconveniently audacious differences of those who are inspired singularly.

If Joan were alive today, and if she managed to avoid her parents' dosing her with Ritalin, she would probably be a loud and activist lesbian. Certainly not a woman acceptable to Benedict XVI who will warble kind words about this saint and about the wisdom of his papal predecessor in canonizing her eighty-nine years ago.

Do you know what this teaches me? It reminds me to trust my instincts and to speak from my heart. It tells me that popularity is its own reward and that heroes are lonely and often meet with bad final chapters. It tells me that big institutions cannot tolerate inspiration and enthusiasm and vision until those energies have had their rough edges worn smooth by the passage of centuries.

I was recently tracking some private group email among activist bloggers in which one black lesbian blogger known to many of you described how she was attacked and vilified because of an inconvenient stance she had put forth with clarity. I kept clear of that conversation and privately hope that she will forsake popularity and continue to speak from her heart. Nothing gets fixed otherwise.

Like Joan of Arc, we are each a little bit nuts, but collectively we are wise. (There were twelve disciples, not just one.) That is why when an entity like the Catholic Church or our Federal Government silences a section of its membership or relegates some of its members to a lower/restricted class, that entity is weakened, like a brain that is lobotomized and made capable only of simpler tasks and mediocrity.

If I had been alive in fifteenth century France, I doubt I'd have ridden into battle next to Joan, but I also doubt I'd have been a courtier in the palace of the bishop who tried her for heresy. I'd have been someone in the crowd as she rode through our town with her legions. I'd have told my neighbor "That girl's crazy, but she's got spunk. She's got chutzpah! She's got balls." I hope I'd have at least cheered as she passed and I hope to God I have the good sense to spot the heroes and saints among us today and to cheer them on wholeheartedly.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

This would make a great race

This would be the kind of senatorial contest we'd all really love to see. The openly gay and partnered mayor of North Miami Kevin Burns against the closeted Florida governor Charlie Crist.

It would be like a season finale dream Idol match between Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert.

Phrase of the week: Slavic Pride

I am absolutely taken with the sound of the phrase Slavic Pride.

You can use it in many sentences. For example:

While on a treadmill at a Chelsea gym, I leaned over to my friend on the next treadmill, pointed out the bottle-blonde roidette benching a half ton, and wryly whispered "Slavic pride".

or,

Inga's bubka wanted grandchildren but all she got was Slavic Pride.

Got more?

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Check me out on the Blade

It would appear that I have begun writing for the South Florida Blade.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tomorrow on Bilerico: "Before you go over the Falls"

Tomorrow, I invite a lawyer into my Confessional for some good advice.

You can read about it on Bilerico.

Update: It's up. Consume.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Staff who are helpful.

My husband sent me this link with the suggestion that I stop complaining about rush hour on Manhattan's No. 1 line.

An 82 year old monk comes out of the closet, and we....

An 82 year old monk comes out of the closet, and we cry applaud spit yawn.

Retired Milwaukee Archbishop and Benedictine monk Rembert Weakland has written his memoirs.

I will read his book for only these reasons: to see if he says he is sorry for the way he lived his life. To see if he says he should have come out decades ago. To see if he regrets the way he handled pedophile priests. To see if he says the Catholic church is wrong about Gay.

Thirty years ago (when he was 52) I got to know him slightly in Rome where he was the head of the Benedictine house, San Anselmo. I was several times his guest (nope, sorry, no sex to report). He was charming and intelligent. San Anselmo was full of delightful and brilliant gay Benedictines from around the world. Through his hospitality, I got to know two German Benedictines who were my own age, Rolf and Anselm. For Rolf’s birthday, I gave him the scarlet cassock that Cardinal Spellman kept in Rome. It fit him perfectly, as it did me. After enough wine, he’d drag out that cassock and we’d pose for some outrageous photos. Because I don’t know what became of Rolf and Anselm, I’ll keep them unpublished.

Rembert Weakland was one of many who could have done so much to rid the church of its stupidity. Now he's 82. With nothing to lose. He can't rewrite his past but he has this one remaining opportunity for courage. I wonder if he's up to it. I suspect he is not. They say the leopard does not change its spots.

If he does not say that he feels ashamed of remaining in the closet for most of his life while acting as a shepherd of souls, I will be disappointed. Multiply his shame by many thousands and you have the sum of the Catholic clergy. If I were to meet Rolf and Anselm today, I wonder if they would also disappoint me. They were, afterall, sent to Rome, indicating that they were being groomed for leadership in the Benedictine order. They would now be at an age approaching the height of their church authority. Or maybe they left many years ago, as did I, having tossed Spellman’s silks into the trash.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Gay NYC Bloggers to march

If you are a gay blogger and plan to be in New York City for the annual Pride parade on Sunday June 28, you might want to march with us. It would appear that I have successfully registered our group under the name NYC Gay Bloggers. Here is the link to the NYC Pride parade info, but don't fill out the reistration form. I've already done all that. You do need to contact me if you are interested because the number of marchers in our group is limited, and also, we would like to have signs or maybe t shirts and a banner.

I am so looking forward to not having to stare into the backs of tall spectators three ranks back from the barricades. That may not be the purest motivation for marching, but I'm owning it.

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The Officious Homosexual

You will be entertained by this post on the website of Nico Muhly. My rather lengthy comment is down six.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

You freeze, I break your knees.

I heard myself order the pound of coffee from the tall, obese, cheery and red-faced man on the other side of the counter who dissolved into the petite blonde ponytailed girl of twenty years ago. As always, at this moment of the frequent transaction, I see the slightly crazed look in her eyes as I hear her voice say “You freeze, I break your knees.”

We were in a coffee shop in Providence, Rhode Island when I encountered her. She was helpful and spirited. The sort of young woman who decides to get into a thing with an enthusiasm that is perhaps more than would be deserved by her particular arena. She seemed to take pride in her aproned work as a seller of coffee. I am sure that in her mind, she self-identified as more than a clerk in a coffee shop. She was a coffee expert. A coffee advisor. A coffee authority. A purveyor of coffee excellence. So much more than today’s bitter barristas. Her voice was laced with “Trust me. I have information about coffee that will cause your gratitude.”

As she imparted her coffee laws about grind, brew, water, temperature and freshness, I noticed that she did not look at me. She seemed to be smiling with widened eyes at a far away place. Her words were a recitation of secrets for me, the privileged tourist. As she handed me the pound of espresso, she finally looked directly into my eyes and said “Remember. Nothing is worse for coffee than putting it in the freezer. I always say ‘You freeze, I break your knees.”

Later that night, her words came back to me. We were back home, and dropping keys and bags and hats on the kitchen table. I did not even dare to look at the freezer as I placed the coffee in the fridge. Even that, I feared, might be a venial sin adjacent to the mortal sin of the freezer. In bed, her warning was replayed on continuous loop between my ears, and her face rose up to the surface of the dark lake of sleep where it remained until morning.

She would be older now. Approaching middle age. Perhaps with grown children old enough to work in coffee shops. What becomes of intense young women who weave humor and violence into commerce? What kind of wife and mother did she become? Does crazed enthusiasm grow stale and weak in time, like coffee, or is it amplified in its progeny?

If I had put that coffee in the freezer twenty years ago, would she have sensed it? Would she have burst into our kitchen? Would I now be in a wheelchair?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I just knew it didn't add up.

Here's what I figured was the real story.

As I said, it just didn't make sense that he would cavort with a woman in his own backyard.

And it didn't make any gaydar-sense that he'd be cavorting with a woman.

This other story, that he is gay and ready to leave the priesthood and go into a new secular media career pretending to be a straight man, is more believable.

The whole thing is ridiculous. And shame on Father Albert. Just walk out, dude, and get a life. A real life this time around.

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Tomorrow on Bilerico: "How to Miss the Bus"

You will have to go to Bilerico tomorrow afternoon to view my secrets for avoiding or curing regret and chagrin.

Surgery is never pretty

Our New York City bathroom, and I'm glad I'm seeing this from 1000 miles away. Our surgeon removed a bad renovation made by the previous owner and uncovered the original subway-style wall tiles and basket weave floor tiles from 1925. Unfortunately, it's all got to go. Co-ops get nervous when you disturb old pipes, so our renovation has to be minimal. I'm actually rather fond of the post-apocalyptic look. Maybe we should tell him to stop work now?

A democracy of dry feet

The husband sent me this link to a fascinating article about the Dutch system of "welfare" - and I am loathe to use the word because their consensus based "polder model" is so far meta-the-American-notion of welfare and public housing - basically because he knew I was checking the term "below sea level" in constructing my summary of a conversation with Andrew Holleran. Who knew that building a city in lowlands gave rise to efficient government and happy children?

The Dutch government sends you vacation money? They mandate that everyone gets a minimum of four weeks vacation? Universal health care without the labyrinthian system of deductions we accept as necessary? You will need to read this to understand why the 52% tax rate in the Netherlands is actually a better deal than what we have. Also, the article helps rectify our lockstepping and negative labeling of that type of system as socialism.

Maybe Subtle Knife will have something to say about all this?

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Death Cab for Cutié

There are two strange aspects to the breaking story about this handsome Miami Beach priest caught frolicking in a sexual way at a Miami beach with a woman and kissing her at a bar.




The handsome 40 year old Cuban priest who is very well known and has a media ministry that has made him extremely recognizable is the pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church on Alton Road on Miami Beach. He entered the seminary at the age of eighteen. He works out and likes disco.

The first incredible element is the notion that this man is heterosexual. It is improbable but possible, and the photos supposedly offer evidence of it. (I've only been able to find the cover photo showing a woman rather wrapped around him on the beach.)

The second incredible element to the story is that he would conduct an illicit affair in the very neighborhood he serves. Usually men who cheat on their spouses or are on the downlow conduct their dirty business out of town. Did he want to get caught?

Anyway, his website is now blank, and he has issued the following statement:

STATEMENT FROM FATHER ALBERT CUTIÉ

Before God - full of love and mercy - I ask for the forgiveness of those who may be hurt or saddened by my actions. Since I entered the seminary at the age of 18, the priesthood has brought me great joy. The commitment that I made to serve God will remain intact. I am grateful for the love and support I have received today from so many in our community, especially my parishioners and the supporters of the radio stations who have demonstrated great compassion and understanding toward me as a human being. I ask for your continued prayers and support.

Father Albert Cutié

DECLARACIÓN DEL PADRE ALBERTO CUTIÉ

Ante Dios - lleno de amor y misericordia - y ante toda nuestra comunidad, quiero pedir perdón si mis acciones les han causado dolor y tristeza. Desde mi ingreso al seminario a los 18 años, el sacerdocio me ha traído gran alegría. Les aseguro que mi servicio y dedicación a Dios continuarán intactos. Doy gracias a Dios por la compasión y el apoyo humano que he recibido en el día de hoy de tantas personas en nuestra comunidad, especialmente mis feligreses y oyentes de nuestras emisoras. Sólo pido sus oraciones y apoyo.

Padre Alberto Cutié


One thing is certain. Mandatory celibacy is nonsensical, and the reaction from his parishioners has been mostly supportive of his basic human nature and critical of the church''s rule of celibacy. And, I think everyone is embracing with relief a scandal that does not involve a minor.

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Geniuses and children first! Stephen Petronio and Nico Muhly in the same lifeboat at the Joyce.

(with photos and an audio file link near the end)

What might you have left to say after twenty-five years of saying it? Certainly not what you had to say when you were newly staging your message and assembling your vision through the limbs of your dancers.

Stephen Petronio, a man of accomplishment and years had something to say last night at Manhattan’s Joyce Theater in the world premier of I Drink the Air Before Me, a collaboration with the startling twenty-something, Nico Muhly.

From Mr. Petronio’s program notes:

This work marks the onset of the 25th anniversary of Stephen Petronio Company. Instead of looking back on our achievements like photographs of old friends, I have chosen to look to the future with a new work. I wanted to give a dance that spoke of riding the awesome and unpredictable forces of now and I hope you will receive our presentation in that spirit of adventure and pleasure.

I should say that because I always attend modern dance performances with skepticism and mostly because C appreciates them, I am surprised when what I experience is worthwhile. On this night, Stephen Petronio made three winning choices: Nico Muhly, a stream-of-consciousness pre-game show, and a great twist on The Tempest.

Nico Muhly is a young man at the start of what may be a brilliant musical career. Seated at the piano and electronic keyboard, he directed a powerful compact of bass, trombone, flute, viola and bassoon. His music was radiant, rich and complex and effortlessly fascinating. Never heavy, it seemed to propel the dancers through their expected signature Petroniosities (head rolls, one-footed double bounces, shoulder slouches and swooping Pete Townshendian arm flings). Good enough to make me want to hear it all again, even without the dance component, it provided the energetic infusion that Stephen Petronio hoped for on this anniversary. Less fortunately, the two choral compositions, delivered by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City were vague and forgettable, and the fact that Nico Muhly was wearing, toga-style, what seemed to be a faded black bed sheet from a Columbia dorm room was odd. Also, I was mesmerized by the precision of his snippy-comique conducting (like a man making bird head shadow puppets in sign language. Not exactly the fluid arsis/thesis Gregorian chant chironomy in which I was trained, but entirely appropriate and providing an entertaining background choreography.) When my mind drifted during the choral sections, I was wondering what Nico Muhly’s music will be like when it is informed by something other than what I am guessing has been a relatively painless life. If his music is already this gorgeous, it should be magnificent once he has been slapped around by a few years of living and loving and losing all the things that Stephen Petronio and his seasoned troupe have lived, loved and lost. I think Nico ought to go downtown and have an insulting dalliance with some vile cigar-chomping Prince Albertal leather daddy . For starters. Wouldn’t want to see him not take that trip down the Ulanga River with the unshaven Bogart.

As we were taking our seats, and during the half hour before the actual performance began, Stephen Petronio, disguised in wellies, oil skin slicker, beard and wild wig under a mariner’s cap, mumbled (with amplification) the thoughts of an old salt as he spy-glassed the arrivals and seatings of the ticketed. When we had a chance to speak with him afterwards, we asked him about what could have been a contrivance but turned out to be a perfect introduction to the evening. He was on the auto-pilot of his best instincts, choosing snippets that widely included both Somewhere over the rainbow and a Procol Harem line, I won’t be your man at all if I can’t be your salty dog as he pulleyed a rope trajectory over our heads, perfectly marking his scanning of the horizon and his climbing up into the crow’s nest to find the next 25 years. We were definitely in tow when the music started.

His disguise by Cindy Sherman had evolved into something more sinister and Tom Waitsian since Hannah Whitaker made this photo for the New York Magazine review.




It is significant that he chose words of Ariel rather than Prospero for the title of his production. The Tempest is usually invoked at a time of retirement. Prospero closes his tattered book, but Ariel is fast-forwarded into an unimaginable freedom. In I Drink the Air Before Me, Stephen Petronio and Nico Muhly are both part Prospero and part Ariel with a promise of more to come. My husband will always secure us passage on their voyages, and it’s funny how either I am outgrowing my seasickness or they are becoming better Ahabs.

Here are C and Stephen Petronio.



Go here, and you will find, down the page a bit, an audio file of some of Nico Muhly's music from this production.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Jack Mackenroth fabulous @ 40

Yesterday, C and I attended the 40th birthday bash of Jack Mackenroth at the Star Lounge which is in the basement of the fabled Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd St.

Jack, whom you will recognize from Project Runway and from here, is rather a New York City homme du moment and is radiant proof that being positively forty is hot.



Here is Jack with Jesse Sanchez who is a producer with CBS in Miami. Doesn't it call to mind this photo by Weegee?





Here are Bret (with one t, and what appears to be only one blue eye) and Joe who lives in Long Island City which is closer to Manhattan than most folks assume. Bret designs children's accessories and Joe is an art director with a large pharmaceutical. Why in this economic time are these two fellows apologetic about their employment? Earning a living in a creative position while so many others are losing their jobs is no mean accomplishment. Plus, could they manage to be any cuter? (Joe holds the title of Jack Mackenroth roommate 2007-08. A collectible series available through the Franklin Mint.)



The guest list included many prominent producers of beautiful images (both still and moving) and many of the models and performers in those images, with a subset of those who are in both camps.

Here are Ryan, Frank Louis, Frantz and Mark. Frank is one of my favorite photographers and if you don't go to this page of his website to view the (somewhat NSFW) photos of Jack, Ryan, Frantz and Mark, you are a fool.




The glamorous Enrique Ramirez, who knows that healthy skin is hot, kept things lively.




And we had a rollicking good time with the stellar Michaelann.


Here are the smoldering Alon and Amin who are just the right size for C and me.



And to the to-die-cute Staten Island lad nursing a drink at the juncture of the two rooms who told us that he has a dog who demands his nightly return and that the hour and a half trip to his front door never seems to dissuade men from accompanying him home, we say bravo and use it before you lose it.

As the recently returned Samantha said in the Sex and the City movie, "God, I miss New York".

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