Culture

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Actor’s Express needs $50,000 by end of March

Hedwig and the Angry Itch at Actor's Express

Actor’s Express, the gay-inclusive Atlanta-based theater company, is in danger of closing its doors unless the company can come up with significant cash by the end of this month.

Artistic Director Freddie Ashley, who is gay, sent out an email last week explaining the situation the company faces. “Our theatre is at a critical juncture — a true life or death moment. As you know from our many recent calls for support, we are fighting to make it through an extraordinarily difficult time for the arts in Atlanta. Decreased discretionary spending and a reduction in philanthropic support have dramatically impacted our revenues.

“Our staff and board have worked tirelessly to do more with less — cutting our spending while continuing to present works of the highest quality and importance. In spite of our efforts, though, we are faced with an impending deficit that quite literally threatens our existence,” the email explained.

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Singular sensation ‘A Chorus Line’ comes to Atlanta

'A Chorus Line' at Cobb Energy Centre

It’s an iconic image: 17 eager dancers on a bare stage auditioning to get a role in an upcoming musical. “A Chorus Line” — the longest running American Broadway musical ever and winner of nine Tony awards — is about to return to Atlanta as part of the Gas South Broadway Series, with openly gay actor Paul Flanagan in the cast.

Flanagan stars as Al in the musical. Al is 30 years old, from the Bronx, and a very experienced dancer who is in the audition with his wife, Christine.  “He is ready to settle down and is at the audition to settle down Christine,” he says.

The actor has been in “A Chorus Line” once before, back in a Hilton Head production when he was 20. He started with this tour back in the fall and will be with it until the late spring, when the tour goes international in Tokyo.

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Ga. teacher: Protest a silent statement of support for gay students

David Dixon, a teacher who was fired from his Haralson County High School drama position last year after showing a scene from a gay-themed movie to his class, spoke to GA Voice today about a planned protest to be held in support of a Texas student trying to establish a gay/straight alliance at her high school.

Nikki Peet of Corpus Christi first approached Flour Bluff school officials in November with the idea of establishing a GSA, only to be told by officials, including school principal James Crenshaw, that such a club would not be approved, according to media reports.

Dixon, who is straight, said the planned gathering on March 5 at Buchanan Square in Haralson will be a silent statement of support for LGBT students.

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‘Hacktivists’ take on anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church

A group of “hacktivists” known as Anonymous has joined forces with an unlikely ally, another hacker known as th3j35t3r, in a coordinated attack on the websites of anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. WBC owns and operates several websites, including godhatesfags.com, yourpastorisawhore.com and westborobaptistchurch.com.

The congregation is based in Topeka, Kansas, and is made up mostly of family members of Rev. Fred Phelps. The clan is infamous for its “God Hates Fags” mantra and protests at funerals ranging from slain gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard to U.S. military members killed in combat.

Click here for our interview with Westboro members when they came to protest Grady High School.

Anonymous and th3j35t3r have sparred in recent months over the controversial media outlet Wikileaks. There's quite a back-story, but simply put, Anonymous supports Wikileaks and th3j35t3r does not.

It seems they agree on hating Westboro.

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Video for Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ debuts online

Lady Gaga released the video for her latest single “Born This Way” this morning on music video website VEVO.

The single is the first from her upcoming album of the same name. The single has been called "the next great gay anthem."

From the VEVO blog:

“As are most of planet earth, we are very excited to see what Queen Gaga has in store for this next video. As we saw in her Grammy opener, theatrics and high performance activity are still in. Actually, it looked as if Gaga spent her entire hiatus stepping up her dance abilities (did you see her body!?), focusing more on moves one might see at Merce Cunningham or perhaps a Bill T. Jones production instead of atop the GRAMMY stage.”

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Oscars tonight

Atlanta bars host watch parties for 83rd annual Academy Awards

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John Q collective introduces queer magazine JOSH to Atlanta

Dressed as police officers and wearing handcuffs, Atlanta's John Q artist collective piqued the interest of many who came to see the group debut its new performance while also signing copies of the Journal of Sexual Homos, or JOSH.

Wesley Chenault, Andy Ditzler and Joey Orr make up John Q and were the guest editors of the current and third installment of JOSH, a limited-edition magazine that is only sold in London, Berlin, New York, Chicago and, now, Atlanta, at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse.

John Q held a Feb. 23 reading from JOSH, which includes original works by artists and photographers. GA Voice's Art Director Bo Shell is included with several of his  photos from John Q's "Memory Flash" public art performance that explored the city's gay history and memories.

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The personal is political for this gay boy and Chick-fil-A

My parents never pressured me into getting a job when I was in high school, but at 16, I found asking my mom for money more difficult than ever.

I needed a job to escape a truly horrific fashion moment.

I had just given myself a bit of a makeover, tossing aside my gigantic Jnco jeans and Doc Martin stack boots for more conservative Gap boot cuts and Abercrombie & Fitch golf shirts. It was all so expensive, but terribly necessary considering I'd spent the majority of my high school experience wearing glitter on my eyes, somehow pretending to be a glam rocker.

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Actor’s Express pleads for funding, facing ‘life or death moment’

Actor's ExpressActor's Express, one of several Atlanta theater organizations known for producing gay and gay-favorite plays and musicals, is in dire need of financial support, according to an e-mail sent out today by Artistic Director Freddie Ashley.

“Our theatre is at a critical juncture — a true life or death moment,” Ashley, who is gay, says in the e-mail. “As you know from our many recent calls for support, we are fighting to make it through an extraordinarily difficult time for the arts in Atlanta.”

Ashley says in order to save Actor's Express, the organization must raise $50,000 in four weeks and $150,000 in the next four months.