Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Gay Show on NBC; Don't Tell Mama Closes; Giovanni's Room Saying So Long




New Gay Show on NBC

NBC has a new TV show coming out titled, The Night Shift, starring Luke MacFarlane and Brendon Fehr, where they play closeted gay lovers. Fehr will play the closeted ex-soldier who served in Afghanistan who is now a doctor in the US.

Even more interesting? His character's boyfriend is still fighting in Afghanistan and is on his way home--and he's played by openly gay Brothers & Sisters star Luke MacFarlane!

You can read more here.

It sounds like it should be interesting, especially because these two characters seem to be out of the ordinary with respect to the usual gay roles on TV. I'll watch. And to be honest I haven't watched anything on network TV in years. I watch news, films, cable series, and even game shows on TV...about two hours a day. But network TV doesn't even cross my radar anymore. Maybe this show will be as good as Nurse Jackie or Veep and set a new standard for network TV.

Don't Tell Mama Closes

Last summer I wrote a short post about a place in New York I've always loved, Don't Tell Mama. From my post.

I found a sense of comfort there I hadn't experienced anywhere else. Don't Tell Mama is a sort of cabaret, restaurant, and entertainment destination in the theater district in Manhattan where some big name stars can show up at any time. It was one of the first places where I ever saw gay people acting openly as gay people. I was there more than once when celebrities came in just to watch the shows. In fact, in my Bad Boy Billionaire book, The Actor Learning to Love, I based one of the scenes on a place very similar to Don't Tell Mama because one of the main characters is a pianist/cabaret singer.

Unfortunately, Don't Tell Mama in West Hollywood will be closing its doors and it wasn't even open a year.

Don’t Tell Mama took over the former O-Bar restaurant and piano bar space, which was empty since O-Bar closed in July of 2011.  Long time WeHo residents may also fondly remember this space housed the former Capones piano bar which had a decent run in the 1990s.

The piano Bar was named after the title song featured in the 1966 Broadway Musical “Cabaret.”  It was established in 1982 on Restaurant Row in the heart of the Theater District in NYC.  It’s been featured in numerous TV shows like “Friends” and “Saturday Night Live” and also boasts a long list of performers who went on to win an Emmy, Grammy, Tony, Oscar and the Pulitzer Price, according to their website, donttellmamanyc.com.

I'm not sure what this closure means for gay culture in a general sense. At one time a place like Don't Tell Mama in any gay venue like WEHO would have flourished. They are claiming they didn't get enough customers. At one time right here in New Hope, PA we had three flourishing gay bars and restaurants. All have closed but one, and that one is hanging on by a thread. And it's not that there aren't enough gay people in the area to support them.

You can read more here.

Giovanni's Room Closing

I know I posted about LGBTI Book Store, Giovanni's Room, Closing last week, but today Tony and I had an appointment in Philadelphia and I had to stop by just one last time in person to get a photo and to see it. In many ways, it's a gay cultural landmark, but here in the US we don't celebrate our pop culture settings the same way we do with the typical historic places. If George Washington didn't sleep there, no one cares.

Giovanni's Room, which is believed to be the nation's oldest surviving bookstore catering to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, is set to close next month.

The entire neighborhood surrounding Giovanni's Room is probably more gay now than it has ever been. But even they couldn't manage to stay in business, much like Don't Tell Mama in WEHO.

Again, I think it's an interesting statement about gay culture and how things are changing so fast...and where things are headed.

You can read more here.

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