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16 July 2018

“Yes, I did offer them acting jobs in exchange for sex, but so did and still does everyone. 
But I never, ever forced myself on a single woman.”
  
– 
Harvey Weinstein’s justification for his legal woes.  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury – the defense rests.

Last week, I was mad at all the politically correct people who didn’t want Scarlett Johansson, a biological woman, to play the role of Lois Jean Gill, another biological woman who lived and dressed as a man.  Did Lois consider herself transgender?  No one really knows – maybe she liked wearing suits.  But due to the pressure, Scarlett backed out of the flick, so this week I’m mad at her.  My only hope is that without a “name” attached, the film won’t get made, and then everyone else will be mad along with me. I, on the other hand, will be dancing a tarantella.

I’m also mad that after 68 years, the Gypsy Robe will now be called the Legacy Robe.  Why?  Because Actors Equity does not want to upset the Romani people.  For the last time, Broadway “gypsies” are performers who go from show to show…like gypsies.  They’re not reading tea leaves, banging a tambourine, or dancing.  No, that’s me!

In case I haven’t alienated all of you, lemme share one more thing annoying me.  The CEO of the Asian Entertainment Television Company is organizing a class action lawsuit against Grindr.  Why?  Because the hookup app allows profiles to include phrases like “Not attracted to Asians”.  I’m guessing a certain CEO isn’t getting many taps!  Here’s the thing – if someone’s not interested, don’t you want to know upfront?  I read “No one over 30” all the time – can I sue?  Everyone on Grindr says, “Not attracted to women”.  Can women sue, ‘cause Gloria Allred will take on that fight.  If I know you’re not interested, great – it saves us both a lot of aggravation.

Someone else aggravated is Dame Diana Rigg.  She is in the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady, playing Henry Higgins’ mother.  Lauren Ambrose has decided that due to the burden of carrying a show, she will take off Sunday matinees.  Well, Dame Diana is not amused.  “I learnt, courtesy of a newspaper, that our leading lady will not be appearing in future Sunday matinees.  Now call me old-fashioned, which I unashamedly am, but I don’t think this development is fair to audiences.  They have booked their seats in advance, paying an exorbitant price for them to see what they have been led to believe is the original cast.  The very least we can do as actors is to acknowledge their presence as a privilege and take care never to abuse it.  It is time management put their audiences first and insist on the old adage, slightly adapted by me, ‘The show must go on – with ALL principals.’”  Hear, hear!

Another legendary lady got some bad news.  Olivia de Havilland’s suit regarding how she was portrayed in Feud was rejected by the California Supreme Court.  Even worse, the news came nine days after her 102nd birthday.  We hear she is considering bringing the case to the Supreme Court.  She’d better hurry!

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During my Fourth of July sojourn in Provincetown, I saw several shows.  This time, I’ll start with the Ptown Art House and three shows running all season.  I don’t know the last time I enjoyed a show as much as Varla Jean Merman’s Under A Big Top.  I laughed so hard, I was exhausted by the end!  The clever lyrics (worthy of Sondheim), the psychotic bits (including a mind reader), the swing, the costumes, even the unscripted tumble from the stage – it was all perfection.  This may be my favorite Varla show ever – which is good since it is her 20th anniversary in show biz.  Don’t miss it.

I was then lucky enough to see Steve Grand’s opening…well, his opening night in Provincetown.  We all know he’s gorgeous and has a great voice.  What impressed me most was how he’s grown as a performer.  Listen, kids, it’s not easy to stand in front of a hundred queens and keep them entertained for an hour – especially fully dressed!  If I had any criticism, it’s that my focus was drawn to his erect right nipple.  But, I chalked it up to the fact that I was sitting up front.  You’re welcome.  By the by, his new CD just came out and you can grab it at SteveGrand.com

Then I saw Well-Strung’s new show, A Night at the Movies.  From the slick opening credits (a la Hitchcock), to the first song (“Science Fiction – Double Feature” from Rocky Horror), to the men playing various instruments, I knew this was not gonna be your usual Well-Strung show.  First off, everything tied into movies – and what doors that opened up.  We got an evocative John Williams medley (with accompanying film clips), a beatific “Moon River”, and even some Titanic – which included leaning!  The boys conceived and directed the show, and I think grasping control of their professional destiny has brought them to the next level.  It was bold, creative, and slick.  If you think you’ve seen Well-Strung, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  Get tix for all these acts at PtownArtHouse.com.

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Meanwhile at the Crown & Anchor, I managed to take in Star Boys – well, not so much take them in as peruse the goods.  When they called the show a burlesque, they weren’t kidding.  Yes, it’s a high-concept evening centered on outer space.  But these “boys” spend the majority of their time outta their clothes!  Not only are they handsome, but they have lots to show – if you catch my drift.  Aside from their hot bodies and their bouncy bits, they’re also incredibly limber.  Two of them are acrobats and aerial artists.  Here’s what I learned – one doesn’t need to look up to watch an aerial act.  The silks and rings were roughly a foot off the ground – the worst that could have happened was a chipped nail.  But that didn’t take away from the incredible body control, the sensual routines, or the jubilant audience who cheered every gyration and every inch…oh, did I mention they’re naked?  And they don’t disappoint.

I know I previously mentioned that The Skivvies would be at the Crown on August 6 and 7.  But now we know that their special guest will be Randy Harrison, formerly the twink on Queer as Folk (US).  And Ptown will have him in his underwear?  Talk about a must-see!  Get tix to all the Crown & Anchor shows at OnlyAtTheCrown.com.

Meanwhile at the Provincetown Theater, the new artistic director David Drake has programmed Love! Valour! Compassion! by Terrence McNally (which will also star Mr. Drake and his fabled phallus dangling betwixt his legs).  Not only that, but Mr. McNally is flying out to be honored on July 20th with the first-ever Provincetown American Playwright Award.  The ever-quotable McNally quipped, “I am honored beyond all measure to be the recipient of the first PAPA award.  Since I turn 80 in November, maybe you want to make it the GRANPAPA award.”  That Terry is such a scamp!  L!V!C! runs through August 30th.  Get your tix at ProvincetownTheater.org.

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Speaking of theatrical benefits, The Boys in the Band has added a special show as a benefit for The Actors Fund on July 26th at midnight.  Since it’s a late-night performance, perhaps someone getting out of the shower on stage will take a few extra minutes putting on his undies.  Grab your tickets at ActorsFund.org.  Tell ‘em Billy sent you!

I’m already scheduled to be in NYC that night because that’s when Head Over Heels opens on Broadway.  The long-gestating show featuring the music of The Go-Go’s will surely be a momentous occasion – not the least of which because it will feature (watch how skillfully I tie this whole column together) the first openly trans person to star in a Broadway musical!  Not only that, Scarlett, but Peppermint is playing a trans role – the oracle Pythio, who is described as “neither he nor she”.  When it comes to replacement casting, the possibilities are endless.

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Harry Styles helped a fan come out to her mother.  The fan, Grace, made a sign to hold up at Harry’s concert, which said, “I’m Gonna COME OUT To My Parents because of YOU!!!”  Harry spotted the sign, stopped the show, and spoke directly to Grace.  He asked where her parents were.  Grace said her mom (Tina) was back at the hotel, Styles said congratulations, and then the whole audience chanted “Tina, she’s gay!”  Grace showed her mom the sign and the video of Harry and the audience.  Mom’s response?  “Yes, I do love you and you can be whoever you want to be.”  Now Grace is bringing Tina to see Harry in Los Angeles.  So, the ball’s in your court, Harry.

Not to be outdone, a gay couple got engaged at a Taylor Swift concert – well, anything to avoid listening to that twit!  I’ll let one of the boys explain what happened.  “He asked me to marry him while Taylor Swift was singing our song in front of us and I said ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY.”  Samy (the proposer) knelt in front of Ric (the proposee) – I suspect guys get on their knees all the time at Taylor Swift concerts.  And just like that, Samy popped the question.  In this case, the singer played no part in the proposal – she was just background noise.

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When a gay couple is getting married in spite of Taylor Swift (you look at it your way, I’ll look at it my way), it’s time to end yet another column.  Just after last week’s column went out, we heard about the death of Tab Hunter.  As I wrote only weeks ago, he certainly defined an era and was without a doubt one of the most breathtakingly beautiful men to walk the Earth.  Of course, lots of other breathtaking men can be found at www.BillyMasters.com – the site that’ll take more than your breath away.  I didn’t have room for an Ask Billy question this week, but you can always contact me at Billy@BillyMasters.com, I promise to get back to you before Jamie Lee Curtis replaces Peppermint in Head Over Heels.  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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