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Bill Hoffman’s Mark on Artistic, Gay, and Jewish life

Bill Hoffman’s Mark on Artistic, Gay, and Jewish life

BY LAWRENCE D. MASS | William M. Hoffman, who died at age 78 on April 29, was an important and beloved figure in at least three communities: artistic, gay, and Jewish. In each, he left an indelible mark. A pioneer of the precious gems of gay street theater that came together in an anthology he […]

In Manhattan, Chicago, Two New Operas

In Manhattan, Chicago, Two New Operas

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Lyric Opera of Chicago’s creation, on December 7, of “Bel Canto,” a first opera by out gay Peruvian-born Jimmy López was a big deal. The work had been “curated” by Renée Fleming, creative consultant to the company, resulting, impressively, in a near sold-out run of nine performances. Television cameras filmed the sixth […]

Dorothy’s Dozen

Dorothy’s Dozen

BY DAVID NOH | Once upon a time, in the distant BR (Before RuPaul) era, real women ruled our hearts in gay dives. Barbra Streisand at the Lion, Bette Midler at the Continental Baths, Ellen Greene at Reno Sweeney made us swoon, cocktails in hand, with their big, actual voices, talent, and camp sensibilities. Carrying on the […]

Debbie and Marin

Debbie and Marin

BY DAVID NOH | Deborah Voigt, having survived weight gain, drastic loss, addiction, one marriage, a few toxic relationships, and the most recent, gargantuanly tricky Wagner Ring Cycle revival at the Met, is ready to take it easy now. She has a one-woman show, “Voigt Lessons,” coming up at the 92nd Street Y (February 26; 92y.org), […]

Blissful Survivor

Blissful Survivor

BY DAVID NOH | There are damn few singers today as purely exciting as Bettye LaVette, who has a new CD out, “Worthy,” and is about to wow the Upper East Side at the Café Carlyle, January 27 to February 7. Her sinuous, searingly involved huge talent aside, I became particularly enthralled with her after reading her […]

New Year’s Eve’s Last Waltz

New Year’s Eve’s Last Waltz

BY ELI JACOBSON | Franz Lehár in his 1905 operetta masterpiece “The Merry Widow” used the waltz as a metaphor for the push and pull of sexual attraction. Money and politics push the ex-lovers Hanna Glawari and Count Danilo apart but the strains of the waltz pull them together. Eventually politics and money capitulate before […]

Three Tenors

Three Tenors

  BY DAVID SHENGOLD | Tenors do not need to come in threes, but recent weeks have seen three major exponents of high-voiced repertory gracing local stages. One of these — the late-blooming Polish star Piotr Beczala — would be on anyone’s list of great operatic singers active today. The other two — Russell Thomas and […]

“Oscar” Moment

“Oscar” Moment

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | From the start we’ve all been very clear that this is not about Oscar as a gay martyr. It’s about Oscar being a great man — honest and brave — to whom awful things were done because he was gay. That’s a difference we’re all clear on.” I was speaking by phone with […]