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Playbill Pride 2021

Jun 8, 2021
Graphic for Pride 2021
playbill.com / playbill.com

In 2015, Playbill established Playbill.com/Pride, dedicated to Pride coverage and events. Each June, Playbill’s iconic yellow masthead is replaced with a rainbow design in recognition of, and honoring, Pride month.

With diversity, equality, equity, visibility, and inclusion as the principals guiding their programming, this year Playbill Pride will include multiple virtual events and a one-of-a-kind, socially distanced/live concert; all benefiting nonprofits that work for and with the LGBTQIA+ community.

Alex Birsh is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Playbill -- following in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather.

Sculpture by Tom Fruin on Matrimony Hill
Tom Fruin / beekman1802.com

In celebration of Pride Month at Upstate New York's Beekman 1802, they're inviting scores of couples to their farm to say "I do" atop Matrimony Hill inside of a rainbow colored glass house sculpture by artist Tom Fruin.

The Let Love Bloom Wedding Marathon will take place on the Beekman Farm in Sharon Springs, New York on June 26 and 27.

June 26 is the day the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June 2015. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell join us.

Common Councilmember Richard Conti moments after Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced the annual event will now be named the “Richard Conti Pride Flag Raising Day.”
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

June kicked off with the annual Pride Flag Raising event at Albany City Hall today – and a longtime local leader was honored as part of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month.

Book cover for "Punch Me Up To The Gods"
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Brian Broome is a poet and screenwriter, and K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University's Martin Luther King Writing Awards.

His debut memoir, “Punch Me Up to the Gods” is available today. It begins in his early years - growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys. The book is framed around Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem “We Real Cool” and is earning rave reviews.

Book cover for "These Violent Delights"
Harper

Micah Nemerever studied art history and queer theory at the University of Connecticut, where he wrote his MA thesis on gender anxiety in the art of the Weimar Republic.

In his debut novel, "These Violent Delights," Paul enters university in early 1970s Pittsburgh with the hope of moving past the recent death of his father. Sensitive, insecure, and incomprehensible to his grieving family, Paul feels isolated and alone. When he meets the worldly Julian in his freshman ethics class, Paul is immediately drawn to his classmate’s effortless charm.

But as charismatic as he can choose to be, Julian is also volatile and capriciously cruel, and Paul becomes increasingly afraid that he can never live up to what Julian expects of him. As their friendship spirals into all-consuming intimacy, they each learn the lengths to which the other will go in order to stay together, their obsession ultimately hurtling them toward an act of irrevocable violence.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Legislators are proposing and committees are reviewing bills with a focus on the budget and the impact of the pandemic. Numerous groups including the House Progressive Caucus are lobbying legislators in a virtual world to address their priorities.

Joe Donahue: Glennon Doyle is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller “Love Warrior” an Oprah's Book Club selection as well as the New York Times bestseller “Carry On, Warrior.” An activist, speaker, and thought leader, she is also the founder and president of Together Rising, an all women-lead nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy, raising over $20 million for women, families and children in crisis.

Her latest, “Untamed” is both a memoir and a wakeup call. It offers an examination of the restrictive expectations women are issued from birth, shows how hustling to meet those expectations leaves women feeling dissatisfied and lost, overwhelmed and underwhelmed, and reveals that when we quit abandoning ourselves and instead abandon the world's expectations of us, they become women who can finally look at themselves in the mirror and recognize there she is. 

Book cover artwork for "The Bridge"
Scholastic / Scholastic

Bill Konigsberg is the author of six books for young adults, which have won awards including the Stonewall Book Award, the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and the Lambda Literary Award.

In his new book, "The Bridge," Aaron and Tillie don't know each other, but they are both feeling suicidal, and arrive at the George Washington Bridge at the same time, intending to jump. Aaron is a gay misfit struggling with depression and loneliness. Tillie isn't sure what her problem is -- only that she will never be good enough.

Flags over Albany City Hall, June 1, 2020
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan launched Pride Month in front of City Hall Monday at an uneasy time in the city.

Located in Tivoli, New York, Kaatsbaan is the Hudson Valley’s cultural park for dance. It provides an environment for residency and retreat for professional dancers, choreographers, and the dance community.

Kaatsbann will host a two-day Voguing Extravaganza this Valentine’s Day weekend.

On Thursday, Dr. Richard Move and Jason Rodriguez aka Slim Xtravaganza aka Lemar Wintour from the hit FX TV show “Pose” will present a voguing lecture and workshop; and on Friday, at the Love is Love Ball, Jason Rodriguez and House of Eon will lead a dance party for all with a DJ and commentator.

Richard Move is a choreographer and filmmaker, TED Global Oxford Fellow, Artistic Director of MoveOpolis! and Assistant Arts Professor of Dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Move's choreographic commissions include productions for Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project; two works for the Martha Graham Dance Company, and many many others. Move’s critically acclaimed performances of 20th Century icon, Martha Graham, received two New York Dance and Performance Awards and tours globally. MoveOpolis! has been presented by New York Live Arts, MASS MoCA, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, Sitelines/River to River Festival, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival and on tour internationally.

Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, New York is currently presenting the East Coast premiere of Meridith Friedman’s “Your Best One,” directed by Gordon Greenberg.

Eight-years since the death of their beloved matriarch, the Hoffman family rallies together – and against each other – when one of their own is confronted by a sudden health crisis. With their trademark wit and inherited neurosis, they wage battles over health insurance, child custody, inheritance, and superfoods.

Kate Wetherhead plays Laura in “Your Best One.” Wetherhead is the co-creator, writer, director and star of the popular theater-based web series "Submissions Only." She has appeared on and off Broadway in shows such as "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," "Legally Blonde" and "Ordinary Days." Kate has also performed regionally at theaters like the Guthrie, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, George Street Theater and the Dallas Theater Center.

Rows of seated seniors face a panel of also seated people behind a table in a basement auditorium
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Aging visited Berkshire County for the first time this week.

The Stonewall Reader

Jun 27, 2019

Jason Baumann is coordinator of humanities and LGBT Collections at the New York Public Library, where he develops and promotes literature, philosophy, and religion collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Baumann coordinates the Library's LGBT Initiative and has curated "Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50" a major exhibit at NYPL which is on view now through July 13. Baumann is the editor of "The Stonewall Reader."

June 28, 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which is considered the most significant event in the gay liberation movement, and the catalyst for the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States.

Drawing from the New York Public Library's archives, "The Stonewall Reader" is a collection of first accounts, diaries, periodic literature, and articles from LGBTQ magazines and newspapers that documented both the years leading up to and the years following the riots.

This year’s Spectrum Conference – for Sexual & Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education, Capacity Building, and Training in Response for Underserved Sexual and Gender Minorities takes place July 9-10 in Albany, New York.

Among the sessions this year will be Nine on IX, nine higher ed attorneys discussing the past and future of Title IX; an update on the state of HIV/AIDS; a panel of LGBTQI+ Presidents discussing successes and remaining challenges; and the first ever national keynote by Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, who tried to purchase a wedding cake from Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, a case that went to the Supreme Court last year.

We welcome: SUNY Associate Counsel Joseph Storch, and SUNY Director of Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Elizabeth Brady.

Erin McKeown
Joanna Chattman

Musician, writer, producer  - and one of our favorite guests - Erin McKeown will return to the stage at Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs, New York tomorrow night for a LGBTQ Pride Night concert with opener Crystal Rose.

McKeown is a singer-songwriter, composer, and producer. Her albums encompass pop, swing, rock, and folk. In 2018 her first musical, "Miss You Like Hell," opened Off-Broadway at The Public Theater earning 5 Drama Desk Awards, including Best Lyrics, Best Music and Best Orchestration. The Wall Street Journal named it Best Musical of 2018. She is working on a new musical entitled "Terrarium Behavior" and a new singer-songwriter album.

photo of Nora Burns performing "David's Friend"
Eric McNatt (the projected image is by Patrick McMullan)

On Saturday, April 27 Hudson Hall in Hudson, New York will present Nora Burns in a performance of her one-woman show "David's Friend," written and performed by Nora Burns with direction by Adrienne Truscott, dramaturgy by Lucy Sexton, and visual collaboration by Len Whitney, and featuring Billy Hough.

The show is about a crazy friendship in 1980s New York City. The one-woman show is a comic odyssey about cruising, disco, drag queens, strippers, sex, love, loss, and AIDS, told with music, videos, costumes, characters, tall tales and torrid truths.

Author Aatish Taseer was born in the UK, the son of prominent Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and Pakistani politician, Salmaan Taseer. For his new book, "The Twice Born: Life and Death on the Ganges," Taseer traveled to Benares, the spiritual home of Hinduism for an up-close look at what the caste system means in India today.

Taseer says caste, the social and religious hierarchy of Hinduism, can have profound impacts on the trajectory of a person's life and governs any number of social interactions. It remains resilient in modern India, and Taseer considers its link to the rise of the Hindu nationalism.

The Albany Damien Center’s mission is to enhance the lives of people affected by HIV/AIDS in an affirming environment and to reduce new infections in the communities we serve in the upstate New York region.

Tomorrow, The Albany Damien Center will host their AIDS Walk & Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Washington Park Lakehouse in Albany, New York.

The AIDS Walk & Festival is a community event and fundraiser to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and raise money to help people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

Executive Director of The Albany Damien Center Perry Junjulas joins us to tell us more.

  Last week, a new Broadway musical made history during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when actors Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla shared a kiss on live television, which appears to be the first same-sex kiss in the parade’s history.

The Prom” is currently running at the Longacre Theatre. Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs the show, which features a book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin, music by Matthew Sklar, and lyrics by Beguelin.

While the show was in rehearsals, we sat down with actors Angie Schworer and Christopher Sieber. [Bios below.]

 

Masterworks Broadway will release the cast recording digitally on December 14 and on CD on January 11.

In her documentary film “Hot to Trot,” Hudson Valley based filmmaker, Gail Freedman, brings her audience into the world of same-sex ballroom dancing -- and into the lives of several dancers.

“Hot to Trot” will screen at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, New York on October 6 and at the Rosendale Theatre in Rosendale, New York on October 21. Gail Freedman will be in attendance for both screenings.

In more than 20 years as an award-winning filmmaker, Freedman has produced, directed and written dozens of documentaries on a wide range of subjects, through her company, Parrot Productions. She has also taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Among her films is Making the 9/11 Memorial, a primetime special for The History Channel, which aired on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, when the Memorial opened. Her creative output encompasses independent projects, as well as extensive work for PBS, network television, cable, syndication and the Internet, along with educational and non-profit films.


"Fun Home" is a groundbreaking five-time Tony Award winning musical based on Vermont author and illustrator Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed graphic memoir. The show features a book by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori. As the show unfolds, you meet Bechdel at three different life stages as she grows and grapples with her uniquely dysfunctional family, her sexuality, and her father’s secrets.

"Fun Home" runs on Weston Playhouse's Second Stage at Walker Farm through July 28.

Director Malcolm Ewen and Caitlin Kinnunen (Medium Alison) join us.

The Sexual & Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education, Capacity Building, and Training in Response for Underserved Sexual and Gender Minorities is a comprehensive, research-based training happening next week in Albany.

The conference will provide cutting-edge, prevention and response training to enhance the knowledge and skills of attendees through training to faculty, staff, medical professionals, and community and state agency service providers to turn the dial on sexual and interpersonal violence against sexual and gender minorities, while providing the most trauma-informed, and culturally-competent response and care when incidents do occur.

The conference will run in Albany, New York from June 18-22 and will include prevention and response education specifically tailored to addressing the disproportionate impact of sexual and interpersonal violence against sexual minorities on college campuses domestically, and abroad.

Joseph Storch is the Associate Counsel for The State University of New York and Elizabeth Brady is their Violence Prevention Project Director.

wikipedia.org

The Massachusetts Senate passed legislation on LGBTQ inclusion drafted by Berkshire County Senator Adam Hinds Thursday.

The youngest of thirteen children in a devout Catholic family, Tina Alexis Allen grew up in 1980s suburban Maryland in a house ruled by her stern father, Sir John, an imposing, British-born authoritarian who had been knighted by the Pope. Sir John supported his large family running a successful travel agency that specialized in religious tours to the Holy Land and the Vatican for pious Catholics.

But his daughter, Tina, was no sweet and innocent Catholic girl. A smart-mouthed high school basketball prodigy, she harbored a painful secret: she liked girls. When Tina was eighteen her father discovered the truth about her sexuality. Instead of dragging her to the family priest and lecturing her with tearful sermons about sin and damnation, her father shocked her with his honest response. He, too, was gay.

The secret they shared about their sexuality brought father and daughter closer, and the two became trusted confidants and partners in a relationship that eventually spiraled out of control.

Tina Alexis Allen’s new book is "Hiding Out: A Memoir of Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives."

Josh Landes

Professor Joy Ladin finds herself at the intersection of two identities.

“Both trans and Jewish identity are constantly multiplying and taking new forms,” said Ladin.

Ward Horton, Jack DiFalco, Michael Urie, Mercedes Ruehl in "Torch Song" at Second Stage Theater
Joan Marcus


  “Torch Song Trilogy” is a collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein rendered in three acts: “International Stud,” “Fugue in a Nursery,” and “Widows and Children First!” The story centers on Arnold Beckoff, a Jewish homosexual, drag queen, and torch singer who lives in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In its original incarnation, the trilogy was first produced in those same decades with its Broadway production opening in June of 1982 and running until May of 1985. The show earned Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play for Fierstein.

Fierstein has recently adapted his work into a shorter version entitled “Torch Song” which is running at Second Stage Theatre on 43rd Street in New York City through December 9. The production, directed by Moisés Kaufman, features Jack DiFalco, Roxanna Hope Radja, Michael Rosen, Mercedes Ruehl, Michael Urie, and our guest, Ward Horton.

 

Horton is best known for playing Dr. Scott Strauss on CBS’ “Pure Genius” and was the male lead in the horror film “Annabelle.” He plays Ed in “Torch Song.”

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial FoundationProviding a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This morning we focus on the Albany Damien Center which is opening their new 26,000 square foot building at 728 Madison Ave, Albany. They will also have a fundraiser on November 4: Norman Rea Presents A Phoenix Rising A Capital Celebration of the new Damien Center. Perry Junjulas is the Executive Director of The Albany Damien Center.

Erin McKeown
Joanna Chattman


  On September 9th, singer-songwriter, sportsfan, writer, and music producer Erin McKeown is playing at Signature Sounds’ The Parlor Room in Northampton, MA on September 9th with Orchestral synth-rock band, The Cabin Project.

 

Prior to that, on September 4th, McKeown will present her 8th Cabin Fever live-streamed house concert -- for which she and The Cabin Project will play her two recent EPs, Mirrors Break Back and According to Us. The episode is free - donations will be distributed to Houston Food Bank, Black Girls Code, and Border Angels.

Sarah LaDuke and Myra Lucretia Taylor
Joe Donahue


  Mourning the loss of her elder son Myles, Bethea tries to help her younger son Gideon through his grief. But as revelations surrounding Myles’ incarceration and death emerge, both mother and son must decide whether to fight or let go.

Where Storms Are Born is a new play by Harrison David Rivers having its world premiere on the Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA through July 23rd. Rivers was the Williamstown Theatre Festival Playwright-in-Residence in 2016.

The play is directed by Saheem Ali and stars Myra Lucretia Taylor as Bethea Solomon - a woman living in grief and demonstrating love and resilience.

HV Congressman Introduces LGBT PRIDE Act

Jun 14, 2017

New York’s first openly gay member of Congress has authored legislation to combat violence in the LGBTQ community.

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