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Photo credit: Joan Marcus

Beauty and the Beast” isn’t necessarily my favorite Broadway offering, but it has some sentimental value for me personally, which is why I had to take part in it’s week-long run, currently housed at the Palace Theatre in Columbus, Ohio.

Though I’ve seen every Broadway tour to come through Columbus in the past six years, “Beauty and the Beast” is the only show I’ve actually seen on Broadway in the Big Apple, coupled with the fact that it was my favorite Disney movie growing up. I and my sisters often pranced about the living singing at the top of our lungs to Alan Menken’s popular score (much to my mother’s chagrin).

The 1994 Tony-winning, Broadway blockbuster beautifully transforms from the screen much to the work of it’s top class costume (Ann Hould-Ward) and scenic designs (Stanley A. Meyer). The stage becomes a masterpiece all its own.

Tim Rice joined the Academy Award winning team behind the movie to add seven new songs, but I wasn’t very impressed with the additions. Gaston’s “Me,” Belle’s “Home” and the Beast’s “If I Can’t Love Her” fall quite short in comparison to classics “Belle,” “Be Our Guest” and the title tune.

The cast however pulls out fantastic performances, especially Hilary Maiberger as Belle. It wasn’t until her act two aria “A Change In Me” did I really feel like I was watching a Tony-worthy showcase.

The show also infuses a healthy dose of comedy, which I appreciated.  Jeff Brooks as Gaston and Jimmy Larkin as his bumbling sidekick Lefou add hilarity with their Three Stooge-likes physical comedy exchanges.

“Beauty and the Beast” is definitely more of a showcase for your kids, the bright costumes and colorful moving backdrops, paired with the physical comedy will keep any 6-year-old on the edge of their seat, but as for me I’ll stick to with my fond memories of the film.

“Beauty and the Beast” runs through Oct. 14 at the Palace Theatre, 34 W. Broad Street, Columbus. Visit CAPA.com or Ticketmaster.com for more information. 

I’ve been commissioned by Outlook Columbus, Central Ohio’s premiere lgbt publication, to write a new monthly column titled “The Other Side” that will offer stories and detailed analysis about the plights faced by gay people of color. I’ll be posting an excerpt from the story here each month with a link to the full story on Outlook’s Web site. Please support those who support us! 

The Freaky Boiz

When famed lyricist and singer Frank Ocean declared to the world that his first love was a man over the July 4th holiday weekend, the world went berserk.

Facebook became overrun with closed readings of the lyrics in his songs (is he talking about men or women?!?) and sensationalized speculation (is he gay or bisexual?!?). Gays across the country, who had never even heard of Frank Ocean, let alone his music, before seeing his name, chiseled jaw line and the words “gay” pasted across a Huffington Post headline, clamored to preorder his new CD, Channel Orange, on Amazon.com and set their DVR’s eagerly anticipating his first appearance post “coming out” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

In just a matter of minutes Ocean became a gay icon, the first openly gay hip-hop artist in history…

Finish this article at OutlookColumbus.com

I’ve been commissioned by Outlook Columbus, Central Ohio’s premiere lgbt publication, to write a new monthly column titled “The Other Side” that will offer stories and detailed analysis about the plights faced by gay people of color. I’ll be posting an excerpt from the story here each month with a link to the full story on Outlook’s Web site. Please support those who support us! 

If you think that Madonna was the impetus for the flipping, dipping and face-defying poses that started the vogue style of dance that’s become the calling of the modern day ball scene, you’re sorely mistaken. Though Madge’s video was released the same year director Jennie Livingston finished the ball-culture defining 1991 film Paris is Burning, the ball scene had been voguing in New York City since the Harlem Renaissance.

“Long before Madonna, we were voguing in the back alleys,” said Ronald Murray, 37, a ballroom veteran, known in the scene as Father Drama Evisu.

Soon after Paris is Burning, the movement began making its way out of NYC, across the country and around the world. “The scene,” as it’s often called, made its way to Ohio in the mid 90s, but Columbus’ first official ball wasn’t organized until 2004 during the city’s first Black Pride celebration.

For those unfamiliar with the world of voguing and underground ballroom glamour, here’s a quick overview and history…

Finish this article at OutlookColumbus.com

Excerpt from a piece I wrote for Outlook Columbus’ August 2012 issue. Visit www.outlookcolumbus.com for the full story. 

If I asked you to name 10 published authors who are LGBT and of color (without the help of Google) could you do it? How about if I broadened the scope to mainstream authors, directors and actors? Go ahead. I’ll wait.

After becoming completely depressed at failing the above exercise myself, I sought out to find published authors that are LGBT of color to add to my very short list. The search first led me to a friend, which then led to a Pandora’s box of possibilities. Our writers are out there. But unfortunately they often go unnoticed on a national level.

Here are the stories of four writers of which you should definitely take notice…

Finish this article at OutlookColumbus.com

I’ve been commissioned by Outlook Columbus, Central Ohio’s premiere lgbt publication, to write a new monthly column titled “The Other Side” that will offer stories and detailed analysis about the plights faced by gay people of color. I’ll be posting an excerpt from the story here each month with a link to the full story on Outlook’s Web site. Please support those who support us! 

Take a quick look at any set of statistics studying LGBTQ youth (ages 16-24) who are persons of color, and you’ll typically get a pretty bleak picture. Black and Latino LGBTQ youth consistently report having the highest HIV infection rates, the highest suicide rates and represent a majority of America’s homeless youth population.

According to the numbers, if you’re young, gay and of color, you don’t stand a chance. But as we know, statistics breed stereotypes and we must remember that this isn’t everyone’s story…

Finish this article at OutlookColumbus.com

Queer Minded is a new online talk radio show that I host featuring local and national LGBT news and entertainment. Airing Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 p.m. and podcasted at TalktainmentRadio.com! Visit Queer Minded on FacebookTwitter and YouTube

This week we packed the show with special guests! The top of the show featured our Black Pride Panel with Troy Harris (United Way of Central Ohio) and Aaron Riley (New Leaf Columbus), both from the Columbus Urban Pride planning committee, and Earl Fowlkes, President of the International Federation of Black Prides. We discuss Multicultural Pride events in Columbus and around the country and offer insight into the Black Pride Movement.

Our Queer News Break features an exclusive interview with Shane Bitney Crone, the man behind the viral video “It Could Happen To You,” telling the story of his partner, Tom, who tragically passed away suddenly, leaving Shane with no rights to Tom’s body or his assets. Tom’s bigoted family wouldn’t even let Shane attend the funeral. Now Shane is leading a national movement for gay marriage rights and the issues faced when a same-sex partner passes with his new organization Equal Love Equal Rights.

Listen to the full show at the link below:

http://www.talktainmentradio.com/podcasts/061112%20Queer%20Minded.mp3

Queer Minded is a new online talk radio show that I host featuring local and national LGBT news and entertainment. Airing Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 p.m. and podcasted at TalktainmentRadio.com! Visit Queer Minded on FacebookTwitter and YouTube

This week we kicked off our Pride 2012 Pride celebrations! We chat with Karla Rothan, Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus, about their plans for Columbus Pride 2012. The theme this year is Equality and Allies, honoring high profile allies in our community. Mayor Michael Coleman makes history as the first the time a sitting mayor has been the Pride Parade’s Grand Marshal.

Orie Givens, of Outlook Columbus, also joins us as this week’s guest host to discuss 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pride and we kiki it up about our sordid Pride pasts.

Listen to the full show at the link below:

http://www.talktainmentradio.com/podcasts/060412%20Queer%20Minded.mp3

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