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Cabaret Review: Tovah Feldshuh

Smart, skillful shtick and schmaltz in service of sharp storytelling. Tovah Feldshuh’s current cabaret act at Feinstein’s / 54 Below, entitled “Aging Is Optional,” pulls together a diverse set of songs and character bits in service of the theme of staying young throughout your life. For starters, she gives an emotional account of Dar Williams’s “When I Was A Boy,” suggesting that few things age you prematurely more than too-rigid gender roles. Feldshuh’s sweet spot is a rich mix of deeply felt sentiment and willfully zany shtick. Previous acts of Tovah’s have felt a little random in the way they mix these two modes, but “Aging Is Optional” is a well-oiled machine, truly sophisticated in the way it approaches its subject...

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Cabaret Review: John Pizzarelli

This is “too marvelous for words”: John Pizzarelli, top exponent of cabaret’s jazzier side, plays a show composed only of songs written by Johnny Mercer, arguably the greatest lyricist of the Great American Songbook. And, as always, he does it with astonishing elan and profound musical intelligence. John’s guitar style is amazingly fluid and elegant, with nonpareil mastery of a technique called “guitar harmonics” that produces high notes of extraordinary expressiveness. For Mercer’s “Skylark” he plays an entire melodic line in harmonics, which is not only very unusual (and I’m guessing difficult), but very beautiful and quite evocative of birdsong. Pizzarelli is also a great interpretive artist in more ways than one. He has a particular genius for chordal improvisations, finding hidden musical...

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Theatre Review: “War Paint”

Some of Broadway’s most solid craftsmen worked on War Paint, and it shows. Most of the creative team previously worked on Grey Gardens, and while this isn’t up to the caliber of that show, it’s still pretty darn good. War Paint follows the decades-long rivalry of cosmetics pioneers Elizabeth Arden (Christine Ebersole) and Helena Rubinstein (Patti LuPone), who between them defined beauty standards for the first half of the 20th Century. The score by composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie evokes all kinds of music from the 1930s through the 1960s, with generous doses of big band-style swing. Doug Wright’s book, together with Korie’s lyrics, uses the fierce competition between these two female titans of industry to examine their...

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Cabaret Review: John O’Hurley

This man has a finely tuned sense of the absurd, but he’s also capable of sincerity so complete that it’s almost embarrassing. Best known as J. Peterman on the NBC sitcom Seinfeld and as a champion on Dancing with the Stars, the early decades of O’Hurley’s career saw him as a fixture of daytime TV soap operas. More recently, he has spent a lot of time playing Billy Flynn in Broadway’s Chicago. Frankly, I think he’d be a revelation in something by Samuel Beckett, but maybe that’s just me. His current club act at the Café Carlyle is called “A Man with Standards” a reference both to growing up in a more sentimental time, and to the Great American Songbook...

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You won’t believe the “similar images” listed with this stock photo

Here we have a simple Shutterstock image — two stubbly men, lips ready to lock in a wholly unconvincing, totally dispassionate stock-photo kiss. Related: 8 Ridiculous Sexy Male Bunny Stock Photos Nothing out of the ordinary there. We found the image searching for “two men kissing,” because we are very romantic. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display("div-gpt-ad-queerty_article_inline_unit_1"); }); Nevertheless, we’re pretty confused regarding the “Similar Images” lumped in with the photograph. Take a look and tell us what it’s all about:  Color palette aside, any theories? Sound off in the comments below.

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Bette Davis who? Jessica Lange’s real-life feud is all too real.

“I feud in my head with people. Like now I’m carrying on a feud with Kellyanne Conway — in my head. I mean the thing is, really, if you got a script as an actor, and that script came to you and they preface it by saying, ‘You’ve been offered this part.’ Your agent calls — ‘You’ve been offered this part.’ One of the most important women in the government right, you know, she’s a council to the president, she’s a spokesperson. And then you pick up the script and read it and think, ‘They’ve got to be kidding.’ You’ve got a scene where you talk about ‘alternative facts? You’ve got...

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Opera Review: “Idomeneo”

The first of Mozart’s operas written entirely during his adulthood, Idomeneo is a nod to an older, now unfairly ignored, operatic form, opera seria, that was undergoing intense reform at the time (1781). But it also includes innovations that point towards later Romanticism, a style that forms the core of the operatic standard repertoire as we know it today. It connects what was glorious about both ages of opera, and is a great musical glory itself. The gorgeous treatment it is currently being given at the Met under conductor James Levine’s still powerful baton – as well as the always-magnificent Met Chorus under Donald Palumbo – is a must-hear. Is it a must-see? Well, the production by the late director Jean...

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Lawmaker “shocked” when he goes to bathhouse and sees men having sex

A Democratic city councilman from Louisville, KY wants to shut down a private “spa” that caters to gay clientele because he’s not convinced it’s a real “spa.” At least, not the kind of “spa” he’s familiar with. Councilman David James tells WHAS-TV he has a sneaking suspicion Vapor Spa isn’t a “private all male health spa” as its website claims, but rather an underground harem for unsafe sex practices between men that poses a genuine threat to public health. How very San Francisco circa 1984 of him. The spa is located inside a 450,00-square-foot business development. James claims a CDC study found approximately 20% of Louisville’s gay men who have contracted STDs also visited the establishment...

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CD Review: “It’s About Time” – Karen Mason

Broadway and cabaret star Karen Mason isn’t kidding around with her new CD It’s About Time! More than 50 percent of the songs on the album are showstoppers – including “Fifty Percent” itself, with composer Billy Goldenberg on the piano. Several are drawn from the greatest hits of Judy Garland, one of the most showstopping performers of all time. Mason sticks closer to the melody of these songs than many contemporary Broadway performers. However, the aim here seems to be less about creating definitive versions, and more about showing how gifted Mason is at knocking these big numbers out of the ballpark. Her big, expressive voice is one of Broadway’s most under-utilized treasures, and this CD puts it on more impressive display than ever...

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WATCH: Tom Hardy bends his stunt double over and lets him have it

The spoon prank is almost as good as that water bottle/coin prank, but unfortunately nobody ends up soaking wet at the end. Still, we can imagine this situation was incredibly perplexing for Tom Hardy’s stunt double. On the set of Tom’s FX show Taboo, the star used some downtime to show off his mighty strength. Related: Two Hunky Brits Share A Kiss Before Doing The Dumbest Thing You Will Ever See As you can see in the below video (and as is usually the case in life), the whole thing was rigged from the get-go. Rigged! Watch below, then pick your most gullible friend and have at it:

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Opera Review: “I Puritani”

Let us now praise Pretty Yende! No, it wasn’t her Met debut, nor is she an unknown quality in the opera world – it’s more like she’s a steadily rising young star. However, she’s not the established performer that Diana Damrau is, so the fact that she truly crushed it when taking over for the ill Damrau as Elvira in Bellini’s I Puritani stands as a truly news-worthy event. Now, I’ll admit that I hadn’t taken an active interest in 21st Century opera performers until I started covering opera in this blog a few years back. For almost all of the ’00s, I’d take note of a new opera by the likes of Glass, Adès, Dusapin or...

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