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. Bring your sense of fun, love of nature and passion for each other to British VICTORIA PRIDE Columbia’s most romantic, historic and picturesque city. Beyond the joy PACKAGES FROM $ 66 of simply being here–many cool events are on: Victoria Pride 2008, Warhol: Larger than Life at the Art Gallery, The Tall Ships Festival and various concerts * and music festivals. Call 1-800-663-3883 for accommodation reservations CDN PER PERSON or visit www.tourismvictoria.com/lgbt * Includes one night accommodation based on double occupancy and two complimentary VIP Pride Packets. Taxes extra. Subject to availability. Pride package dates June 27, 2008 to July 8, 2008 only. 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 Beginning FRIDAY, JUNE 20 at 5:25PM until SATURDAY, JUNE 21 at 6:25PM a limited number of GEORGE MICHAEL tickets will be available for just $25! Tickets available at livenation.com, Ticketmaster or charge by phone: (206) 628-0888 Produced by 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! Enjoy the sun in Kauai at Ma Kai hina la! O cea n V il Kauai’s Gayest Resort! 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