▪ Most Recent News (news archive >)
|• QAF The Complete Series|
|[; September 01, 2007]
As previously announced, Queer as Folk - The Complete Series is coming. Preorder today for the November 20th release!
|• Queer as Folk Stars Reunite for Ping Pong|
|[BGay.com; August 17, 2007] They played lovers on Queer as Folk, but now Peter Paige and Scott Lowell will be partners of the table-tennis variety for Ping Pong Playa, a new comedy from Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Jessica Yu (In the Realms of the Unreal).
The film stars Jimmy Tsai as a would-be basketball player who is forced to defend his family's athletic dynasty.
For a director who often takes on very serious subjects, Yu is a very funny lady (she delivered the immortal "My dress cost more than my film" line at the Oscars.)
So with a cast that also includes gay comic Jason Stuart and Khary Payton (who played the witty gay pal on the Emily's Reasons Why Not), count on Playa to serve the laughs when it's unveiled later this year.
|• Gay American Heroes to honor slain LGBT hate-crimes victims|
|[Miami Herald; August 16, 2007] A “Who’s Who” of gay and straight culture have come together to create a national memorial to honor LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people who have been murdered because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.|
Led by Scott Hall, Frank Kameny, US. Representative Barney Frank and Chip Arndt, the idea for Gay American Heroes was born on March 13, 2007, when Founder and President Scott Hall learned about the brutal murder of Ryan Keith Skipper. Ryan was a 25 year-old Floridian who lived in Polk County, not far from Hall. Ryan was viciously stabbed more than 20 times and was left to die; for one reason --- Ryan Keith Skipper was gay.
Hall had twice been the victim of hate crimes and was quickly spurred into action. Within days he contacted longtime friend Frank Kameny, pioneering gay rights activist, who immediately recognized the importance of Hall's project. James T. Sears, noted writer and historian, also voiced his early strong support of the project. The group then assembled a team to create the Gay American Heroes Foundation, a not-for-profit organization.
With Founding Board Members Chip Arndt, Jack Rutland and William J. Iannarelli leading the way, Gay American Heroes’ mission was established: 1) to honor and remember LGBT people who have been murdered because of there sexual orientation and/or gender identity; 2) to engage and inform the public about hate crimes against LGBT persons; and 3) to inspire compassion and greater appreciation for, and acceptance of, diversity.
Hall traveled to New York City where he met with Cyndi Lauper to discuss the project. Ms. Lauper immediately offered to help in any way that she could. Hall also met with “Grey’s Anatomy” T. R. Knight, who expressed his heartfelt support for the project.
The first phase of the Foundation’s plan is to assemble a traveling memorial and exhibition constructed of six individual rainbow-colored, multi-dimensional panels bearing the photos, names, ages and occupations of LGBT hate crime victims. The eight-foot tall memorial will stretch more than 100 feet. Expected completion date for the exhibit is December 2007.
Once completed, Gay American Heroes volunteers will transport the display throughout the country to college campuses, LGBT events and to communities where anti-gay murders have occurred. An informational welcome tent will include guest speakers and educational materials. At each venue, the volunteers will enlist local community leaders to present informative programs.
"We want to reach out to communities as soon as possible following a deadly anti-gay hate crime," adds Hall. "We want to support the family and friends of the victim, as well as to work with local officials, law enforcement and service organizations to provide counseling and outreach."
In addition to U.S. Representative Barney Frank, Gay American Heroes’ Honorary Board members include Elke Kennedy, whose son Sean William Kennedy was murdered on May 16, 2007 and U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva, the first American wounded in the war in Iraq. (Complete list below)
Several local and national organizations have already declared their support for the Foundation, including Equality Florida, Freedom Democrats of Miami-Dade, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Pridelines Youth Services, Safe Schools South Florida, Stonewall Library & Archives, The Trevor Project and Unity Coalition of Miami-Dade.
The ultimate goal of Gay American Heroes Foundation is to establish a permanent memorial in Washington, DC.
SOME OF OUR RECENT HEROES
Texas, July 27, 2007: A Texas man charged in the slaying of Kenneth Cummings, Jr. said that he was “doing God's work” when he went hunting for a gay man to kill.
South Carolina, May 16, 2007: Sean William Kennedy, 20, was leaving a bar when a man jumped out of a car, punched Sean, and then took off. Sean fell and hit his head. He died less than 24 hours later.
California, March 16, 2007 – The body of a 24 year-old transgender woman, Ruby Rodriguez, was found in the Mission District of San Francisco. This murder comes at the heels of at least two other violent deaths of transgender women of color in the area over the past six months.
Florida, March 13, 2007 - Ryan Keith Skipper, 25 years old, was stabbed more than 20 times, his lifeless body left at the side of the road. Two suspects bragged to their friends about savagely killing him.
New York, November 2006 - Michael Sandy, an African-American gay man, died after he was beaten to a pulp by a group of young men. This isn't the first time this group of men led gay men to remote locations to be savagely beaten.
Gay American Heroes Foundation will be funded through private and grant donations, offline and on-line fundraisers and partnership donations. The Dade Community Foundation is currently managing the Foundation’s contributions and is fiscally sponsoring Gay American Heroes. This gives the Foundation all the tax benefits afforded to 501(c)3 organizations, pending its own independent designation as a 501(c)3 organization.
For further information, please visit www.GayAmericanHeroes.com or call (321) 506-8738
About the choice of "Gay American Heroes" as the name of the Foundation
Gay -- The majority of the heterosexual community does not distinguish as to whether someone is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Most just put them all in one category, Gay. Since it is the community at large that GAH seeks to educate, the decision was made to simply use the word "Gay."
American – Unfortunately, anti-LGBT violence is universal. In fact, in some countries, governments condone torture and execution of LGBT people. The GAH project is focusing first on Americans, to help America live up to its promise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" – beginning with guaranteeing LGBT people the right to live safety in their own communities.
Heroes -- All people who live honestly about their sexual orientation are heroic, as it takes great strength and courage to face the daily struggles for personal freedom in the face of enormous opposition; to ultimately give their life for said freedom makes them Heroes.
Founder and President: Scott Hall
Founding Board of Directors:
David da Silva Cornell
Gypsey E. Teague
Honorary Board of Directors
Sgt. Eric Alva
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank
Board of Advisors
Warren Burdick – Oklahoma
Lillian Faderman - California
Frank Kameny, Ph.D. - Washington, DC
Elke Kennedy – South Carolina
Bruce Presley – New York and Ft. Lauderdale
Jim Sears, Ph.D. - North Carolina
Nadine Smith - Florida
Marilyn K. Volker, Ed.D. – Florida
|• Elbrick, Harrison, Etc. Set for 'Mrs. Warren's Profession'|
|[BroadwayWorld.com; August 14, 2007] Berkshire Theatre Festival presents Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw and directed by Anders Cato (Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Night of the Iguana at BTF) on the Main Stage. This production begins previews on August 14 and runs through September 1.
Mrs. Warren’s Profession, written in 1894, is "a witty and daring comedy. This play is a prime example of Shaw’s brilliance at blending thought-provoking issues, intelligent argument, and riveting drama. It is both an honest portrait of women working in the world’s oldest profession and an emotional portrayal of the relationship between a street-savvy mother and her educated, independent daughter. Shaw was an equal income advocate, defender of women’s rights, and won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925. Some of Shaw’s other work includes Arms and the Man, Heartbreak House, Caesar and Cleopatra, and The Apple Cart," state press notes.
Lisa Banes will play the title role Mrs. Kitty Warren, a Victorian era mother working to support her daughter. Banes has performed on Broadway in Rumors, Arcadia, and High Society. She has had reoccurring roles in hit television shows, such as "The King of Queens," "Six Feet Under," and "Saved" and made film appearances in Hotel New Hampshire and Freedom Writers. Xanthe Elbrick will play her daughter Vivie Warren, a highly confident and well-educated young woman. Recently, Elbrick received a Tony Award nomination for her role in Coram Boy. She has performed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in productions of Anything Goes, I Have Loved Strangers, and The Miracle Worker. Randy Harrison will play the charming and charismatic Frank Gardner. Harrison has previously appeared at BTF in Equus, Amadeus, and this season’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and he is best known for playing Justin Taylor on the Showtime television series "Queer as Folk."
Walter Hudson will take on Sir George Crofts. Hudson has numerous BTF credits, including Amadeus, Peter Pan, and My Fair Lady. He has appeared off and on Broadway for the New York Shakespeare Festival and has been an acting participant in the Eugene O’Neill and Sundance Theatre Conferences. Mark Nelson will play Praed. Nelson previously performed in the BTF production of Talley’s Folly and he directed Tina Howe’s Coastal Disturbances last season. Stephen Temperley will play Reverend Samuel Gardner. Temperley previously appeared in BTF’s production of Amadeus and has written plays, including The Pilgrim Papers, which premiered in the Unicorn Theatre in 2006, and Souvenir, which was developed at BTF before going on to Broadway and regional productions across the country.
Mrs. Warren’s Profession in BTF’s Main Stage previews August 14 through August 16, opens August 17, and closes September 1. Performances are Monday through Saturday evenings at 8pm with matinees at 2pm on Thursdays and Saturdays. A free “postscript” discussion with the cast will be held following the August 20 performance. This post-show discussion will give the audience the opportunity to ask questions and share comments with the cast.
Tickets range from $37 to $64. Students with valid ID receive fifty percent discount. Contact the BTF Box Office at 413-298-5576 or visit www.berkshiretheatre.org. Box Office hours are Monday through Saturday from 10am to 7pm and one hour prior to curtain.
|• Celebrities, Cocktails, and Koi: ABSOLUT Hancock Park|
|[A Socialite's Life; August 14, 2007] The party picked up pretty quickly and the regular list of Gay "Who's Who" sauntered in to chat each other up and trade tips on how to become even more famous. That's all famous people do right? Over the course of the evening, we spotted Robert Gant ("Queer As Folk"), Wilson Cruz ("Noah's Ark"), Tony Tripoli ("Fashion House"), Jai Rodriquez ("Queer Eye"), Marc Cherry (creator of "Desperate Housewives"), Paul McCullough ("The Next Food Network Star"), Chad Allen ("Save Me"), Honey Labrador ("Queer Eye for the Straight Girl"), Ian Roberts (former pro-rugby player), Reichen Lehmkuhl ("Amazing Race") and my favorite sighting of all, Christine Devine (Fox 11 News).|
Read the rest here.
|• KING'S X Frontman Completes Work On New Solo Album|
|[Blabbermouth; August 13, 2007] KING'S X frontman Doug Pinnick's personal manager Todd Diamond has issued the following update:
"dUg's [a.k.a. Doug] solo stuff is pretty much done, the process has been long but the good news is that it is a rocking disc. It should hit the label in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
"On other notes, dUg is going to L.A. to film a video for his solo record. This is very cool; dUg has not done a video for anything other than KING'S X. This is a mark of a new time and error (oops damn brownies) in his career. The video is being produced and directed by Hal Sparks.
"For those of you that do not know, Hal Sparks he is one of the busiest guys in Hollywood. You may have caught him on last year's 'America's Got Talent', 'Spider Man', VH1, 'Queer as Folk', and the list goes on. And on top of being that busy he produced dUg's new solo record, the video to come and is in his own band ZERO ONE.
"Last week dUg did an in-store at Big Daddy Music with Billy Sheehan and Mike Mangini in the Boston area. It was a great success and we are looking into other in-stores in the future. dUg really wanted to thank everyone that came out to the in stores as well as those behind the scenes that made it happen. A special thank you goes out to Candi who runs Daddy Music; dUg had a great time and really was stoked and excited about working with her.
"The workshop was videotaped and being edited by Bryan Powers. Looks like in the future it will be on sale for those of you who did not make it and those that would be interested in learning from three of the best in the business. The details are not yet worked out, however it is coming in the future… (we are hoping to put it out on Molken Music, however legal mumbo jumbo and all that we are still not sure).
"dUg is finally home and enjoying the time to catch up on life. As he always tells me, I am doing what I do. LOL which means he is busy. However, busy at home is much different then busy on the road.
"August 25th Bang Your Head Texas style! dUg is playing at the Meridian with THE SONNIER BROTHERS BAND. This will be a chance to here dUg's new solo record live. If you are in the Texas area, make sure to go see this — it will be something unique and a banging time! THE SONNIER BROTHERS have been in major bands over the years — GALACTIC COWBOYS, ATOMIC OPERA — and they have played with dUg over the years and the groove will be insane!"
|• Canuck lands Spielberg/Hanks gig|
|[Jam!; August 13, 2007] Jeremy Podeswa, the Canadian director whose film "Fugitive Pieces" is the opening-night gala at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, can add another illustrious credit to his resume.|
The Toronto-born director and screenwriter has been tabbed to direct an episode of the new Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks HBO war epic, "Pacific," the unofficial followup to the pair's award-winning "Band of Brothers" miniseries.
"It's not been announced yet, but I've just been signed," Podeswa said on the line from his home in Los Angeles on Thursday. "I'm really excited about it."
The miniseries, about three Marines fighting in the Pacific during the Second World War, begins shooting this month in Australia.
Like "Band of Brothers," the lead actors in "Pacific" are relatively unknown: James Badge Dale ("The Departed"), Val Lauren ("The Salton Sea") and Joe Mazzello, who was 10 years old when he played Timmy in Spielberg's adventure classic "Jurassic Park."
Podeswa says there will be more casting announcements to come.
"With 'Band of Brothers,' they cast a lot of unknowns who actually became quite famous, but the philosophy here is to ensure people can identify with these kids, who are not very well-known at this point," he said. "There will be some better-known people in some other roles."
"Pacific" follows the Marines from their deployment to their return to the U.S. after VJ Day.
Podeswa, 45, possesses an impressive resume that includes directing credits on some of the most critically acclaimed U.S. television shows ever, including "Six Feet Under," "Carnivale," "Queer as Folk," "Nip/Tuck," "The Riches" and "Rome."
The Canadian movie-maker has a busy few weeks ahead of him: in addition to his "Pacific" directing duties, Podeswa will be back in his hometown to see "Fugitive Pieces," based on Anne Michaels' bestselling novel, enjoy some time in the spotlight at the Toronto International Film Festival. He spent five years writing the script for the film in addition to directing it.
"I've had a long history with the festival - I've shown many films there - but this is clearly the biggest and most exciting involvement I've had with it," he said.
"The source material was so beautiful and compelling and I thought there was an opportunity to create a beautiful film with it ... the book is so rich and poetic and powerful, the challenge was to match the film's tone with the tone of the novel."
|• Romo Holiday|
|[Dallas Observer; August 13, 2007] Hal mention in this article on Tony Romo:|
After former Queer as Folk star Hal Sparks finishes a Skid Row ballad, Romo—holding the microphone upside down as if bleeding the last drop of ketchup from a bottle—belts out "Don't Stop Believing" (his and Tony Soprano's fave) and Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," his Q rating rocketing and his humble, small-town back story dissolving a little more with each impassioned, only slightly off-key note.
Read the whole article here.
|• ANT, Gant win "Housewives" gay casting call|
|[gay.com; August 13, 2007] After hearing Marc Cherry's exciting plan to incorporate a gay male couple into the upcoming season of "Desperate Housewives," we decided to run a casting call. We came up with some creative pairings of openly gay celebs to play the couple, and asked you to vote last week.
The results are in!
With close to 10,000 votes cast, the Gay.com "Desperate Housewives" casting call proved that gay fans of the show are extremely passionate about which actors they'd like to see in this new storyline.
The pairing of ANT and Scott Thompson was voted the No. 1 "Desperate" gay couple, pulling in 24 percent of the vote. Coming in a close second were Robert Gant and Chad Allen, with 22 percent.
"I am a huge fan of the show," ANT told Gay.com after hearing of his win. "To have a chance to move onto Wisteria Lane. Wow! And you know what happens when gays move into your area: Property values go up, as does the drama!"
Gant was equally thrilled with the news. "I'm totally flattered by this," Gant told Gay.com. "Heck yeah, I wanna live there! And I love it when gay guys on TV are the real deal. Does this mean the gals in the neighborhood are going to be attempting to 'convert' the new neighbors for their own benefit?!"
The fabulous coupling of Richard Chamberlain and George Takei was also popular with voters, coming in third place with 12 percent of the vote -- barely edging out Rufus Wainwright and Lance Bass, who placed fourth.
British heartthrobs Alan Cumming and Rupert Everett placed an impressive fifth, while Nathan Lane and Mario Cantone came in at No. 6.
More inspired couplings placed lower in the poll, but members' comments showed they loved the pairings.
"The only thing better than Bruce Vilanch and RuPaul would be RuPaul and Nathan Lane!" wrote Gettyman. Vilanch and RuPaul tied for eighth place with David Hyde Pierce and Wilson Cruz, both pulling in 5 percent of the vote.
|• Fourth Annual Nicktoons Network Animation Festival Celebrates World-Class Animation During the Month of August Culminating with a 'Best Of' Special on Friday, August 31|
|[Press Release; August 07, 2007] Nicktoons Network, Nickelodeon's 24 hour animation network, has received its greatest number of entries for the fourth annual Nicktoons Network Animation Festival, the first and only multiplatform animation festival that's now the largest in North America. Nicktoons Network will air one new short film entry throughout the month of August every night at 10 p.m. (ET), culminating with an hour-long "Best Of" special airing Friday, August 31 at 10 p.m. (ET). The special will feature the top 10 entries from around the world and will count down to the winner of the Grand Jury Award as decided by a panel of celebrity judges. Plus, one talented Grand Prize winner will be awarded the Nickelodeon Development Award -- a first-time prize of $20,000 for the winner to develop his or her original concept with the Nickelodeon Development team. This award and others will be announced at the live event hosted by Hal Sparks (voice of Tak in Tak and the Power of Juju, Talk Soup) on Friday, August 10 at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.
"In its fourth year, the Nicktoons Network Animation Festival continues to grow in both scope and scale," said Keith Dawkins, Vice President and General Manager, Nicktoons Network. "Filmmakers and industry tastemakers from around the globe continue to recognize the festival as a vehicle for the development of truly original animated content and we are proud to be such a destination."
This year the Nicktoons Network Animation Festival, in association with Frederator Studios and Radar Cartoons, received over 3,100 submissions from around the world, including Latvia, Australia, Finland, The Netherlands and Taiwan. The Grand Prize winner will be granted the festival's first-ever Nickelodeon Development Award for the opportunity to pitch his or her original concepts directly to Nickelodeon Development. One concept will be chosen, and with the guidance of the Nickelodeon Development team, the winner will receive $20,000 towards the development of a show treatment, pilot script and storyboard. The winner will be announced, along with the winners of the Student Award, Diversity Award, Greater Creator Award and Producer's Choice Award, during Creator Night -- the first of a two-day live event for invited guests at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios -- on Friday, August 10. The following day, animation fans of all ages will participate in Kids' Day featuring an exclusive screening of the festival's winning shorts, a special sneak peek of Nick's new CG-animated series Tak and the Power of Juju, animator meet and greets and other fun activities.
A grand jury of celebrity judges -- Steve Oedekerk, Patrick Warburton, Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls), Michael Dougherty (co-writer Superman Returns, X-Men 2), Joanna Quinn (academy award nominee, Famous Fred) and Mark Shirra (2006 Producer's Choice Award winner) -- will select the Grand Jury Award of $10,000 to be announced on-air during the "Best Of" special on Nicktoons Network, Friday, August 31 at 10 p.m. (ET) along with the Viewer's Choice Award.
Viewers can weigh in on the night's featured short film all month long on http://www.nicktoonsnetwork.com/nnaf or by texting their vote -- "1" if it rocks or "2" if it rots -- to 23882. Fans can also enter the "Rocks or Rots Sweepstakes" by logging on to http://www.nicktoonsnetwork.com/nnaf/enter.jhtml for a chance to win a Nicktoons Network artist kit. One winner will be selected each night in August.
|▪ Quote of the Moment|
Emmett: If you break his heart, I will break your face.|
(Episode # 119)
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