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  NIGHTSPOTS

Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2018-08-01

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"I was gender-confused. My parents just let me grow out of it. As I look back, I knew they were frustrated. I was that kid that ran around in a T-shirt and a rubber band around his waist with no shoes on his feet because all I had was boy shoes. ... I stole a pair of Mary Janes from a best friend of mine."—Brent Corrigan's confession about his colorful childhood

I just went to the opening of Head Over Heels on Broadway. This show features the music of The Go-Go's and the story of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia. Sir Philip was a contemporary of Shakespeare, and Arcadia is a royal romp regarding romantic relations, mistaken identities, gender disguises and sheep. All I kept thinking was, "Why not just use As You Like It?" Alas and alack, no one asked me. If you think squishing the darlings of the '80s into a pastoral period piece from the 16th century was easy, forget it. Many songs fit effortlessly. Some required a shoehorn ... and, possibly, a speculum. A bit more finessing of the script could have helped.

As is, it feels like a work in progress. I say amp the carnival atmosphere, be even more outrageous and go full-tilt camp. If we can accept mermaids singing backup on the Island of Lesbos during Vacation, why not have them waterskiing? Use the visual we already associate with the song. Things like that could help to balance the strong message of acceptance, equality, and choice. But even in its imperfect state, the show is still oodles of fun and features fabulous songs.

As for the cast, Rachel York delivers classical dialogue with authority and vocal range. Kudos to the delicious Andrew Durand as both a leading man and lady. I couldn't help but wonder if ye olde undergarment shoppe sold Lycra boxer briefs. Since he looks so good in them, I'm not complaining. You may remember Jeremy Kushnier leading the Broadway cast of Footloose 20 years ago. Now he's the bearded father figure—and still mighty dashing. And, of course, Peppermint not only made history as the first transgender person in a leading role on Broadway, she also got to intone something I'm sure Sir Philip never wrote: "Thou better workest!"

I had to cut my Go-Go's festivities short in order to dash to the midnight performance of The Boys in the Band, which was a benefit for The Actors Fund. Since everyone involved donated time, they raised quite a pretty penny. The capacity crowd was probably the best audience the cast ever had. There's something subversive about seeing The Boys in the Band at a midnight show with an audience primarily made up of gay theater folk. There was a feeling of camaraderie, warmth, solidarity—and that was even before the divine Charles Busch took the stage to thank us for what we were doing just by buying tickets and showing up. ( You're welcome. )

It is entirely possible one will never assemble as evenly talented a cast for this show ever again. There was no weak link. Those of you who follow my column, please take note of the statement I am about to make—it was almost impossible to take one's eyes off of Andrew Rannells. I found him positively riveting. Perhaps a tad too aggressive at times, but you know—BOLD choices. Throughout the performance, I wondered how it would be if Andrew and Matt Bomer switched roles. If you sit on the left side of the balcony ( or in the box ), you get the best view of Bomer's underwear and shower sequence. And at the end, you get a great view of Rannells and Tuc Watkins coupling—which was definitely worth the price of admission. Perhaps a brief bit of Bomer's briefs was captured for posterity, if not posterior. I suppose the only way to know for sure is to check out BillyMasters.com .

Brace yourself for another installment of Fayewatch. You'd think after back-to-back Oscar stints, Miss Dunaway would be ... well, done away with. But she's surfaced in a new Gucci campaign that perplexed one of my readers. "Is this an actual ad or an SNL skit?" Here's how Faye describes it: "The character is a busy, successful Hollywood mother who has a special relationship with her daughter, played by the lovely SoKo."

If a "special relationship" means treating her daughter as an employee, then she's right on the money. It kicks off with the two of them sitting in a limo while Faye autographs some photos—a la Mommie Dearest. She is then waited on by a coterie of staff at Gucci, while the girl is ignored. Then the duo walk through a park with the girl making sure Faye doesn't fall. Back home, Faye puts her Gucci Sylvie handbag on the table as the girl looks on enviously. They sit by the pool with Dunaway in an enormous hat. Then while wearing a baseball cap, Faye attempts to hit a tennis ball over the net! Next, the girl is playing the piano as Faye pretends to care. Finally, Faye gives the girl a purse—while wearing a turban! Then the two hug gingerly. I particularly enjoyed watching Faye in a variety of hats and turbans which seem to have the hair attached. The way she shuffles along makes her appear to be a shrunken oldster reminiscent of Grandma Yetta on The Nanny. You can see this masterpiece on BillyMasters.com .

Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Keith in Chicago. "Those nudes of Ryan Potter can't be real—can they?"

Once again, I had to look someone up. Ryan Potter is best known for a variety of kiddie roles and as the voice in several Disney video games—so I am not his demographic. However, in 2012 he was one of the youngest people to come out against Prop 8 in California and support same-sex marriage. More recently, he was cast of Teen Titans as Beast Boy. And since you asked, he has quite a beast below the waist, as you'll see on BillyMasters.com .

When Ryan's gonna need Titan condoms, it's definitely time to end yet another column. As always, be sure to check outBillyMasters.com—the site that knows where to find the boys and the booze. If you have a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Faye is cast in a reboot of The Nanny! So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.


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