I haven't seen a production of Bent, by Martin Sherman, in a while. It's a popular play about how the Nazis persecuted gay people during the pre-WWII and in 1980 it originally starred Richard Gere and Ian McKellen. I'm also not sure if that launched Gere's career in films, or if he'd already done American Gigolo.
The play starred Ian McKellen in its original 1979 West End production, and Richard Gere in its original 1980 Broadway production. In 1989, Sean Mathias directed a revival of the play, performed as a one-night benefit for Stonewall, featuring Ian McKellen, Richard E Grant, Ian Charleson, and Ralph Fiennes. After receiving critical acclaim, Mathias directed a full run in 1990, with Ian McKellen, Paul Rhys, and Christopher Eccleston, which won the City Limits Award for Revival of the Year.
Jake Sheers is starring in this production in LA right now. He's best known for the stage musical adaptation of Tales of the City.
Here's an excerpt from a question and answer with Shears:
Queerty: How did the opportunity to appear in Bent come to you?
Jake Shears: They came to me. They asked if I was interested in reading for the part and doing the show. At first I just assumed that if anyone was asking me to be in their play that it must be a really shitty play. [Laughs] I didn’t even look at who or what it was. I just saw an email that asked if I was interested in reading for the role of Greta. I didn’t know the play, but I didn’t even see the title in the email. I just saw the name Greta. I ignored it and they wrote to me again and I finally realized what it was. I saw that Moises Kaufman was directing and I love his work so much. I worked on the part for a few days on my own then went in and read for it.
The questions, unfortunately, aren't the most fascinating. But the answers are excellent and it's worth the read just to learn more about a play that hasn't had much of a profile lately.
You can check the rest out here.
Drag Queens Banned From Gay Pride
This is interesting. According to this article drag queens have been officially banned from Free Pride Glasgow for reasons that will make you wonder.
In a statement, organizers said: “After much discussion, the trans and non binary caucus decided not to have drag acts perform at the event. This does not mean that people of any gender can’t wear what they want to the event, we simply won’t be having any self-described drag acts perform at our Free Pride Event on the 22nd August.”
The statement continued: “The decision was taken by transgender individuals who were uncomfortable with having drag performances at the event. It was felt that it would make some of those who were transgender or questioning their gender uncomfortable.”
The organization went on to say drag queens make gender “into a joke” and that “transgender individuals do not feel as though their gender identity is a joke.”
“This can particularly difficult for those who are not out and still present as the gender they were assigned at birth,” organizers said.
There's more here.
My only comment here is that I don't like it when people in the LGBT community turn on each other. In my entire life I have never once seen a drag queen slam a transgender person. I have never seen a drag queen discriminate or ban a transgender person. Never. In fact, drag queens will usually be the first to support any cause in the LGBT community. So this is starting to sound like more PC bullshit the rest of us are getting sick and tired of hearing.
Gay Men Forbidden From Acting Like Black Women
I've never done drag. It's just never been on my proverbial bucket list, plus I'm six feet three inches tall. But if I did do it I've always thought I'd like to be Tina Turner...I like the look...the black mini skirt, black biker jacket, and big blond wig. I love Tina Turner.
I guess that's NOT an option anymore.
“White gay men often assert that they are ‘strong black women’ or have an ‘inner black woman,'” NUS continued, calling such behavior “unacceptable” and saying it “must be addressed.”
Therefore, it was officially decided, gay white men may no longer act like black women.
According to its website, NUS is a group dedicated to making “a real difference to the lives of students.” The organization consists of 600 student union group across the U.K., representing the interests of more than seven million students.
There's more here.
The Rainbow Detective Agency
Four books in One