Day: May 12, 2013

MARILYN MONROE: A Vintage Gay Icon Who Defined Bombshell

In my opinion there is one and only one classic icon worth mentioning in Hollywood history. Whether gay, straight, bi or Thai, everyone knows and loves Marilyn Monroe in one way or another.

by Nick Baker | 12th May 2013

Marilyn Monroe | George Barris

While there are some more emblazoned gay icons to have emerged from history, the Judys, the Barbaras, the Bettes; for me it was always Norma Jeane that was most relatable to my cowered closeted childhood. Her line in How to Marry a Millionaire, "Men aren't attentive to girls who wear glasses" immediately made me feel better about my new dorky frames.

Marilyn Monroe: 1946 | Joseph Jasgur

Born with an absent father, a mentally unstable mother Norma Jeane was bounced around various carers and foster homes. She was constantly uprooted and very often sexually assaulted or abused during this time and when she was just sixteen she was married off to her high school boyfriend in order to prevent her from being sent to another foster home. No wonder the girl grew up nuts, wouldn't you?

While most of us know her singing about diamonds or making out with a cross-dressing Tony Curtis, Marilyn appearing in over thirty movies which is an impressive number when you consider she died at age 36.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

The Seven Year Itch

Here was a woman who famously wore nothing but Chanel No 5 to bed, a woman who worked a billowing white dress and a subway vent to such a level its been parodied more times than anyone could count. The most widely recognised and most famously sexual actress of all time... but she still never found a nice guy. Now tell me you can't relate to that. A woman every man fantasised about but one that none seemed to love. Now I'm not saying I'm the world’s most sexual freelance writer but I find comfort in the fact while I may STILL be single, even Marilyn Monroe had trouble with men.

Happy Birthday Mr. President in 1962

Marilyn's famous relationships included the boy next door, the jock, the affair with the President (and his brother) and the famous Jewish playwright. All of which failed often leaving her heartbroken and unstable... total gay icon.

Marilyn spent most of her life in therapy, looking at her childhood it's no wonder. She was supposedly diagnosed with hypersexuality, sleep disturbances, substance abuse and disturbed interpersonal relationships... TOTAL gay icon.

I love Marilyn Monroe; she always seemed to show me that even though you're beautiful you can still feel insecure and that not everyone is how they seem on the outside. She was beautiful, fragile, loved to sing and dance and was always looking for someone to love. Would have been an amazing hag.

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NEWS: Possible Homophobic Murder Puts Russia’s Gay Community On Edge

A man has been killed in what is being reported as a possible homophobic attack in the southern Russian city of Volgograd, early on Friday morning.

by Newsdesk | 12th May 2013

The 23 year old man who has not yet been named was found dead in the courtyard of an apartment building. His wounds included multiple stab wounds including some in the genital area, the federal Investigative Committee said on Saturday.

Reuters is reporting that, a 22-year-old acquaintance of the victim and a 27-year-old ex-convict had been detained on suspicion of murder.

Andrei Gapchenko, who is investigating the killing, said the victim had been drinking with the two men – who then attacked him after revealing his sexuality.

Leading gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev said a bill to outlaw spreading "homosexual propaganda" among minors, given preliminary approval by parliament in January, would make Russians less likely to fear consequences for attacking gays.

"This monstrous incident in Volgograd demonstrates the fruits of the homophobic policy that is being conducted in this country, including the initiative to ban homosexual propaganda," Interfax news agency quoted Alexeyev as saying.

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THEATRE REVIEW: Bare The Rock Musical, The Union Theatre, Southwark

After seeing several of director Paul Taylor Mills’ previous productions, I thought I knew what to expect from bare: the rock musical, but I was genuinely swept away by this fresh and dynamic tale of teenage love and angst.

by Robin Foreman-Quercus | 12th May 2013

An exquisitely sexy musical with an extremely talented and equally alluring cast, I laughed and cried with the characters as every emotion is played out in front of us. Heartstrings were tugged in every direction, whilst my every sense tingled with the visual and aural treats of this vibrant production.

Written by Jon Hartmere and Damon Intrabartolo, bare tells the story of a group of teenagers at a Catholic boarding school discovering love and, by default, themselves. Told with such absolute warmth, the audience is provided an extremely intimate view into the lives of these youngsters. There are some beautifully tender moments in amongst the lively, fast-paced action and I can’t remember the last time I felt so emotionally invested in a show and its characters. Scenes of real heartbreak are gently softened with an expert use of humour, providing not just relief but also some genuine laugh-out-loud moments.

Jason (Ross William Wild) and Peter (Michael Vinsen) are in a clandestine relationship, as rocky as it is secret. As they are pulled apart, Ivy (Lilly-Jane Young) is quick to take advantage of Jason’s newly single status which breaks Matt’s (Dale Evans) heart and angers Nadia (Melanie Greaney), all set against the backdrop of rehearsals for the school production of Romeo and Juliet. Confused? This is the tangled web that is brilliantly interplayed in this highly emotional rollercoaster as we watch relationships and, indeed, lives torn apart. Throw in a steadfastly conservative mother (Yvette Robinson) who refuses to allow her son to come out (even to her), a possibly-closeted priest (Matt Harrop) and a strict Sister with a sideline in sass (Hannah Levane), and you get the picture.

Will Burton’s casting is beyond superb on this production. The leads are exceptional and supported by a hugely talented ensemble. I was particularly struck by the sensitivity between Wild’s Jason and Vinsen’s Peter – so touching it is very easy to see the love between the two characters.

Ross William Wild is captivating and his brilliant eyes tell every emotion Jason feels, a detail rarely seen so honestly portrayed. Michael Vinsen is equally expressive and particularly skilful at using his voice to convey emotion.

Other notable performances came from Lilly-Jane Young and Dale Evans. Ivy’s vulnerability and longing is visible throughout but never more so than during her solo number, All Grown Up. Her handling of some particularly tough scenes displays a sensitivity and grace far beyond her years. Her suitor is portrayed beautifully and intelligently by Evans with Matt’s desperation for Ivy’s attention clearly visible.

Jason’s sister, the larger than life Nadia is played expertly and utterly believable by Melanie Greaney, who is an absolute pleasure to watch and listen to. It’s difficult to comprehend that this is Greaney’s professional debut with the strength and skill she so visibly exhibits here. Indeed, for many of the cast, bare marks their professional debut – and what a debut it is!

The outstanding performance of the night though has to go to Hannah Levane’s fabulously feisty Sister Chantelle. With a strong, powerful voice that is bang on the note, it was a rare and exquisite privilege to hear her so close.

The intensely beautiful score is complemented perfectly by Racky Plews’ tight choreography, which is perfectly executed throughout.

Paul Taylor Mills’ vision is, as always, thoroughly engaging and enlightening. It’s rare to come out of a show feeling so wholly fulfilled. Without a doubt, bare is one of the very best things on the London stage at the moment and, if you don’t see this production, you’re missing out on something very special indeed.

bare: the rock musical plays at the Union Theatre, Southwark until 25 May. Tickets are currently sold out, but it is very definitely worth checking the website regularly and asking the venue for returns.

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