Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tony Award Winner Gary Beach (The Producers) Passes Away At 70

Tony Award-winner Gary Beach, who brought the singing and dancing candlestick “Lumiere” to life for the original Broadway production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and won a Tony Award for his gayer-than-gay, show-stopping performance as director “Roger De Bris” in the mega-hit musical The Producers, has passed away at the age of 70.

Gary Beach

Making his Broadway debut as the understudy for the role of “Edward Rutledge” in the original Broadway run of 1776 in 1969, Beach eventually took over the role and played “Rutledge” until the show closed in 1972.

Many other shows on the Great White Way would follow including, the short-lived Something’s Afoot, Annie, and Doonesbury.

Waiting for him after all those shows, however, was the role of French candlestick “Lumiere,” who led a cast of singing/dancing plates, spoons and saucer imploring Belle to "Be Our Guest" in Beauty and the Beast—the first full-scale Disney musical on Broadway which opened in 1994.

And then, in 2001, Beach was cast as director Roger De Bris in Mel Brooks' 2001 mega-hit The Producers.

Beach scored mightily as the gay-gay-gay, over-the-top gay director “Roger De Bris,” who finally receives his moment of glory center stage.

His slapstick-to-perfection performance brought him the 2001 Tony Award for ‘Best Featured Actor in a Musical.’ Beach returned to the role for the 2005 film adaptation alongside fellow original Broadway cast members Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

Here’s an extended clip of Beach’s big number in The Producers. He makes his entrance as ‘Hitler’ at the 6:00 mark:

Beach continued to star on Broadway, taking on the role of “Albin” the 2004 revival of Jerry Herman's La Cage aux Folles (another Tony Award nomination) and as “Thénardier” in the 2006 revival of Les Misérables.

His stellar career is only surpassed by the love and admiration of his fellow theatre artists.

Before becoming a journalist, I had a career on the Broadway stage. Although I never worked with Gary, I met him several times. And he was always the definition of warmth and kindness.

More importantly, though, are the messages flooding my Facebook and social media - my friends who did work with him 8 shows a week for so long.

Reading through Facebook and Twitter, some of the most veteran performers of the Broadway stage shared their love and devotion to the master artist.

If I could impart anything about the memory of this top-tier artist to you, its the incredible, universal affection the theatre world has for Gary.

Gary is survived by his husband, Jeff Barnett.

Blindfolded & Hands Tied Down, Men Didn't Know 'Housewife" Was Man Recording Anonymous Sex

Bryan Deneumostier was arrested for recording anonymous sex acts while posing as a straight, bored housewife
Bryan Deneumostier (Miami-Dade Police)

Here's a tale to remember before you consider a bit of kinky playtime.

The Miami Herald is reporting that men, believing they were hooking up with a “real, heterosexual female” via Craigslist ads for a bit of kinky fun, were actually having sex with a 33-year-old male who was filming the encounters for a porn website.

According to the Herald, the victims would connect on the internet and then head to a home in South Miama-Dade for an anonymous sex-capade with a 'bored military housewife.'

The men apparently agreed ahead of time to be blindfolded or wear blackout goggles. What they didn’t realize was the ‘bored housewife’ was actually 33-year-old Bryan Deneumostier who, once the men were unable to see and had their hands tied to a chair, would perform various sex acts like oral sex and record the episodes for a website called ‘Straightboyz.’

If the men asked about any kind of recording or photography going on, Deneumostier would assure his blind-folded victims that as the wife of an army soldier, ‘she’ would never do that.

Police estimate that over at least 4 years, Deneumostier recorded and uploaded at least 600 videos to the website. The site is no longer up, but the videos have since been uploaded to various porn aggregator sites.

Police say its difficult to ascertain how many of the participants in the videos were victims who never knew their sexual rendezvous was being recorded.

Deneumostier has been charged with two counts of illegal interception of oral communication, and three counts record-keeping violations.

And the tale of Bryan Deneumostier gets worse.

Earlier this month, police found him in a hotel room with an underage boy who had been reported missing.

After seeing leather handcuffs, lubricant and other sex toys in the room, Deneumostier copped to having sex with the boy after giving him alcohol and drugs.

(h/t Miami Herald)

Cher Announces New ABBA Cover Songs Album

Cher in "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again"

As Grammy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Cher makes the rounds of talk shows to promote her upcoming new film, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, the goddess of pop has revealed her next recording project.

After months of teasing via social media, Cher told Kathie Lee Gifford of the Today Show she will release an album of ABBA cover songs in September.

“After I did ’Fernando’ I thought it would really be fun to do an album of ABBA songs,” the pop icon shared. “So I did.”

No word on which songs the multi-talented hyphenate chose for the new collection, but as she says to Kathie Lee, “it’s not what you think of when you think of ABBA because I did it in a different way.”

Having charted a #1 single in each of the last six decades, fans can definitely expect Cher to bring her own ABBA-tastic flavor to the super group’s catalogue.

Having loved the Broadway musical Mamma Mia (she admits to having seen the production three times), Cher says she’s thrilled to be a part of the new film because ‘it shows women being in control of their life.’

Surprisingly, the Academy Award winner shared that she never expected she would do “many” movies. “I believe what belongs to you, comes to you,” she shares. “And I’d have never thought this belonged to me, but it did.”

Check out the full segment from the Today Show below.

College Wrestler Loses Scholarship After Shouting 'F**k You, Faggot'

Bronson Harmon
A college wrestler has lost his scholarship after being captured on video shouting an anti-gay slur while attending a pro-Trump rally.

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) revoked a scholarship to 18-year-old wrestler Bronson Harmon after he was recorded yelling homophobic abuse in a video shared on Facebook.

Holding a pro-Donald Trump sign, Harmon can be seen making an obscene gesture and shouting “f**k off, faggot!” in the video that has been viewed more than 33,000 times (at this writing) since it was initially posted on June 30.

The incident took place after the Modesto, California Families Belong Together march which protested the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border.

Abdul Lasaing, who is a clerk for the Modesto Police Department, filmed and posted the video, writing that he was walking back to his car after the march when he encountered a group of men that included Harmon.

“I heard a group of men shouting and trying to scare us by saying #sendthemback and even yelled at someone nig**! I was so in chocked [sic] so I automatically pulled out my phone to record, and see who was being so disrespectful!” Lasaing shared on Facebook.

One of the people commenting on the video thread identified Harmon as having won a wrestling scholarship at Cal Poly, saying, “It’s time to take that scholarship away from him.”

And that’s exactly what happened.

Harmon is now expressing some sense of remorse over his actions, but feels his punishment exceeds his bad behavior.

“Saying what I said is definitely not the right thing. I am supposed to be there to help the community be the best person I can be and represent the college the best way I can,” he told local newspaper, The Tribune.

“I still feel like my freedom of speech was taken away, and I don’t think my scholarship should have been revoked over something like that,” he added.

Clearly, Harmon hasn't studied the Constitution to understand what 'freedom of speech' does and doesn't protect.

Cal Poly Athletic Director Don Oberhelman confirmed to The Tribune the university was aware of the video.

(h/t Pink News)

Iceman & Pyro Mix Fire And Ice In New "X-Men: Gold" Comic Book

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Growing up, I was truly a super-hero comic book fanatic. They were my escape.

Little did I know the allegories being taught and the messages being sent by heroic figures in those pages and pages of fantasy.

Fast forward to today, where a member of the X-Men, Bobby Drake ("Iceman") is now openly gay and in a new issue, has a one-night stand with fire-powered super-mutant Simon Lasker, also known as "Pyro."

I guess opposites really do attract.

In X-Men: Gold #32, Pyro is revealed exiting the bathroom announcing that the shower is free before adding, “Or, I could go back in if you want company.”

Drake hems and haws as he tries to tell Pyro, "I thought we agreed last night was a onetime thing."

Pyro offers a cheeky, "Actually, if I'm counting right, last night was a three-time thing..."

Unfortunately, the super-heroes are then interrupted by a noise.

Iceman formally came out in 2015, during a time-travel episode that took him to the future to meet his older self.

In that story line, its the newly-out younger Bobby Drake that addresses the issue with his future, still-closeted self.

I know, I know, that time travel thing gets complicated.

In any case, here's hoping Iceman works things out for something more permanent with Pryo.

Time will tell.

Issue No. 32 of X-Men: Gold hits stands July 18.

Like other comic book fans, several Twitter users were shook by the development:

Openly Gay U.S. Marine Wins Runoff In Highly Democratic Alabama District

Openly gay former U.S. Marine Neil Rafferty won his runoff contest last night in Alabama to become the Democratic candidate for the state House seat in District 54.
Democratic candidate for the Alabama state House, Neil Rafferty

Openly gay former U.S. Marine Neil Rafferty won his runoff contest last night in Alabama to become the Democratic candidate for the state House seat in District 54.

I reported last month that Rafferty narrowly missed having a runoff at all after getting 48% of the primary vote on June 5.

The political newbie is vying for the seat vacated by Democratic state Rep. Patricia Todd, who was the first openly gay legislator in Alabama. Todd has held the seat since 2006.

Rafferty was endorsed by Todd, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

I previously wrote about Rafferty when he announced his candidacy back in February.

The Birmingham native spent four years in the U.S. Marines before returning home to earn a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He currently works as the director of research and development at Birmingham AIDS Outreach.

Michael Rudolph (L) and Neil Rafferty (R)

Rafferty joined the Marines after his longtime boyfriend, Michael Rudolph had been deployed twice to Iraq as a Marine so they could stay together even though 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' was still in effect. The couple, now together 14 years, are currently engaged and planning their wedding.

According to, Rafferty received 2,531 votes, or 67.12 percent with 100 percent of the vote reporting. His opponent, environmentalist and marketer Jacqueline Gray Miller, received 1,240 votes, or 32.88 percent.

Although no Republican competed in District 54, Rafferty can’t quite claim victory just yet.

Joseph Baker has entered the race as an Independent and will face Rafferty in the November general election. That said, in that a Democrat has held the seat for 12 years and noting the current political environment, Rafferty's chances at victory look very good.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Podcast: Emmy Nominations, Harry Styles, 'Gay Panic' Defense & More

The Randy Report podcast is the perfect way to keep up with LGBT politics, pop culture and entertainment news on the go

In this week's podcast:

• The Trump administration is raiding HIV/AIDS programs to pay for further family separations at the U.S. border

• Hawaii’s Supreme Court declines to review a bigot’s appeal after being found guilty is LGBTQ discrimination

• UK pop star Harry Styles admits, “There a little bit of gay in all of us”

• This year’s Emmy Awards nominations had a lot of love for the gays

• 'Queer Eye' and 'Pose' both get renewed for additional seasons

• Out indie artist Parker Matthews is "Feelin' Right"

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Broadway's 'The Boys In The Band' Recoups Original Investment

The cast of the Broadway revival of 'The Boys in the Band'
The acclaimed Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band announced this week that the limited-run production has already recouped it's initial investment.

That's very rare for a play - especially a limited-run play in one of the smaller Broadway theaters.

But it's a testament to the power of the iconic play and how it speaks to audiences today.

Cast member Zachary Quinto shared in an Instagram post about the milestone. In his post, he wrote, in part:

"whenever a broadway show recoups it is a milestone... and a rare one at that. especially for a limited run in one of the smaller playhouses on the great white way. so today’s news is exciting as an industry achievement alone. but beyond that - it is a declaration for our community. and for those of us who have the distinct privilege of representing that community eight times a week in front of standing room audiences absolutely wild with excitement - it is humbling to say the least."

whenever a broadway show recoups it is a milestone... and a rare one at that. especially for a limited run in one of the smaller playhouses on the great white way. so today’s news is exciting as an industry achievement alone. but beyond that - it is a declaration for our community. and for those of us who have the distinct privilege of representing that community eight times a week in front of standing room audiences absolutely wild with excitement - it is humbling to say the least. we are living through a time when an entire administration and a significant portion of the electorate would like to see us silenced. diminished. and transported back to the sociopolitical landscape which is the very backdrop of our story. but the success of this production tells a very different story. a story of visibility. of authenticity. of momentum. ours is a story of truth and progress and how far we’ve come. with my brothers in arms @mattbomer @charliecarver @brianhutchison3 @robinofjesus @therealjimparsons @andrewrannells @michaelbwashington and @tucwatkins i stand in solidarity and in gratitude. it is an honor and a pleasure... and we still have four weeks to go! come be a part of this celebration with us. help amplify our voices and honor the voices of the past - the echoes of which are ringing all around us!
A post shared by Zachary Quinto (@zacharyquinto) on

Laurence Luckinbill, one of the few living cast members from the original production off-Broadway recently spoke to Michael Musto of NewNowNext about the subtle differences he sees in this new production versus the original.

"I see something else in these new guys that I don’t think we had in our show. There is a freedom that has been given by circumstance and society to be gay and out in certain sections of the world, like New York. The freedom to be who you are, I think, imbues these new young actors because they have come out before this and I think that gave them the right to be even crueler, in a funny way. The hostility is really present throughout the production. There’s somehow less fun and more war.

"We did not know what we were doing because nobody was out."

"It was the difference of a cast who knew and lived being in the closet, being locked in. They felt surrounded by danger because it was real."

The Boys in the Band has one more month left in its Broadway run. Don't miss it. Get more info here.