Andrew Lloyd Webber, who I met in 1999).
Reason #1: The utter absence of a hetero-romantic plot, almost unheard-of in musical theater.
It's a Mod version of the picaresque adventures of Joseph (from the Bible), favorite of his father, given a Coat of Many Colors.
His brothers, jealous, set out to kill him, but have a change of heart and sell him to slave traders instead. He ends up in Egypt -- depicted as a glittery Las Vegas -- as a slave to sleazy merchant Potiphar.
Potiphar's wife tries unsuccessfully to seduce him -- "I don't believe in free love," he yells in 1960s slang. Or maybe he doesn't particularly care for girls.
Falsely accused of attempted rape, Joseph is thrown in prison, where he begins interpreting other prisoners' weird dreams, thus drawing the attention of the Pharaoh (an Elvis-like pop star). Pharaoh makes Joseph his right-hand man. The brothers arrive, and Joseph toys with them a bit before reconciling.
There have been innumerable revivals, in Britain and the U.S., with Joseph played by James Royce Edwards, Paul Jones, David James-Carroll, Bill Hutton, Mike Holoway, David Cassidy, his brother Patrick Cassidy, Jason Donovan, Lee Mead, and Keith Jacks (top photo). Former teen idol Donny Osmond starred in the 1999 movie version.
Sep 28, 2013
I can't think of anything to say about it.
The central characters are Corey and Topanga's 12-year old daughter Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and her bff Sabrina (Maya Fox). Girl-power lesbian subtext, anyone?
Peyton's tweets and instagrams (top photo, for instnace) also suggest that his character might be gay-vague.
Or not. Apparently this series will be a teencom first, featuring an actual, real, live gay character. Wearing a Sign and everything.
No word on whether he or she is a regular, recurring, or one-shot.
But, in a few months, barring a last minute decision to close the closet door, the Disney Channel will breaking the silence.
Update: At the last minute, Disney decided to scrap the Teo Halm character, and the gay potential with him.
Sep 27, 2013
Malcolm is stunningly beautiful, so everyone he sees desires him. But he desires no one. He is innocent, a virgin.
The astrologer decides to corrupt his soul.
He has Malcolm visit a series of his evil associates and their wives or consorts. Each tries to seduce Malcolm, with sex, friendship, money, or art, but each fails, due to a tragic fault or deception.
1. Estel Blanc, a mortician who is not aware that he is black, or that his consort is a transvestite.
2. Kermit, who is not aware that he is a midget, or that his wife is a prostitute.
3. Girard Girard, who is not aware that he is impossibly old, or that his wife has four lovers.
4. Jerome Brace, who is not aware that he is impossibly young, or that his marriage is unconsummated.
Malcolm has sex with all of the men except Estel, in hints only, in suddenly awakening to a shared bed or feeling their face against his thigh.
#5 is Melba, a famous singer who keeps marrying young boys and discarding them when they grow up. Malcolm has sex with one of her discards, and then marries her.
James Purdy (left), who was gay himself, published Malcolm in 1959, when gay meant evil, sinister, soul-destroying. The modern reader doesn't feel the same frisson of dread. The self-deceiving libertines seem tragic rather than threatening, stymied in their attempts to find love.
And Malcolm seems less an innocent corrupted by his own beauty than a teenage hustler who is playing a long con on his wealthy clients.
Playwright Edward Albee adapted the novel for the stage in 1966, with Matthew Cowles playing Malcolm. It closed after five performance.
Sep 26, 2013
But the 42-year old actor has had a long career as a singer, model, and stage actor -- four years as the Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat -- with several more gay-friendly projects.
Actually, his non-soap work has almost all been gay-friendly.
Four Steps (2009), about a lesbian who hires The Master to help her hone her gaydar.
Venice the Series (2009-), about a lesbian who works as an interior designer in Venice. In 2011-2012, Eric played Van, her roguish nephew.
No actual gay characters, but then the square-jawed type rarely gets cast as gay. In real life Eric is a gay ally, a supporter of gay marriage.
But if you have no idea, not the slightest inkling, if you've never experienced a moment of same-sex desire, not consciously, anyway, it's about the same thing.
Can anyone really not know for half of their life?
Have you ever seen anything as disgusting as this "lock up your daughters" t shirt? Apparently this baby boy's parents can't wait until he's a teenager to start brainwashing him into the "girls! girls! girls!" mantra. They want everybody to think that he's already anxious to sexually assault all of the girls in the neighborhood. And this is a good thing.
Not only are they presumed grotesquely heterosexual from birth, kids are kept from the knowledge that gay people exist.
One of my students, who was heterosexual, said that she had no idea that gay people existed until her senior year in high school, when an "alternative prom" was offered to those students who wanted to bring same-sex dates. Why would anyone want a same-sex date? she asked. Her friends explained.
After 18 years of silence.
When you are gay, but assumed heterosexual and denied knowledge that gay people exist, it's very easy to fall into a false heterosexual identity, to go through the motions of heterosexual desire and behavior, to ignore your same-sex desires or explain them as something else.
One of my dissertation respondents "came out" at age 63. He knew that he was not attracted to women, and that he was attracted to men -- he and his wife both enjoyed movies featuring male nudity. And he knew about gay men, the flitting, sashaying queens of tv. He just never made the connection until one day his wife came home from the library with a book on gay people. Real ones. A light bulb came on over his head.
After 63 years of silence.
I didn't make the association until the summer after my senior year in high school. Before that, there were only hints and signals.
But the gay characters appeared in movies and tv programs that I wasn't allowed to watch, the gay books did not appear on the shelves in any library or bookstore that I had access to, and the nearest Gay Pride Parade was in Chicago.
the fall of 1976, when Denny Miller played a gay man who mentored Tommy (Philip McKeon, left) on Alice. I didn't know that they wrote books until the spring of 1980, when I saw Fred's hidden bookshelf, and even then I figured there were only about a dozen in existence.
I knew about gay bars, bath houses, and adult bookstores, but I had never been in one. I knew about pornographic magazines. And that's all. I figured that since being gay was illegal (it wasn't, at least not in Illinois), there couldn't be any organizations or publications, no community, nothing except clandestine closet bars and porn magazines.
In the fall of 1982, I began graduate school in Bloomington, Indiana. On the night of September 25th, I went to an adult bookstore near the campus and asked "Do you have anything gay?", hoping for some porn. I got got copies of Mandate, In Touch (with the article "Prince Charles is Gay") and Christopher Street, and a directory called the Gayellow Pages.
There were 16 listings for Madison, Wisconsin. 6 bars, 2 bookstores, a community center, two health services, a legal service, a liquor store, a religious group, a place called "the soap opera," and a women's center.
Kicking myself for not going to the University of Wisconsin, I looked up Bloomington. A little more sparse: a bar called Bullwinkle's, a women's center, and a gay student group. When I called the student group, I got the message: "All conversations are recorded and delivered to the police," so I hung up quickly to avoid being arrested. But still, it was obvious that there were many more gay people than I ever imagined, and they were much more organized than I ever thought possible.
See also: I Visit an Adult Bookstore.
Sep 25, 2013
Turkisch fur Anfanger (Turkish for Beginners, 2006-2009) was sitcom airing on German PBS, about a blended family.
1. Psychotherapist Doris
2. Her children, Lena (who narrates), and gay-coded Nils (Emil Reinke).
2. Metin (Adnan Maral), a Turkish immigrant police officer
However, from the episodes I've seen, there are gay subtexts everywhere. Nils crushes on Axel. Lena flirts with Yagmur. Cem and his buddy Costa (Arnel Taci) are in love, and know it (kind of):
Cem: Have you ever said 'I love you'?
Costa: What are you implying, dude? We're just friends, aren't we?
You can see episodes on youtube and Hulu.
The 2012 feature film Turkische fur Anfanger has the gang all meet when their plane crashes on a desert island. Cem hooks up with Lena, and Costa with Yagmur, but I assume the gay subtexts are intact.
Too bad it's not playing in Turkey.
Sep 24, 2013
That's the plot of every gay coming of age movie ever made, including several on my list of 10 Gay Movies I Loved and 10 Gay Movies I Hated.
Dad tries to control Nathan's life, and feels threatened by his new relationship.
Roy's closeted buddy Burke (Randy Wayne, below) wanted Roy for himself, and feels threatened by his new relationship.
Nathan leaves home to escape from the abuse; Dad threatens to find him.
He moves in with Roy; Burke fumes.
The supernatural takes over, with omens, spirits, and chants. Spoiler alert: Burke, maybe channelling Nathan's father or Satan or both, rapes Nathan, then murders him.
Yes, the sweet, innocent gay guy dies. But not because he's gay. That's very important.
After the funeral, Roy sees Nathan on the school bus, smiling at him. Maybe he's a ghost. Maybe, Christlike, he's risen from the dead. Maybe he never died at all, and the camping trip and aftermath was all a dream. The ending is ambiguous.
Maximillian Roeg (left), who is actually British, not Good Old Boy, has a few more screen roles, including the thriller Maneater (2009).
Randy Wayne is the biggest star of the group, and the only one who has specified a sexual identity: he's "straight but not narrow."
Sep 23, 2013
Oh, and because the movie got a PG-13 rating: Parents Strongly Cautioned! Children under age 13 could be traumatized by discovering that gay people exist!
It's a Halloween-themed movie ("Fun Size" refers to the miniature candy bars people pass out to trick-or-treaters).
Wren (Victoria Justice of Victorious) has been invited to a big, cool Halloween party thrown by Aaron (Thomas McDonnell, left), the hunk she is crushing on.
Meanwhile Albert gets involved with Fuzzy (Thomas Middleditch), who is plotting to toilet-paper his ex-girlfriend's house in revenge after she breaks up with him to date the jerk Jorgen (Johnny Knoxville). Not to worry, Fuzzy finds a new girl.
There's a lackluster gay subtext between Roosevelt and Peng, and some beefcake, such as Josh Pence (left) as Wren's mother's twink boyfriend.
You also get to see Fuzzy naked.
And the gay characters: Roosevelt's two Moms, an oddball lesbian couple who will allow him to borrow the family car only if he can ask in Ancient Greek (he misses the word for "seat belt").