Monday, January 12: After years of internal struggle, it can be remarkably easy to forget that coming out can be just as arduous, and sometimes more so, for our parents. In his off-Broadway one-man show Mother/SON, Emmy-nominated writer and performer Jeffrey Solomon examines the dual-sidedness of the coming-out process. Through the endearing characters of Jewish housewife Mindy Levy and her gay son Brad, both of whom are played by Solomon, the actor offers unique insight into the art of coming out and strikes a balance of humor and sobriety along the way (see this clip). The performance hits its final New York City engagements tonight at Manhattans American Place Theater at 6:00 and 9:00 PM EST. If you miss it, get yourself to Los Angeles to catch the act at Celebration Theater on January 19 or 20 at 8:00 PM PST. Read more about the show and get tickets through Jeffrey Solomons website.
Tuesday, January 13: The (Hollywood) Hills are alive with the sound of music. At least they will be after weve gotten through the first delightfully harrowing rounds of the eighth season of American Idol, which premieres tonight. The producers promise some changes for this installment of the guilty-pleasure-laden franchise, but were hoping a completely coherent Paula Abdul wont be one of them. For a good laugh, check out (this clip,) which demonstrates the profound effect this phenomenon has on American youngsters as they react to last years finale. Tune in to FOX tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 PM EST to catch the two-day event.
Wednesday, January 14: Comedienne Caroline Reid, the creative genius behind campy 1960s air-hostess character Pam Ann, has a brief and highly anticipated layover in New York City starting tonight. A major sensation abroad -- particularly in her native Australia, where a new TV series is in production -- Pam Ann has generated a serious following among airline employees, enthusiasts, and, quite frankly, anyone familiar with the marvel of commercial flight. In Pam Ann: Come Fly with Me Pam delivers a hilariously crass critique of everything trolley dolly, from the tough issues facing modern-day air travel (cocaine-smuggling stewardesses) to the stereotypical inanities of every national flag carrier (see this clip). This is the type of turbulence folks actually line up for, so make your reservations now. Pam Ann hits Joes Pub tonight at 9:30 PM EST and remains in residence through Sunday (go here for additional times and tickets). Find more info on Pam Ann and her upcoming European destinations through her website, where lower fares may be available.
Thursday, January 15: Tonight in Los Angeles catch Kingsley Ironss Rupture, a modern dance performance that explores a fragile and brutal female world, questioning our perceptions of tradition, history, and power (picture women in bird cages sharing the stage with paper figurines). Irons, known for her dark, visceral storytelling, makes no exception with Rupture, which combines intricate physical movement with text, and then layers a haunting musical score on top. Her inspirations include Kara Walker, the contemporary visual artist who grapples with gender and sexuality, as well as French philosopher Michel Foucault. For information and tickets, visit the Kingsley Irons website.
Friday, January 16: Theres no mistaking the sound of NYC-based lesbian electric folk musician Bitch, who performs with her band The Exciting Conclusion at Housing Works Bookstore Caf in Manhattan tonight. Equally comfortable on the electric violin, bass, keyboard, and ukelele, Bitch, who appeared in John Cameron Mitchells film Shortbus, is known for her invigorating and boundary-pushing live performances (and gritty vocals), which feature more than a dose of feminism (check out this live performance of the song Red Roof). Shes performed with the Indigo Girls and more recently toured with Out favorite Girl in a Coma. Purchase tickets for tonights 7:00 PM EST show through the Housing Works Caf website.
Saturday, January 17: Youre running out of time to catch one of the hottest tickets at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The contemporary collection Hard Targets -- Masculinity and Sport includes the work of six photographers, all of whom challenge the traditional archetype of the male athlete, which, as the show posits, weve come to assume as aggressive, hyper-heterosexualized, and emotionally unavailable. Taken together, the works of Mark Bradford, Harun Farocki, Brian Jungen, Shaun Leonardo, Collier Schorr, and Joe Sola reveal a new and fascinating context through which to view athletes and sport. Some of the photographs may literally take the wind out of you (see above). Tickets and information are available directly through LACMA.
Sunday, January 18: The fashion world suffered a tremendous loss last year with the death of French fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent. The designer's collections were as diverse as his astounding life experiences. In addition to directing the House of Dior at the tender age of 21, he served in the French military during the Algerian War of Independence. (The psychological impact from severe harassment by fellow officers led to a subsequent and damaging institutionalization.) A retrospective exhibit currently showing at San Franciscos de Young Museum contains nearly 130 of his accessorized garments, accompanied by elaborate sketches unveiling the designs that made Yves Saint Laurent famous. For tickets and details on the exhibits only viewing in the United States, visit the de Young Museums website.