Elf: The Musical is a Broadway play based upon the critically acclaimed 2003 motion picture starring Will Ferrell. Now in its third year, the show tells the story of little orphan William Hobbs (aka Buddy,) who falls asleep inside Santa’s bag one Christmas and awakens at the North Pole, where he is then mistaken for an elf (a mistake which becomes evident as he grows.) Adult Buddy becomes curious about the identity of his birth family and sets out to track them (and the Christmas spirit) in New York City.
Cyndi Lauper has had quite the year. Her revelatory autobiography Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir was a New York Times bestseller. In June 2013 she won a Tony Award for Kinky Boots, her musical adaptation(with Harvey Fierstein) of the movie of the same name. Lauper also returned to the dance charts with her rendition of “Sex Is In The Heel” from Kinky Boots.
When you hear the name Sally Struthers, there are probably a few images that come to mind. The most immediate one is most likely the role that made fledgling actress Struthers famous, that of Gloria Stivic, wife of Mike (Rob Reiner) and daughter of Archie (Carroll O’Connor) and Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton) on the groundbreaking 1970s sitcom All in the Family. As one of the voices of reason and compassion in the racist / sexist / homophobic Bunker homestead, Gloria often had a profound effect on both the audience and her father. Her friendship with a gay man in an early episode of the series is just one example.
Even if you don’t know Justina Machado by name, you probably recognize her as Vanessa from Six Feet Under or Stephanie from Private Practice. Maybe you recently say her on the The Fosters, the series about the lesbian foster moms or as Pedro Zamora’s sister Milly in the biopic Pedro. The minute you see her or hear her voice, she will be familiar to you. With her new NBC sitcom Welcome to The Family, in which she plays Lisette, the mother of college bound father-to-be Junior, Machado steps fully into the limelight. The series allows her to be funny and show off her funny side for a change, something she enjoys. Justina spoke with me about Welcome to The Family in advance of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Like the towns of Columbine, Colorado or Newtown, Connecticut, “hardly anyone knows where Oxnard, California is unless they’ve heard about the story,” as one resident puts it. The site of the classroom shooting of openly trans eighth grade student Larry King by classmate Brandon McInerney, Oxnard has been immortalized, but not in a good way. The documentary Valentine Road (HBO Documentary Films/BMP) explores the events of the day, what occurred leading up to the brutal act of violence, and what transpired afterwards.
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