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The Gay Agenda


Monday, January 19: Acclaimed gay novelist David Leavitt reads a selection of his works at Manhattans 92nd Street Y this evening. While many of his titles tackle gay themes, Leavitts first and arguably most famous novel, The Lost Language of Cranes, examines not only the complexity of the traditional coming-out process, but the additional emotional toll that unfolds as the protagonists father begins to grapple with his own sexual identity. Leavitt is joined by British historical novelist Barry Unsworth, whose works have been shortlisted for The Booker Prize on numerous occasions. Tonights reading is at 8:00 PM EST, with tickets available directly through the 92nd Street Y.

Tuesday, January 20: At long last, all of Mariah Careys chart-topping ballads are available on one CD, aptly titled Mariah Carey: The Ballads. The other major event you may have heard about is the Inauguration of the 44th President of The United States of America, Barack Obama. In addition to picking up some classic Mariah, here are two other ways to celebrate through song: First, Mercury Prizewinning troupe Antony & The Johnsons (whose 2005 album I Am a Bird Now snagged the number 10 spot on Out's recent list of The 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums of All Time) release their latest album The Crying Light today (see the video for Another World), a gorgeous collection of songs inspired by life, death, and nature. Meanwhile, Olivia Newton-John is just one of the celebs from Down Under who will perform with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at New York City's Carnegie Hall in Australia Plays Broadway at 8:00 PM EST. Get details and tickets here.

Wednesday, January 21: The survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are back. The fifth season of Lost (which boasts an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series) premieres tonight at 8:00 PM EST on ABC. Were all still trying to figure out exactly what the hell is going on. Are the survivors in purgatory? Part of a really messed-up (extraterrestrial?) social experiment? Theories have been tossed up, shot down, and reincarnated with a vengeance. Or maybe youre just trying to catch a cheap-thrill glimpse of scantily clad Jack (Matthew Fox) or Sawyer (Josh Holloway). We wont judge, but do prepare yourself for the long haul: Tonights extravaganza is three hours long, kicking off with a one-hour recap, followed by two full episodes. Heres the official trailer.)

Thursday, January 22: Pin-up model, silver-screen actress, author, and convicted felon with romantic connections to The Mobwhat more could a girl ask for in one lifetime? Quite a lot, actually, if youre talking about Liz Renay, the virtual queen of reinvention (the bulk of her artwork and first book came to light while she was sitting in a federal prison cell). Renay -- rumored to have romped around with Marlon Brando, Joe DiMaggio, Cary Grant, and Regis Philbin -- died two years ago at the age of 80 (heres Liz candidly discussing some of her celebrity trysts), but her spirit lives on in How to Attract Men: The Art of Liz Renay, a retrospective exhibit of paintings, collages, costumes, and artifacts, all on display at Manhattans Deitch Projects. For more information and tickets head to the gallerys site.

Friday, January 23: For some lighter fare (no deep psychoanalysis necessary), head to Seattle to catch Out 100 honoree Katy Perry as she kicks off her first world tour (hitting 50 cities between now and May). Riding on the heels of her debut album, One of the Boys, the Santa Barbara, Calif.born pastor's daughter plays the Emerald Citys Showbox at the Market at 7:00 PM PST (for tickets to this and other tour dates, go to Ticketmaster). And just in case you've been under a rock the last several months, here is Perry's 2008 summer anthem I Kissed a Girl.S

Saturday, January 24: If youve driven down L.A.'s Fairfax Avenue over the past few months, youve probably noticed some striking portraits adorning the exterior of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) promoting the exhibit Vanity Fair Portraits: 1913-2008. The arresting display of photography blends rare vintage and contemporary prints as they appeared in the flagship publication of the Cond Nast empire. Featuring works from Annie Leibovitz and Bruce Weber, the collection explores the intersection of photography and celebrity -- and how both have evolved over the past 95 years (see the gorgeous portrait of Rob Lowe, above). L.A. is the exclusive U.S. stop for the traveling exhibit, co-sponsored by Burberry, so head here to reserve tickets.

Sunday, January 25: The staged soap opera phenomenon Room for Cream, which followed a cast of big-hearted lesbian characters through a fictitious coffee shop in the Berkshires, hits the stage for a reprise of its 11 episodes. The off-off-Broadway show that premiered to rave reviews last year is reincarnated for an accelerated run, entitled Room for Cream: The Box Set, in which the series episodes will be remounted at La Mama E.T.C. in New York City's East Village over three weekends, with two episodes performed each night (four episodes in total each weekend). For a detailed schedule and tickets (or a season pass), visit La Mama E.T.C.'s site.

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Joseph Hassan