What a great year 2016 has been for books. It’s been especially good when it comes to books by and about queer people. That’s why these outstanding titles in poetry, fiction, non-fiction and even picture books should make holiday shopping a breeze.
President Barack Obama has just designated the area around the Stonewall Inn in New York City as the nation’s first national monument to LGBTQ rights. As you know, The Stonewall Uprising is largely regarded as the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ movement for civil rights. And our Pride celebrations grew out of that movement.
Every good story has an element of romance, comedy, tension, and maybe even murder. This rings true as A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder comes to Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre. Running from December 27th to January 1st, audiences are introduced to Monty Navarro, a distant heir to the D’Ysquith fortune and ninth in line for the Earldom of Highhurst. Monty will do whatever it takes to skip to the front of the line and inherit the fortune regardless of who stands in his way.
Top Ten lists are always subjective. No one can ever agree on what the best movies of the year are and this list will surely be no different. It’s also hard to choose just ten movies to be considered the “best” when comparing a drama to a comedy is like apples and oranges – they’re different genres that give the viewer completely different experiences (and comedies especially are hard to agree on since different people find different things funny). Add sci-fi and superhero movies to the mix, and picking ten “best” movies becomes even more difficult. Mainstream critics usually consider “prestige” or how “important” a movie is (in their opinion) when selecting it as a “best” movie of the year. Not here! This Top Ten list consists of movies that made me laugh, made me cry, or just elicited some type of emotional response regardless of its chances of winning any awards – and most of the movies on this list stand no chance of winning anything. But they are popular movies, or movies that should have been hits and got overlooked, and some are pure popcorn movies. With that in mind, these are the top movies of 2016 that I enjoyed and I hope you’ll consider if you didn’t see them.
It’s no exaggeration to say that you haven’t seen anything like Moonlight). Written and directed by Miami-native Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is based on a short play by gay playwright and Miami-native Tarell McCraney. Presented in three separate chapters, Moonlight tells the heartrending story of Chiron, as a child, a teen, and an adult, growing up in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. The three actors – Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes – are exceptional, and the supporting cast, including Mahershala Ali (drug kingpin Juan), Janelle Monae (Juan’s girlfriend Teresa), Naomie Harris (Chiron’s mother Paula), and André Holland (the adult Kevin, the great love of Chiron’s life), are all outstanding. That sound you hear? That’s the well-deserved Oscar buzz about Moonlight. I spoke with Tarell McCraney about the movie at the Standard in Miami Beach in October 2016.
Anybody who counts themselves as a Rufus Wainwright fan knew that we were going to lose him to opera sooner or later. All of the signs were there, beginning with the song “Damned Ladies” on his brilliant 1997 eponymous debut album. Wainwright often discussed his love, rather obsession, with opera, so none of this should come as a surprise. In 2015, a double disc recording of Wainwright’s 2009 opera Prima Donna was released, making it more or less official. Or did it? Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets (Deutsche Grammophon), Wainwright’s musical observance of the Bard’s 400th anniversary year, does something remarkable. It seamlessly combines Wainwright’s opera fixation with his pop passion, as he set selected sonnets to music. In addition to Rufus himself, the album features a stellar array of guest vocalists, including opera diva Anna Prohaska, singing sister Martha Wainwright, Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine), as well as spoken passages performed by Carrie Fisher, William Shatner, Helena Bonham Carter, Siân Phillips, and others. Perhaps most amazing is the song “Unperfect Actor (Sonnet 23),” in which Wainwright rocks harder on record than ever before.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
ADVERTISE IN BALTIMORE OUTLOUD WITH PRIDE!
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