“Singing Gospel, Growing Up Gay”: I review “Choir Boy”

at Studio Theater: “Choir Boy” is about the struggles of a gay teen coming of age in a black, Christian prep school for boys; but it’s also about the complex interweaving of religion, ambition, and emotion. In Studio’s staging it’s almost entirely effective. This story could easily be melodramatic—McCraney makes several heavy-handed choices in terms of character development and dialogue—but the committed actors and stylized use of singing give it an emotional power which carries it over its occa … [Read more...]

“What the Synod of Bishops’ Document Means for Gay People”: Me at OnFaith

doin' my thing: "Pope Will Marry a Gay Couple Tomorrow, Probably.” “Pope Just Basically Giving Up on Catholicism: ‘Fun While It Lasted,’ Pontiff Says.” “Synod Changes Absolutely Nothing, Unless It Helps Me Politically.”According to the headlines, either St. Peter’s has been demolished by a great gay earthquake, or the Synod of Bishops on the family is a tiny earthworm whose tiny earthworm-castings will be forgotten before All Souls’ Day. Of the making of tweets there is no end.In reality … [Read more...]

No Werewolf But the Class Werewolf: Short movie reviews

The Anniversary: Bette Davis as hell-matriarch in red eyepatch shaped like a teardrop. Swings wildly from ultracamp to the sort of thing you'll instantly recognize if you or a friend had a narcissistic parent. An example of my thing* about how "'Realism' only works for people whose worldviews are already accepted as realistic. The rest of us must make do with genre"--the parent's narcissism distorts the whole family's sense of what is real, so the most outrageous acts and statements seem … [Read more...]

Who Are You and What Do You Want?: I watch a play

at the Studio Theater, Cock, playing through June 22. It's by Mike Bartlett, the guy who did Contractions, and like Contractions it's a high-concept play with few characters and a lot of emotional intensity.The high concept is that John, having broken up with his long-term boyfriend for no real reason except his own itchy ambivalence, meets a woman and falls for her hard. But then the boyfriend takes him back, and suddenly he has to choose--and he can't, for almost two hours, he just can't … [Read more...]

People of Portland (OR)! Watch a Great Catholic Movie

and meet my friend Matt! This Saturday at 7 pm, Level Ground is screening Desire of the Everlasting Hills, which I gave a glowing review here. They're also showing Fried Green Tomatoes tonight if you're feeling nostalgic, and on Sunday, Kidnapped for Christ, which I missed at the main Level Ground festival because it was sold out. Don't make my mistake! Seriously, check this stuff out, you won't regret it. Matthew Franklin Jones will be on a panel after Desire. … [Read more...]

Goldfinch and Lyre Bird

I just re-read The Liar, Stephen Fry's 1991 debut novel, and it's still the funniest thing I've ever read. The antihero, Adrian Healey, careens through life plagiarizing, dissembling, cheating at cricket, and camouflaging his deepest emotions. He's terrified of getting caught (at what? at everything), and fears/hopes that the whole world is just a giant set-up to expose him.It's a heartbreaking book in its own way, scathing but poignant. Adrian's vulnerability comes through from the very … [Read more...]

From Carl Phillips, “Civilization”

...There's an art to everything. Even turning away. How eventually even hunger can become a space to live in. How they made out of shamelessness something beautiful, for as long as they could.(that's the end of the poem and the part I like, but the whole thing is here) … [Read more...]


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