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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

Lil Kim headlines Columbus LGBT event Memorial Day Weekend

Kigo Entertainment (the company of local promoter extraordinaire Kim Godfreed) is bringing the Queen herself to Columbus!

 Lil Kim is set to headline Saturday’s Memorial Day Weekend festivities at Alrosa Villa, 5055 Sinclair Road.

The woman behind hit songs “Players Anthem,” “Lady Marmalade,” “Lighters Up” “Now Matter What You Say,” “The Magic Stick” and “How Many Licks” will hit the stage Saturday, May 26 for an exclusive LGBT event.

Lil Kim, real name Kimberly Denise Jones, has been off the grid for some time, making a huge splash on the Billboard Charts in the late ’90s early 2000s, she later suffered some legal troubles and a stint in jail, but now is in the midst of making a comeback. She launched the “Return of the Queen Tour” May 17 that will span much of the summer.

“This is the biggest artist I’ve done as a promoter and I made sure that the event was strictly for our LGBT community here in Columbus,” said Godfreed, who is also the General Manager of Traxx Columbus, 95 Liberty Street, Columbus.

Just two weeks ago when Godfreed met with Alrosa Villa owners to finalize the details for Kigo Entertainment’s annual Sex Sells event the Saturday of Pride, it was suggested that she take over the promotions for the Lil Kim event. Godfreed agreed with only one caveat, the event had to be LGBT-exclusive, and Lil Kim’s team agreed.

Even though she’s only been given a short time to push out promotion for the show, Godfreed is counting on her 2o-plus years experience in event marketing and club management to make this show a success.

“With this event, I really want to show people in this city two things, 1.) Kim is able to pull off a citywide promotion without radio spots and 2.) there is money in the LGBT community and you can bring in mainstream people and make money, we are a hot commodity,” Godfreed said. “And Lil Kim is iconic. You’re talking about the Tupac and Biggie era. It’s a real privilege for me.”

Tickets are $10 at the door and $20 for skip-the-line VIP access. You can also purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.com. Doors open at 10 p.m. For information call 614-226-2275.

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Star-studded L.A. premiere of ‘8’ made history last night with worldwide online live-stream [VIDEO]

Last night the American Foundation for Equal Rights hosted a historic night of theater when they live-streamed the West Coast premiere of the Dustin Lance Black play “8,” based on the Proposition 8 trials in Los Angeles, which sought to reverse a 2008 state-wide vote the declared same-sex marriage illegal in the state.

The premiere last night at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles was directed by Rob Reiner and the cast featured the likes of  George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Colfer, Matthew Morrison, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Matt Bomer and George Takei.

Here’s a brief description from 8theplay.com:

Uncover the truth about marriage for gay and lesbian Americans. “8”—a new play by Academy-award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (MilkJ. Edgar)—demystifies the debate around marriage equality by chronicling the landmark trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Learn about the historical context of marriage from expert testimony. See the human cost of discrimination. Uncover the arguments used to justify bans on marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Using the actual court transcripts from the landmark federal trial of California’s Prop. 8 and first-hand interviews, “8” shows both sides of the debate in a moving 90-minute play.

And here’s the “8” trailer:

The play saw a star-studded staged reading (Morgan Freeman, Cheyenne Jackson, John Lithgow, Rob Reiner, Ellen Barkin) on Broadway back in September to rave reviews, which has subsequently spawned a national phenomenon of sorts. Over the past few months AFER (the organization behind the plantiff’s lawyers during the Prop 8 trials) has been at the forefront of a nationwide marketing effort to promote the West Coast premiere that live-streamed on their website and YouTube.

Here’s a video of Reiner previewing the big night:

The big event last night was the kick-off to the “8” national tour. AFER is also sponsoring staged readings at colleges and universities across the country. If you want your city to host a reading visit 8theplay.com for more information.

Now do yourself a favor and take the time to watch the full all-star West Coast premiere below:

Ohio Queers: Funny Bone Columbus hosts gay comedians revue Monday

 

Outlook Columbus and the Funny Bone Comedy Club have teamed up to present a gay ‘ol night of hilarity Monday, Nov. 14.

The Big Gay Funny Ha-Ha” will feature nationally acclaimed out gay comedian Scott Kennedy, along with local openly gay comedians Joseph Ivan and Zack Baird.

Kennedy is an Los Angeles comedian originally from Texas who’s one of the founders of the popular Gay Comedy Jam Tour and has become known mostly for his raved USO military comedy tours. His latest comedy CD, titled “Really?!?!,” was released back in 2006, which you can purchase here.

Here’s Kennedy’s bio from his Web site:

Scott Kennedy began comedy in Lubbock, Texas after a friend entered him in an amateur comedy competition. Once bitten by the comedy bug, he quit his long list of “real jobs” and started touring the country. When asked if he was surprised about his new career, Scott replies, “Not surprised that I do stand-up comedy, I was always kind of the class clown. Surprised that I’m gay? I’m sure some will be surprised.”

This ex-offensive lineman is one of the founders of The Gay Comedy Jam which has sold-out shows in 150 cities across the US and Canada. Along with the tour, Scott has headlined comedy clubs and theatres coast to coast and has sold out the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas TWICE! Scott is the only comedian that can do a 45-minute set without ever mentioning his sexuality and get a standing ovation and can turn around and do another 45-minute set centered around his sexuality. He has risen through the ranks and become one of the most unique comics in the world.

As of May 2011, Scott has made 43 tours to Iraq and 11 to Afghanistan; doing up to 5 shows each day. Scott has done more shows in combat zones than any other entertainer in the world.. even Bob Hope!!!

And here’s video of Kennedy’s appearance on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”:

To my knowledge, this is the Funny Bone’s first comedy show specifically featuring and advertising openly gay comedians. I’m definitively planning to attend and can’t wait, it looks like it’s going to be a good time. I also hear through the grape vine that Outlook is planning to make this an annual event, which I support 110 percent!

“The Big Gay Funny Ha-Ha” is 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14 at Funny Bone Comedy Club (145 Easton Town Center, Columbus). Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling 614-471-5653 or online at www.columbusfunnybone.com. For more info visit the event’s Facebook page.

Emmys 2011 Gay Roundup

The cast of Modern Family accept Best Comedy Series at the 2011 Emmys.

There were really only two major things that gayed up this year’s 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards that aired last night on Fox. Jane Lynch and “Modern Family.” But they also dominated much of the show.

“Modern Family” took home fives of the night’s major comedy awards including Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy (Julie Bowen), Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy (Ty Burrell), Best Directing in a Comedy (Michael Alan Spiller), Best Writing in a Comedy Series (Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman) and Outstanding Comedy Series. During his acceptance speech Richman thanked his partner.

Jane Lynch hosted and did an amazing job. She started off the show with a full on song and dance number and kept the night interesting with a slew of tasteful zingers. Her style definitely reminded me of Ellen DeGeneres.

In straight news: “Mad Men” took home a fourth consecutive win for Best Drama Series, Charlie Sheen showed up and was creepy, Ashton Kutcher and John Cryer also showed up and weren’t funny and Kyle Chandler finally won for long-time role on “Friday Night Lights.”

Local Theater Spotlight: Shadowbox’s ‘Legacy’

There have always been a few kinks that have always come with the Shadowbox Live experience. Crammed, uncomfortable seating. The many annoyances that come with mall parking. The many annoyances that come with mall shoppers. And the a hit-or-miss sound system.

These kinks have typically gone overlooked by its fans because the value of the Shadowbox experience has always been exponentially greater than the sum of its parts.

Now that Shadowbox has moved from Columbus’ Easton Town Center to their new-and-improved space downtown in the Brewery District, the sketch comedy/rock ‘n’ roll troupe has gone from an underground darling to a Midwest destination.

The troupe opened their first showcase in the new location August 19 with “Legacy,” a musical and theatrical romp down memory lane, featuring a host of “best hits” from their 20-year history.

A quick note on the new space: The new stage area resembles the setup of a spacious 1960’s cabaret. The balcony has been replaced by a three-tiered floor plan where every seat has a perfect view of the stage. And speaking of the stage, it’s twice as large, with just a many lighting bells and whistles, and a sound quality that rivals any major theatre’s system in Columbus. The troupe’s new “Backstage Bistro” welcomes you at the front with a plush fine dining area and fully-stocked bar (as opposed to the long line down a linoleum hallway that you were usually met with atEaston). And there’s even a gift shop to entice you on your way out.

And “Legacy” definitely lives up to anything that was presented at theEastonlocation. (I took a gander at the Aug. 25th showing.) The troupe is now comprised of both their Newport and Columbus staffs and the doubled cast took complete advantage of the larger stage. And Shadowbox house band “Bill Who?” was phenomenal, sounding better than ever.

Notable moments? Stacie Boord’s goose bumps-inducing performance of Etta James’ “Ball and Chain.” The drumming explosion that resulted from Matt “The Beast” Buchwalter and Brandon Smith taking the stage on several songs with side-by-side drum sets. Shadowbox’s well known misbehaving elementary class led by a neurotic school teacher (Mary Randle) taking on “The Wizard of Oz.” The return of my favorite sketch, “Love is a Battlefield,” where the minds of a typical arguing couple turns into a over-the-top, subterranean mêlée. Shadowbox director Stev Guyer draped in a spiffy all-white suit and sounding the best I’ve ever heard him on “Whipping Post” by The Allman Brothers Band. And the show stopping, full-cast dance number on the Janet Jackson classic “Rhythm Nation” (bravely choreographed by Katy Psenicka) led by the incomparable Noelle Grandison.

“Legacy” is like watching a talented duckling turn into a rock star swan, right before your eyes. Seeing you’re scrawny, dingy t-shirt wearing nephew gain a bulky six pack and a tailored suit over the summer. The response after Ty Pennigton yells “Move that bus!” Shadowbox’s new digs are finally an outward representation of the organization’s long and well-documented inner brilliance. And “Legacy” is the perfect welcome tribute, giving the audience a glance at the strong past that lead the troupe to their shinny new present.

“Legacy” runs at Shadowbox Live, 503 S. Front Street, Columbus, through Nov. 12. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. For more information visit www.shadowboxlive.org.

Ross Mathews takes over ‘Chelsea Lately’ (again), announces his new show on E!

I’ve already made mentioned that I’m a huge fan of comedian Ross Mathews, ever since his stint as “Ross the Intern” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. And this week he was again asked to take over for Chelsea Handler and host Chelsea Lately, Monday night.

He of coursed killed, as usual, being his cheeky and adorable self during an interview with child-star-turned-hunk Joey Lawrence. But that wasn’t the best part. He’s also going to be getting his own show on the E! Network! You can check out more details on the show over at TVGuide.com. I’m super excited for Ross and I definitely can’t wait to see what his own show will look like. I already can tell it’s going to be a hoot and a half! 🙂

Check out video of Ross hosting Chelsea this week below:

Local Theater Spotlight: Available Light staging ‘Falsettos’

Columbus troupe Available Light Theatre is offering up the Tony Award-winning Falsettos next month at the Vern Riffe Center, 77 S. High Street.

The Broadway musical by William Finn and James Lapine is definitely popular amongst the gays. The show follows Marvin as he juggles the drama between his wife, his male lover, his young son and his psychiatrist. It also follows the scary onset of the AIDS epidemic as Marvin watches his partner succumb to the disease in the second act.

Act 1 of Falsettos (“March of the Falsettos”) was originally staged in 1981 and the Act 2 sequel (“Falsettoland”) didn’t arrive until 1990, just after the height of the AIDS epidemic. However, it was when the two came together for a 1992 Broadway debut that it made the most impact, garnering seven Tony nominations and two wins. Here’s an early rave review by Frank Rich, that’s been posted on the AVLT Web site.

AVLT very successfully staged the company’s first musical last year with Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along” so I’m hoping this project will be no different. The troupe has always been known for taking chances and presenting works that haven’t been done very often in Central Ohio. This is a show I’m definitely looking forward to. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a member and an avid fan of Available Light Theatre).

Here’s a sneak peak of the show featuring Nick Lingnofski as Mendel (the psychatrist), who also starred in Merrily We Roll Along, it’s also from the AVLT Web site.

Available Light Theatre’s Falsettos runs Sept. 15 through Oct. 1 in Studio One of the Vern Riffe Center, 77 S. High Street, Columubs. Tickets are on AVLT’s popular “Pay What You Want” system. For more information visit http://avlt.co/falsettos11.