Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Travis Coles and Frankie Grande Wake the Dead in SUMMONING SYLVIA Opening March 31

The Horror Collective is excited to announce the 
North American theatrical and TVOD release of their LGBTQ horror comedy Summoning Sylvia. Written and directed by Wesley Taylor (Smash, The Spongebob Musical) and Alex Wyse (Marvel’s Iron Fist, soon to join Broadway's Good Night, Oscar), the hair-raising romp tells the story of a gay bachelor party that takes a spooky turn when sinister spirits are suddenly summoned. 
The cast of Summoning Sylvia includes Travis Coles (Superstore), Michael Urie (Younger), Frankie Grande (Henry Danger), Nicholas Logan (I Care a Lot), Troy Iwata (Dash & Lily), Noah Ricketts (American Gods), Sean Grandillo (Scream: The TV Series), Camden Garcia (Station 19), and Veanne Cox (You’ve Got Mail) as the titular specter. 

The Horror Collective will release Summoning Sylvia in theaters nationwide March 31, 2023 and on Cable VOD and Digital HD April 7, 2023.

L’IMMENSITÀ Starring Penélope Cruz Opens May 12

Music Box Films will release L’IMMENSITÀ in New York (Angelika Film Center) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Royal) on Friday, May 12 followed by a national rollout.

Clara (Penélope Cruz) and her emotionally distant husband Felice (Vincenzo Amato) relocate to Rome to raise a family. Even though the paint is fresh, and the appliances are new, the crushing expectations around marriage, desire, and gender in the early 1970s remain as traditional as ever. 

Their children Andrew (played by newcomer Luana Giuliani), Gino, and Diana are likewise poised at a precipice, on the verge of adolescence, with nothing but their imaginations to defuse family tensions. 

The eldest child, Andrew (nicknamed Adri by his parents), yearns for another life – an outsized, vibrantly-realized vision of a world where he gets to live as the boy he knows himself to be. Without an accepted vocabulary for talking about his transgender identity, Andrew tells adults that he’s an alien from another galaxy and makes a habit of running away to pursue a local Roma girl who accepts his boyhood at face value. 

As an outsider ostracized for her own eccentricities, Clara instinctively strives to protect her son despite not fully understanding him. An effortlessly moving film about growing up, fitting in, and breaking the mold, L’immensita is as freewheeling and creative as its central characters, mixing genres and staging musical numbers out of thin air.

Rachel Bloom Coming to Boulder Theater July 29

Comedy Works Entertainment proudly welcomes RACHEL BLOOM: DEATH, LET ME DO MY SPECIAL coming to Boulder Theater on Saturday, July 29 at 8:00pm. Due to demand, a second show has been added! Tickets are $45.00 plus applicable fees and are on sale now! Tickets can be purchased online at

Rachel Bloom is an actress, comedian, producer, singer/songwriter and author. She is best known for co-creating, executive producing, and starring in the CW musical dramedy CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, for which she won the 2016 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy, Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a TV Comedy, and TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. In 2019, she won an Emmy Award for Original Music and Lyrics for “Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal.” The series was also awarded a Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Series. In 2019, Bloom sold out Radio City Music Hall performing CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND: LIVE as well as at The London Palladium, the latter of which earned her a five-star review from The Guardian.


Bloom can also be seen starring in Hulu’s comedy series REBOOT and Netflix's YOUR PLACE OR MINE. Her voiceover credits include TROLLS WORLD TOUR, THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2, BATMAN VS. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, EXTINCT and CHIP ‘N’ DALES: RESCUE RANGERS. Television guest credits include PORTLANDIA, THE SIMPSONS, BOJACK HORSEMAN, RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE and iCARLY.  Bloom released her first book, I Want To Be Where the Normal People Are, in 2020 through Grand Central Publishing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

'How We Won the War for LGBTQ Equality' by Kevin Naff, Award-Winning Journalist and Editor of the 'Washington Blade'

How We Won the War for LGBTQ Equality: And How Our Enemies Could Take It All Away by Kevin Naff, the long-time editor of the award-winning Washington Blade, is an extraordinary treatise on the rise of LGBTQ civil rights and acceptance over the last 20 years – and how easily it could all be erased. 

Naff has compiled a series of his award-winning Blade editorials, organized by topic and chronology, to clearly illustrate how these battles for civil rights were achieved.  For context, Naff has included new material that connects and frames each topic, making his 20-years of reporting relevant today. Hoping to engage and educate young LGBTQ members, and remind older LGBTQ members, of how and what the community has achieved, Naff’s goal is to help young people actively engage in the war against their civil rights with as much passion and dedication as those that came before them did. Marriage equality, AIDS medical breakthroughs, repealing of DADT, Title VII protections, and societal acceptance all hang by a thread as Republicans savagely and systematically work to reverse these gains.


“It is my hope that this book serves as an important history lesson for young LGBTQ people.  They must know their own community’s history because it’s not taught in schools, and they need to see how critical it is for them to become involved in protecting the rights others before them have earned through blood, sweat and tears over the last 20 years.  I’m concerned that complacency and ignorance of our history may destroy the world they take for granted,” says Naff.  It cannot be overstated the importance of reminding those who lived through the last 20 turbulent years what has been accomplished, and also of educating younger LGBTQ people of how easily it can all be taken away.


Kevin Naff is editor and co-owner of the Washington Blade, the oldest and most acclaimed LGBTQ news publication in the United States, founded in 1969; and is a co-founder and owner of Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, which publishes the Blade and owns ancillary businesses, including the Los Angeles Blade. He is an award-winning journalist, honored for 10 consecutive years by the Society of Professional Journalists for his editorial writing.

Lakewood Cultural Center and Performance Now Theatre Company present Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel"

Coming to Lakewood Cultural Center March 17 - April 2, t
he story of “Carousel” revolves around Billy Bigelow, a swaggering, carefree carnival barker who falls in love with and marries the sweet but naïve Julie Jordan. Their lives take a tragic turn, and Billy is given one chance to make things right. Richard Rodgers referred to “Carousel” as the favorite of his musicals with a score “more satisfying than any I’ve ever written.” “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” underpin this stunning tale of hope, redemption and the power of love.


Under the Director and Choreographer Kelly Van Oosbree and Music Director Heather Iris Holt, the cast includes Monica Slabach as Julie Jordan, Jeremy Rill as Billy Bigelow, Carolyn Lohr as Carrie Pipperidge, Lars Pierce as Enoch Snow, Liz Brooks as Nettie Fowler, Bill Diggle as Jigger Craigin, and Jennifer Burnett as Mrs. Mullin. 

OUT on Digital and DVD: El Houb (The Love)

Writer-Director Shariff Nasr’s intimate, unique and commanding exploration of a man who comes out to his family, EL HOUB follows up a bravura festival run with a national release this Spring and will be available on digital and DVD on April 11.

Moroccan-Dutch Karim (Fahd Larhzaoui) tells his parents (Lubna Azabal and Slimane Dazi) that he is attracted to men. After years of keeping up appearances, the word is finally out. The difficult days that follow evoke beautiful and poignant memories. He realizes that he has to confront his family to finally break the silence. But in order to be accepted, he must come to terms with his own feelings first. Written by Nasr, Philip Delmaar and Fahd Larhzaoui, and produced by Joram Willink of BIND, EL HOUB will hit theaters March 31 and be available on DVD and Digital April 4 from Dark Star Pictures and Uncork’d Entertainment.

Says director Nasr, “It is fantastic to be able to work with internationally renowned actors like Lubna Azabal and Slimane Dazi. Lubna underwent an intense metamorphosis to realistically portray the role of the elderly mother and Slimane went through an intensive process to speak fluent Darija Arabic in the film. Thanks to their efforts and enormous commitment, they, along with Fahd Larhzaoui and Sabri Saddik, form a close-knit family in EL HOUB that draws the viewer into this intense story.”

EL HOUB is inspired by main actor Fahd Larhzaoui’s personal experiences with coming out to his family. EL HOUB (meaning ‘the love’) focuses on the silent culture the director has observed in Arabic families – not only about homosexuality but cultural taboos in general.

MY Denver PRIME Offers Free Rec Center Membership to Those 60+

Denver’s active lifestyle knows no age limit, and older adults and seniors are just as active as anyone.

Just like the MY Denver Card gives all Denver kids free access to Denver’s recreation centers and pools, the MY Denver PRIME membership expands free access for all the city’s residents ages 60 and older.

MY Denver PRIME provides Denver residents ages 60+ with FREE access to all the city’s recreation centers and pools, including drop-in fitness classes and clubs. As of 2022, the membership also offers access to the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave in Denver's Lookout Mountain Park. This membership is for Denver Parks & Recreation facilities only and does not offer admission discounts to other cultural institutions such as museums, zoo, botanic gardens, etc.

Learn more about the activities and classes offered by DPR’s Active Older Adults division.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Outright International and Alliance for Global Equality Renews Quest for LGBTIQ Rights

Outright International and its partners are pleased to announce the launch of the Alliance for Global Equality, a five-year program to strengthen the resilience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) global movements. The program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Oak Foundation, Dreilinden, and private sector partners.

A unique collaboration among Outright International, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, and Victory Institute, the Alliance will advance long-lasting social and economic change for the LGBTIQ community in at least 11 countries through robust grantmaking and technical support. Additionally, the Alliance will build partnerships with private-sector companies, and country-level civil society organizations and community-based organizations to better equip them to advance social change for LGBTIQ people.

Global efforts to advance LGBTIQ equality have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and a continued rise in anti-rights movements and authoritarianism. The geopolitical landscape has worsened unemployment rates, food insecurity, and political and social exclusion, and has reduced access to services and civic spaces.

“The launch of the Alliance for Global Equality comes at a time when the backlash against our communities around the globe is growing,” noted Maria Sjödin, Executive Director of Outright International. “It is critical that we accelerate the availability of resources both in countries where LGBTIQ civil society is under increasing pressure, as well as where clear progress is being made so that momentum can be maintained.”

USAID Senior LGBTQI+ Coordinator Jay Gilliam noted, “Our Agency is proud to support the Alliance for Global Equality, which builds on USAID’s LGBTQI+ inclusive development work.” He went on to say, “Through the Alliance, USAID is furthering efforts to ensure LGBTQI+ persons can help transform their own societies, from living with dignity to participating in civic life to accessing sustainable livelihoods and social services.”

Lambda Literary Award Finalists 2023: Gay Fiction

Check out the Gay Fiction Lambda Literary Award Finalists of 2023:

Call Me Cassandra by Marcial Gala, translated from Spanish by Anna Kushner, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Foghorn Echoes by Danny Ramadan, Canongate Books

God's Children Are Little Broken Things by Arinze Ifeakandu, A Public Space Books

Hugs and Cuddles by João Gilberto Noll, translated from Portuguese by Edgar Garbelotto, Two Lines Press

My Government Means to Kill Me: A Novel by Rasheed Newson, Flatiron Books

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French 79 returns with new album 'Teenagers' May 5

International electronic artist French 79—the musical alias of French producer, remixer and songwriter Simon Henner—is set to release a new record Teenagers on May 5.
In conjunction, French 79 premieres the album’s latest single “Like is Like” today alongside an accompanying music video. The video was directed by a pair of Henner’s lifelong friends and creative collaborators who go by the name Cauboyz. Listen to/share the song HERE and watch/share the video HERE.
Of the video, Cauboyz says, “‘Life is Like’ tells of a musician’s journey. If the music video embodies three phases of his life, it helps us give a glimpse at the intimacy of a character through a window. Here, architecture and time seem to intertwine and create a monolithic sequence. The perception of time evolves with age. The tender age was yesterday and yet, it is already so far away. What is left of our childhood? From the time when dreams were as powerful as life. Where building an ego was as much as when the architect completes a bridge. What is left of our adolescence? Our first experiences, our fleeting loves? These creative moments resonate in us as adults, with nostalgia driving our creation instincts. This music is so heady that the synths’ reverb seems to echo in these private places. The story of a piece, from its first dream to the release of the album. The position of the musician, at the center of our lives through his.”

World of Wonder announces the Queens and Release Date of “Drag Race España" S3”

Start your engines for another wig-snatching season of “Drag Race España,” debuting season three on Sunday, April 16th, followed by a weekly roll out every Sunday, exclusively on WOW Presents Plus in the US and select territories worldwide (day-and-date with its local airing on Spain’s ATRESplayer Premium). Supremme de Luxe returns as host, joined by returning judges Javier Calvo, Javier Ambrossi, and Ana Locking.

The twelve fierce, Spanish queens competing for the title of Spain’s next Drag Superstar include: Bestiah, Chanel Anorex, Clover Bish, Drag Chuchi, Hornella Góngora, Kelly Roller, María Edilia, Pakita, Pink Chadora, Pitita, Vania Vainilla, and Visa. Each week, the queens will compete in a variety of gag-worthy challenges and wig-snatching runway categories. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Natalie Merchant - Come On, Aphrodite

Today, Natalie Merchant unveils a new video for her latest single “Come On, Aphrodite”—watch here. Filmed in Brooklyn, New York, the new video is directed by Matthew Shattuck (Foo Fighters, John Legend) and edited by Andrew Pulaski (Joey Bada$$, A$AP Ferg). 
Of the song, Merchant says, “‘Come on, Aphrodite’ is an invocation to the goddess of love and passion. In the lyrics, I list all the clichés we use to describe falling in love: being drunk and blind, over the moon, weak in the knees, and half out of our minds. For the Greeks, when the spirit of love descended, it was seen as a kind of assault; you would become powerless against an all-consuming, sweet madness. Amazingly, humans still crave it, in spite of the perils.”
“Come On, Aphrodite”—named an “emotive, passionate track” by American Songwriter—is taken from Merchant’s forthcoming album, Keep Your Courageset for release on April 14 on Nonesuch Records. In the words of Uncut, “‘Keep Your Courage,’ almost a decade in the making, finds Merchant as witty and welcoming as always, turning her gaze to what helps us endure life’s ups and downs.” The song features Abena Koomson-Davis (Resistance Revival Chorus) and establishes the record’s themes of love and passion as essential to the human experience. Pre-save/pre-order the forthcoming album here.
“I was completely taken by [Abena’s] personality, her voice, and the mission of the chorus,” says Merchant. “I invited Abena to sing at Radio City Music Hall for a telecast to thank healthcare workers impacted by Covid. At that event, I promised we would make a record together, definitely. I hadn’t even written the songs, but I loved the way that our voices blended and wanted us to sing together.”
In celebration of the new music, Merchant will embark upon an extensive tour this spring, going into the fall. 

David Starr Releases New EP 'Better Me'

Prolific Colorado singer/songwriter David Starr, releases his latest EP Better Me on all digital platforms today with the final single, “Because You’re Right”. Rich with bright acoustic guitars, soulful grooves and lead vocals from Starr, and his signature storytelling lyrics, it is a stellar collection of songs that fires on all cylinders.

Track 4 on the release, “Because You’re Right” is the only song not written by Starr on the project, co-written by Erik Stucky, Bob Rea, and Chelsea Chaput. Premiering on The Bluegrass Situation on Monday, March 13, listeners got an early listen of the final installment of the EP. “Erik is one of my favorite artists, friends, and collaborators, so it’s fun to be able to sing a song that he wrote. I heard him play it at a gig one night and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. I think it shows that there are always two sides, and in love it’s often hardest, but best to compromise, as difficult as that may be,” Starr shares. Stucky can also be heard lending his mandolin parts to the recording.

The project as a whole ebbs and flows between the more Americana-infused sentimental songs “Because You’re Right,” “Some Angels Fly,” and “Any Chance Of Going Home,” to the bright and joyous title track “Better Me,” energetic love song “Closer To You,” and the raucous and rocking blues number “Poison The Water,” which features special call & response background vocals from Reverend Joseph Rice.

Pride Journey: Coastal Mississippi

By Joey Amato

Every now and then I visit a destination I know absolutely nothing about. That happened a few years ago when I visited Oklahoma City and I fell in love with OKC. This time around, that destination was Coastal Mississippi, more specifically Biloxi, Gulfport, and Ocean Springs. In fact, the only thing I knew about the Biloxi was the hotel I stayed at, Beau Rivage. I knew it was owned by MGM Resorts, but that was about it. The rest of the trip was going to be a surprise.

For this particular trip, I wanted to focus on health and wellness and luckily, Beau Rivage’s most recent renovation included two floors full of Stay Well rooms as well as an updated spa. My gulf view room came complete with an aromatherapy machine, ultra high-end linens, a memory foam mattress, and pillows as well as a vitamin C dispenser hooked up to my shower. I had never seen one of those before, so I had to ask what it was.

After an early check in, I departed for Ocean Springs, a quaint town just east of Beau Rivage. My first stop was a place called Shearwater Pottery. Apparently, it is very well known to everyone but me. After posting pictures on social media, I received numerous comments from friends wanting to visit. Shearwater Pottery was founded in 1928 by Peter Anderson and from the 1920s through the present day, Shearwater Pottery has produced art pottery, utilitarian ware, figurines, decorative tiles, and other pottery pieces.

I had the opportunity to meet with Margie Ashley, the daughter of Peter Anderson who told me about her family’s legacy in Ocean Springs. At that time, Coastal Mississippi was known for fishing and not so much for the arts, so her family was viewed as outcasts but the community. Margie told me people used to called them the “crazy Andersons.” But they eventually had the last laugh as the family name has become as much of Coastal Mississippi culture as seafood gumbo.

A few minutes up the road from Shearwater Pottery is the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. Walter was the brother of Peter Anderson and equally as talented, creating thousands of works throughout his lifetime. Many of Walter Anderson’s paintings, drawings, murals, block prints, sculpture, carvings, and writings are on display at the museum.

The pièce de résistance is the Community Center, which is the site of Walter Anderson’s monumental 3,000 square foot mural, which depicts the historic discovery of the Mississippi Coast and its diverse climates. The city commissioned Walter Anderson in 1950 for a fee of $1.00 and the project took 16 months to complete.

For dinner, head to Vestige, a farm-to-table restaurant in Ocean Springs helmed by head chefs Alex Perry and his wife, Kumi Omori who were recently nominated for a James Beard Award. Vestige offers a pre-fixed menu which changes on a regular basis and contains only the freshest local ingredients. And if it’s not local, they fly it in from its land of origin to insure its freshness. We began our meal with sashimi of Hamachi complete with a foie gras emulsion, rose, purple sweet potato and magnolia flower kombucha veil. Yes, that was one dish and just an appetizer, but probably my favorite item on the menu.

After 3 more courses which consisted of a piece of perfectly cooked fish to charcoal grilled wagyu beef, the meal comes to an end with a delectable strawberry Bavarian, with cacao mint genoise, whipped match, grapefruit lemon curd and pecan ginger shortbread. This wasn’t just a meal; it was an experience worthy of a James Beard nomination and definitely the award for Best Chef: South.

You’ll need the rest of the night to recover from a food coma, so head back to Beau Rivage for some much-needed rest or hit the casino if your heart desires.

Head out the next morning to the recently opened Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport, about 15 minutes west of Biloxi. The state-of-the-art facility is home to a variety of sea life and is one of the crown jewels of the area.

I can never see enough animals, so next on the agenda was the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies located at Ocean Adventures Marine Park. Guests can come up close and personal with stingrays, sea lions and dolphins. I had the opportunity to interact with a beautiful male dolphin, getting to rub his belly, give him commands and feed him some delicious fish. For my, I mean his hard work, I got a kiss from one of my favorite animals.

On the way back to your hotel, stop by Coastal Roast Coffee for an afternoon pick me up before dinner. I wasn’t sure what to expect at White Pillars. The bar was set really high at Vestige the night before, but I was in for another treat. We began our meal with a bowl of Oyster & Artichoke soup. I was a bit hesitant to order this at first as I didn’t want to begin my meal with something heavy, but when it arrived, it turned out to be one of the best soups I’ve had in a long time. It was light and fragrant, consisting of Gulf oysters, fennel, and oyster mushrooms in a coconut milk broth. When dining near the coast, why not try the Gulf Seafood Tower, two tiers of fresh oysters, mahi crudo, smoked fish dip and amberjack ceviche.

And those were just the starters. For my main course, I ordered the Duck Ramen prepared with a confit duck leg, collards, togarashi, duck cracklins, and the traditional soft-boiled egg. In fact, the egg was the only thing traditional about the dish, which was rich and delicious. The duck was cooked to perfection and the broth was fantastic.

The area is home to two LGBTQ bars, Sipp’s in Gulfport, and Just Us Lounge, located within walking distance of Beau Rivage. The crowd at Just Us was a melting pot of the area’s LGBTQ community, extremely diverse and welcoming. One thing to note is that smoking is still legal inside bars, so if that bothers you, there is a large outdoor space available.

I know I said I wanted to focus on health and wellness during this trip, but I seemed to have detoured from my mission somewhere in Ocean Springs. One can’t resist the food in Coastal Mississippi, so screw the diet for one more day and head to The Roasted Bean located in the lobby of Beau Rivage and ask for an order of beignets. These are not listed anywhere in plain site and are the best kept secret of the hotel. I received a tip from the captain of the Biloxi Shrimping Trip, which I went on the morning prior. The powdered sugar pastries where the best I’ve ever had. Light, airy, and simply delicious. They couldn’t have been that many calories, right?

End your stay in Coastal Mississippi with a relaxing CBD massage at the The Spa at Beau Rivage. The 80-minute massage uses CBD body oils as well as a Moor Mud treatment to soothe tired muscles and back pain. Playing with dolphins, eating oysters, and savoring beignets all weekend was quite stressful.
If you are looking for a relaxed seaside vacation, put Coastal Mississippi on your radar. There are many unique experiences that will make your stay truly memorable.
Visit for more information about the destination.