Bellini & Joan Rivets
Photo by Raul Da Silva
For those who survived Pride, there are still lots of fun things to keep us amused this summer. Like Apprentice to Murder, at the former Limelight Dinner Theatre. Now rebranded the Mysteriously Yours . . . Mystery Dinner Theatre, the evening kicks off with a delicious meal consisting of Waldorf salad and boneless beef short ribs served with mushroom demi-glace. Then, during dessert, actors dressed like Donald Trump, Gary Busey, Regis Philbin and Lady Gaga roam from table to table, providing “clues” that will come in handy later. Gaga even does a few songs. At the end of the night, everyone fills out a ballot declaring who they think killed an intoxicated Lindsay Lohan.
The whole thing is fairly hammy, but the actors perform on the floor and between the tables, so it’s rather fascinating. I didn’t guess right. I was too busy eating and drinking to care who killed who. However, if you’re getting tired of looking at the same guys at Woody’s every weekend, this would be a real change of pace. At the very least, you can always get your picture taken with the Joan Rivers look-alike, Joan Rivets.
Now, most people have heard of The Celluloid Closet, which is both an examination of Hollywood’s hidden history of homosexuality and a powerful indictment of the fact that most queer characters in post-WWII cinema succumbed to either murder or suicide. Film historian and gay activist Vito Russo wrote the book in 1981, then toured film societies and campuses with a clip reel consisting of 30 or 40 gay death scenes from various Hollywood movies. This horrid realization, that gays were being wished dead over and over again in the movies, went a long way to exposing long-entrenched homophobia. In a way, you have to thank Vito Russo for making queer cinema possible. I would kill to know what he would have thought of Brüno, or Hedwig, or Hustler White.
Russo died of AIDS in 1990, at the age of 44, but he has not been forgotten. First, HBO produced a documentary version of The Celluloid Closet in 1995. Now, Jeffrey Schwarz has produced Vito, a documentary that screens on HBO in July and gets a Canadian theatrical release in August. Russo was a founding member of the Gay Activists Alliance back in 1969. They would organize events like a big gay wedding on the steps of New York City Hall, and they always made the nightly news. He was lucky in that he had no shame about being gay and had a supportive family. “He envisioned a world where people could be out,” says Schwarz, whose previous documentaries were about 1950s horror schlockmeister William Castle and porn legend Jack Wrangler and whose next project is a documentary about Divine. “My films are love letters,” he says. And I love watching them.
Finally, if all you want to do is jerk off, there’s PV Locker. A simple but awesome innovation, PV Locker allows you to store porno clips in a cloud, and then access them anytime you want through your computer or personal device. Imagine being able to sit in some horrid TTC vehicle and while away the interminable ride by watching hot gay porn. It’s the brainchild of the guys behind Male Spectrum, whose websites include my former employer His First Huge Cock. With PV Locker, you can download episodes that feature not just hot guys from Florida or Eastern Bloc countries, but from Toronto and Montreal as well. Some clips feature sexy Woody’s bartenders, Xtra columnists, Priape models and even me — not nude, mind you — interviewing the little pornstars before they start fucking. It’s so cute. I just love my PV Locker, but honey, with all those clouds filling up in the skies, let’s hope it doesn’t rain gay porn. This summer is weird enough already.