Gay USA 12/17/14

SPECIAL GUEST THIS WEEK: two-time Academy Award winner, Lee Grant. New York State is opening Medicaid to transgender people who need gender reassignment surgery. The Boston St. Pat’s parade admits a gay group of veterans. The café manager who fought the hostage-taker in Sydney was a gay man. The mayor of Seoul, South Korea apologizes to protesting gay activists, but will he ban anti-LGBT discrimination? Andy reviews The Elephant Man and Samuel D. Hunter’s new play (see below for full reviews). BE A GAY SANTA FOR A HOMELESS LGBT YOUTH If you would like to help a homeless LGBT young person by fulfilling a holiday wish, contact Kate Barnhart at New Alternatives for homeless LGBT youth at To learn more about the program, go to ANDY’S THEATRE REVIEWS Bernard Pomerances’s THE ELEPHANT MAN won best play on Broadway in 1979 and awards for acting in a 2002 revival. Now it is back at the Booth Theatre with Bradley Cooper in the title role and Allessandro Rivola as the doctor who rescues Cooper’s John Merrick from a London freak show in the 1880s and Patricia Clarkson as the famous actress who befriends him. While the performances are solid, the pacing under Scott Ellis’ direction is not. The play has some engaging scenes, but it is not the revelation it once may have been. Kudos, though, to Bradley Cooper for taking on this demanding role and playing against type. Out gay playwright Samuel D. Hunter wowed us with THE WHALE about a 600-lb. gay man. His new offering, on the heels of his MacArthur “Genius” Award—POCATELLO at Playwright’s Horizon—is underwhelming. Set in a chain restaurant in the Idaho city of the title, it is packed with family conflicts, resentments and longings. But despite able performances by T.R. Knight (as the gay manager) and the rest of the company, this melodrama breaks no new ground. America is a soulless land with no sense of place? That happened to Pocatello ages ago and now it is happening to New York. How about a play that shows us the way out?

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