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Actor’s Express offers 25th season ‘Kiss’

Kiss of the Spidewoman

In choosing the opening show of Actor’s Express’ 25th anniversary season, Freddie Ashley knew he wanted a production that would register, a large scale show with “some heft.” He has chosen the gay-themed musical “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” opening Aug. 22.

Manuel Puig’s 1976 novel is about two cellmates in a Buenos Aires prison: Luis Molina and Valentín Arregui, who are polar opposites. Valentin is a revolutionary trying to overthrow the government, while Molina is openly gay and effeminate, in jail for sexual relations with a minor.

The novel was turned into a 1983 play, then a 1985 film which won William Hurt a Best Actor Oscar as Molina.

With a book by Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Cabaret,” “Chicago”), a musical version of “Spider Woman” opened on Broadway in 1993 and won a slew of Tony Awards, including one for gay icon Chita Rivera, who starred as the infamous titular character.

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Food Porn #5: Great place for a cheap date

Food Porn

Robert and his former fuck buddy Jay slid into a booth at Co’m Vietnamese Grill. They had run into one another at Ansley LA Fitness. Jay suggested lunch and Robert was happy to introduce him to one of his favorite, cheapest restaurants in the city.

“This is a perfect place for a post-workout meal,” Robert explained. “Vietnamese cooking is far healthier than, say, Thai food. It’s all about fresh herbs, veggies, seasoned grilled meats and light sauces. It’s mildly spiced but you can spike it with a shot of hot chili sauce.”

“Sounds good,” Jay said, half-listening. “Go ahead and order for us both.”

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Food Porn #4: Playing it safe, with spices and sex

Food Porn

“Is it spiiiicy?” a man at the second meeting of the Food Porn Supper Club whined to the server. They were at Stir It Up in Little Five Points and the whiner was determined to find the blandest thing on the menu.

“Jamaican food is by definition spicy,” someone at the table said. “But it’s not all spicy-hot.”

Robert, host of the club, wanted to tie the whiner up and torture him with Scotch Bonnet chili peppers, the world’s hottest. Nothing annoyed him as much as people’s aversion to spicy food. He’d given up taking most friends to ethnic restaurants along Buford Highway, for example.

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Food Porn: #3: Robert gets cloned at Watershed

Food Porn

Robert looked around the dining room of the new Watershed on Peachtree and marveled at how dark and woody it was compared to the original restaurant in Decatur.  Indigo Girl Emily Saliers, the owner, had closed that one and reopened in this new south Buckhead location.

“I hear it looks very different,” said Robert’s date, Brandon.

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Food Porn: #2: Grindr men, masc men, trans men at dinner

Editor's note: Food Porn is a new fictional series by longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restaurants, it chronicles the adventures of Robert, a gay man in search of a husband — or at least a good meal. For past chapters, click here.

Food Porn

Robert’s head was starting to hurt — not something he expected to happen on this first meeting of the Atlanta Gay Food Porn Supper Club. The setting was the Shed at Glenwood, where the restaurant offers a special menu of $3 sliders every Wednesday night. Robert was always there.

“This is mainly an organizational meeting to get some feedback,” he explained to the 15 people present. “We want your opinions about the hole we might fill in gay Atlanta’s social scene, what kinds of restaurants and foods tempt you, what kind of mood you’d like to set…and so forth.”

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Food Porn: Supper club for the husband-hungry

Food Porn

Robert Lingston, a longtime resident of Midtown Atlanta, dipped his napkin in his water glass and rubbed a dribble of a garlic-laden sauce off his red polo shirt. He looked across the table at his friend Janet and sighed. 

“I’m having a midlife crisis,” he said, looking around the room. He pushed each sleeve of his shirt up to better reveal his biceps. “I really am.”

“Isn’t this like your second or third midlife crisis?” Janet asked.

They were at Pura Vida in Poncey-Highland. Robert, a dedicated but gym-compulsive foodie, loved Chef Hector Santiago’s tapas. His favorite was the Puerto-Rican classic, mofongo – mashed plantains, carnitas and bits of pork cracklings.

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Lesbian singer Catie Curtis brings new batch of engaging tunes to Atlanta

Lesbian folk singer Catie Curtis

Lesbian folksinger Catie Curtis cruises her “Stretch Limousine on Fire” into Atlanta in May to treat fans to two nights of her signature acoustic guitar and introspective, often inspiring lyrics.

“Stretch Limousine,” the rollicking title song from Curtis’ 11th studio album, released in August, uses dark humor to echo the theme that money doesn’t buy happiness, and to relish a little in the fact that “Trouble comes to everyone no matter how much you can buy.”

The new album features a style that is a bit more raw than previous efforts, but will still be familiar to longtime fans. Curtis will perform songs from the new CD and earlier albums May 8 at Eddie’s Attic, the iconic Decatur acoustic venue, then follow with a show the next night at Duluth’s Red Clay Theatre, the new venue managed by Eddie’s founder Eddie Owen.

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‘Leave It on the Floor,’ ‘Bully’ coming to ATL

'Leave It on the Floor'

Despite the recent focus on bullying in schools, many LGBT kids face their worst bullying at home. Take your pick from new films about these two kinds of bullying – or see both.

Old school meets new in “Leave It on the Floor,” a refreshing musical set in the ball scene immortalized by Jennie Livingston in “Paris Is Burning,” or at least its West Coast equivalent.

It begins when the mother of the teenaged protagonist, Brad (Ephraim Sykes), finds out he’s gay and throws him out of the house. (It’s OK. He steals her car.) Brad lands on his feet and discovers another kind of house in the ball scene, where his guide is Princess Eminence (Phillip Evelyn) of the House of Eminence.

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Folk art version of ‘Wizard of Oz’ sure to please LGBT, young fans alike

The Wizard of Oz

Although the Alliance Theatre’s version of “The Wizard of Oz” is being staged as part of the company’s Family Series, openly gay actor Patrick MColery is fully aware that audiences will probably be divided between younger patrons and LGBT theater fans. “Oz” opens Feb. 25.

In this stage version of the beloved, iconic film, McColery has a number of roles. He plays Uncle Henry, as well as one of the munchkins and the apple tree. He even puppets the Wizard character.

Most of the small cast doubles as various characters, he says. The only performer in the cast who doesn’t double is the actress playing Dorothy. As for Toto, the character is a puppet but “has plenty of life,” says McColery.

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Jewish Film Festival includes LGBT flicks

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

A number of LGBT movies, including two screwball farces and an acclaimed documentary about a bisexual author, highlight the annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which kicks off next week.

Established in 2000, the festival has grown to become not just the largest film festival in the city but the second biggest Jewish film festival in the country. The offerings for the 12th annual event, set for Feb. 8-29, are typically broad and plentiful.

More than 70 films will be shown over the three week period and screenings take place all over the city, including the Fox Theatre, Regal Cinemas Atlantic Station Stadium 16, Lefont Sandy Springs, Georgia Theatre Company Merchants Walk and new venues at United Artists Tara Cinemas 4 and United Artists North Point Market 8.