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VEGAS_ The glam city in the desert

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					         Seattle Gay News Section 3                                                                                                 Issue 25, Volume 36, June 20, 2008




VEGAS! The glam city in the desert
by Ed Depicolzuane                      ing on-Strip or off.                  New York New York, MGM                a few city blocks – 76 acres – all     in Vegas stays in Vegas”….
SGN Contributing Writer                    My hosts were the good people      Grand, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay,        of which looks more like the con-        To experience the best the place
                                        of the public relations crew of the   etc. Each hotel has thousands of      struction zone of an airport it’s so   has to offer, one needs to be rather
  Whether you’ve never been to          MGM Mirage Corporation, and           rooms, and some hotels contain        huge! If immensity and gaming          uninhibited about spending mon-
Las Vegas or, like me, haven’t          QVegas, the local Gay monthly         a smaller, so-called “boutique”       activity is exactly what you don’t     ey, even if you never spend a dime
been there in 20 years, you’ll find     magazine. I experienced some          hotel, which implies small and        want, the Signature at MGM             gambling. The shows and dinners
“The Strip” – Las Vegas Blvd.,          of the best the city has to offer,    intimate, but even they – such as     Grand and other non-gaming ac-         in the best restaurants are pricey
where most of the action happens        including a stay in the pyramid-      THEHotel in the Mandalay Bay          commodations are for you.              by Seattle standards, and you’ll
– to be two things: posh and im-        shaped, Egyptian-themed Luxor         – typically have over 1000 rooms.       One of my hosts said Vegas’          need to plan ahead to set aside a
mense! Those who constructed            Hotel. Walking into the Luxor         That’s “boutique” compared to         entertainment/tourist industry         chunk of entertainment money.
the modern accommodation and            almost overwhelms with its im-        the 4000-room main hotel! The         turned toward a family appeal in       Your hosts will do their best to
entertainment complexes there           mense volume; the interior is a       MGM Mirage Corp. together with        the ‘90s, but apparently that didn’t   deliver, and the restaurants and
have done everything to disguise        huge, cavernous space that re-        foreign investment, is building the   catch on, and operators reassessed     shows are worth the splurge; the
that you’re in the middle of an arid    flects the pyramidal shape, with      world’s most expensive private        their core patronage – adults, in-     sets alone of some such as Cirque
desert. Even flying in is a surprise,   a vast casino and a number of         project ever, a giant city-within-    cluding lots of singles who want-      du Soleil’s Ka are truly amazing.
as Vegas’ McCarran Airport is           restaurants, bars and attractions,    the-city – City Center – com-         ed an almost-anything-goes play        Many shows are playing at a time,
so close to the Strip you almost        such as the replica of part of King   prised of four mega-hotels and        destination in which they could let    and choosing what to see can be
seem to be landing in the middle        Tutankhamen’s tomb.                   hotel-condos (which are presently     their inhibitions go and, as Vegas’    bewildering. Currently, Cher and
of it. A quick drive gets you to           Immensity is truly the word for    for sale) and a half-million square   advertising says, “What happens
                                        mega-hotels such as the Luxor,        feet of retail and entertainment                                                         see Vegas page 3
your hotel, whether you’re stay-
                                                                              area in the middle of what covers
                            You need At le Ast one pictu Re to p Rove
                          you h A d this much Fun. Go on, live A little.




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TOURV_4822_TV312.indd 1                                                                                                                                                                                              6/10/08 3:23:17 PM
Las Vegas                                          a few hostels that charge only $20-$25/




                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enzo
                                                   bed/nite, such as the SinCity, the AAE
continued from cover
                                                   Todds, and the USA hostels. Saving money
Bette Midler are playing, as well as Rob-          on rooms is a smart way to allow for more
in Williams, and many permanent shows              money for the stuff that really counts – play
could more than fill a week’s time. After the      money for great food, fascinating shows and
show, if you want more, a seemingly infinite       a little throw-down, if that’s your taste.
number of lounges and nightclubs await, in-           In the midst of our long, gray, damp win-
cluding the dark and rather eerie New York         ters/springs, you might be crying out for
transplant Studio 54. If your head doesn’t         some heat. While the NW is getting soaked,
hurt the next morning, you can blast around        southern Nevada soaks up the sun and
on a rollercoaster around the New York New         warmth. The nights during winter can get
York, or go for some thrill rides 700 feet off     down to the 30s, but the days are typically
the ground atop the Stratosphere tower. I          in the 50s – pleasant compared to our winter
don’t recommend spending $15 to watch              lows. And the temps there warm rapidly as
the imprisoned dolphins and white lions and        spring approaches. Hot summers are why
tigers at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Gar-          Gay Pride happens the first week in May,
den. You’re not allowed to touch the dol-          with a nighttime parade that emphasizes
phins, and, as animals in captivity typically      lights. The early date starts the year’s Gay
do, the lions and tigers sleep a lot.              Pride celebrations, followed by Long Beach
  Some of us met for dinner at the upscale         and Salt Lake City. Vegas Gay Pride sup-
Sensi in the Bellagio Hotel. The first detail      porters are eager to become a Gay Pride des-
that catches the eye is that the restaurant is     tination, and they’ve built a slate of events
constructed largely of granite; heavy, huge        that happen through the week – bar parties,
rough-cut granite blocks for walls as well as      girl shows, boy shows, a pool party at Blue
some of the tables. And the food? For $90          Moon Resort, and the main event at Gov-
you can experience what I had: an Ameri-           ernment Center.
can Kobe beef medallion with a half lobster.          If you stay at one of the big hotels – say,
I had never had beef so subtly tasty and so        the MGM Grand – you can use its very
tender that it nearly melted in my mouth.          large pool area that is more like a small for-
The meal started with split sautéed prawns,        est. The vast area has four hot tubs and four
oysters and king crab legs and ended with          large pools including a “river” – a narrow
fine sorbet served in cleverly created choco-      long loop with a slow current that carries
late apple-shaped shells, all served by a re-      bathers around at a pleasant drift. If you’re
                                                                     feeling exclusive, you can
                                                                     walk up to the Wet-Re-
                                                                     public, a bar-pool where
                                                                     your own host – a young
                                                                     guy such as tanned, long
                                                                     blonde haired “Sunshine”
                                                                     – can reserve for you (that
                                                                     is, you’ll pay for) a lounge
                                                                     chair for $100, or a ca-
                                                                     bana, or a “bungalow” for
                                                                     $1500, some of which is        and eat granola if you like for a fee of $25,     bined with short road trips to the surround-
                                                                     credit for food and drink,     if you don’t want a massage. $35 will also        ing rugged desert beauty, southern Nevada
                                                                     and have a more chic ex-       give you use of the small but well equipped       makes a great winter getaway. Gay Pride
                                                                     perience along with rather     shared gym.                                       amps up the fun with the chance to mingle
                                                                     loud, pumping DJ music.           The glam and glitz of Vegas is so different    with people from Vegas, Salt Lake City, Los
                                                                     Other hotels have similar      than what we know in Seattle that it makes a      Angeles, and beyond.
                                                                     pay-to-enter bar-pools,        fun trip to be in the middle of that, and com-
                                                                     intended to be see-and-
                                                                     be-seen kinda places, and
                                                                     “European-style” (topless)
                                                                     sunning. As the hotels only
                                                                     allow guests into the main
                                                                     areas, the pay-to-enter
                                                                     pools are the option and
                                                                     vary in price ($40 for Bare
                                                                     at Mirage), as well as city
                                                                     pools, some of which are
                                                                     outdoors. As you’re in
                                                                     the middle of a desert and
                                                                     not by the sea as in south-
                                                                     ern Cali., there’s no beach
spectful and attentive waitstaff. It was an        (actually, the Mandalay Bay has a man-
experience in itself.                              made beach, but the same rule applies), so
  Blowing $60-$150 per person on a meal            pools keep you cool. Getting hot and wet
plus the same for tickets for a show could         in a steam room can happen at one the very
be well worth the experience for those who         nicely trimmed spas. The Bathhouse at the
wouldn’t ordinarily dream of spending that         Hotel is soothing in its dark slate walls and
much, as you might find it liberating and          overall appearance and give the opportunity
gratifying to “live like the rich” for a two- or   for a massage for $155 for 50 minutes, plus
three-day trip. If a tight budget must remain      a separate men’s and women’s wet area with
the rule, many low-cost hotel and motel op-        steam, dry sauna, hot-tub, and cold-tub. You
tions abound in Vegas (I saw the Airport           can hang around for the whole day and soak
Motel advertising $169/week) including             and steam and drink complimentary juices




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                                                                                                        until SATURDAY, JUNE 21 at 6:25PM a
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PRIDE 2008!                                                                                                                June 20, 2008                                Seattle Gay News                3
From Las Vegas
                                                                                                      met on the trail who had left at 8 a.m., had      transition, in such a short distance, from the
                                                                                                      lunch on the riverbank, and was within three      mountains of the Flagstaff area to the awe-
                                                                                                      miles of the return to the top when I spoke       some, dry red lands around Sedona.
                                                                                                      with her at about 3 p.m. Remarkably, the en-         The whole small town is the image of

to the Grand Canyon                                                                                   deavor has its extremists; I met a guy on the
                                                                                                      trail who left the trailhead at 4 a.m. with his
                                                                                                      cousin, and then ran down the 9.2 miles to
                                                                                                      the river, crossed it (on a foot bridge) and
                                                                                                                                                        upscale comfort. While you’re there, you
                                                                                                                                                        can soak, steam, get your fingers and toes
                                                                                                                                                        done, and have your auras and future read
                                                                                                                                                        by a plethora of new-agey spiritualists who
Seeing the sights                                                                                     went up the Kaibab Trail, which drops             all seem to be glad to help you find yourself
                                                                                                      down from the North Rim Visitors’ Center.         and be healthier, more tuned-in, and more
worlds away from the Northwest                                                                        He said his cousin make it all the way up to      satisfied with life. They’ll take you to the
                                                                                                      the North Rim trail head, at 8000 feet eleva-     “vortexes” and, if you’re lucky, you’ll expe-
by Ed Depicolzuane                               about how the extreme heat – or the cold             tion, and turned around and ran back down         rience some wondrous something-or-other.
SGN Contributing Writer                          and ice, depending on the time of year –             to complete the second half of his extreme        Experiencing the ponderous huge beauty of
                                                 can quickly ruin your day. While the South           cross-country run to finish where he started,     the area was quite wondrous enough for me,
   Glam and godly grandeur are only four         Rim Visitors’ Center is open year-round, the         the South Rim Visitors’ Center at 7000 feet       as I was standing in the midst of one of those
hours from each other. Las Vegas makes a         North Rim is closed in winter as it is 1000          – a distance of about 40 miles down canyon        vortex thingies, Cathedral Rock. Many
fun, surreal getaway from the cool, under-       feet higher and gets more snow. The South            walls, up the other canyon walls, down and        trails in the Red Rock Country National
stated nature of Seattle living, and for low-    Rim is the most developed and busiest of             up again. Hard to believe what driven hu-         Forest around Sedona are open to mountain
key, outdoors-oriented Northwesterners, a        the two, and amounts to a small village,             mans can accomplish … all made possible           bikes, which make it a too-rare mountain
trip to southern Nevada would be incom-          with a bus that will transport you along the         given the cool temperatures we had that           biking opportunity in the area; unfortunate-
plete without checking out the spectacular       20 miles of road. Given the large number of          cloudy, early May day. As with other desert       ly, mountain biking is very limited to non-
natural surroundings.                            visitors from all over the world, the park has       areas, the best times for a visit are mid to      existent within the national park, recreation
   I rented a car from Alamo for only $116       set itself up to accommodate; the bus passes         late fall and early to late spring. The snow-     and national monument system, so if trail-
for five days, and a 20-minute drive west of     by a small grocery, a few nicer rustic restau-       covered landscape is beautiful in winter, but     riding is your thing, it’s wise to contact your
Vegas brought me to Red Rock Canyon,             rants and a few cafeterias, lodges, a bank,          the trails become icy, and the canyon is bru-     destinations before your trip to know what
with its otherworldly red rock formations.       post office, chapel, a clinic, showers, a light      tally hot June through September – much           is open to riding. If you don’t want to bring
Another 20 minutes brings Mt. Charles-           rail train that runs through the village, a          hotter than at the rim – and makes hiking         your bike and would rather rent, many of
ton, Nevada’s highest point with its forests     laundry, and RV and tent campgrounds. Al-            more difficult and dangerous.                     the bike shops in the Vegas area rent bikes,
away from the desert. Only half an hour          coholics Anonymous members can even at-                If you’ve got the time to spend, your time      such as All Mountain Cyclery, 20 min-
the other way from Ve-                                                                                                                                                     utes southeast in Boulder
gas and you can tour the                                                                                                                                                   City. But as Southwest
famous Hoover Dam,                                                                                                                                                         Airlines charges $50 each
for decades the world’s                                                                                                                                                    way to ship a bike, and All
largest engineering proj-                                                                                                                                                  Mountain charges $75/
ect, which created Lake                                                                                                                                                    day for a rental, it might
Mead, the country’s larg-                                                                                                                                                  be worth it to carefully
est reservoir, surrounded                                                                                                                                                  pack your bike in a box or
by utterly desolate-                                                                                                                                                       bike travel case to prevent
looking desert badlands                                                                                                                                                    damage and have your
– which locals market as                                                                                                                                                   steed with you wherever
a recreation area. It looks                                                                                                                                                and whenever you want it,
like a recreation area for                                                                                                                                                 if you don’t mind hauling
the gods after they tore                                                                                                                                                   it around.
up the place with huge                                                                                                                                                                Some          old
ATVs. The humans are                                                                                                                                                       Pueblo ruins are close to
there for the lake with                                                                                                                                                    Sedona and are fascinat-
their boats and waterskis.                                                                                                                                                 ing sites. These simple
A little more than an hour                                                                                                                                                 but strong shelters were
north is Valley of Fire                                                                                                                                                    created many hundreds
State Park next to Lake                                                                                                                                                    of years ago, and they
Mead, with more head-                                                                                                                                                      stand in testament to the
turning rock redness and                                                                                                                                                   ingenuity of the native
unusual geologic forma-                                                                                                                                                    peoples of the time. The
tions.                                                                                                                                                                     mis-named Montezuma
   From Vegas over                                                                                                                                                         Castle and Montezuma
Hoover Dam, three hours                                                                                                                                                    Well, and Tuzigoot, Wal-
southeast rests Flag-                                                                                                                                                      nut Canyon, and Wupat-
staff, AZ. The two-hour                                                                                                                                                    ki National Monuments
stretch of I-40 between                                                                                                                                                    are all within a small area
Kingman and Williams                                                                                                                                                       around Sedona and Flag-
offers very little civili-                                                                                                                                                 staff and show how peo-
zation, so a stop in the                                                                                                                                                   ple survived in the hot,
small city of Kingman                                                                                                                                                      dry conditions of the area
might be a good idea for                                                                                                                                                   long ago.
gas and grub before the                                                                                                                                                       If you just can’t get
drive through semi-arid                                                                                                                                                    enough desert, after re-
lands out to Flagstaff, which is a delightful                                                         would be rewarded handsomely with a great         turning and “refreshing” yourself in Vegas
little college town in the mountains with a      tend the village meeting. Internet access is         loop drive around the Colorado Plateau,           civilization, you can continue southwest
good health food store and more bars than a      available at some of the lodges and cafés in         the vast semi-arid high plateau area east of      for an hour to CA and the Mojave National
town that size would have without a college.     the town of Tusayan, about six miles outside         Desert Valley on the east edge of California.     Preserve, and two hours to the northwest to
Flagstaff carries the distinction of being the   the park.                                            From the Grand Canyon you would contin-           Death Valley National Park. Death Valley
world’s first “Dark Sky City”; it adheres to       Those not inclined to hike can walk the            ue northward, head around the Canyon, up          is huge and offers much to explore, and that
a city-set lighting policy to limit the amount   Rim Trail, which is fairly flat and follows          into southern Utah and into Glen Canyon           exploring is best done late February through
of random lost-light pollution so you can        the South Rim for about 13 miles. You’ll get         National Recreation Area, then Grand              April. The nighttime temperatures in Febru-
still see the starts at night – a good idea      an ever-changing view as you move from               Staircase-Escalante National Monument,            ary can be quite cold, but from then on the
since the famous Lowell Observatory is in        place to place. Those who want to get closer         Bryce Canyon National Park and finally            desert wildflowers and shrubs will be in
the hills nearby, and open to visitors. Two      to the canyon can do it on their own feet or         Zion National Park, which is less than            bloom, and the temperatures haven’t started
hostels offer affordable places to overnight     on hooves; mule trips can be arranged at the         three hours from Vegas. A somewhat lengthy        to soar as they do from mid-May through
as well as national name motels, and a few       Bright Angel Lodge Transportation Desk               five-hour diversion from Zion to east central     September. The starting points for the park,
nicer hotels are in town. Downtown seems         (mule transportation, that is) in the south rim      Utah would bring you to famous Arches             the visitors’ centers at Scotty’s Castle and
very alive, with appealing cafés, a theater,     village. If you hike, you’ll have your choice        National Park and the Moab area, popular          Furnace Creek, are on the east side which
a few outdoor sports shops, and a look           of four trailheads, all of which drop down           with mountain bikers and hikers. These are        make them convenient from Vegas. The
of cleanliness and a hip, with-it attitude.      steeply – at some points very steeply – into         all similar in that they are red-rocked, semi-    park offers a wide variety of experiences,
The visitors’ center in the old train station    the canyon. The Bright Angel Trail actually          arid lands, but each is unique in the forma-      from some long views atop peaks such as
on old Route 66 was helpful in giving me         has water spigots at a couple of points along        tions and overall look that they present. In      Dante’s Peak and Telescope Peak to the
info about the natural sites I wanted to see.    the trail and is a little less steep than the oth-   all of these places, beauty is your friend, and   lowest point in North America, Badwater
I found Flagstaff a comfortable and appeal-      ers, making it a little more hiker-friendly,         – particularly in the summer – dehydration is     Basin, almost 300 feet below sea level.
ing place to spend the night before heading      but they all are strenuous and hazardous in          the enemy. Keeping conscious about condi-            Whether just driving a sightseeing trip or
up just an hour north to the lower rim of the    the desert heat if a hiker doesn’t thought-          tions, their pitfalls and dangers, and always     getting out of the car and hitting some trails,
Grand Canyon.                                    fully pace him or herself. The oddest thing          having enough water, food and appropriate         southern Nevada, central Arizona and south-
   The Grand Canyon is the largest of Ari-       about hiking a canyon is that it is hiking in        clothing, one can easily while away a week        ern Utah have some amazing earth sights
zona’s parks, and stuns the first-timer with     reverse: you’re heading down when you are            enjoying the very unusual beauty of each of       to see in what looks worlds away from the
its immensity and complexity. The region         strongest and freshest, and back up steep            these parks, truly a different world from the     Northwest. Las Vegas with its shows, its
around the canyon is fairly flat, then sud-      trails after you’ve already hiked for some           greenness in which we live.                       great food, its hospitality and its eye-grab-
denly there’s this huge, huge hole. Like the     time, perhaps miles, and you’re fatigued.              Not half an hour south of Flagstaff along       bing Times-Square-of-the-West glam makes
other million (!) yearly visitors, you’ll pay    This is one of the most important points to          the gorgeous river gorge road 89A brings          a fun and convenient jumping-off point to
your $25 entry fee, or buy a year-long pass      remember about canyon hiking. The park               Sedona, famous amongst some new-agers             start what could be a great winter or spring
good for all federal lands for $80, and fol-     guide warns that the 18-mile round trip to           for its reputed “vortex zones.” The town is       tour from the wet Northwest into the dry
low the road to the Visitors’ Center. There      the Colorado River should not be attempt-            situated in the midst of a vast red lands mesa    lands country of the southwest.
you’ll find information about hiking down        ed in a day, but I talked with a few people          area that is truly stunning and worth a day
into the canyon, including lots of warnings      who did just that, including a middle-aged,          or two in itself. You can shoot down I-17 to    Writer contact: outunderthesun@gmail.
                                                 slightly overweight female jogger/hiker I            Sedona, but you’d miss the truly spectacular com

4   Seattle Gay News                             June 20, 2008                                                                                                                   PRIDE 2008!
                                                                                                                                                                                                  www.InvEstasIaPacIfIc.com
                                                                                          Hong Kong




Hong Kong
                                                                                                  sonally-chosen fabric within a few hours.          come inclusive of head and eyes. If you are
                                                                                                  We were able to get three custom shirts,           feeling adventurous, try the friend pigeon –
                                                                                                  two ties, a cashmere jacket, and three cus-        it’s a delicacy. After stuffing ourselves, we
                                                                                                  tom suits with extra trousers for less than        decided to go out on the town and dance the
The most happening place in Asia                                                                  $500. Be sure to negotiate a price, and if         newly gained pounds off.
                                                                                                  you think they are charging too much, the
by David Luc Nguyen                                                                               magic phrase is “let me think about it” and          NIGHTLIFE
and Robert N. Kaster                                The small marble-floored lobby is bustling    the price will drop. To get the best bargains,       At night the city comes alive, especially in
SGN A&E Writers                                   with many guests enjoying a relaxing bev-       be prepared to haggle. It’s a tiring process,      the Lan Kwai Fong area of the city. Barhop-
                                                  erage while armed with laptop computers         but once you get the hang of it, it can be a lot   pers and clubgoers spill out into the streets,
   Many Westerners associate Asia and             linked to the hotel’s complimentary wire-       of fun. If tailored suits aren’t your thing, try   enjoying music, dancing, cigars, and many
Asians with modesty and humility – obvi-          less internet service. Guestrooms are clean     the outdoor markets.                               special creations that bartenders have con-
ously these people haven’t been to Hong           and modest, with a shower-only bathroom,          If you are a label queen and don’t want          cocted.
Kong. Gleaming skyscrapers, neon sign-            and a comfortable sleeping space that of-       to pay the label prices, check out Stanley           Near Lan Kwai Fong, we found a few Gay
filled streets, a world financial center,         fers views of the Happy Valley Racecourse       Market on the South side of Hong Kong or           bars and clubs. Although Hong Kong has a
swanky shopping and trendy restaurants            and Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Service is         Mong Kok Market/Temple Street fair. There          bustling nightlife daily, the city is still some-
help to make Hong Kong the New York               prompt; we asked the staff to convert our       you’ll be able to buy trinkets to bring home       what closeted. Small crows gather at the
City of Asia. My partner and I traveled to        two bedroom to one with a larger bed (by        and find designer fakes. If you don’t see the      Gay clubs during the weekdays, but over-
the former British Colony this spring to          pushing the smaller beds together), which       “label” you want, ask and you will be lead         flow with a very diverse set of locals and
bring Outbound readers their first taste of       was recommended by the front desk. The          down a series of corridors where they will         visitors late on Friday and Saturday nights.
the Far East. Here’s what you need to know        conversion was done quickly. After heading      show you trunks full of designer knockoffs.        On a few evenings, we first visited Works;
before traveling to the exciting, exotic land     up to our room and getting some well-de-        We were able to pick up a great Versace            a small darkly lit bar with some booths and
of Hong Kong.                                     served rest, we decided to venture out into     knockoff for our best friend back home for         tables for couples to get cozy. A small dance
                                                  the city. We’ve heard that Hong Kong has        about $40. Again, don’t be afraid to ask for       floor – which doesn’t allow dancing – fea-
  JOURNEY                                         a fantastic transit system, so we decided to    the price you want. The more you buy, the          tures a small maze behind it to sneak from
  The Far East isn’t really all that far. Many    give it a shot.                                 lower the prices should go. After shopping         one side of the floor to the other.
of the major Asian Airlines can get you to                                                        all day, we worked up an appetite.                   After 1 a.m., the crowd moves to Propa-
Asia in the same amount of time it takes to         TRANSPORTATION                                                                                   ganda, just a few blocks from Works. This
get to Europe or South America. The trip            Transportation in Hong Kong is well-           EAT                                               retro-styled bar attracts a diverse crowd.
from Seattle to Hong Kong will take you           organized, but traffic is horrible. Even my      Dining options are diverse. Many chic             On weekends a large dance floor section is
about 14 hours and more than 5,000 miles.         Metro-phobic partner found the MTR bear-       restaurants with trendy menus feature stellar       opened and socializing/dancing continues
Going to Asia is becoming more popular as         able, clean, and comfortable. British-style,   evening views of the dancing lights adorn-          until dawn. After the clubs closed, we stum-
the dollar is still stronger in Asia than other   double-decked city buses and trolleys cre-     ing Hong Kong’s ever-changing skyline.              bled home and, after a good night’s rest, de-
destinations, such as Europe.                     ate a well-connected web throughout the        We enjoyed high tea at the opulent Peninsu-         cided we needed to pamper ourselves.
  Hong Kong, which literally means “Fra-          city. The small red cabs also dot most of the  la Hotel in Kowloon – this British tradition
grant Harbor,” consists of three areas that       streets and always seem to be readily avail-   is not to be missed. Within the open lobby            RELAX
include Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Pen-            able.                                          adorned with decorative columns, rugs, and            After a long journey and exploring all of
insula, and the New Territories at the mouth        We enjoyed a few trips across the harbor     ornate fixtures, an attentive staff provides        the pleasures of majestic Hong Kong, we
of the Pearl River Delta. The name comes          on the Star Ferry line to Kowloon. These       an elegant tea service. With a small orches-        treated ourselves to two hours of bliss at the
from products such as incense and other           1960s passenger ferries make a quick trip      tra providing the background soundtrack,            Foot Joy Club. For only $90 (two people, tip
spices once traded in the area. Although it is    across the harbor, offering great views of     we felt as if we had stepped back nearly 70         included), we received hour-long foot mas-
considered the southern tip of China, Hong        both the Hong Kong and Kowloon sky-            years in time.                                      sages, which stimulated all of the vital pres-
Kong is its own Special Administrative Re-        lines.                                           Of course, there are many less expensive          sure points, and hour-long neck and back
gion (SAR), which means you don’t need a                                                         eating options. In smaller restaurants, it is       massages, which was the perfect way to end
visa to enter the country – all you will need       SHOP                                         easy to enjoy a full Cantonese dinner for           a wonderful trip. Sorry, boys, there was no
is your US passport (you will need one if           It doesn’t matter whether you are a label- two for under $20. While the food is very             “happy ending” with our massages, but we
you do decide to enter mainland China). Af-       wearing fashionista or a queen on a modest tasty, the presentation may put some Se-                did enjoy our vacation and closed it out on a
ter claiming our baggage and clearing cus-        budget – upscale shopping malls, trendy attleites off, as bird and fish dishes usually             high note.
toms, we were on our way to Central Hong          boutiques, world-renowned tailors and out-
Kong.                                             door markets make Hong Kong a shopper’s
  After leaving the airport, it’s best to get     paradise. In fact, many tourists (ourselves
onto the MTR (subway) and go the appro-           included) come to Hong Kong expressly to
priate location to your hotel. It will cost you   shop.
100 HK dollars (about $13 per person) – it’s        Times Square-Hong Kong is a corridor
much faster and less expensive than a cab.        of upscale shopping malls, which house all
The trip to Central Hong Kong (where we           the world’s major fashion labels including
were staying) takes less than 20 minutes.         Gucci, Versace, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
                                                  Unfortunately, prices are comparable to the
  ACCOMODATIONS                                   US. If you can afford it, then you can shop
  There are many choices when it comes            to your heart’s desire. If you are looking
to lodging in Hong Kong. The city features        for something tailored and at a better price
world-renowned skyscraper luxury hotels           point, try taking the Star Ferry across Victo-
and lesser-known hotels with fewer ser-           ria Harbor to Kowloon.
vices. We chose the Cosmopolitan Hotel in           Upon arriving in Kowloon, you’ll be
Happy Valley, as it offered a great rate when     greeted by a flock of merchants who swarm
purchased with our airfare, and it’s well-        you and insist you go to their shop. If you
located in Hong Kong. It’s just a 10-minute       agree to follow them, you will be introduced
walk to the Times Square shopping area, the       to a sea of colorful fabrics and towers of
Causeway Bay MTR station, and a short cab         catalogues of suits and dresses. Once you
ride to most other sites in the city. The lon-    find the outfit that you want (we chose one
gest wait was for one of the three elevators      straight out of the March issue of GQ), the
overflowing with European visitors during         master tailor takes your measurements and
our visit.                                        reproduces the garments you want with per-


PRIDE 2008!                                                                                                               June 20, 2008                                Seattle Gay News                       5
Skagit Valley
                                                                                                       ACTIVITIES                                      City People’s Mercantile on Capitol Hill) –
                                                                                                       If you’ve never been up to see the tulips       an eclectic selection of clothing, cards, jew-
                                                                                                    in all their multi-colored glory, all I can say    elry, toys and garden paraphernalia.
                                                                                                    is that it’s really worth the trip (www.Tulip-       I’m not much of a museum-going guy,
Closer than you think, and full of surprises                                                        Festival.org). Weekends during April are           so it was a surprising pleasure to find some
                                                                                                    very crowded (although the cold weather            museums in Skagit County which truly cap-
by Ron Anders                                                                                       has stretched this year’s blooming sea-            tured my imagination. The Skagit County
SGN A&E Writer                                    their mouth-watering baked goods (includ-         son into May). If you go during the week,          Historical Museum’s (www.skagitcounty.
                                                  ing their famous five-pound apple pie) that       you’ll have a more relaxed trek around the         net/museum) current special exhibit is Lost
  When I told friends I was headed to Skagit      will make your day. We packed a dozen of          glorious spectacle of field after field of vi-     Cities of Skagit: Rediscovering Places of
Valley for some touring, they were skeptical      their scrumptious apple cider donuts to go        brantly colored tulips. The two tulip titans       Our Past. It weaves a haunting portrait of
(to say the least) about what I would find be-    and, of course, they were gone by the end         (both in Mount Vernon) are Roozengaarde            early settlements that have long-since disap-
sides tulips and potato farms. I soon learned     of the day.                                       (www.tulips.com) and Tulip Town (www.              peared from the map. The La Conner Quilt
that no skepticism was needed. As a first-          Locals told us – and rightly so – that we
time visitor, I came away from my trip north      were in for a real treat for dinner at the cozy
with a great appreciation for the wealth of       Nell Thorn restaurant in La Conner (www.
activities and natural beauty present there.      nellthorn.com) where the service is friendly,
The journey from Seattle to Mount Vernon          knowledgeable and unhurried. For starters,
was a pleasant one-hour drive on I-5. By          I had the zesty polenta cakes with olive/
rail, Amtrak can get you to Mount Vernon          tomato jam. Next came wild king salmon,
from Seattle and Vancouver BC – a mere 55         cooked to perfection and served on a bed of
miles from Seattle. Here’s what awaits you        mashed potatoes and greens. Oyster-loving
in nearby Skagit Valley.                          Geoff said his pan-crisped oyster dinner
                                                  was the best he’s ever had. Sumptuous des-
  ACCOMODATIONS                                   serts include the brownie with ice cream and
  My two nights in Skagit Valley were spent       a rhubarb/mixed berry cobbler. For a more
in considerable comfort. In La Conner, my         casual dinner, head to the recently opened,
traveling companion, Geoff, and I spent a         beautifully restored Trumpeter Public House
restful night ensconced in The La Conner          in Mount Vernon (www.trumpeterpublic-
Channel Lodge (www.laconnerlodging.               house.com), where owner/hosts Paul and
com) in the heart of the town’s picturesque       Karin will welcome you warmly. A starter
shops and restaurants. The cozy, quiet Cap-       salad with roasted beets and goat cheese hit
tain’s Suite has an in-
room Jacuzzi, fireplace,
wet bar, flatscreen TV/
DVD player, and wifi.
From our private balco-                                                                                                                                                      and Textile Museum
ny, we gazed at a beauti-                                                                                                                                                    (www.laconnerquilts.
ful sunset. I feel relaxed                                                                                                                                                   com) has a fantastic col-
just thinking about it.                                                                                                                                                      lection of vintage and
Rates start at $149. In                                                                                                                                                      contemporary quilts,
Burlington, we stayed at                                                                                                                                                     housed in the historical
the spiffy new Hampton                                                                                                                                                       Gaches Mansion, which
Inn & Suites (www.bur-                                                                                                                                                       has been restored to its
lingtonsuites.hampton-                                                                                                                                                       original 1891 glory.
inn.com). Rates begin                                                                                                                                                          Need to rest your
at $104. (Both venues’                                                                                                                                                       weary bones after some
rates include a conti-                                                                                                                                                       heavy-duty sightsee-
nental breakfast.) Skagit                                                                                                                                                    ing? Go straight to
Valley also has a large                                                                                                                                                      Mount Vernon’s Re-
array of unique bed and                                                                                                                                                      laxation Station (www.
breakfast accommoda-                                                                                                                                                         RelaxationStationInc.
tions, which the Visitor                                                                                                                                                     com) where you will
Information Centers                                                                                                                                                          find a multitude of
will be happy to inform                                                                                                                                                      (clothed) de-stressing
you about.                                                                                                                                                                   options. I sampled the
                                                                                                                                                                             infrared spa bed, where
  EAT/DRINK                                                                                                                                                                  heated jade rollers mas-
  Think you have to be                                                                                                                                                       saged my back and
urban-bound to have                                                                                                                                                          legs, followed by the
a culinary adventure?                                                                                                                                                        Human Touch Robotic
Think again. I had some                                                                                                                                                      Massage, which wrung
superb meals (formal                                                                                                                                                         out the remaining ten-
and informal) during my                                                                                                                                                      sion from my back, legs
stay. For a casual lunch,                                                                                                                                                    and feet. The purified
                                                                                                                                                                             oxygen/aromatherapy
                                                                                                                                                                             treatment (with vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                             as my scent of choice),
                                                                                                                                                                             experienced while sit-
                                                                                                    tuliptown.com), where you can wander               ting in a zero-gravity chair, sent me out on a
                                                                                                    around gorgeous fields of blooming tulips          cloud of calm – completely rejuvenated and
                                                                                                    that seem to stretch all the way to the hori-      ready for my next stop.
                                                                                                    zon – a breathtaking sight from any angle.            The Deception Pass Jet Boat Tour (www.
                                                                                                    You can also explore their display gardens,        DeceptionPassTours.com) was a great way
                                                                                                    where an incredible 85 varieties of tulips are     to spend an hour exploring the beauty of
                                                                                                    arranged and labeled for maximum enjoy-            Puget Sound without leaving your seat.
                                                                                                    ment. Whether you’re a gardener or not,            Captain Brett Ginter, his able assistant Ter-
                                                                                                    you’ll be tempted to take home some bulbs          ica Taylor, and (sometimes) Isabel the dog
                                                                                                    to brighten up your garden.                        are your cheerful guides aboard The Island
                                                                                                       If you’re still in need of more floral glory,   Whaler, a catamaran jet boat which takes
                                                                                                    don’t miss Skagit Valley Gardens in Mount          you safely through the Pass’ whirlpools,
                                                                                                    Vernon, comprised of 25 acres of trees, flow-      bringing you close to a wide variety of sea
                                                                                                    ers, and shrubs. Their gift shop is chock-full     creatures and wildlife.
                                                                                                    of unusual items, including a slew of bear-           If you’re interested in getting even closer
                                                                                                    and cowboy-themed items.                           to nature, Skagit Valley has a wealth of out-
                                                                                                       In downtown Mount Vernon, check out             door activities: camping, hiking, fishing,
                                                                                                    the venerable Lincoln Theater (www.lin-            and hang gliding, just to name a few. My fa-
                                                                                                    colntheatre.org). Built in 1926 and painstak-      vorite outdoor spot is Pass Lake, on which
                                                                                                    ingly restored to its original glory (with its     no motor-driven vehicles are allowed. You
                                                                                                    original Wurlitzer organ), this community-         can fish, canoe and kayak in blissful quiet,
try the charming Garden Café, located in          the spot, as did the crusty crab cakes with       supported 500-seat showplace is a home for         with just Mother Nature’s sounds reaching
the greenhouse at Skagit Valley Gardens           red pepper marmalade. Among that night’s          independent and foreign films as well as live      your ears. Chuckanut Drive provides end-
(360-848-9189). The open-face sweet po-           specials was a succulent pork loin with           musical and theatrical performances year-          less beautiful vistas as you wend your way
tato sandwich with pimento and grilled            apricot glaze, chunky mashed potatoes, and        round.                                             to your destination.
onions, a cup of tangy French onion soup,         steamed veggies. For dessert, chocolate/             While you’re still on First Street in Mount        Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Infor-
topped off with a slice of their heavenly co-     hazelnut-filled crepes sent us contentedly        Vernon, check out the Skagit Valley Food           mation Centers are unfailingly helpful. The
conut custard pie, fortified me for a vigor-      on our way.                                       Co-Op (www. skagitfoodcoop.com). In ad-            folks in Mount Vernon (www.mountvernon-
ous day of touring. Another great breakfast/        For cider and wine tasting, try Tulip Val-      dition to their huge supply of great foods         chamber.com) were especially enthusiastic
lunch stop is Rosabella’s Garden Bakery           ley Vineyard & Orchard (www.redbarn-              (and a deli featuring what surely are the          in guiding me to places of interest and, be-
and Café in Bow (www.rosabella rosabel-           cider.com), the home of Red Barn Cider and        world’s largest black-bottom cupcakes), I          lieve me, there were infinitely more of those
lasgarden.com). Hearty soups and sand-            Tulip Valley Wines, located in the heart of       had great fun exploring their new mercan-          than I had ever imagined.
wiches are the order of the day here, but it is   Mount Vernon’s tulip region.                      tile store (reminiscent of our much-missed


6   Seattle Gay News                              June 20, 2008                                                                                                                 PRIDE 2008!
Spa treatments
                                                                                                                 is an unusual method geared more for thera-      to Arizona.
                                                                                                                 py than indulgence. The session consists of
                                                                                                                 a shower and jet massage at the same time.         GENE JUAREZ SALONS &
                                                                                                                 As you lay stomach-side down, an overhead          SPA - BELLEVUE MEN’S SALON
A soothing add-on to your holiday itinerary                                                                      sprinkler splashes you with temperature-           BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON
                                                                                                                 appropriate water and your therapist goes          WWW.GENEJUAREZ.COM
by Albert Rodriguez                                                                                              to work on an intense session that combines        Treatment: Abhyanga massage and
SGN A&E Writer                                   tiled area where you lie facedown in relax-                     Swedish and sports massage. I was allowed          Customized European facial
                                                 ation for five minutes. Soon, your therapist                    to keep my undergarments on as my thera-           Duration: 2 hours-15 minutes
  What to do on vacation besides dining          comes into the mist-filled room and begins                      pist, a female with incredibly strong hands,       Less than a plane ticket and all of a zip-
and wining, shopping, exploring, and sight-      to scrub your arms, legs, neck, shoulders                       worked vigorously on my back, shoulders          py 20-minute bus ride across 520 gets you
seeing? Relaxing, that’s what. And a great       and back while lightly massaging you simul-                     and legs. Of the 60 minutes allotted for this    a four-star spa treatment at Gene Juarez’s
way to relax is to book a spa treatment dur-     taneously. This must be how a king feels, I                     session, 40 minutes of it is done with water     Bellevue Men’s Salon. The locally based sa-
ing your stay, which is extremely popular        thought, as hands washed me clean of yes-                       splashing down on you – sort of like a luke-     lon chain dedicates half its Bellevue locale
amongst Gay male travelers. It could be the      terday’s grime – and I quickly got used to                      warm rain shower. The Vichy Nirvana treat-       to men, with services customized solely for
long nights dancing up a storm or the full af-   being fully exposed to a total unknown, who                     ment, conducted in a room about three times      dudes like sport pedicures and manicures,
ternoon spent snorkeling, or quite honestly      silently and professionally gave me a fresh                     as large as common massage rooms, helps          camouflage hair color, waxing, facials, and
the 10 hours seated on an airplane and racing    glow. The treatment                                                                                              designer haircuts. After slipping into a soft
gate to gate for a connecting flight. Whatever   moves to another                                                                                                 robe in the dressing room, furnished with
the reason is, I strongly recommend adding       tiled surface for a                                                                                              shaving cream, razors, hair gel and anything
a spa session to your next getaway itinerary,    deeper cleansing by                                                                                              else you stock regularly in your bathroom,
even if you’re planning a staycation here in     the same therapist,                                                                                              you can take a seat in the spa’s grand relax-
the Seattle area. Massages, facials and pedi-    now using tradi-                                                                                                 ation area for a foot soak with complimen-
cures not only bring you to a calm for a half    tional black Moroc-                                                                                              tary tea or coffee service. Pre-treatment pa-
hour or longer, they’re also proven to help      can soap. Lastly, a                                                                                              perwork consists of a short Ayurvedic body
combat the dreaded aging process. Here are       15-minute massage                                                                                                and mind survey that helps your therapist
three spas in Vancouver BC, Scottsdale and       in a secluded room                                                                                               determine what specific balance, or person-
neighboring Bellevue that’ll get you feeling     works out a few kinks                                                                                            type, you are. This information is used to
oh-so good.                                      though I suggest add-                                                                                            select the right pressure and products for
                                                 ing additional time                                                                                              your session –I was easily determined to
                                                                                                                                                                  be a pitta, or passionate and organized type.
                                                                                                                                                                  The Abhyanga massage, an authentic East
                                                                                                                                                                  Indian practice gradually catching wind in
                                                                                                                                                                  America, is somewhat therapeutic, but is
                                                                                                                                                                  mostly a series of strokes to help guide your
                                                                                                                                                                  energy to its proper flow. I found it quite
                                                                                                                                                                  relaxing and the products used by Gene
                                                                                                                                                                  Juarez, a natural line called Arcona, felt like
                                                                                                                                                                  butter on my skin. An added-on Custom-
                                                                                                                                                                  ized Facial was paradise; nearly an hour of
                                                                                                                                                                  cleansing, toning, and buffing did wonders
                                                                                                                                                                  for this native of Seattle, where a windy-
                                                                                                                                                                  chilly early summer can definitely take its
                                                                                                                 to improve blood and lymphatic circulation       toll on you. I loved my facial specialist, who
                                                                                                                 – and truthfully, my sinuses did clear up af-    was like a mother nursing an ailing child to
                                                                                                                 terwards. The spa’s relaxation area leaves       health again – she really made me feel shiny
                                                                                                                 something to be desired, but overall this was    and new. The Bellevue Men’s Salon is a
                                                                                                                 a rather effective treatment and the hotel it-   perfect addition to your upcoming stayca-
                                                                                                                 self, 20 minutes from Sky Harbor Airport,        tion weekend, and a nice way to restore that
                                                                                                                 is highly recommended for your next dash         outer you.
                                                                                              mIRaJ hammam sPa




                                     Miraj Hammam spa

  MIRAJ HAMMAM SPA                               onto your session if you’re experiencing
  VANCOUVER,                                     abundant soreness. The final portion of your
  BRITISH COLUMBIA                               treatment at Miraj Hammam is a spiced tea
  WWW.MIRAJHAMMAM.COM                            and sweet cake service in a colorful, cozy
  Treatment: Hammam, Gommage                     relaxation room with fluffy pillows, matted
  and 15-minute Orientale massage                booths and world music playing mildly in
  Duration: 55 minutes                           the background – I nearly fell asleep with
  I’m not so open-minded when it comes           warm tea in hand. This is an interesting way
to new adventures involving nudity, though       to pamper yourself while in Vancouver –
I’ve always been rather curious about Mid-       perhaps not for everybody, but surprisingly
dle Eastern and Euro-Asian baths. In Van-        very pleasant.
couver, I finally gave into this ancestral
custom at Miraj Hammam Spa. Located                FIRESKY RESORT & SPA
just over the Granville Bridge, five to seven      SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
minutes from downtown Vancouver, this in-          WWW.FIRESKYRESORT.COM
dulgent body retreat draws its share of visi-      Treatment: Vichy Nirvana
tors from all over Canada and United States        Duration: 60 minutes
– even celebrities filming in the area sneak       Part of the Kimpton Hotels chain, a strong
in for an afternoon delight. Most treatments     ally of the Gay community, Scottsdale’s
include the Hammam and Gommage, and              Firesky Resort & Spa is not only a cool
your session begins by disrobing privately       place to stay when in the greater Phoenix
and entering into a steamed, herbal-infused      area but it’s a perfect spot to relax at its on-
                                                 premise spa. The Vichy Nirvana treatment

PRIDE 2008!                                                                                                                             June 20, 2008                              Seattle Gay News           7
West Hollywood
Gayer and friendlier than you might think
by Albert Rodriguez
SGN A&E Writer                                   Hotel. A-list celebrities use this hideout for
                                                 24-hour getaways, touring rock stars hang
  Sitting pretty just below multimillion-        with their girlfriends on the roof-deck pool,
dollar homes dotting the infamous “Hills,”       and recording contracts are sometimes ne-
miles away from L.A.’s clutter of skyscrap-      gotiated on-premise. Suites are ample, each
ers, and sparkling with hip celebrity hang-      with large beds, two-person balconies,
outs is West Hollywood. This 1.9-square          kitchenettes, dining tables, living rooms,
mile city, founded in 1984, also happens to      1.75 baths with vanity quarters, dishwash-
be Southern California’s Gay mecca; boys         ers, daily newspapers, and the comfiest slip-
in Speedos take afternoon dips on rooftop        pers on earth. Besides the top-level pool
pools, trendy Lesbians flock to The Factory,     with views of downtown LA and Century
high fashion boutiques wink temptingly at        City, Le Montrose offers a private tennis
passersby along Melrose Avenue, and bars         court, complimentary business center with
like The Abbey and East/West overflow with       online computer, round-the-clock room
men in tight Ts and caramel skin. Surpris-       service, and a guest-only restaurant ap-
ingly, everyone I met during my four-day         propriately called Privato. I really enjoyed
stay in West Hollywood was very cordial          my stay at Le Montrose, especially because
– destroying a myth that La-La Land is full      I was able to crawl home after partying at
of snobs. Another myth, that L.A. county         the Gay bars and nearby Whiskey a Go-Go,
is ultra expensive, is untrue – cafes, hotels,   Viper Room, and The Roxy. Service was
spas and nightlife cost relatively the same as   prompt and attentive, the neighborhood is
                                                                   calm, you can buy take-out
                                                                   at Vons supermarket and
                                                                   warm it up in your own
                                                                   microwave, and the wall-
                                                                   mounted flatscreen TV in
                                                                   my bedroom was perfectly
                                                                   placed for early morning
                                                                   news. And if you intend
                                                                   to do some hooking-up in
                                                                   West Hollywood, Le Mon-
                                                                   trose is an easily accessible
                                                                   and impressively cool lo-
                                                                   cale to lure your catch to.

                                                                     EAT
                                                                     MURANO                                                                  The abbey
                                                                     9010 MELROSE
                                                                     AVENUE                           WWW.HUGOSRESTAURANT.COM                        hole is a terrific place to cruise Santa Mon-
                                                                     WWW.MURANO9010.                  Hugo’s and star power go hand in hand.         ica Boulevard foot traffic, either from the
                                                                     COM                            Hollywood hunks Jake Gyllenhaal and Ma-          ground-level patio bar or upstairs balcony.
                                                                     Complimentary mimosas          rio Lopez were recently seen dining here,        Chili pepper-shaped lights hang loosely on
                                                                  and champagne for Sunday          Steven Spielberg and George Lucas con-           a thatched hut, naughty queens in tank tops
                                                                  brunch? I’m so there. San-        versed over cappucinos here, and TV execs        put away Coronas like Vitamin Water, and
                                                                  dy Sachs and Robin Gans,          often meet with writers over hearty break-       straight girls channel Elle Woods, sans chi-
                                                                  co-owners of year-old Mu-         fasts here to discuss upcoming episodes.         huahua - Fiesta Cantina is soooo Gay.
                                                                  rano and heavily flocked-to       What used to be a butcher shop and deli
                                                                  Girl Bar, provide familiar        soon became a haven for foodies, a place            EAST/WEST LOUNGE
in Seattle. However, taxis are outrageously      breakfast and lunch dishes at reasonable           where everyone comes to chow down no                8851 SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD
pricey and West Hollywood is quite spread        prices in a chic ambiance with disco tunes         matter what business they’re in. At Hugo’s,         WWW.EASTWESTLOUNGE.COM
out, so plan ahead and rent a car or limit       playing overhead. Brunch menu items in-            diners start their day with tempting items          Brand name queens, supermodels in wait-
your stay to a certain parameter. LAX is a       clude baked cinnamon-apple pancakes, bri-          like chilquiles, protein scramble, Bulgarian     ing, and gym rats can all be found at uber-
45-minute drive from West Hollywood and          oche French toast, eggs benedict with tradi-       omelet, strawberry chai pancakes, cinna-         chic East/West Lounge, a few doors away
if not renting a car I recommend Prime Time      tional hollandaise sauce and shaved truffle,       mon swirl French toast, oatmeal fritatta and,    from Fiesta Cantina. Club music by local
Shuttle (www.primetimeshuttle.com, $16           vegetable-stuffed frittata, risotto fries, clas-   my personal suggestion, a quite filling ta-      DJs and specialty cocktails satisfy the steady
one-way), available curbside at the airport.     sic Cobb and Caesar salads, Croque Mon-            males and eggs. Lunch favorites include the      flow of Gay A-listers, mostly men who ar-
   Should you tire of San Francisco and want     sieur, margarita pizza, and the omelet of          standard burgers, salads, and sandwiches,        rive solo and depart coupled. Two floors
a bit more glitz on your next gaycation, per-    the day, a splendid asparagus-parmesan on          plus house-made pastas, taco platters, cas-      provide a good amount of space to absorb
haps to tie the knot (legally), consider West    the afternoon I dropped by. If not for Sun-        seroles, and stirfries. Dinner folks gorge on    the eye candy, and an outdoor patio allows
Hollywood. Here’s information to begin           day brunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Murano is          turkey meatloaf, whitefish picatta, chicken      you to watch passersby or suck on a ciggy.
your trip.                                       open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday           kalamata, or Hugo’s signature shepherd’s         Drinks are pricey here, though the scenery
                                                 with happy hour starting at 5:30 p.m. On           pie. Open until 10 p.m. daily.                   is worth the extra cash.
  STAY                                           my visit, several tables of casually clad Gay
  LE MONTROSE                                    boys toasted champagne flutes as the sounds          GAY NIGHTLIFE                                     RELAX
  900 HAMMOND STREET                             of Cheryl Lynn and Abba cried out from the           THE ABBEY                                         THE GENDARMERIE SPA
  WWW.LEMONTROSE.COM                             loudspeakers – some things just never go             692 NORTH ROBERTSON                               9069 NEMO STREET
  Fabulously tucked into a residential area      out of style.                                        BOULEVARD                                         WWW.WEHOSPA.COM
two blocks from the Sunset Strip and a five-                                                          WWW.ABBEYFOODANDBAR.COM                           At Gay-owned Gendarmerie Spa, you’re
minute walk to bustling Gay bars is the inti-      HUGO’S                                             Billed as the best place to bring your         treated like family. The mostly male clien-
mate and suitably priced Le Montrose Suite         8401 SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD                      straight friends to, The Abbey is a Gay insti-   tele is often invited to join staff members
                                                                                                    tution that gets flooded on weekend nights.      for a homemade lunch or glass of red wine,
                                                                                                    N’Sync member and Dancing with the Stars         served personally by co-owner Topper
     lopez island | orcas island | san juan island | friday harbor                                  alum Joey Fatone swigged cocktails with          Schroeder. So cozy and snuggly you’d want
                                                                                                    his Gay posse on the night I snaked through      to spend an entire afternoon here, The Gen-



                 real islands
                                                                                                    the restaurant-lounge, and I’m told other        darmerie Spa features an array of treatments
                                                                                                    celebrities get their Gay fix at this mostly     from hair tints to mini facials to ionic detox.
                                                                                                    open-air hotspot. Sad to say, I also dropped     My facial was out of this world, a 55-minute
                                                                                                    by unexpectedly for lunch one afternoon          session of deep cleansing and much-need-



                  real close
                                                                                                    and never received service beyond a glass of     ed revitalization by sought-after specialist
                                                                                                    water – so I advise The Abbey as a nightlife     Everardo Sanchez. Gay boys comprise a
                                                                                                    option instead, a definite locale to see hand-   significant percentage of Gendarmerie’s cli-
                                                                                                    some boys tote their BSGFs (best straight        entele, but the straights are known regulars
                                                                                                    girlfriends) around. Drinks appear to be         too including Hollywood actors Ben Sav-
                                                                                                    semi-potent, atmosphere is trendy, service is    age (Boy Meets World) and Billy Dee Wil-
                                                                                                    so-so, but – most importantly – the meat is      liams (Star Wars) – Jason Priestly (Beverly
                                                                                                    young and fresh.                                 Hills 90210) has also dropped by. Leather
                                                                                                                                                     couches, flatscreen TV over a fireplace, fin-
                                                                                                      FIESTA CANTINA                                 ger food, complimentary beverages, and a
                                                                                                      8865 SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD                    garden patio relaxation area are a few of the
                                                                                                      WWW.MYSPACE.COM/                               amenities at Gendarmerie, recently landing
                                                                                                      FIESTACANTINA                                  on Out magazine’s shortlist of best Gay spas
                                                                                                      Less glamorous than The Abbey, yet             in the country. Fine cosmetics and custom-
                                                                                                    equally popular is the two-story Fiesta Can-     tailored shirts are other services provided.
    VisitSanJuans.com                                                                               tina. Offering the finest happy hour in West
                                                                                                    Hollywood and a jukebox representing
                                                                                                                                                     Within walking distance of Gay attractions,
                                                                                                                                                     Gendarmerie is located on a quiet residen-
                                                                                                    various genres, this kitschy-fun watering        tial street in a bungalow-style house.

8   Seattle Gay News                             June 20, 2008                                                                                                                PRIDE 2008!
PRIDE 2008!   June 20, 2008   Seattle Gay News   9
PRIDE 2008!   June 20, 2008   Seattle Gay News   11
Capital City
 Pride
It’s time for something different.
 Sunday, June 22.
Parade @ noon � festival all day

Downtown Olympia � Hotel Specials
           katastrophe




                         2008 Headliners

 www.CapitalCityPride.net
    Web for more info, Saturday event listings
Gay nightlife in
Nashville, Tennessee
by Andrew Collins
SGN Contributing Writer                            ritzy Belle Meade, where many music ce-
                                                   lebrities and politicians reside. There are
   The most progressive city in the so-called      a couple of notable museums in this area,
Bible Belt, Nashville has developed into           including the Greek Revival Belle Meade
one of the South’s Gay-friendliest destina-        Plantation, once the site of a 5,300-acre
tions over the past decade. The country mu-        Thoroughbred breeding farm, and Chee-
sic industry, with which the city is famously      kwood, a 1925 Georgian-style house on
identified, does have a fairly conservative        whose grounds you’ll find the Tennessee
reputation, but in fact the city’s legendary       Botanical Gardens & Museum.
music business and fast-growing theater and           Dining in Nashville has become increas-
visual-arts scenes have compelled quite a          ingly sophisticated of late. In a railway and
few Gays and Lesbians to move here. Nash-          warehouse neighborhood on the edge of
ville now buzzes with offbeat retail and en-       downtown, you can dine at one of the city’s
tertainment districts, several energetic Gay       current stars, Radius10, a snazzy, white-on-
nightspots, and a wealth of attractions re-        white restaurant with exposed air vents and
lated to music and the arts.                       an unfinished cement floor. Top dishes here
   Downtown Nashville is set around the            include Kobe beef short ribs with black-truf-
courtly Greek Revival-style Capitol, which         fle grits, and halibut with andouille sausage,
is perched atop the highest hill in the city.      dirty rice, and crawfish. A more traditional
Behind it, the dignified Bicentennial Mall         option is long-running Merchants, which is
State Park contains elegant fountains and a        set inside a masterfully restored 1892 brick
200-foot granite map of the state. You can         building downtown and serves tasty Ameri-
learn a thing or two about the state’s history     can fare.
at the nearby Tennessee State Museum. His-            Two neighborhoods that have developed
tory buffs should also note the Beaux Arts-        increasingly Gay followings in Nashville
style Hermitage Hotel, where, in 1920, suf-        in recent years are East Nashville and 12th
fragists from around the country and their         Avenue South, and both have a slew of great
opponents encamped while debating the              restaurants, too. Along 12th Avenue South,
ratification of the 19th Amendment (which          sexy and sophisticated Mirror restaurant




                                                                                                                                                                                                  anDREw collIns
granted women the right to vote).                  serves Mediterranean-inspired tapas, such
   A block over, 5th Avenue was the site           as smoked-lamb gyros with cumin sauce,
throughout the ‘60s of Civil Rights dem-           and saffron ravioli stuffed with shrimp,
onstrations, the success of which inspired         mushrooms, and brie. Nearby Rumours
similar protests throughout the South. These       Wine and Art Bar is fun for dinner or just                                           The Lipstick Lounge
days, 5th Avenue has become rather artsy –         to snack and sip wine – there’s a popular
it’s the site of several excellent galleries and   branch of Rumours in East Nashville, too.        chairs. If you’re seeking a more high-ener-      a nice boost with the fall 2007 opening of
the nearby Frist Center for the Visual Arts,       For an unusual and refreshing dessert, pick      gy experience, venture next door to Play,        the Hotel Indigo, a Gay-friendly, moderate-
which occupies a handsomely restored, art          up one of the oddly flavored popsicles (chai     a sprawling dance club that packs in huge        ly priced, and sleekly designed mid-rise in
deco post office building and hosts world-         tea, cucumber-pepper, chocolate-wasabi)          crowds on weekends. Although it’s a GLBT         the city’s West End – it’s a short walk from
class art exhibitions and traveling shows.         sold at Las Paletas.                             establishment, plenty of straights party here,   Gay nightlife. Also near West End Gay bars,
   A few blocks east, toward the Cumberland           East Nashville eateries with superb food      too. Other Gay hangouts in the same area in-     the posh and refined Loews Vanderbilt Plaza
River, you’ll come to Nashville’s old Mar-         include Lesbian-owned Margot, which turns        clude Blue Gene’s, a relaxed neighborhood        Hotel has dark cherry furniture, a slick white
ket Street, now 2nd Avenue, where a long           out delicious French bistro fare. This is the    joint, and Blu Bar and Nightclub, which is       lobby, and first-rate service. This is the top
row of redbrick Victorian warehouses was           place in town for Sunday brunch (reserva-        especially popular with Nashville’s African-     business hotel in the city, and also a favorite
rescued from neglect in the 1980s and con-         tions are a good idea). The same owners run      American Gay community. Nearby you can           of music celebs.
verted into restaurants, music clubs, brew         the nearby coffeehouse and bakery, Marche,       shop for books and Pride items at OutLoud,         Occupying a turn-of-the-century rail-
pubs, and specialty shops. First Avenue runs       which serves up all sorts of tasty snacks.       which also has a pleasant little cafe open for   road terminal on the edge of downtown, the
along Riverfront Park, a long brick prom-          For sweets, check out Pied Piper Creamery,       breakfast and lunch.                             Union Station Hotel has a gorgeous lobby
enade with views across the river. Here you        whose playfully named and concocted ice            Over in East Nashville you’ll find one of      and warmly furnished rooms. Light sleep-
can tour a reproduction of the settlement’s        cream flavors are a big hit – order a scoop of   the liveliest Lesbian bars in the South, Lip-    ers should keep in mind that freight trains
first outpost, Fort Nashborough.                   “Trailer Trash” (packed with assorted candy      stick Lounge, set inside a brightly colored      rumble softly by some rooms, so request a
   Downtown’s most impressive attraction           parts), or tuck into a dish of “The Professor”   and attractively furnished old house. On the     unit away from the tracks if this concerns
is the Country Music Hall of Fame, a hand-         (toasted coconut, almonds, pecans, and ca-       main level there’s a small dance bar, and        you. Run by the same team behind Portland,
some and huge modern structure whose ex-           shews).                                          live music is often featured. Upstairs there’s   Oregon’s swanky Lucia and deLuxe hotels,
hibits not only honor dozens of legendary             Additional worthwhile dining and shop-        a lounge with darts, video games, and the        the Hotel Preston offers the hippest accom-
musicians (Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and           ping opportunities await in funky Hillsboro      like. One neighborhood hangout worth go-         modations in Nashville. Alas, the location
Dolly Parton among them) but also give             Village, near Vanderbilt University, which       ing out of your way for – if you’re up for a     leaves a bit to be desired – it’s 10 miles
an impressive overview of folk, bluegrass,         offers an intriguing selection of stylish        quirky scene and hanging out with a com-         southeast of downtown, by the airport.
rockabilly, and many other genres with             boutiques and distinctive restaurants. Here      pletely unpretentious crowd – is Trax, a           About a 20-minute drive east of down-
close ties to Nashville. The nearby Ryman          you’ll find Cabana, which serves crispy and      hard-to-find little dive bar in a somewhat in-   town, the giant Opryland Resort comprises
Auditorium is one of the grand music icons         delectable fried chicken, along with several     dustrial neighborhood south of downtown.         a huge hotel, spa, golf course, and the Grand
of downtown, often hosting Grand Ole Opry          inventive takes on down-home Southern            Amid the linoleum floors and a fun juke box      Ole Opry performance center. If you’re hun-
shows. Seating is in old wooden pews, and          food. Caffeine addicts get their fix at Bongo    playing everything from country tunes to         gry, keep in mind that the open-air buffet at
behind-the-scenes tours are given during the       Java, in a turn-of-the-century house filled      The Cure, you’ll find a pool table, darts, and   the Water’s Edge Marketplace offers terrific
day.                                               with local art. Bongo Java earned interna-       an all-ages, mostly male (but all-welcome)       food, at least as buffets go, and at fair prices.
   It’s a short drive from downtown to reach       tional infamy as the home of the “nun bun,”      crowd sucking down cheap drinks.                 Although it’s largely the domain of conven-
the hub of the city’s recording industry,          a cinnamon roll that bears an amazing like-        Although not a Gay establishment, the          tioneers and tourists, Opryland is at least
Music Row. You can tour Studio B, where            ness to Mother Teresa. The same owners           famed Bluebird Cafe does have something          worth a quick visit to admire the acres of in-
everyone from Elvis to Dolly Parton has re-        also operate a cool coffeehouse and restau-      of a community following. This intimate          door gardens and courtyards, and partake of
corded, as well as a few other music-related       rant in Hillsboro called Fido.                   spot serves passable comfort food, but you       some of the most colorful people-watching
museums. Follow Broadway beyond Music                 For Gay nightlife, head to Church Street in   really come here to listen to outstanding live   in Nashville.
Row to reach Midtown and its main drag,            the West End. Arguably the neighborhood’s        music in an intimate setting. There are two
West End Avenue – you’ll pass several of           hottest Gay bar, Tribe is a hip spot with a      shows each night, the first more amateurish,       Andrew Collins is the author of Fodor’s
the city’s schools and medical facilities,         cute and diverse crowd and a full restaurant,    the second generally featuring quite sea-        Gay Guide to the USA and eight additional
including Vanderbilt University, as well as        an open-air deck, a decent-size dance floor,     soned professionals.                             travel guides. He can be reached care of this
an art-filled, full-scale replica of the Parthe-   and a lounge area with plenty of comfy             Nashville’s once staid hotel selection got     publication or at OutofTown@qsyndicate.
non.
   West End Avenue eventually leads into




PRIDE 2008!                                                                                                                June 20, 2008                               Seattle Gay News          13
Around the world
with 80 Gays
A travel-minded look at foreign GLBT films
by Ron Anders                                    year-old boy with a swishy walk and a red
SGN A&E Writer                                   hairband who blithely sashays up and down
                                                 the filthy streets of the Manila slum where he
   When we commemorate the anniversary           lives with his father and brothers. Since his
of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, it’s easy to        mother’s death, Maxi has taken on the role
think of Gay Pride as a uniquely American        of housekeeper and nurturer of his family of
concept. We’re not necessarily nationalis-       petty thieves. Helping him cope with abject
tic – just a bit myopic. So let’s take a quick   poverty is his rich fantasy life, fueled by the
trip around the world via DVD and explore        glamour he finds in the movies. (He stages
a few films that offer us a glimpse of what      an endearingly funny mock Miss Universe
it means to be Gay outside the realm of our      pageant with his friends.) Maxi’s flamboy-
fruited plain.                                   ance is largely accepted by his friends and
   In The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros,         neighbors, but when he gets harassed by
we meet Maxi, an adorably precocious 12          some street toughs, Victor, a policeman new
                                                                         to the neighborhood,
                                                                         comes to his rescue.
                                                                         Developing serious
                                                                         case of puppy love for
                                                                         the handsome Victor,
                                                                         Maxi is torn between
                                                                         loyalty to his fam-
                                                                         ily and his feelings for
                                                                         Victor. With its unique
                                                                         balance of sweetness
                                                                         and grit – and an en-
                                                                         dearing performance
                                                                         by Nathan Lopez in the
                                                                         title role – it is easy to
                                                                         see why the film was
                                                                                                                                  The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

                                                                         warmly received on the       life, finds himself improbably playing father   immeasurably to the film’s luster. José Luis
                                                                         international film festi-    figure to his nephew Bernardo, a boy wise       García-Pérez gives a wryly sardonic touch
                                                                         val circuit. Special fea-    beyond his years. Bernardo’s endearing          to Pedro’s new role as a surrogate father;
                                                                         tures are sorely missed      but irresponsible mother has landed in jail     Elvira Lindo provides just the right bal-
                                                                         here – it would have         in India where, while on vacation, she tried    ance hysteria and tenderness as Bernardo’s
                                                                         been fascinating to see      to smuggle drugs across the border. While       mother; and David Castillo is a standout as
                                                                         behind-the-scenes foot-      the film has its share of highly dramatic mo-   Bernardo. For bear fans, the movie has its
                                                                         age showing how this         ments (as when Bernardo’s grandmother           share of sexy, fuzzy guys to ogle.
                                                                         gem of a film was put        threatens to take him away from his uncle),       In a somewhat colder climate, a sexy ath-
                                                                         together.                    Bear Cub does not engage in self-conscious      letic coming-out story unfolds in Eleven
                                                                            Next, we go to Spain      melodrama. It never feels like an “issue”       Men Out. When the star of Iceland’s top
                                                                         for a visit to Bear Cub.     film, even while dramatizing the struggles      football team decides it’s time to come out,
                                                                         Pedro, a Gay man who         of an HIV-positive protagonist. For all of      he sets off a load of comic and dramatic
                                                                         has a dedicated net-         its dramatic confrontations, the film feels     sparks. Sidelined for his outspokenness, he
                                                                         work of friends and an       wisely, skillfully underplayed. The accom-      quits the team and decides to form an all-
                                                                         equally dedicated sex        plished performances of the lead actors add     Gay team, much to the public’s (and his
                                                                                                                                                      family’s) astonishment. Björn Hlynur Har-
                                                                                                                                                      aldsson is very easy on the eyes as our hero,
                                                                                                                                                      Ottar (although it would help if he let his
                                                                                                                                                      character crack a smile once in a while), and
                                                                                                                                                      there is ample eye candy as jocks of various
                                                                                                                                                      sexual orientations huddle in their locker
                                                                                                                                                      rooms. Extra features include footage from
                                                                                                                                                      the Chicago Gay Games and the Montreal
                                                                                                                                                      Outgames.
                                                                                                                                                        Lastly, let’s revisit an oldie-but-goodie. La
                                                                                                                                                      Cage Aux Folles has spawned two sequels,
                                                                                                                                                      a Hollywood remake and a long-running
                                                                                                                                                      Broadway musical. It has become such a
                                                                                                                                                      “brand name” over the years that it’s hard to
                                                                                                                                                      remember just how great the original French
                                                                                                                                                      farce is – and that it was a huge surprise hit
                                                                                                                                                      when in debuted in 1978. Michel Serrault
                                                                                                                                                      gives one of the great comic performances
                                                                                                                                                      ever put on film as Albin, the star attraction
                                                                                                                                                      (in his drag persona, Zaza) of the nightclub
                                                                                                                                                      he runs with his partner, Renato (embodied
                                                                                                                                                      beautifully by Ugo Tognazzi). When Re-
                                                                                                                                                      nato’s son announces he is getting married,
                                                                                                                                                      our two flamboyant heroes/heroines decide
                                                                                                                                                      to retreat into the closet for the in-laws – and
                                                                                                                                                      a comic tidal wave ensues. This movie will
                                                                                                                                                      have you laughing until you cry. If you’d
                                                                                                                                                      like a Gay Pride weekend filled with laugh-
                                                                                                                                                      ter, grab La Cage Aux Folles and invite
                                                                                                                                                      some buddies over to share in the hilarity!




14   Seattle Gay News                            June 20, 2008                                                                                                                 PRIDE 2008!
Five ways to get your
                                                                                                    FIRST FRIDAY                                             ter stage, as do Johnny Kamai and Backyard
                                                                                                    WWW.FIRSTFRIDAYHAWAII.COM                                Paina at the Princess Kaiulani. Very few art-
                                                                                                    Similar to Seattle’s Art Walk, the Hawai-                ists from Hawaii garner mainstream atten-
                                                                                                  ian Arts Alliance presents an evening of cur-              tion, Jack Johnson and Jake Shimabukuro

art fix on Oahu                                                                                   rent and new exhibits on the first Friday of
                                                                                                  each month. Young professionals and urban
                                                                                                  socialites gather at the now-trendy China-
                                                                                                  town to check out just-unveiled displays at
                                                                                                                                                             being two of them, yet the world’s greatest
                                                                                                                                                             ukulele players and slack key guitarists re-
                                                                                                                                                             side on these shores, and “Flavors of Island
                                                                                                                                                             Music” is a good way to find them.
by Albert Rodriguez                                                                               local galleries, while mingling over cock-
SGN A&E Writer
                                                devilled eggs, and re-
  You already know that Oahu is a prime va-     freshing glasses of iced
cation spot for its beaches, Polynesian cui-    Thai coffee. Seriously,
sine, and buff surfers in low-rising trunks.    this is my new favorite
But did you get the memo on it being the        spot on Oahu.
cultural hub of the Pacific? From modern
visual art exhibits to authentic Hawaiian         DIAMOND HEAD
live music, the island is loaded with options     THEATRE
for the artsy folk and those needing a time       WWW.
out from the blazing sun. When visiting the       DIAMONDHEAD
island of Oahu, here are five recommended         THEATRE.COM
ways to explore your inner artist.                A short hop from
                                                Waikiki is the Dia-
  THE CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM                       mond Head Theatre,
  WWW.TCMHI.COM                                 the island’s best option
  Cradled into the hillside neighborhood of     for live theatre produc-
Makiki Heights is The Contemporary Mu-          tions. The Wizard of Oz
seum (TCM). The lush, four-acre grounds         runs through July 27,
provide visitors with stunning views of         this after back-to-back
Honolulu’s financial center and Waikiki,        extended runs of Flow-
alone worth the admission price. The only       er Drum Song and the
museum in the state of Hawaii devoted to        Tony Award-winning
contemporary art, TCM draws the island’s        musical The Produc-




                                                                                                                                                                                                       DavID fRanzEn
sophisticated crowd with works by local and     ers. The impressive



                                                                                                                                                   The Contemporary Museum


                                                                                                                                                  HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL
                                                                                                                         tails and the yummiest finger
                                                                                                                                                  FILM FESTIVAL
                                                                                                                         food. Artists based in Hawaii
                                                                                                                                                  WWW.HIFF.ORG
                                                                                                                         and mainland US, and even from
                                                                                                                                                  Hailed as a “must-attend” event by Enter-
                                                                                                                         as far away as Asia and Europe,
                                                                                                                                               tainment Weekly magazine, the Honolulu
                                                                                                                         have come to regard Honolulu
                                                                                                                                               International Film Festival is the state’s pre-
                                                                                                                         as an underrated rising star on
                                                                                                                                               miere movie event of the year. Scheduled
                                                                                                                         the arts scene, and First Friday
                                                                                                                                               this year for October 9-19, the festival offers
                                                                                                                         offers proof. Admission is free
                                                                                                                                               a sumptuous variety of American mainland
                                                                                                                         with an after party at nearby In-
                                                                                                                                               projects, Asian blockbusters and Euro-indie
                                                                                                                         digo restaurant-lounge going
                                                                                                                                               films. Brokeback Mountain, The Diving Bell
                                                                                                                         from 9:30pm to close, and then
                                                                                                                         an after-after party at The Lime-
                                                                                                                                               and the Butterfly, Babel, The Piano, Crouch-
                                                                                                                         light from 2am-4am. Tours are
                                                                                                                                               ing Tiger Hidden Dragon, Y Tu Mama Tam-
                                                                                                                                               bien, and Volver have all premiered at HIFF,
                                                                                                                         self-guided, beginning at 5pm at
                                                                                                                         1159 Nuuanu Avenue.   sponsored by clothes designer giant Louis
                                                                                                                                               Vuitton. The 2008 program hasn’t been an-
                                                                                                                FLAVORS OF                     nounced just yet, though considering its stel-
                                                                                                                ISLAND MUSIC                   lar lineup in previous years tickets should be
                                                                                                                WWW.FLAVORS                    purchased in advance. A less flashy, separate
                                                                                                                OFISLAND                       Spring Showcase – a mini version of the in-
                                                                                                                MUSIC.COM                      ternational festival – took place in April fea-
                                                                                                         DavID fRanzEn




                                                                                                                Hawaii is home to some of the turing the Academy-nominated Mongol.
                                                                                                             most beautiful music on earth,
                                                                                                             recognized yearly by industry
                                                                                                             professionals with its own Gram-
                                      The Contemporary Museum
                                                                                                             my Award category. To help pre-
                                                                                                             serve its rich heritage, Starwood
mainland-based professionals, most recent-      2008-2009 season includes Les Miserables,         Hotels branded a statewide campaign titled
ly Bay Area photographer Richard Misrach        Gypsy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and the           “Flavors of Island Music” to showcase
whose captivating 6 x 10 prints of innocent     Seattle-launched jukebox musical The Wed-         traditional Hawaiian musicians at each of
sunbathers and dramatic ocean currents          ding Singer. The over 400-seat venue is lo-       their properties. On Oahu, performers like 3
brought guests to a standstill. Another rea-    cated on the back slopes of Diamond Head,         Scoops of Aloha, Ike Pono, Kanilau and Pau
son to drop by this cozy, delightful place is   across the street from Kapiolani Commu-           Hana can be seen at the Sheraton Waikiki,
the on-premise café that serves lunch daily     nity College. In business since 1915, it is the   while Sam Kapu III, Ryan Tang and Gram-
until 2:30 p.m. on a garden terrace – menu      third-longest continually operated theater in     my winner Ledward Ka’apana are regulars
items include sandwiches, soups, salads,        the entire country.                               at The Royal Hawaiian. Over at the Moana
                                                                                                  Surfrider, Ka’ala Boys and Kalena take cen-




PRIDE 2008!                                                                                                                         June 20, 2008                            Seattle Gay News         15
Eight Gay ways




                                                                                                                                                                                            anDREw collIns
to enjoy Boston
by Andrew Collins                                Fine Arts, whose highlights include Asiatic
SGN Contributing Writer                          art and French Impressionists. The museum
                                                 is in the midst of adding a dramatic new
  With its tree-lined streets, spectacular       wing, slated for completion in 2010. To the
gardens, and youthful yet intellectual per-      west is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Muse-
sonality, Boston’s an easy city to love in       um, a stunning if idiosyncratic collection of
the springtime. Winters last a while in New      paintings, drawings, textiles, and furniture
England’s largest metropolis, but by May         (mostly Western European).
the sidewalks buzz with pedestrian life and
the Charles River fills with kayaks and sail-       3. Stroll the Boston Common.
boats. One of the nation’s Gay-friendliest         The Boston Common has been the city
cities, Boston encompasses a considerable        hub since 1630. The side of the park fringed
range of charms, from prestigious museums        by Boylston and Tremont streets is more
and historic parks to swish cocktail lounges     commercial than the stretch along stately
and hipster-infested restaurants. Here’s a       Beacon Street, but the whole park merits
look at eight different ways to take advan-      exploration. The adjacent Boston Public
tage of Boston’s myriad attributes:              Garden, the centerpiece of which is a placid
                                                 pond traversed in summer by foot pedal-
   1. Have breakfast or brunch in Jamaica        powered swan boats, also contains several
Plain.                                           acres of formal gardens. Overlooking the
   Once considered an out-of-the-way neigh-      Common stands Charles Bulfinch’s gold-
borhood whose shops and restaurants ca-          en-domed neoclassical State House, where
tered chiefly to locals, the Lesbian-popular     legislation was signed making the Bay State
Jamaica Plain neighborhood has grown up          the first one in the Union to legalize same-
in recent years, especially as a culinary des-   sex marriage.
tination. It’s not far from lovely Back Bay        One of the nation’s earliest urban resi-
Fens Park and its esteemed art museums,          dential neighborhoods, nearby Beacon Hill
and has several fine restaurants specializing    was settled in the early 1800s by the city’s
in breakfast or brunch, making it an apt spot    wealthiest merchants and is today the do-
to begin your day.                               main of brick sidewalks, stately town hous-
   The longtime traditional favorite for         es, shade trees, and boutiques (the best are
breakfast is Sorella’s, a small and bustling     on Charles Street.).
diner-style café that’s justly renowned for
its omelets stuffed with goat cheese, chori-      4. Hit the shops and galleries along
zo, and similarly enticing ingredients. A bit  Newbury Street in the Back Bay.                                                        Boston state House
more dapper and elegant inside, the French        The relatively young Back Bay (a tidal
bistro Bon Savor serves up such delicious      flat before the 1860s) – with its broad av-           6. Have a progressive dinner along           scene, the Boston Eagle has gradually shift-
breakfast dishes as fried-banana crepes and    enues of four-story town houses, its grid         Tremont Street in the South End.                 ed into a more laid-back but fiercely popu-
smoked salmon eggs Benedict. And don’t         layout, and its bustle of sidewalk cafes and        Gentrified steadily over the past two de-      lar cruise-and-chat bar with a mostly male
overlook the airy Dogwood Café, with its       swank boutiques – recalls Paris. It’s still one   cades, Boston’s Gay-popular South End            crowd of guys in their 30s and 40s. This inti-
hardwood floors, exposed-brick walls, and      of Boston’s preeminent residential (and fa-       neighborhood has become one of the East          mate, if cramped, tavern is justly known for
creative cuisine. Consider the blueberry       vorite walking) neighborhoods. Beacon and         Coast’s great dining destinations, and it’s      its cheap and potent cocktails. Finally, the
buttermilk pancakes or the unusual-sound-      Marlborough streets are predominantly resi-       difficult to narrow down the many fine           dapper-looking Fritz bar is often described
ing but delicious “breakfast pizza” topped     dential and contain impressive single-fami-       choices to just a few. A solution to this di-    as Boston’s Gay Cheers – it’s busiest around
with scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage,        ly homes. Commonwealth Avenue is divid-           lemma is to plan a leisurely, progressive        happy hour and on Sunday afternoons.
applewood-smoked bacon, home fries, and        ed by a gracious grassy mall. The best area       dinner at three South End restaurants, sam-
mozzarella.                                    for whiling away an afternoon is Newbury          pling one or two dishes at each place. Start       8. Stay in a hip boutique hotel.
                                               Street, which is lined with offbeat boutiques     at one of the neighborhood’s first restaurants     In addition to the usual chains and sev-
   2. Wander through Back Bay Fens Park and stylish eateries that range from high-               to earn major acclaim, Hamersley’s Bistro,       eral Gay-friendly B&Bs, Boston has sev-
and explore the city’s two best art muse- end, up by the Public Garden, to funky and             where you won’t go wrong with either the         eral snazzy little boutique hotels that have
ums.                                           somewhat collegiate, down toward Massa-           crispy duck confit with beet-walnut salad, or    a strong following among Gay travelers.
   North of Jamaica Plain and west of down- chusetts Avenue.                                     the spicy halibut and clam roast with bacon-     There are three outposts of the Gay-friendly
town Boston is the Fens, an amalgam of                                                           braised greens.                                  (and pet-welcoming) Kimpton Group, in-
relatively modest residential and slightly        5. Explore Harvard Yard.                         Next, venture a few doors down to Aquit-       cluding the stately Nine Zero, overlooking
scruffy industrial blocks and site of the cam-    Puritans settled Cambridge, just across        aine, where you might sample house-cured         Boston Common, which is home to the opu-
puses of Northeastern and Boston universi- the Charles River from Boston, in 1630 and            salmon with crème fraiche and pomegran-          lent KO Prime steakhouse and contains 190
ties as well as Fenway Park, home to base- soon after founded America’s first universi-          ate, or tender braised pork with mashed cel-     units furnished with super-cushy bedding,
ball’s Boston Red Sox.                         ty, Harvard, now a top tourist draw. Walking      ery root and sautéed spinach. Be warned:         luxe bath amenities, and mini-bars stocked
   The topographical feature that best de- tours of campus are given daily and focus             This beautiful-peopled yet surprisingly low-     with unusual goodies. Smaller and con-
fines the neighborhood, however, is Back heavily on tree-shaded Harvard Yard. From               key bistro is often packed. Enjoy your final     taining 112 rooms outfitted with red-suede
Bay Fens Park, the city’s only area of tidal here you’re steps from such vaunted cultural        dining course at the cozy and Gay-popular        chairs and custom-designed desks, the Onyx
marshlands that was never filled in with institutions as the Widener Library, with the           Franklin Cafe, which is open late and serves     Hotel exudes warmth and luxury.
gravel as Boston expanded. Landscape ar- country’s second-largest book collection;               terrific seasonal contemporary fare. You           Just across the river in Cambridge, con-
chitect Frederick Law Olmsted converted the Fogg Art Museum, whose 80,000 hold-                  might tuck into a plate of garlic-grilled cal-   sider Kimpton’s supremely inviting Hotel
this wilderness into a subtly manicured ings concentrate mostly on European and                  amari with white beans and basil pesto, or       Marlowe, whose 236 handsomely furnished
park. On its south side is the Museum of American painting; the Arthur M. Sackler                the sunflower-crusted chicken with chive-        rooms have animal-print carpets and opu-
                                               Museum, which emphasizes Asiatic, ancient         mashed potatoes and tarragon jus.                lent velvet fabrics. Guests can use bikes
                                               Greek and Roman, and Egyptian, Buddhist,                                                           and kayaks (to paddle on the Charles River,
                                               and Islamic art; and the mammoth Harvard            7. Go bar hopping in the South End.            just outside the door) for free. If you get a
                                               University Museums of Cultural and Natu-            The South End is home to three of the          chance, grab dinner at the fabulous Bamba-
                                               ral History.                                      city’s longest-running and most popular          ra restaurant, which serves superb regional
                                                  Dozens of shops and eateries line the          Gay bars, making it a favorite neighbor-         American fare to a sexy, see-and-be-seen
                                               streets around Harvard Square (where Mas-         hood for barflies. Club Cafe draws the most      crowd.
                                               sachusetts Avenue and John F. Kennedy             mixed-gender crowd and is also home to an
                                               Street intersect). Finish up your exploring       excellent restaurant. It’s largely the domain      Andrew Collins is the author of Fodor’s
                                               with a scoop of the amazingly thick and deli-     of smartly dressed professionals – there’s a     Gay Guide to the USA and eight additional
                                               cious ice cream at Herrell’s, which is known      sophisticated cocktail lounge-cabaret that       travel guides. He can be reached care of this
                                               for such flavors as malted vanilla, chocolate     gets busy after work, and a larger, cruisier     publication or at OutofTown@qsyndicate.
                                               pudding, and cookie-dough peanut-butter           (though more attitude-y) video bar in back.      com.
                                               swirl.                                              Long ago a fixture of the city’s leather




16   Seattle Gay News                            June 20, 2008                                                                                                            PRIDE 2008!
Emerald City theater




                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PlaybIll
fans head to New York
for arts buffet
by Milton W. Hamlin
SGN A&E Writer                                   And Joy.” Helene, the incredible Linda
                                                 Lavin, is speaking at the monthly meeting
   Bits&Bytes made a whirlwind trip to New       of “P.L.G.B.T.Q.C.C.C.O.” on Long Island.
York City recently and lived to tell about       (That’s “Parents of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexu-
it. The fabled City That Never Sleeps wel-       als, Transsexuals, Queers, Concerned, Cre-
comed this still star-struck theater fan.        ative. Challenged and Others” or something
   Highlights: A first-time visit to the MAC     like that...)
Awards (the Oscars of cabaret), visits to           She is the long-suffering Jewish (“is that
the hottest shows on Broadway, late-night        a problem?” she questions) mother of three
pub crawling with cabaret buddies (and a         “wonderful children.” First there is Leslie,
few honest-to-goodness cabaret legends),         her Lesbian daughter (“What was I think-
a couple of disappointments on The Great         ing?”). “Of course, I knew you were a Les-
White Way, an unforgettable visit to the         bian – you have the haircut of a 12-year-old
fabled Carnegie Hall, a bomb at the Metro-       Amish boy. Helen Keller would know you
politan Opera, three wonderful museum vis-       were a Lesbian [long, long laugh] … from
its, three incredible meals at fancy-shmancy     the stubble!” Then there is Ronnie, her 6’4”
restaurants – that’s what a week in The Big      son who wants to become her daughter, Ve-
Apple offered Bits&Bytes and Ms. Guest,          ronica. “No problem. We’re rich. OK, you
a proverbial theatrical feast, a buffet of the   want a vagina, here’s my VISA.”
arts, a smorgasbord of stage delights. Con-         Then there’s David, her rich “successful”
clusion: A trip to New York lets a Seattle       son, who is into “bondage and leather and
theater fan catch up on the work of Seattle      … dare I say it, scat.” She told him, “David,
directors, Seattle actors, Broadway shows        in this house we use the toilet – not a friend
that started in Seattle. What a world, a very    from TriBeCa.”
small world. Read on:                               Next we meet “Mr. Charles, Currently Of
                                                 Palm Beach.” Peter Bartlett is divine as Mr.
  GAY-THEMED ONE ACTS –                          Charles, the old fashioned “sissy queen now
  PAUL RUDNICK’S NEW CENTURY –                   out of favor.” Exiled to Palm Beach, thrown
  DELIGHT GLBT FANS                              out of New York for his swishy ways, Mr.                              sure I believe in God. But I do know I be-         Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Bartlett Sher,
  Playwright Paul Rudnick is the Crown           Charles has a late-night cable TV show. He                            lieve in cute.” She makes things “so people        artistic director of Seattle’s Intiman Theatre,
Prince of Gay Theatre. His Jeffrey and The       knows how to spot a Gay theater fan, he                               have a reason to dust.” She loved her son          scores his third New York success – and
Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and his            tells his, now his TV audience. “He’s saving                          who moved from Decatur to New York “to             third Tony Nomination as Best Director –
screenplay for the Gay-themed In & Out           his Playbill and he’s awake!” Mike Doyle, a                           get away and be himself.” When he was ill,         with this sparkling South Pacific. The show,
make him a “must” for GLBT stage and             stud muffin-type with many off-Broadway                               all “his friends loved me. They said I was         selling about 96 to 98 percent, has been ex-
screen fans. His latest New York work, four      credits, is Shane, his assistant – and the                            a ‘hoot’ – which means I wear polyester            tended through the summer and “at least”
one-acts collectively performed (and slight-     drool-inducing illustration of “gratuitous                            without irony.” In Act Four, these unlikely        into September. A Seattle friend called the
ly inner-related), is The New Century, just      nudity.” Mr. Charles is – and always has                              people meet in a New York maternity ward           production “flawless.” Can’t disagree …
shuttered at Lincoln Center in the intimate      been, and always will be – a laugh riot, in a                         with semi-serious results.                         much.
Mitzi Newhouse Theatre. It’s a wonderful         Liberace way.                                                            Helene is there for the birth of her grand-       At Sunday night’s Tony Awards, Sher was
evening of thoughtful, provocative, timely          After intermission, we meet “Crafty,”                              daughter by her Lesbian daughter and her           named Best Director of a Musical, the show
and incredibly funny theater. It even uses       Barbara Ellen Diggs, a joyously under-                                lover, “the pregnant, Lesbian, Nigerian            won Best Revival of a Musical, and leading
“gratuitous nudity” to poke fun at – what        played Jayne Houdyshell, who spends her                               flight attendant – the woman they can never        man Paul Szot won Best Actor in a Musical.
else – gratuitous nudity in Gay-themed the-      life grieving for her son, one of the first                           fire.” They all meet – and they (and, yes,         The show also picked up its share of design
ater productions.                                AIDS victims, and making crafts. You name                             the audience) learn something about life. A        awards.
  We first meet Helene Nadler in “Pride          it, she has crafted it. “After he died, I am not                      lovely, funny show.                                  Kelli O’Hara premiered in Seattle with
                                                                                                                                                                          Sher’s The Light In The Piazza at Intiman
                                                                                                                         TONY NOMINATIONS                                 in a supporting role, but inherited the lead-
                                                                                              lIncoln cEntER thEatER




                                                                                                                         – SEATTLE’S CHEYENNE                             ing girl’s role before the show reached New
                                                                                                                         JACKSON WAS                                      York. She is a constant delight as Nellie
                                                                                                                         ROBBED, ROBBED, ROBBED                           Forbush, the Mary Martin role. Broadway
                                                                                                                         The most “Unlikely Musical Hit on                newcomer Paulo Szot (the unlikely name
                                                                                                                       Broadway” is the billing for Xanadu, the           of an unlikely opera, now-Broadway star) is
                                                                                                                       flop Hollywood laugh disaster that is now          perfect as Emile de Becque, the Ezio “Some
                                                                                                                       the wide-eyed, innocent, rollerskating disco       Enchanted Evening” Pinza role. The design
                                                                                                                       musical Broadway hit. Go figure.                   team created Piazza for Intiman and Broad-
                                                                                                                         Cheyenne Jackson, a Spokane boy who              way. The revival received 11 Tony nomina-
                                                                                                                       made his name in Seattle before heading to         tions. A “must” for any New York visit. Te-
                                                                                                                       New York and Broadway, could have been             nacity is the key to getting tickets to the not-
                                                                                                                       nominated for his leading role in Xanadu.          quite sold-out show. Everyone who has ever
                                                                                                                       He was not. His leading lady was. There is         lined up for the “last minute” ticket cancel-
                                                                                                                       no justice in Tony Land.                           lations or releases has gotten seats, a spokes-
                                                                                                                         Jackson left Seattle for, literally, overnight   man for the hot show told Bits&Bytes. “But,
                                                                                                                       success as Mr. Understudy, Mr. Take-Over,          don’t print that,” he implored and pleaded.
                                                                                                                       Mr. Leading Man in a lost cause. When the          “Wouldn’t think of it,” this scribe told him.
                                                                                                                       original leading man for Xanadu broke his
                                                                                                                       ankle at the last preview, Jackson was el-            GYPSY GLORIOUSLY RETURNS
                                                                                                                       evated to Broadway leading man status.                IN FULL BROADWAY GLORY –
                                                                                                                       “How big is he?” Seattle fans regularly ask           PATTI LUPONE IS ROSE
                                                                                                                       this columnist. Big enough that three obvi-           Gypsy is back on Broadway for the fifth
                                                                                                                       ously Gay men right behind us were dressed         time, and Patti LuPone is the Madam Rose
                                                                                                                       up for Xanadu – as Cheyenne Jackson.               of the Year. A glorious revival, nominated
                                                                                                                         Openly Gay “forever,” Jackson works              for multiple major Tony Awards, this gradu-
                                                                                                                       hard for Broadway (and now film) success.          ate of the Encore! stagings is a “must” for
                                                                                                                       He is a spokesman for AIDS causes and fre-         any serious theater visitor.
                                                                                                                       quently involved in Gay and AIDS concerns.            LaPone was named Best Actress in a Mu-
                                                                                                                       This summer, he will take a two-week break         sical at Sunday’s Tony Awards. Her co-stars
                                                                                                                       from Xanadu and play the young Joe Hardy           picked up awards for Best Supporting Ac-
                                                                                                                       in a summer Encores! revival of Damn Yan-          tress and Actor in a Musical, as well.
                                                                                                                       kees, a role he first played at Civic Light Op-       The first scene starts, famously, at the
                                                                                                                       era in Seattle when he had just moved from         late-and-lamented Orpeheum Theatre in
                                                                                                                       Spokane. Small world.                              downtown Seattle. “Sing out, Lousie,” Rose
                                                                                                                         Xanadu has been described as “heaven on          bellows as she struts down the aisle. Later,
                                                                                                                       wheels” by the New York Times. Can’t dis-          Rose notes that she is the “uneducated broad
                                                                                                                       agree. Non-stop fun.                               from Seattle” – and she is, all-knowingly,
                                                                                                                                                                          right.
                                                                                                                         BART SHER’S SOUTH PACIFIC                           A simple, basic, bare-bones production,
                                                                                                                         REVIVAL LIVES UP TO RAVES,                       tied to its Encores! past, it is still the most
                                                                                                                         EXTENDED AT LINCOLN CENTER                       riveting musical on Broadway. It, alas,
                                      The New Century
                                                                                                                         One of the hottest tickets in New York is
                                                                                                                       the Lincoln Center revival of Rodgers &                            see New YorK page 18

PRIDE 2008!                                                                                                                                    June 20, 2008                               Seattle Gay News          17
                                                                                                           A star-studded revival of NO, NO, NA-          La Jolla before Broadway. That’s Seattle’s




                                                                                              PlaybIll
                                                                                                         NETTE was the hot ticket of the spring.          loss, but a touring edition is undoubtedly in
                                                                                                         Rosie O’Donnell entered as Pauline, the          the works as you read this.
                                                                                                         cantankerous maid with the cantankerous             The new musical is high on energy and
                                                                                                         vacuum cleaner – and right then it was obvi-     entertainment and captures the wonderful
                                                                                                         ous that the show was a solid hit. A cheer-      tongue-in-cheek quality that so many “cheap
                                                                                                         ing, clapping, stomping, laughing crowd          musical adaptations” miss out on. Harriet
                                                                                                         was anxious to revisit this 1920s classic that   Harris, Tony and Drama Desk Award win-
                                                                                                         all-but disappeared until the Ruby Keeler/       ner for Thoroughly Modern Millie several
                                                                                                         Busby Berkeley nostalgia-crazed revival in       seasons back, anchors the show as the stern-
                                                                                                         the early 1970s.                                 but-forgiving Society Grandmother of the
                                                                                                           O’Donnell, headlining the last big revival     young and innocent Allison. (John Waters,
                                                                                                         of Grease a decade or so back, opened in         who returned to Seattle recently for another
                                                                                                         Seattle before Broadway and made Em-             “Lecture and Tell-All” engagement, was
                                                                                                         erald City (and later New York) fans love        guest of honor at a group press conference
                                                                                                         her Rizzo, “the bad girl with a good heart.”     when Hairspray was in its tryout time at the
                                                                                                         (O’Donnell’s best line as Rizzo: “I feel like    5th. Bits&Bytes ignored the chance to ask
                                                                                                         a defective typewriter; I just skipped a pe-     about Divine and Mink Stole and the Wa-
                                                                                                         riod.”)                                          ters’ regulars and asked, instead, about Polly
                                                                                                           Sandy Duncan entered shortly after, play-      Bergen. “Great old broad – a total delight,”
                                                                                                         ing Sue, the sweet, sweet wife of the Bible      he enthused, to the wonderment and amaze-
                                                                                                         salesman with three girls “studying the Bi-      ment of the other press types who muttered,
                                                                                                         ble” on a string. She is guardian to Nanette,    almost in unison, “Polly who?”)
                                                                                                         the title character who is always told, “no,        Favorite moment: When Allison stands
                                                                                                         no, you’re not old enough.” Duncan, a fre-       in the moonlight singing her lament, her
                                                                                                         quent Seattle visitor, often flying around the   “Hopelessly Devoted to You” sad song, she
                                                                                                         5th Avenue Theatre as Peter Pan but some-        has something strange in her hand. As she
                                                                                                         times tap-tap-tap dancing with Tommy Tune        stands on her balcony, the “thing” starts to
                                                                                                         in other Broadway classics, is a Broadway        move – and we quickly learn that Allison
                                                                                                         veteran and audience delight. A vision of        – the all-American cheerleader of every
                                                                                                         white in a handkerchief-hemmed beaded            delinquent boy’s fantasy – is never with-
                                                                                                         1920s gown, Duncan looked and acted              out her baton. Yes, brokenhearted, singing
                                                                                                         every bit the Broadway star she is. Lesser       her soul out, she twirls her baton, slowly at
                                                                                                         known (but equally talented) Broadway vet-       first, then, as the song speeds up, faster, and
                                                                                                         erans and newcomers filled out the cast. Ev-     then – “Oh, my God,” faster yet. What a mo-
                                                                                                         eryone was in top form.                          ment.
                                                                                                           Directed Walter Bobbie, who guided the            With great lines, like, “It’s a wonderful
                                                                                                         Chicago revival (a revival that has long         time to be a square” and, the worst curse of
                                                                                                         since outdistanced the original Broadway         all, “You tattooed delinquent!” this Cry-Ba-
                                                                                                         production’s run, and has visited Seattle        by is all fun, all fluff and non-stop entertain-
                                     Patti LuPone in Gypsy                                               many times), is clearly in his element. It was   ment. Warning: Don’t see it right after the
                                                                                                         sex and sleaze that sent Chicago to Broad-       current revival of Grease down the street; it
New YorK                                           two-and-a-half hour production. England’s             way, but it is sweetness and corniness that      is all-too apparent that Cry-Baby shoulda,
                                                   Mark Rylance repeats his award-winning                may do the same for this unbelievably en-        coulda, woulda been called Son of Grease.
continued from page 17
                                                   performance as the klutz who stumbles into            tertaining Nanette. The production – a black     Incidentally, Allison’s lament is officially
                                                   his old best friend’s sex fantasy – dating            and white fantasy of Art Deco designs – is a     titled “Misery, Agony, Helplessness, Hope-
is not selling well, under 70 percent each         three knockout stewardesses at one time, of-          joy to see, a joy to hear and a joy to watch.    lessness, Heartache and Woe,” a wonderful
week, just above the break even point. See it      ten on one day. He is a riot, non-stop. (Jerry        The actors enter with scripts in hand – an       title that sums up the show in one line. Great
now – this scribe nearly waited until his fall     Lewis played the role – badly – in a still-           Equity requirement for the “low cost” stag-      fun.
trip. Glad I didn’t wait. It might not last that   born film adaptation with Tony Curtis as the          ing – but it was clear that this was a compa-
long. But, then, Tony wins for Best Actress        playboy on the make.) As an added bonus,              ny of Broadway pros who knew every line             TO BE CONTINUED – BUT
and Best Musical Revival might, just might,        Rylance was just named Best Actor in a Play           and every nuance of the show.                       FIRST, ONE MORE MESSAGE
make it a success with the all-important           at the Tony Awards.                                     With songs like “I Want To Be Happy,”             Bits&Bytes will return to this New York
tourist trade.                                       Broadway veteran Bradley Whitford is                “Tea For Two,” the title tune and a dozen        feast of the arts in an upcoming column. But,
                                                   fine as the playboy with too many time-               toe-tapping more, the show is an audience        first, one more GLBT “must-see” event:
  BOEING-BOEING RETURNS                            tables and too much libido. Broadway’s                pleaser – and always has been. Bobbie, cor-
  TO BROADWAY AS LATEST                            beloved Christine Baranski – with a zillion           rectly, plays up the innocence of the era.         NEW PINK & BENT OPENS
  BIG NEW COMEDY SMASH                             Gay theater fans in her address book – is of-         Lines like, “None of your beeswax,” “Ba-           AT LESLIE/LOHMAN GALLERY
  Boeing-Boeing proves that there is a             ten a riot as the cantankerous maid (a stock          nana Oil!” and the observation, “No decent         – ART OF QUEER WOMEN
second chance in theater life. It began as         figure prevalent on Broadway last week –              woman has $200!” come though loud and              A “must-stop” for GLBT art fans visit-
a smash hit in the early 1960s in France           see Rosie O’Donnell, below). The current              clear – and totally in period and character.     ing New York is the Leslie/Lohman Gallery
(where it originated as the latest French          production elevates her role to leading lady,           The show was one show-stopper after            way downtown at 26 Wooster Street. The
farce smash hit sex comedy) and in London          which it is not, which, in turn, gives an un-         another. The first is “I Want To Be Happy”       gallery exhibits only GLBT artists and re-
(where theater fans love shows with naugh-         balanced feel to the staging.                         which everyone in the cast seems to sing in      lated GLBT-themed shows, frequently with
ty door-slamming plots like No Sex, Please,          The show was great fun. The Longacre                welcoming sequence. Nanette’s friends--          a surprising frankness – Bits&Bytes’ Seattle
We’re British or Pajama Tops, which was            Theatre, where it will make its very profit-          the men and women’s chorus of Art Deco-          mailman has been known to roll his eyes at
a long-running imported hit at the Seattle         able home for a year or so, just reopened             outfitted college kids--sing it with Jimmy,      the often provocative illustrations on the
World’s Fair in 1962 and was billed in New         after a $12 million restoration – with every          the philandering Bible salesman. They then       gallery’s opening invitational postcards.
York as “The British Comedy Hit From Se-           penny on view. (The structural changes in-            encore it with Sue and the saucy Nanette           Pink & Bent – The Art of Queer Women
attle’s World Fair” – a different era to be        clude an increase on “facilities” in the ladies       of Mara Davi (in another star-making ap-         runs through June 28.
sure).                                             room – 14 stalls now where there were only            pearance of the young de-
  Now a long-running revival hit in Lon-           four before.) There are a few cross-dressing          light). For the encore, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                      PlaybIll




don, the unlikely Boeing-Boeing conquers           plotlines, an unexpected, maybe homoerotic            whole cast stums white
Broadway as the nostalgia-fueled sex farce         pillow fight at the finale, but generally it’s        plastic ukelelas--and liter-
of the year. The title, incidentally, is an al-    sex farce time on Broadway. Fun show, de-             ally stops the show. What
lusion to the profession of the three sexpot       lightful theater renovation. It’s just too long       a show, what a delight.
leads. They are flight attendants on three         to sustain the laughs. But, to be honest, the
different international airlines which all fly     last 20 minutes had the audience in tears               NEW CRY-BABY
planes built in Seattle by Boeing. It’s the        from laughing so hard.                                  WINS
era of Coffee, Tea or Me? and the attendant                                                                UNEXPECTED
sexual puns.                                         NO, NO NANETTE RETURNS                                TONY NOD,
  There’s so much to like about the show             TO WOW NY FANS, CRITICS.                              JOHN WATERS
that it seems churlish to point out that there       CAN BROADWAY BE FAR BEHIND?                           RETURNS
is a riotous 90-minute farce buried in the           New York offers several productions a                 TO BROADWAY
                                                   year by several groups in semi-staged “con-             & SEATTLE
                                                   cert versions” that allow a short rehearsal             John Waters’ tasteless
                                                   period, a long weekend-run and the chance             but incredibly funny film
                                                   to see “lost” or “forgotten” musicals that            Hairspray turned into a
                                                   top-name talent that can commit to for a              hit Broadway musical that
                                                   two-week rehearsal and performance pe-                started in Seattle at the
                                                   riod. Encores! is the revival group with the          5th Avenue Theatre. His
                                                   highest profile, the biggest stars, the biggest       latest tasteless, raunchy
                                                   budget – and the greatest number of Broad-            and incredibly funny film-
                                                   way transfers. The long-running Chicago               to-Broadway musical hit
                                                   revival (driven by the work of Seattle’s Ann          is Cry-Baby, a Johnny
                                                   Reinking) started at Encores!, as did the             Depp classic (with Polly
                                                   current Broadway revival of Gypsy (which              Bergen as the Society
                                                   opens in Seattle at the fondly remembered             Grandmother – one of this
                                                   Orpheum Theatre) and the delightful Won-              scribe’s all-time favorites
                                                   derful Town several years past. (Seattle’s            – read on....) that was sup-
                                                   Showtunes! company and San Francisco’s                posed to start in Seattle
                                                   42nd Street Moon are similar groups on                until “scheduling difficul-
                                                   much lower budgets.)                                  ties” caused it to start in
                                                                                                                                                                  Cry Baby


18   Seattle Gay News                              June 20, 2008                                                                                                                   PRIDE 2008!
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                                                                        June 20, 2008                                                            Seattle Gay News   19


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