Photo Courtesy of Nederlander / Pantages Theatre
Hit and miss. That's my relationship with Woody Allen's work; hit and miss. When he's funny, when he's on, either as an entertainer or a director, he's very, very on. On my list of favorites of...
How could I possibly have known that by the end of the trip I'd be talking to a transgender boxing promoter of international renown, a drag superstar whose documentary debuted to resounding acclaim and...
Talk about a tough audience: Thursday, Dec. 3rd NBC television's live production of The Wiz couldn't have fallen on more cynical eyes; mine. I'm a 53-year-old-musical-theatre-loving-gay man that grew up in Long Beach, CA. As a child I sat...
I've been trying to find something to compare the horror that I feel; some other life experiences people go through that tear their souls out, that rip their heart literally out of their chest so they simply...
All Photos courtesy of Sergerstrom Arts
The Depression was, well, depressing. That's why so much entertainment of the time, especially the full-blown productions of Busby Berkeley, were over-blown homages to wealth, prosperity, to hope and happiness and all things opposite the depressing times....
Millions out of work; homeless camps filling up in every town and those lucky enough to have a job barely getting by, always worried. Stratification everywhere, either you're a have, or a...
Karel (far right) and Eddie McGuinness (center) lead off a group of GLBT media figures from across the globe to begin The Outing in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, Ireland Photo: Failte Ireland
They say love can be found in the...
Some of the absolute biggest stars in Hollywood got to hear the latest Pacific Opera Project production, Fallstaff, in one of the most unique venues with the most sweeping views of Southern California. Now these stars, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Carol...
Kim Davis stands firmly in this American tradition of nonviolent protest against laws that appear to her -- and to many others -- to be unjust, because they violate the natural law about sexuality and marriage.
Is there no way to publicly accommodate...
I have found, most of the fighting goes on outside the ring in boxing. At least for the fighters, or the ones I know; ones like Abner Mares.
He's been fighting his entire life but not for some lofty title; like many boxers he's been fighting for his life his entire life, and the lives of those around him; his family, his friends, his community. And he also often has to fight stereotypes and stigmas, like those being raised by presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
"Donald Trump insulted me, my family, and my community, I take that very personally," this 29 year old athlete said as we settled in to very large movie-style recliners at his training gym. And I mean his. Mares, the entrepreneur, started Del Mares located in the impressive complex owned by both him and Del Records founder Angel Del Villar. I was overwhelmed by the world class training facilities, boxing ring, weight room, steam, sauna, everything a world class boxer could need nestled between recording studio and performance arena!
Why Bell Gardens, of all place? He could train any where in the world.
"Some boxers like to get away to focus on nothing but training. Let's face it, right now, I'm a science experiment," he laughed. "Everything I eat, drink, it's all measured, weighed, every calorie, every ounce of fluid, so that's taken care of by Luis (Garcia)," he added, Garcia sitting next to Mares with a salad that had writing on top about calories and such.
"So all I need to do is keep my head in the game and train hard, and I can't do that away from my family. I need the noise, I need the city, the people, my family and friends, without them, the days would seem wrong, so I stay here and train," he continued.
He's training for his next big fight, Premiere Boxing Champion's Saturday, August 29th Staples Center in Los Angeles match against Leo Santa Cruz. If you care about numbers, Mares is 29-1-1 with 15 KOs and Cruz is 30-0-1 with 17 KOs. Mares has won four of his last five fights but that doesn't matter.
"I always go in thinking about losing," he said. "So many people are counting on me, none more than myself. At the moment, when I'm in the ring, it's the only thing in the world, winning and losing. I'm ready, I'm focused, I can win," the determined young man emphatically stated.
But he wasn't always this focused. Trainer Mike Vital told me of a time when he would give Mares work as a teen just watching the gym, just to give him something to do. He became, like so many, a second son to Vital, who got Mares focused on the sport of boxing itself. He had a talent, and he could win.
CONTINUE: From Illegal Immigrant Child to Champion, How Does Mares Stays Grounded
Local Pharmacies Disappearing Partly Because of No Pay Co Pay; Is your Health at Risk?
"You have great insurance, at least for me," my pharmacist of 17 years, Paul Stephan of Care Rite in Long Beach, CA laughed. "I...
It wasn't just about the burrito. It wasn't just about the sauce, be it green or red, or anything else on the menu. It was, and will be, about remembering, about tradition; about a piece of the past shiny and new again.
It was Naugles, and it was open again...
It was a weekend of two very different shows in Los Angeles but one that served to remind attendees to both, young and old, that being Gay has a history, often painful, and a culture, yes, I...
"How To Be a Rock Critic" running through June 28th at Kirk Douglas Theatre Rehearsal Space Culver City
I'l never forget the email:
Hello, this is Ben Fong-Torres. Congratulations on your...
June 26th, 2015: Gay marriage ended -- suddenly, in a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, it became just marriage.
I remember arguing so publicly 11 years ago on CNN and every other news network. Let's revisit those arguments.
And now, that fight is over for good.
I remember its real beginnings. AIDS. I was there during the 1980s when a president wouldn't mention the word, and a world turned its back on the sick. I remember ambulances not taking patients, doctors not touching people, nurses turning away and ultimately, funeral homes refusing bodies. In the 20th century, no less.
And I remember families shutting out loved ones. Couples that had been together 20 years -- one would get sick and the other was locked out of the hospital room, and ultimately locked out of their own house by family who had claims. You see, no marriage, no claims to property, to visitation -- nothing. Suddenly, when one got sick, the other lost their life and often their belongings. And it was legal.
The only way to rectify that was marriage, period, end of story. And the fight began.
Now, in the age of barebacking and PrEP therapies, younger gay men don't remember the root of the struggle, how it came to a head, finally, in the 1980s with the advent of that terrible disease that still had no cure and no really effective, safe, long-term treatment.
We owe this day, those on the side of marriage equality, to the Republicans in more ways than one. First, there is the beautifully drafted 14th Amendment to the Constitution; one written at time of reconstruction, after slavery. It states:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
In other words, equal equals equal, and since marriage is contract law, you can't discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other reason. Period.
Five of the justices got that. The other four, not so much, but like dinosaurs, they are falling in the tar pit of the wrong side of history, screaming and flailing about as they go. But going they are.
In one week the court has said yes, you can keep your health care America. Then the people said that a 150 year old flag was, in fact, bigotry and hatred. And now, the court again has said that gay people can marry in all 50 states. Not a bad week for Americans.
Reaction all day has been tears, hugs from strangers, congratulatory remarks. Finally.
I will save the nay-saying about gays in other countries and the atrocities that still exists. I will spare the fact that ENDA, which guarantees I can't be fired for being gay, still isn't the law of all 50 states.
Because today it wasn't #LoveWins. Today #WeAllWon because that fabulous document and that great amendment did its job.
Justice Kennedy, bless you. May joy find you and may your family be blessed. Because today, you created so many families in one fell stroke.
To all of you out there that have fought, straight, gay, whatever, I love you. Thank you. Today you didn't slap us down or make us feel second class. Today, we are Americans, one and all.
Broadway Musical Director and Emcee Brad Ellis
In today's world music is almost always mentioned with the word streaming somewhere nearby; Apple's new streaming service, Spotify, Pandora, its' all something to be thumbed up or downed, choices made by algorithms based on listening...
"As long as there's ghettos in America, as long as there's inner cities in Philadelphia, every year, every month, every Olympian, every Golden Glove, there's always a possibility of a...