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Los Angeles Scene
by Bill Kaiser
May 2007

Lush Life

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.

Silent Partners

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.

Anatomically Correct

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.
Information: 866-811-4111

Gemini

Currently running at Celebration Theatre in Hollywood is the 30th anniversary production of “Gemini” by Albert Innaurato.
Information: 323-957-1884

Box 27

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.
Information: 818-506-0600

Throwing Rubies

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.
Tickets: plays411.com/newsite/show/play_info.asp?show_id=972

Heavenly

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.
Information: tntclassics@aol.com

Culture Series

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
    Poets Louise Moore and Eloise Klein Healy

    June 17 - 2pm
    Playwright Robert Patrick answering questions about the
    Caffe Cino and the beginnings of contemporary gay theatre.

    July 15 - 2pm
    Director Jennifer Abod and her film on Audre Lord.

    August 19 - 2pm
    Historian Craig Loftin discussing his research about letters
    from gays and lesbians to ONE during the McCarthy era.

Everyone is invited to come to these free events.
ONE building, 909 West Adams, Los Angeles, California
Information: 213-741-0094

If you have edgy people who you would like to suggest for future events, contact me at purplecir@aol.com


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