Monday, November 10: After nearly two years of coast-to-coast campaigning that blurred the lines between politics and pop culture, Americans headed to last weeks polls in record numbers. We showed that, as a nation, we have reached a turning point in racial acceptance. At the same time, state-level backtracks on gay rights (specifically gay marriage) show that bigotry and hypocrisy still dominate parts of our culture. Radical Acts, a new book by gay rights activist, historian, and playwright Martin Duberman, examines the underpinnings of both racism and homophobia in America through four politically charged plays. Get more info on the book and order it here.
Tuesday, November 11: The closest we came in summer 2008 to an inescapable anthem was Estelle's transatlantic scorcher American Boy. If you missed the British crossover sensation (above) this past weekend at the World Music Awards in Monaco, you can get caught up at the official site, featuring photos and videos of her, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, and the ridiculously hot host Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives). While were on the topic of music, two releases out today should be scooped up for your collection: First, the The Sound of the Smiths compilation album which, under the watchful eye of legendary front man Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, traces the impressive evolution of the Smiths aural aesthetic over their short tenure together. On the other end of the gay spectrum, Andrew Lloyd Webber muse and diva extraordinaire Sarah Brightman drops her new Christmas album, A Winter Symphony.
Wednesday, November 12: Pack your knives, head to the sofa, and gather around with your favorite fellow gourmands to catch season five of the cutthroat culinary competition Top Chef (at 10:00 PM EST on Bravo). This season, seventeen new contestants hit the Big Apple to take part in some serious food fights and vie for the number one spot. At the judges' table will be the incomparably gorgeous Padma Lakshmi, culinary guru and restaurateur Tom Colicchio, Food & Wine editor Gail Simmons, and new addition Toby Young, food critic and author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.
Thursday, November 13: Have you ever woken up wondering, What the hell am I doing? or Whos that guy? If so, you may have rapid eye movement disorder (and probably a wicked hangover, we imagine). Either way, youll relate to comedian Mike Birbiglias theatrical debut, Sleepwalk with Me, co-produced by Nathan Lane.The Comedy Central vets show takes a look at alarming yet hilarious situations caused by the comics chronic sleep condition. Mikes outlandish prescription for the problem: a toe-to-chestzipped sleeping bag and special mittens to prevent crazy antics. The show begins at 8:00 PM EST at New York City's Bleecker Street Theater.
Friday, November 14: Ian Flemings notoriously dashing secret agent takes center stage in Quantum of Solace (above), the 22nd installment of the James Bond franchise, which hits U.S. theaters tonight. It is heartthrob Daniel Craigs second time in the leading role, though this flick finds our protagonist in a much more cantankerous state than years past. Quantum may offer less bedroom action than its predecessors, but the newest Bond babe Olga Kurylenko and Dame Judi Dench make up for whats missing in the boudoir. Following the footsteps of Shirley Bassey, Carly Simon, and Shirley Manson, Alicia Keys and Jack White (of the White Stripes) lay Another Way to Die, the film's catchy theme song. Another far more important must-see event tonight is the annual Out 100 Party, Out's celebration of the 100 queer movers and shakers who made 2008 an unforgettable year. Keep one finger on the Out 100 blog starting at 8 PM EST to catch live, behind-the-scenes updates from the star-studded event, hosted by Chelsea Handler.
Saturday, November 15: For the first time since the original movie was released in 1970, The Boys in the Band (above) is officially out on DVD. The gay comedy, set on New Yorks Upper East Side in the 1960s, centers around a soiree thrown by Michael, a recovering Roman Catholic and soon-to-relapse alcoholic. Included among the party guests are a suspected closet case and a hustler. We all know the opening number, Anything Goes (performed by Cole Porter and Harpers Bizarre). And, in this campy classic, it certainly does.
Sunday, November 16: Tonight bisexual singer-pianist Amanda Palmer, who makes up one half of the Dresden Dolls, plays Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. Palmers latest album, the fiery, alt-cabaretsoaked Who Killed Amanda Palmer, dropped in September and was co-produced by Ben Folds. Check out her video Runs in the Family and get tickets early for the Atlanta show, which starts at 8:00 PM EST.