Mascara, Mirth & Mayhem: Mascara, Mirth & Mayhem is a 148-page collection of photographs taken by photographer Susan Kravitz over the past three decades at the annual LGBTQ event known as the Invasion of the Pines. ( Invasion of the Pines occurs every Fourth of July, and involves participants from the Fire Island communities of Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines. ) Fittingly, it came out July 4. See MascaraMirthMayhem.com .
I'm Dying Up Here: Actors/comedians Stephen Guarino ( The Big Gay Sketch Show ) and Judy Gold are part of the cool ensemble in this Showtime dramedy that's set in a 1970s comedy club. Oscar winner Melissa Leo plays the club's owner, Goldie. However, be warned: Some of the jokes here are really edgy and blue.
Fabio's 30-Minute Italian: No, it's not the lion-maned romance-book cover model, but chef Fabio Viviani, the former Top Chef contestant who owns Chicago restaurant Siena Tavern. The cookbook tantalizingly covers starters, salads/sides, soups, pasta, pasta, entrees and dessertsand if fixing the fennel-crusted salmon with creamy polenta doesn't put you back in your significant other's good graces, nothing will.
Seven Lions' Gauguin specials: In conjunction with the Art Institute's "Paul Gauguin Artist as Alchemist" exhibit, Alpana Singh restaurant Seven Lions ( located across the street from the museum ) has launched Gauguin- and Polynesian-related items such as the Noa Noa Cocktail ( with Tahitian vanilla vodka and ginger liqueur ) and the Gauguin Cheeseburgera tower of beef, pork belly, pineapple, country pate, Polynesian cole slaw and crispy plantains.
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: This book is subtitled "Tales of 6'4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian"but that doesn't begin to touch upon the adventures and musings of this Chicagoan-turned Angeleno.
By Andrew Davis
( Andrew@WindyCityMediaGroup.com and @azygous60610 )