If you think this is one of those academic gay- or gender-studies-type tomes that applies a lot of incomprehensible French terms to good old-fashioned American entertainment, think again. John M. Clum may be a professor at Duke, but what this garrulous gay-inflected romp around the past 75 or so years of musical theater reveals him to be is, to use his own affectionate term, a hopeless and incurable "show queen." Indeed, Something for the Boys is so personal and idiosyncratic in its survey of the gay side/subtext of musical theater that's it's kind of like a looooong dinner with an invaluable surviving old-school elder queen. You know the type--she's seen every show and/or owns every score since 1703 and she's not afraid to hold forth tartly on everything from Julie Andrews's performance in the film of Victor/Victoria ("She was Mrs. Blake Edwards and that's why she was at the center of a Blake Edwards film") to Rodgers and Hammerstein (whose work Clum provocatively finds impossible to extract a gay reading from--or, in his words, to "queer"). Of course, she's also got the last word on every diva to walk the floorboards, from Garland ("the Wreck Who Went On--brilliantly") and Streisand (who has "the toughness that drag queens aspire to") to Bernadette Peters ("as close to a diva as the New York theater has produced in the past 30 years") and an underrated treasure like Barbara Cook (whose story reflects that of gay history, Clum informs us, since she "'came out' as a fat woman." We're sure Miss Cook's happy to know that).
Clum writes that he didn't intend this book as a traditional thesis-based academic tome, which is good, since it fails miserably in that regard. He too loosely throws around terms like "camp," "irony," and "diva" that others have applied careful meanings to. He refers more than once to The Queen's Throat, Wayne Koestenbaum's meditation on the storied bond between gay men and opera divas, but fails to do what that book did so brilliantly even amidst its over-the-top language--pinpoint the reason gay men have traditionally been so drawn to a particular genre. (Koestenbaum argues that the full-throated utterances of the opera diva gave release to the rage and pain pre-Stonewall gays weren't allowed to express, but Clum never attains as deep a conclusion, chalking up the gay Broadway link to those tired old undefined catch-alls "camp" and "irony"). Clum suggests that what sports are to many straight men, musical theater has been to many gay men, and, in the end, the facile nature of his own survey supports such an analogy: When there's a gay reading to be found in a show or song (as there always is, he insists, in Porter, Coward, or Lorenz Hart), the gays "win"; when there's not (as in Hammerstein), or when it's not as clear (as in Sondheim's Company, notoriously), the gays "lose"...or the game goes into overtime.
But I'm just quibbling. I read Clum's book straight through to the end (including his lushly opinionated personal discography) because I envy and aspire to this kind of encyclopedic, microscopic knowledge of art and entertainment as a sort of venerable gay badge of honor. So if, like me, Lady in the Dark, Anyone Can Whistle, and Mack and Mabel mean as much to you as Crazy for You, Follies, and Mame, you'll quit your bitching, Mary, and eat it up, too.--Tim Murphy
MY LOST FREEDOM is George Takei’s story about his years growing up in those camps. It is about how his parents kept the family safe in their new “homes”—the Santa Anita racetrack, swampy Camp Rohwer, and desolate Tule Lake. Takei entered the camps at the age of five and would remain there until the conclusion of the war three years later, in 1945.
Just last week, cabaret favorite Ann Hampton Callaway released her very first album of all original songs. Finding Beauty: Originals, Volume 1 includes collaborations with Melissa Manchester, Alan Bergman, and Amanda McBroom, and duets with Melissa, Tierney Sutton, Kurt Elling, and of course, her sister Liz Callaway. Listen as the two duet on 'Wherever You Are'.
Music legend Johnny Mathis is due to release his seventh holiday album, Christmastime Is Here. Released by Legacy Recordings, the album is produced by Jay Landers and Fred Mollin and will feature a duet with Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth.
'Discover the insights and experiences of Robert Viagas, as he engages in a captivating conversation at the Drama Book Shop. Gain valuable knowledge about the world of theater and its impact on Broadway.'
MCA/UMe is set to release both vinyl and CD editions of Dame Olivia Newton-John’s smash-hit, tenth studio album, 1978’s Totally Hot, a record that further reinforced her status as a surefire international superstar. In celebration of Newton-John’s first-ever platinum-certified album’s 45th anniversary, Totally Hot returns to vinyl.
The album contains songs that are performed by the actors from the film including Luke Evans, Jessie Buckley, Fra Fee, Trevor Dion Nicholas and more. Produced by Timeless Films in association with Axis Studios and directed by Stephen Donnelly, Charles Dickens’ ageless legend is reborn in this musical adaptation of the Christmas story.
Discover the journey of Kevin Davis' One in a Million Musical as it finds a publisher in Next Stage Press. With its lively and faith-full storyline, this musical has gained acclaim through workshops, showcases, and even a film documentary. Get the inside scoop and learn how this exciting new musical is making waves in the industry.
Discover the captivating world of Hercules Mulligan in a new historical fiction novel. Uncover the thrilling adventures of the American Revolutionary War hero as he navigates the complexities of pre-Revolutionary society and becomes a crucial spy for the Sons of Liberty. I
Join Bernie Ardia at The Drama Bookshop on October 10 at 7:30 pm as he recounts the hilarious and outlandish escapades of friends Patrick Dennis, Walter Healy, and Robert Karr in Mexico. Get your tickets now!
Guillermo Marigliano, the renowned Argentine musician, educator, and composer, has announced the release of his latest masterpiece, the Tango Guitar Method. Published independently and available now, this book is set to revolutionize the way individuals learn to play the enchanting rhythms of Argentinian Tango music.
Implementing Success: Strategies for Effective Caregiving and Care Support is a groundbreaking textbook providing evidence-based strategies for caregivers. Discover key topics like caregiver needs assessment, self-care, and preventing burnout. Improve caregiving practices and support the well-being of caregivers.
Discover 'Sophocles - Three Plays', a collection of two tragic and one comedic play by Sophocles, translated and directed by Gary Beck. Immerse yourself in the world of classic theater with Antigone, Electra, and the hilarious 'Searching Satyrs'.
More than half a century after the Public Theater opened its doors with Hair, Gail Merrifield Papp will speak for the first time about her vivid and fascinating behind-the scenes memoir, Public/Private: My Life with Joe Papp at The Public Theater. The event will be held on Monday, September 18 at 6pm at Joe’s Pub – the Public Theater venue named for Joseph Papp.
Author and artist Damien Kane Rigden has revealed his latest literary masterpiece, All Manner of Beast & Man. This gripping horror-thriller novel takes readers on a spine-chilling journey through the intricate corridors of the human mind and the eerie landscapes of friendship under extraordinary circumstances.