1. Kristin Wiig returned to host SNL this past weekend:
And two moments made us scream.
5. And that moment where Kristen was in a sketch with everyone’s favorite SNL lesbian:
Kate McKinnon Gods, ye have answered our prayers.
And two moments made us scream.
Kate McKinnon Gods, ye have answered our prayers.
Playwright Lisa Kron would be the first to tell you that adapting Alison Bechdel’s celebrated graphic memoir Fun Home into a musical directed by Sam Gold, which opens at The Public Theater, has been a long and winding road. The story of Bechdel looking back on her father’s life twenty years after his passing, searching for clues to figure out the connection between her lesbian identity and his secret gay affairs and eventual suicide, set against the backdrop of the family’s elaborately decorated funeral home, took five years to move from page to stage.
One thing, though, was clear from the start: it was always going to be a musical. “I don’t know how it could work as a dramatic play. I think you have to have those non-naturalistic devices of music so you can get to people’s subtext because in the graphic novel, Alison’s narrator voice is able to tell us things about the characters that they don’t know,” Kron told BuzzFeed. Kron, perhaps best known for her critically-acclaimed play Well, likens the interplay of the graphic format’s words and photos to the musical’s ability to convey multiple meanings. “You can sing lyrics that are about one thing while the musical is conveying an emotional life that even the person singing might not be aware of.”
On the one hand, Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori known for her work on Tony Kushner’s musical Caroline, or Change had access to Bechdel for questions, source material such as her journals from working on Fun Home, and videos of Bechdel’s speeches, some of which Kron transcribed, as well as the book itself. Yet, figuring out how to tell the story was a challenge. Kron decided early on to have 3 Alisons: “small Alison” (played by Sydney Lucas), “medium Alison” (Alexandra Socha) and “adult Alison” (Beth Malone), but beyond that, there were many possibilities. “Unwinding the structure of that book was very difficult. I had to read it for a year before I was able to take it apart enough to see how it was made, because it’s just so finely and intricately crafted. In theatrical terms, there’s very little about it that will help you in terms of making a play because it covers the span of ultimately 60 years; there are scenes from his childhood through to her adulthood.”
While both the book and musical cover the same time periods and events, the stage version allows for flourishes like a full cast dancing to The Partridge Family with “Raincoat Made of Love,” complete with sparkly outfits. It also offers a greater breadth in terms of seeing the perspective of Alison’s parents; Judy Kuhn, as Alison’s mother Helen, is able to express her frustration at the state of her marriage in her solo “Days.” In the book, Alison stumbles across a topless photo of the kids’ babysitter Roy, the play offers up imminent seduction as Bruce Bechdel (Michael Cerveris) woos Roy with a glass of sherry in the library, while his wife plays the piano in another room. The book’s narrator is the middle-aged Dykes to Watch Out For cartoonist digging through memories and mementos, but the musical makes stars out of her younger selves.Adult Alison looks on, often with wonder, cringing, for instance, at the scene where her college age self loses her virginity to the cool, hip and out Joan.
“Alison was the greatest person to adapt. She absolutely thought of what we were doing as something she didn’t know anything about and there was not a moment where we felt any, not only no pressure, but no inclination from her to influence or control or guide our process,” said Kron. She was “very available” throughout the process, but understood that the musical was never meant to be a literal take on the book, or Bechdel herself. As Socha put it to Backstage, “You can’t be concerned with doing an exact replica of her…I could copy every single mannerism she has, but if I don’t get our story across, none of that will matter…It’s more important that the three of us are like each other than we are like the real Alison Bechdel.”
While Bitch magazine correctly noted that press materials do not explicitly mention queerness, they do promise that the show addresses Alison’s “growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.” It’s made clear from early on that the musical centers around Alison’s realizing that she’s gay, her history of knowing she was different. It never shies away from the impact of her homosexuality, or his, and builds to the climactic question of what adult Alison can learn from his life and death. While the show has proudly hosted marriage equality advocate Edie Windsor in the audience, it isn’t only courting a gay crowd. “People follow different characters; some are really keyed in to Helen Bechdel, some to the neglected child, some to the college-age dyke,” said Kron. “The more diversity you have in the audience, the richer the experience will be. Audiences teach each other how to hear a play.”
That being said, while there’s plenty of light-hearted fun, most notably in the show’s “Come To The Fun Home” number, in which the kids pop in and out of coffins while filming a commercial for the family business. Lucas shines in two humorous yet revealing songs that highlight her character’s burgeoning queer identity, “Al For Short” and “Ring of Keys.” The latter finds her father obliviously reading the paper over a meal at a diner, while her world is rocked by a butch truck driver passing through. Kron was initially reluctant to do the song, afraid that it would only provoke laughs of the kind that are all too familiar. “In popular culture we only know that character as the predatory gym teacher or the semi-repulsive bull dyke. There is this beauty and grace and wholeness to that identity that’s very clear within lesbian culture but is invisible within the larger world. To have that take place on a music theater stage, to let that person be romanticized in that form is, I think for lesbians, a very moving experience.”
As for Bechdel herself? Though she told The Cut that seeing actors performing her life onstage is “really beautiful and really unnerving,” she was all smiles after Saturday’s matinee, signing autographs for eager fans outside the theater. She’s blogged that “Ring of Keys” is “worth the price of admission,” and she recently brought her brothers and her father’s 91-year-old sister to see it.
Their affirmation that the story resonated with them “has meant so much to us,” said Kron. “We couldn’t have fidelity to the truth. We don’t know the truth; we had to make up details. That’s not a reason to do this anyway; we’re not documentarians. But we were interested in finding a universalizing emotional truth, in looking again and again to these characters and the source material to get to the complexity of what had happened in order to tell the deepest story that we could tell.” Judging by the audience’s reactions this past weekend, they seem to have succeeded. My friend told me she teared up, while a gay man said it spoke to his growing up in a religions home and coming out, likening it to seeing his first musical Kiss the Spider Woman at age 9, a life-changing experience. “It needs to be seen,” he said.
Fun Home plays at The Public Theater through November 17.
The National Assembly originally supported the bill 329-229 and the Senate passed it with a voice vote.
Shouts and jeering broke out:
Demonstrators hold anti gay marriage and French flags during a rally in Paris. The letters on the flags read “Demonstration for all”.
French CRS riot police form a line near the Invalides during a demonstration against France’s planned legalization of same-sex marriage in Paris.
People take cover from tear gas as they take part in a demonstration against France’s planned legalization of same-sex marriage in Paris earlier this week:
Protestors wear French Revolution Phrygian caps as they shout slogans and hold copies of the “Code Civil” (law texts) as they take part in the “Manif pour Tous” (Demonstration for All) protest march:
French police in riot gear stand guard as gay marriage opponents wave a French flag:
Yahoo Sports argued, “Kluwe never asked if it was his activism that cost him his job. The Vikings never offered the thought even as the answer loomed obvious to everyone else. Two football players have spoken loud for gay rights issues in the last several months, specifically gay marriage: Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo. Both have been cut.”
As for the financial issue of keeping a player on the team, Sports writer Les Carpenter noted that , “While Ayanbadejo was a financial burden for the Ravens, Kluwe was a modest budget strain to the Vikings; he was scheduled to make $1.45 million in 2013.”
Officials stated they cut him early to give him a better chance at signing with another team.
“Yeah, I don’t feel good about it…I’m not in a position to evaluate the relative punting abilities, but it seems to me the general manager said, right after the draft, they were going to have competition…Well, they bring the one guy in, he kicks for a weekend and that’s competition?”
“I was a vocal guy and garnered a lot of attention. I brought a lot of issues with me to the Super Bowl and the issues came up at the Super Bowl. My bark is louder than my bite. I make a lot of noise and garner a lot of attention for various things off the football field. When that starts happening, why do you have that player around?”
The Ravens have been backing me, they knew my stance for years and have been facilitating me and organizing me with LGBT and set me up with Equality Maryland. They helped me. If they didn’t like what I was doing, they would have cut me a long time ago.”
With both Ayanbadejo and Kluwe cut from their respective teams, the supposed momentum towards a current NFL player may experience a bit of a hiccup. Whether or not their terminations were connected, in part, to their LGBT advocacy, it’s hard to see how letting these players go will make it any easier for a closeted NFL player to come out.
Seriously, if watching him dance doesn’t make you want to scream “yaaaaaas,” check your pulse because you might be irrelevant.
According to GLAAD, purple symbolizes “spirit.” The day was created in 2010 in response to people committing suicide at a young age due to bullying.
TV Land will be changing its logo to purple for the day.
While our society is making tremendous progress combating bullying behaviors in schools and communities across the country, it is still a devastating epidemic against which we must take a stand. Going purple for Spirit Day is an easy, simple, yet powerful way to show support, open a dialogue, and send a clear message that bullying of any kind isn’t acceptable.
Toyota is sponsoring the Spirit Day App.
From the video’s description:
At 1:45 a.m., Campaign Manager Richard Carlbom of Minnesotans United for All Families announced to campaign staff and board members that the vote on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota was too close to call. As he was about to end his remarks and tell everyone to get some sleep, Carlbom was told by the campaign’s communications director Kelly Schwinghammer, “The AP just called it.” An impromptu, joyous, tear-filled celebration ensued. It was the first time in U.S. history that an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment had been defeated.
The hilariously sarcastic Facts About Queers states on their Tumblr that they, “try to provide a safe space for ridiculousity, humor provided by queers for queers.” Although the Tumblr is only a year or so old, they have garnered quite the following and branched out onto Twitter.
We illustrated a few of our favorite 100% true facts:
The world makes sense now.
The Gay Murphy’s Law
THAT IS HOW SCIENCE WORKS, OKAY?
After all, Virginia is for lovers.
THINK ABOUT IT!? It must be true.
They will wobble and slam into a curb within 3.5 seconds if they attempt to ride them.
THE TRUTH MUST BE REVEALED.
“The comments from the staff meeting on May 21st were and are my personal opinions and thoughts as guaranteed to me by the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is unfortunate that a former member of my D9 Council team betrayed the trust of my staff members and me. I will fight, I will always fight for our freedom of speech, especially in a private setting.”
We’ve gone away from a sense of respect and human kindness that citizens should have for each other. We’re all entitled to rights and beliefs but it’s a shame that she doesn’t see the other side. She doesn’t apologize in her comments at all. It would be the same if someone were making discriminatory remarks against her for being Asian. It’s disrespectful, it’s harmful, it does instigate hate against groups.