Since there are so many groovy plays, musicals, concerts and events, this is my monthly list to help promote a few of them (click on a title for more information or to purchase tickets):
1) Robert Rodi Trio's The Sound of Music, Man
July 5 at Davenport's Piano Bar in Chicago
The hills are alive with the sound of bossa, samba, scat and swing in this jazz and Beat-poetry retelling of Rodgers & Hammerstein's 1959 masterpiece, featuring the entire classic score as you've never heard it before. Mr. Rodi is also the author of many gay novels, including Fag Hag, Closet Case, Drag Queen and Kept Boy.
2) The New York Musical Theatre Festival
July 8 - 28
The largest annual musical theatre event in the world, the Festival presents 30 productions each summer in the heart of New York City's Theatre District, along with an array of readings, concerts and other special events. This year's lineup includes:
Boys Will Be Boys, Joe Miloscia and Kenneth Kacmar's comic musical romp about a young man who suffers from Gay-D.D., a condition that renders gay men unable to stay focused on any trend for more than a few weeks.
Homo: The Musical, Lola Rock-N-Rolla and Gina Volpe's offbeat and otherworldly probing of pure camp, cult and pop about an alien from Planet Homo posing as a suburban housewife.
Julian Po, Andrew Barrett and Ira Antelis' darkly humorous modern day myth about a man who finds himself stuck in a strange town will feature Malcolm Gets, Chad Kimball and Luba Mason.
Legacy Falls, James Burn and Ian Poitier's side-splitting new musical that dishes the dirt on daytime soaps will feature Kevin Spirtas (Days of our Lives).
3) FIRST DATE
Broadway previews begin July 9. Opens August 4 at the Longacre Theatre.
This new musical comedy is about the most dangerous human endeavor in existence, the dreaded blind date. With music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, the production stars Zachary Levi (TV's Chuck, Thor: The Dark World), who will make his Broadway debut opposite Krysta Rodriguez (TV's Smash, The Addams Family).
4) Encores! Off-Center: The Cradle Will Rock, Violet and I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road
NYC's City Center
This new musical theater series features seminal Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today's most innovative artists, including:
The Cradle Will Rock (July 10-13), Marc Blitzstein’s 1937 musical will star Danny Burstein, Raúl Esparza, Peter Friedman, Judy Kuhn and Anika Noni Rose (use Promo Code "MENCRADLE" to receive a special Boys Night offer of $59 seats on July 11 from TheMenEvent.com).
Violet (July 17), Jeanine Tesori's 1997 musical will star Sutton Foster and Christopher Sieber.
I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road (July 24-27), Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford's 1978 musical will star Renée Elise Goldsberry (use Promo Code "MENACT" to receive a special Boys Night offer of $59 seats on July 25 from TheMenEvent.com).
5) An Evening with Molly Ringwald
July 11 - 13 at The Starlight Room in San Francisco's Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Society Cabaret presents actress Molly Ringwald and her jazz trio as they perform songs from her debut album, Except Sometimes, in this intimate and elegant 80-seat venue.
6) Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival
July 11 - 21
This film festival features some groovy new LGBT films, including C.O.G. (this first feature based on the writings of author David Sedaris stars Glee's Jonathan Groff), I Am Divine (Jeffrey Schwartz's documentary about legendary cult star Divine), Interior. Leather Bar. (James Franco and Travis Mathews' steamy documentary film-within-a-film about gay sex and masculinity), Southern Baptist Sissies (Sordid Lives director/writer Del Shores returns to the screen with this adaptation of his play starring Willam Belli, Leslie Jordan and Ann Walker), G.B.F. (featuring Will & Grace's Megan Mullally) and many others.
7) Screenings: Musicals on Television
July 13 & 14 at NYC's Paley Center for Media
As part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, the Paley Center offers screenings of:
Little Women (1958): This television musical based on the classic novel features original songs by Broadway composer and lyricist Richard Adler (The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees) and stars Florence Henderson, Jeannie Carson, Zina Bethune, Margaret O’Brien, Bill Hayes and Joel Grey.
Damn Yankees (1967): This television adaptation of the Tony-winning 1955 Broadway hit stars Phil Silvers, Lee Remick, Jerry Lanning, Jim Backus, Fran Allison, Linda Lavin and Bob Dishy.
Kiss Me, Kate (1968): This lavish television special of the Cole Porter classic stars Robert Goulet, Carol Lawrence, Jessica Walter and Michael Callan.
Our Town (1955): This musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s landmark play stars Frank Sinatra, Eva Marie Saint, Paul Newman and Shelley Fabares.
8) Up Close and Personal with Matthew Morrison
July 13 - 17 at NYC's 54 Below
Following his recent sold-out engagement at 54 Below, the Emmy and Tony-nominated star returns to celebrate the release of his brand new studio album, Where It All Began.
9) Patti LuPone's Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda… played that part
July 18 - 27 at NYC's 54 Below
Join the two-time Tony winner for a rare NY performance of her critically acclaimed show, featuring songs from roles she coulda played, woulda played, if someone had just asked her or shoulda played (except she’s not a boy). Patti will sing treasures from such classic Broadway musicals as Hair, Bye Bye Birdie, Funny Girl, West Side Story, Kiss Me Kate and Peter Pan.
10) Chicago The Musical at the Hollywood Bowl
July 26 - 28
Actress Brooke Shields directs this production of the long-running Broadway musical, featuring Stephen Moyer (HBO's True Blood) as Billy Flynn, Samantha Barks (Les Misérables) as Velma Kelly, Drew Carey as Amos Hart, and Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) as Mama Morton. Casting for the lead role of Roxie Hart has not been announced yet.