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Los Angeles Scene|
by Bill Kaiser
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles presented a change of pace concert in April with “The Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn.” Billy Strayhorn co-wrote many songs with Duke Ellington, as well as orchestrated many melodies for Ellington’s band. Strayhorn also happened to be gay.
The chorus did a fabulous job of turning Strayhorn’s solo-sung compositions into choral works of great beauty. Plus, there was a lot of great choreography. The show was directed by Joanna Gleeson at The Alex Theatre in Glendale.
Also in April, there was an intriguing reading of “Silent Partners” by Charles Marowitz at The Workmen’s Circle in West LA. The play delves into the relationship between Bertolt Brecht and his young American adherent Eric Bentley. It was a revealing evening of information about both men.
Barry Dennen played Brecht and seduced the audience. J.D. Cullum played Bentley, and he, and the rest of the cast, did a fine reading. A west coast production of this show certainly should be encouraged.
Incidentally Mr. Bentley, who is 90+, just won the “Robert Chesley Lifetime Achievement Award” along with Chris Weikel, who was also honored in NYC at “The Publishing Triangle Awards.”
Victor Bumbalo, the director of The Chesley Foundation, is a nominee for his play “Questa” at the upcoming “Lambda Book Awards” along with Tim Miller and Steven Fales.
Jason Graae does a fantastic solo show, “Graae’s Anatomy” at the El Portal Theatre in Noho. Don’t miss his final shows on May 21-22, 2007.
Currently running at Celebration Theatre in Hollywood is the 30th anniversary production of “Gemini” by Albert Innaurato.
In Noho, the Glaad awarding-winning “Box 27” by Michael Norman Mann, which is about the anti-gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy, returns to the Actor’s Forum in Noho.
The Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood is showing “Throwing Rubies” by Terri Sissman. Margaret, a retired bank officer and new volunteer, is assigned to Jeffrey, a gay man with AIDS-related tuberculosis. Separated by the worlds they inhabit, Margaret and Jeffrey are drawn together, and their unlikely friendship bolsters Jeffrey’s struggle, and allows Margaret to face a buried past of forbidden love and loss.
T’n’T Classics Books has re-released a wonderful Lesbian comedy, “My Blue Heaven” by Jane Chambers. This is a show that deserves productions.
ONE Archives launches a new “Culture Series.” As coordinator of the series, I hope to bring diverse voices of artists and archivists, performers and historians and writers and activists to the events.
May 20, 2007 - 2pm
June 17 - 2pm
July 15 - 2pm
August 19 - 2pm
Everyone is invited to come to these free events.
If you have edgy people who you would like to suggest for future events, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org