Archive for September, 2021|Monthly archive page

See This Show RIGHT NOW

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2021 at 10:12 am

Written, composed and performed by AJ Holmes, a solid Broadway actor who was in Book of Mormon for five years, his solo show, YEAH BUT NOT RIGHT NOW, at the Soho Playhouse, is an often brilliant reveal of himself as a love-starved musical wunderkind from birth, practically, in a musical-loving home, and a sometimes unmitigated asshole, as well, like all of us have been, at one time or another, if we are being honest with ourselves.

To describe this show as narcissistic would be like calling the Pope sorta religious, but fear not: Holmes’ bright, melodic songs, all of which more or less center around his personal angst help make his self-analytical medicine go down, in a truly most delightful way. I found myself humming his “I’m That Guy,” amidst the happy audience, leaving the theater. That had not happened with any new show music since hearing Dear Evan Hanson’s “Waving in a Window,” and I cannot remember when before that. And such is Holmes’ delicious fecundity, that unlike that show, this show is no one song wonder, for nearly everything he writes seems to have a rock-solid, utterly pleasurable hook that stays with you, made all the more impressive by his infinitly expressive vocals, which can soar with operatic resonance, drolly mince out patter with pointed wit or leave you breathless from the ardor of the unmistakabe tone of a lover. His superior kind of sound and fury are matched by his jaw-dropping musicality. Seated center stage at the keyboard, his swiftly flying fingers make it seem an entire, very rich and full orchestra. And then he literally almost becomes one of those, as well, through his effective virtuosity on swiftly snatched guitar, various percussion elements, and smooth-ass technology that enables him to be his own backup and vocal counterpoint.

His insane vocal, instrumental and technical range, seamlessly blending as they do, might still impress as merely a delightful entertainment, instead of an electifying one, were it missing just one more element that lifts this externally small and modest show and, indeed anyone watching it, into the realm of musical comedy heaven. That would be his diabolically good comic timing which is essential to putting over some of his spoken-word diciest and darkest passages between the songs, which I confess were highly relatable.

“I WISH someone would fuck my Mom” made me personally howl, for one thing.

You had to be there. So GO! AJ Holmes is madly talented.

And now I know exactly what Darren Criss meant in the quote used for his publicity.



In Uncategorized on September 17, 2021 at 9:50 pm


In Uncategorized on September 17, 2021 at 9:49 pm

Of all the prominent jolie laide actresses – Rossy de Palma, Yootha Joyce, Judith Anderson, Flora Robson, Ruth Gordon – who have graced the screen, large or small – the absolute Queen of them all has to be Sarah Jessica Parker. Not only has she managed to convince international audiences, huge beauty product conglomerates, the fashion world and almost every gay man on the planet that she is an absolute icon of beauty, glamour and uber-chic style in front of or away from the camera, she has also most enviably managed to commingle with some of the hottest men on the planet for the last 23 years on her show Sex and the City.

From Daniel Sunjata to Ron Livingston to John Corbett to Mikhail Baryshnikov to Chris Noth to Craig Bierko to Jon Bon Jovie to David Duchovney to John Slattery to Bradley Cooper to Bill Sage to Vince Vaughn to Timothy Olyphant to Justin Theroux, she has rocked ’em all. But she may have outdone even herself with the boys – at least on a visual level – in the movie sequel she’s currently filming, AND JUST LIKE THAT, right on her very doorstep as my Village eighbor on Charles Street.

Hope this doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor.

A Questionable POSE

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2021 at 7:04 pm

Let me make this clear: I have absolutely nothing against the trans community, and I am thrilled that there are productions who employ its members in all capacities. All of this and them I fully support.

But POSE? Gurl, please. The cards are so stacked in this scene, for example, and its execution so heavy-handed – the awful cue-ing music, the gratuitous reaction shots, the emphatic, predictable final fillip which made me wonder and hope that the assistant who takes that courageous, supportive stand, will be able to find another job in these times. It was so overdone that I found myself feeling sorry for poor Eddie Korbich, playing the transphobe – who is gay, and the sweetest most wonderful guy in the world in real life, although I know that’s not supposed to count here – while fearing for his life from those terrifying nailsI

In her “reading to filth” – how I love seeing old skool black gay slang in a headline from the BBC – Elektra’s diatribe consists of misanthropic insults to this white man, surrounded by ethnics, including his assistant, that are ageist (referring to his presumed repulsively low-hanging testicles), height-ist and anti-heterosexual, as she is operating from the assumption that his wedding band signifies that his partner is a woman. Meanwhile, one of her trans coterie has to be held back from physically attacking him, they steal a bottle of champagne and she slaps him (however lightly, the contempt with which she does it carries a sting, as she crosses that physical line). When she thrusts a champagne flute in his face, you half expect things to get bloody, as here, trans people are shown to be violent, off the mark in their thinking process, presumptuous and thieves. Not really helpful, showing you can dress “them” up and give them credit cards but civilized behavior in a public place of business is another matter, altogether, which rather plays right into transphobic hands, reinforcing evil stereotypes.

Some have told me that I shouldn’t post this because “everyone” will come for me, but, again, it is this program, not the reality it tries to represent in such an over-the-top unreal fashion which I am criticizing. Others have expressed this opinion to me as well – like those who think Amanda Gorman’s poetry ain’t really all that, not by a longshot, yet are afraid to publicly say so – but the present-day climate has made everyone terrified to express themselves. Being potentially cancelled, oneself, is everyone’s biggest concern right now, as we tiptoe on eggshells around hot button topics, with new ones seeming to crop up every day. It has really become this “Empress has no clothes on” kind of thing. It’s fear of the Thought Police, which has become oppressively repressive, which is not healthy.

POSE is an undeniably important first step which I do recognize and applaud, happy that a transgendered person from my home state of Hawaii, Janet Mock, has been given such a first-time opportunity to produce, write and even direct it. But I cannot applaud the off-putting overkill with which it presents its message. If I was a judge at a ball, reading somebody’s walk, for example, it’s not the person I hate, it’s the technique, or lack thereof. And I absolutely know it could be better, that’s all.

As I would say to Janet if we were home in Hawaii, “Shoots, tita*, make um mo real, lidat.**

“*Hawaiian for “sister”

**local Hawaiian pidgin slang for “like that”