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Monday, July 20, 2009

Thing 55: Fringe, Revisited

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Fringe makes DC a better place to live and visit.

My Fabulous Sex Life makes Fringe a better festival.

Yes, we are in the last throws of the Capital Fringe Festival but there is still time to see some excellent theater, and I'd like to recommend that you see the final performance of My Fabulous Sex Life, starring Brent Stansell. If you can beg, borrow or steal a ticket to the sold out show.

Full disclosure: Brent Stansell, whose fabulous sex life is center stage, is a very dear friend of mine. We've known each other nine years, and God help me but I was actually witness to one of the stories he tells during the performance. But I'm fairly certain that my relationship to Brent is not clouding my judgement that this show is brave, funny, well-paced, and at times heart-breakingly poignant. Which are all the elements of a proper Fringe show.

Brent spends the evening revealing the most intimate details of his fabulous (and sometimes not fabulous) sex life. Guided through the show by slides that set the scene or announce the theme, Brent tells us about the sex parties, glory holes, online sites and forgettable encounters he's had in the pursuit of sexual gratification and connection. Sometimes those two pursuits overlap, and sometimes they decidedly don't, but Brent soldiers forward, stripping away the stigma that comes with sex for sex' sake, but also exposing his own vulnerabilities and loneliness.

I'm so very proud of you Brent, for being so brave.

I'll also put out another recommendation for It's Not Easy Being Green, starring another dear friend of mine, Ms. Mary C. Davis.

But even if you assume I am biased and untrustworthy, I do hope that you go out and see something before Fringe closes. There are too many wonderful, unexpected and exciting shows going on not to.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Screen on the Green: The Complete Schedule

Sorry I've disappeared for a bit (getting engaged is incredibly hard work, as it turns out!), but I had to let you all know the latest Screen on the Green news. Ladies and gentleman, for your summer viewing pleasure, I present to you the complete Screen on the Green schedule:

July 20th: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Sony/Columbia)

Watch the skies! Richard Dreyfuss embarks on an obsessive quest for answers after witnessing a low-flying UFO. Legendary French director Francois Truffaut plays a scientist seeking communication with the (friendly?) aliens. Stephen Spielberg takes us from Mexico to Mongolia, from India to Indiana to show that we earthlings are not alone. The majestic musical score was Oscar-nominated, but double nominee John Williams lost to himself for “Star Wars.” Pre CGI, “Encounters” is movie magic of the first kind. 132 Min. (1977)

July 27th: Dog Day Afternoon (Warner Bros.)
Sonny (Al Pacino) sets out to rob a Brooklyn bank to pay for his boyfriend’s sex change operation. The job doesn’t go as planned. Based on a true-life story, the screenplay won an Oscar and a Writer’s Guild award though reportedly much was improvised. No matter, “Dog” is great stuff. Director Sidney Lumet gets the New York flavor just right and Pacino is simply stupendous. Memorable support comes from Chris Sarandon and the late John Cazale. All together now…”At-ti-ca! At-ti-ca!” 125 Min. (1975)
August 3rd: On the Waterfront (Sony/Columbia)
Powerful, man-vs-union-racketeers drama set on the New Jersey docks remains a contenda. Winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (Elia Kazan). Marlon Brando was named Best Actor after being shut out the 3 previous years. Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden and Rod Steiger were all nominated for Best Supporting Actor. All lost. A very pregnant Eva Marie Saint, however, picked up an Oscar for her effort. 108 Min. (1954)
August 10th: Rebel Without A Cause (Warner Bros.)
Landmark tale of teen angst is still disturbing today. Natalie Wood and James Dean star as the tragic lovers, while Sal Mineo provides sensitive support as the outcast, Plato. Direction by Nicholas Ray takes full advantage of the wide screen canvas. 111 Min. (1955)
All films begin at sunset and are located on the Mall between 4th and 7th St. Metro: L'Enfant Plaza or Archives. Getting your dancing shoes on, and your picnic spreads ready.

Related: Thing 58: Screen on the Green, Save Screen on the Green, Top 10 DC Things To Do Summer 2009