Browsing: Dramatic Moments

May – June, 2007

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IN 1949, alerted by his friend William Burroughs that his name had appeared in compromising letters seized by police in a drug raid, a 21-year-old Allen Ginsberg worried where to secure his journals and manuscripts of poems lest authorities suddenly descend upon his own apartment and confiscate these records of his drug experimentation and of his inner conflicts over his homosexuality.

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Short reviews of Queer Youth in the Province of the “Severely Normal”, Talking to the Moon, and Mr. Ding’s Chicken Feet.

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BORN IN VIENNA, Austria, on July 31, 1932, to an official of the U.S. diplomatic corps and his wife, Barbara Gittings was a daughter dedicated to freedom. With passion, creativity, and relentless determination, she helped shape and lead one of the 20th century’s most significant struggles for social change, the gay and lesbian rights movement. Remarkably …

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Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco by Peter Shapiro Faber and Faber.  369 pages, $17. AN AUTHOR who promises the “secret” history of anything sets…More

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HE WAS NO ORDINARY JOE: during his short but meteoric career as the baddest queer of the postwar British stage, Joe Orton (1933–1967) was getting it both ways. A…More

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Erzulie’s Skirt by Ana-Maurine Lara RedBone Press.  242 pages, $15. SET IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, beginning some time after the dictator Trujillo came to power in1930, this book…More

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I first discovered the 1928 lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness when I was growing up in my academic parents’ house full of books. I became aware that this book had been banned in England, and I believed this was because the English legal system of the time still enforced Victorian morality, unlike the legal system in the U.S., where I was growing up “free.” I didn’t read the novel again until I was a fifty-year-old English instructor in Canada, looking for something new to say about it. I was amazed at how much the book seemed to have changed.

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DURING THE TWO DECADES between 1967 and 1987, dramatist, actor, and agent provocateur Charles Ludlam would rebelliously change theatre in America for the next generation. As the founder of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company and the author of 29 raucous and highly entertaining plays, Ludlam quite literally became the “belle of the ball” of the West Village countercultural theatre scene during this period.

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