10. EVENT: Bark If You Love Bingo
Television's dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, will head up Bark If You Love Bingo Tuesday at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cesar Millan Foundation, the national nonprofit organization created by Millan, which aids and supports the rescue, rehabilitation, and placement of abused and abandoned dogs. Tickets available here.
9. THEATER: Women Center Stage Festival
This four-week event at New York City’s newly renamed Lynn Redgrave Theater spotlights women artists, especially their contributions to human rights and social justice. It promises ample LGBT content, including A Groundbreakers Playlist, with lesbians caught up in a video game–based romantic fantasy; scenes from Motherf*cker, a new work by Staceyann Chin; and a performance of Redgrave’s play Shakespeare for My Father, about her difficult relationship with her family patriarch — the distinguished actor and closeted gay man Sir Michael Redgrave. Opens Monday and runs through August 3.
8. MUSIC: Ciara, “I’m Out”
While Ciara’s choice of singles has stymied her success — that awful “Love, Sex, Magic” collaboration with Justin Timberlake comes to mind, and the fact that the thrilling “Keep Dancin’ on Me” was never released is a tragedy (blame her former record label, Jive) — the Southern songstress is consistently adventurous when it comes to the music she makes, and she makes a lot of it. On her fifth album, the self-titled Ciara, the Texas native features two collaborations with Nicki Minaj and one with her boyfriend, Future. The collection received a rave from The Guardian: “Ciara has quietly built up a formidable discography, and this eponymous set maintains the high quality.” Out Thursday; read our interview with Ciara here.
7. THEATER: Chance
Billed as “a musical play about love, risk, and getting it right,” this world premiere work by Richard Isen is inspired by quotes from Oscar Wilde. It’s the story of a gay psychologist in mid-life crisis, a handsome young hustler, and a glamorous, possibly imaginary woman who takes them on a mysterious journey. A production of the New Musical Theater of San Francisco at its home base, the Alcove Theater; performances begin tonight and continue through July 28.
6. EVENT: Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance
Harlem may be the next frontier for New York City's hipster class, but coolness has always emanated from this historic Manhattan neighborhood. Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance returns to San Francisco to celebrate the traditions of dissent, swank, and queer black aesthetics. Performances tonight and Saturday, and a film exhibition Sunday in Oakland. For more information visit QueerRebels.com.
5. DVD: CSI: NY — The Ninth Season
Yes, it's true, CSI: NY didn't always do the best job of presenting gay and trans characters without stereotypes, but after a meeting with GLAAD several years ago, the show improved immensely. And it's always been one of the few TV series with a lesbian executive producer (the very brilliant Ann Donahue). Which is why CSI: NY — The Ninth Season is a must-have DVD set. The series' last season, and one of few in which Sela Ward (a supporter of LGBT youth and GLSEN) was a costar, CSI:NY – The Ninth Season reunites the seriously sexy cast (Ward, Gary Sinise, Carmine Giovinazzo, and Eddie Cahill, among others) as a fascinating group of forensic investigators who use high-tech science to discover traces of evidence and solve crimes in the Big Apple. Cahill plays a hot cop; this year he was joined by Natalie Martinez as attractive butch detective Jamie Lovato, who we're sure is bisexual and just doesn't know it. In addition to all 17 action-packed episodes of the ninth season, the five-disc DVD set also offers some exclusive special features, including A Day Off With, a featurette in which the cast and co-executive producer Trey Callaway recount the popular episodes that showcased each character’s day off from the New York crime lab; The Clue, a featurette, in which the cast talks about one of the most popular episodes, where a serial killer chooses his victims based on the popular board game; and On Thin Ice, where hotties Cahill, Giovinazzo, and A.J. Buckley show off their ice hockey skills. Oh, and there are deleted scenes, a gag reel, and your usual fan faves.
4. MUSIC: DJ Russ Rich, Exclusive “G.I.R.L.” Pride Set Download
Spinning cutting-edge sets designed to take the dance floor’s happiness to a higher level, San Francisco’s DJ Russ Rich has quickly risen through the ranks to become one of the City by the Bay’s most sought-after beat masters. You can get a dose of this sound samurai's sexy sound each Friday on his weekly radio show, airing at 11 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. (both times Pacific) on Gay Internet Radio. You can download his latest high-energy set, featuring the sounds of Pride 2013, below. Previous mixes from the DJ can be downloaded via his SoundCloud page. You can follow him on Facebook for future downloads, news, and events.
3. DVD: Spring Breakers
If you missed Spring Breakers at the theater, now's the time to check out the film. which stars James Franco, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens, and a host of other hotties. The latest from Harmony Korine, the director of the provocative 1995 film Kids, is released Tuesday by Lionsgate on DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultraviolet. The gorgeously filmed crime thriller features breakout, buzzworthy, and all-grown-up performances by Disney alums Gomez and Hudgens, and Franco is brilliantly unforgettable. Of course, there are far more reasons to watch for LGBT viewers, especially the L and Bs. There are plenty of lesbian sex scenes, including one of extras that wasn't staged and a very memorable scene of Gomez and Benson (from Pretty Little Liars) going at it in a hot tub (see YouTube for several different slo-mo versions of the scene). There are tons of extras, including a behind-the-scenes three-part documentary. And if you can't get enough Franco after this? Catch him in Oz The Great and Powerful (now also available on Blu-ray combo pack).
2. MUSIC: Steve Grand, "All American Boy"
Everyone’s talking about Steve Grand — maybe, possibly the next out country star to follow in Drake Jensen's footsteps. He doesn’t have a manager or a label, but he has a song and a video, “All-American Boy,” that many are fond of. The storyline follows Steve’s character chasing after a guy who’s not into him (we never said it was believable). Check it out below.
1. DVD: Cruising
If you are one of the many headed to Outfest next week to see the brilliantly provocative gay film from James Franco and Travis Matthews, Interior. Leather Bar, which is supposed to be a re-creation of the 40 minutes of gay S/M footage that was rumored to be cut out of William Friedkin's 1980 film Cruising in order to avoid an X rating for the Al Pacino vehicle, it's time to watch the original. Now on DVD from Warner Archives on MOD (manufactured on demand) DVD, Cruising was a very controversial psycho-thriller in which Pacino is a naive rookie cop thrown into the "rough trade" scene to catch a serial killer. Director Friedkin has reportedly said that the 40 minutes that were cut to appease the MPAA censors (he went to the board 50 times to get the film approved) were graphic depictions of sexual activity, with Pacino's character observing and the hint that he was joining in. The DVD includes two featurettes, titled The History of Cruisin' and Exorcising Cruising, the latter of which is about the controversy the film provoked, as some activists criticized it at the time as a negative portrayal of gay life. Queer theorists have debated Cruising since it came out 33 years ago, with many modern LGBT pundits finding value in the film (which was widely supported by gay leather and BDSM enthusiasts, with many of them appearing as extras in the movie).