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Queery: Chris Dinolfo

Chris Dinolfo, gay news, Washington Blade

Chris Dinolfo (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

For Chris Dinolfo, acting is “kind of like a drug.”

Though he keeps a day job “so I can pay my rent,” acting, for him, is essential.

“You kind of get addicted to the adrenaline of it,” he says. “The other part of it is that when you get in a good show and you start to realize you’re telling a really important story … you want to share that with more and more people. It keeps me sane. In some ways it seems counterintuitive — most people I know in the theater are batshit crazy, but I just know I belong in the arts. When I’m not acting, I start to go a little stir crazy.”

He’s currently in the Sarah Ruhl play “Late: A Cowboy Song” at No Rules Theatre Co. (4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington/norulestheatre.org) where he plays Crick, a “controlling, asshole of a character” Dinolfo says he’s “tried to infuse with as much humanity as possible.” Go now if your interest is piqued — the show (which has been called a “quirky … urban fairytale”) closes Sunday.

Dinolfo, a 20-something Fairfield, Conn., native, came to Washington for school 12 years ago and stayed. He works by day in Friendship Heights in admin at a health care clinic. He lives in Kalorama with his boyfriend and enjoys paddle boarding, theater and going to Good Wood on U Street in his free time.

 

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?

Since college. My girlfriend.

 

Who’s your LGBT hero?

There are several LGBT people I truly admire for their courage, activism and just downright moxie: Larry Kramer, who wrote “The Normal Heart,” for saying and writing the things no one wanted to hear at the time about AIDS and how it affected our community. Ellen DeGeneres for being funny, resilient and successful. Harvey Milk for his bravery, optimism and sacrifice. RuPaul. Thank God for RuPaul. Also, any sports figure who comes out.

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?

“Peach Pit” at DC 9 with DJ Matt Bailer. Black Cat, 9:30 club and Nellie’s also get my vote. Also, the Blagden Alley Social Club — Google it. And I do wish I had been around to have experienced Tracks.

 

Describe your dream wedding.

Provincetown

 

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

How our government doesn’t subsidize the arts.

 

What historical outcome would you change?

This question is too difficult so I’m gonna go with Drew Barrymore’s dress at the Golden Globes.

 

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

Hanging out with Jason Sellards (Jake Shears) and driving him to JR.’s after a Scissor Sisters concert. Much drinking ensued.

 

On what do you insist?

A sense of humor. And good hygiene.

 

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

Publicity for the play in which I am currently performing — “LATE: A Cowboy Song” (Come see it!)

 

If your life were a book, what would the title be?

“Privileged Poor”

 

If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?

Cry. I don’t want science to screw with what I want to screw.

 

What do you believe in beyond the physical world?

The non-physical world. (But seriously, I do believe in a non-physical world.)

 

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

America isn’t the country we claim it to be as long as LGBT people are denied rights that are inherently given to heterosexual people. Keep on fighting the good fight: Equality for all!

 

What would you walk across hot coals for?

My nieces and nephew.

 

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

Twink

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

Official LGBT movie: “Paris is Burning.” Unofficial: “Beaches”

 

What’s the most overrated social custom?

The high school prom.

 

What trophy or prize do you most covet?

Powerball

 

What do you wish you’d known at 18?

Parents are people, too; flawed and full of dreams. That, and the foresight to study coding and get in with an ambitious start-up company called Facebook.

 

Why Washington?

Aside from family living here, boyfriend and all the acting opportunities? Because New York is officially for wealthy people. I know that because the Huffington Post told me.

Chris Dinolfo, Late: a Cowboy Song, gay news, Washington Blade

Chris Dinolfo in ‘Late: a Cowboy Song.’ (Photo by Second Glance Photography)

15
Jan
2014

Whole lotta gay

Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black, video, Netflix, gay news, Washington Blade

Laverne Cox in ‘Orange is the New Black.’ (Photo by Paul Shiraldi; courtesy Netflix)

Season two of “Orange Is the New Black” will become available on Netflix on June 6. The show, set in a women’s prison, is rife with lesbian relationships and includes trans actress Laverne Cox in a significant supporting role.

The CW airs a new series, “Star-Crossed,” on Mondays at 8 p.m. The show stars Matt Lanter as an alien and Aimee Teegarden as a human whose love is forbidden. The show carries heavy themes of racial integration, the Civil Rights movement and the gay rights movement.

Once Upon a Time” returns to ABC on March 9 at 8 p.m. The second half of the season will focus heavily on the Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Revenge” returns to ABC on March 9 at 10 p.m. Madeline Stowe, Emily VanCamp and Gabriel Mann star in this drama, a contemporary re-imagining of “The Count of Monte Cristo,” told from a female perspective.

OWN will premiere a new Lindsay Lohan documentary series called “Lindsay” on March 9 at 10 p.m. Over eight episodes, the show will focus on the actress’s attempts to rebuild her life and career following legal and public relations troubles.

As part of the lineup of Robert Rodriguez’s new network El Rey, “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” premieres on March 10 at 9 p.m. The show will expand on the mythology of the cult-favorite “From Dusk till Dawn” series.

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, video, Netflix, gay news, Washington Blade

Kevin Spacey in ‘House of Cards.’ (Photo by Nathaniel Bell; courtesy Netflix)

Both seasons of the Netflix original series “House of Cards” are available for streaming online. Season two builds on some of the implied gay themes of season one, both explicitly and implicitly.

Season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars” premieres on March 17 at 9 p.m. on ABC. Contestants had not been announced by the time of publishing, but they will likely include NeNe Leakes and Candace Cameron Bure of “Full House” fame.

LGBT ally and activist Aisha Tyler returns to host another season of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on March 21 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

The final season of “Drop Dead Diva” premieres on March 23 at 9 p.m. on Lifetime. Bi comedian and LGBT activist Margaret Cho stars in the show.

James Van Der Beek stars in “Friends With Better Lives,” a comedy premiering on March 31 at 9 p.m. on CBS.

Mindy Kaling’s sitcom “The Mindy Project” returns to Fox on April 1 at 9 p.m. Adam Pally, who recently starred in “Happy Endings” as the openly gay Max Blum, has been promoted to a series regular on “The Mindy Project.”

Comedian Amy Schumer returns with season two of “Inside Amy Schumer” on April 1 at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central. The sketch comedy series tackles a number of topics, including sexuality.

The American Country Music Awards will air on April 6 at 8 p.m. on CBS. Some nominees for top awards this year include Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood.

Season four of “Game of Thrones” premieres on April 6 at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Season three of “Veep” returns to HBO on April 6 at 10 p.m. The show’s star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, won Emmys for her performances in the first two seasons of the show as Vice President Selina Meyer.

Mad Men” premieres the first part of its final season on April 13 at 10 p.m. on AMC. Throughout its run, the show has addressed sex and sexuality as they were perceived in the ‘60s, when the show takes place.

Orphan Black,” a Canadian science fiction series, premieres its second season on April 19 at 9 p.m. on BBC America. The show stars Tatiana Maslany playing multiple characters and Jordan Gavaris as her gay foster brother.

MTV premieres “Faking It” on April 22 at 10:30 p.m. The show revolves around two high school girls who are mistakenly outed as lesbians and keep up the charade as their popularity rises. Another character is the openly gay Shane, described as the most popular boy in the school.

HBO’s film “The Normal Heart” airs May 25 at 9 p.m. The adaptation of the play by Larry Kramer focuses on the rise of HIV/AIDS in New York City in the early ‘80s. The film stars Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Jonathan Groff, Julia Roberts and others.

The 68th annual Tony Awards airs June 8 on CBS at 8 p.m. The ceremony recognizing achievement in Broadway productions will be hosted by Hugh Jackman for the fourth time.

Jason Bateman, Liza Minelli, Arrested Development, video, Netflix, gay news, Washington Blade

Jason Bateman and Liza Minnelli in ‘Arrested Development.’ (Photo by Mike Yarish; courtesy Netflix)

Season four of “Arrested Development” is also available on Netflix. The series stars Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi and Jessica Walter. Series creator Mitchell Hurwitz is planning an “Arrested Development” movie as well as a fifth season.

RuPaul’s Drag Race” season six just premiered last week and continues on Monday nights at 9 p.m. on Logo. The show has also been renewed for a seventh season as well.

07
Mar
2014

‘Closet case’ Koch dead at 88

Ed Koch, New York City, gay news, Washington Blade

Ed Koch (Photo by Boss Tweed via Wikimedia Commons)

Former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch, who has been credited with rescuing his city from near financial ruin while also being condemned by gay and AIDS activists for failing to adequately address the AIDS epidemic, died on Friday of congestive heart failure at a New York hospital. He was 88.

Known for his bluntness and New York style “chutzpah,” Koch served three terms as mayor, from 1978 to 1989, winning re-election by overwhelming margins while brushing off and later denying repeated rumors that he was a closeted gay man.

Before becoming mayor, Koch, a Democrat, served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1968 to 1977, representing a district that included Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. In 1975, he and then U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.) co-introduced a sweeping gay rights bill, the first such bill to be introduced in Congress.

The bill called for banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations. Like the less ambitious Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, introduced years later that covers only LGBT-related employment discrimination, the Abzug-Koch bill died in committee.

Shortly after taking office as mayor, Koch issued an executive order prohibiting job related discrimination in city government agencies based on sexual orientation.

Although he remained a gay rights supporter throughout his three terms as mayor, Koch alienated a large part of the LGBT community by what gay and AIDS activists have said was a failure to take adequate steps to address AIDS as it wreaked havoc on gay men and others in New York in the early 1980s.

New York gay journalist, TV commentator and LGBT rights advocate Andy Humm said many gays believe Koch’s status as a closeted gay man made him uncomfortable dealing with a disease that at first appeared to be impacting gay men more than any other group.

“It happens that I’m heterosexual, but I don’t care,” Koch said in a 1989 radio interview. “I happen to believe there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. It’s whatever God made you…I do care about protecting the rights of 10 percent of our population who are homosexual and who don’t have the ability to protect their rights,” he said.

“He was probably one of the most famous closet cases of all times,” Humm told the Blade.

Humm and others familiar with Koch’s record as mayor have said most LGBT activists in New York were far more concerned about Koch’s response to the early AIDS epidemic than they were about his sexual orientation.

New York gay rights attorney Bill Dobbs said that Koch’s sluggish response to AIDS prompted many in the gay community, who supported Koch on other issues, into becoming more strident and even radicalized on AIDS matters.

“In a strange way there was a silver lining that came from his lack of response,” Dobbs told the Blade. “His poor response on AIDS triggered greater activism and the creation of ACT UP.”

Among those responding were gay author and playwright Larry Kramer, one of the founders of ACT UP, the direct action AIDS group that engaged in sit-ins and protests across the country, including in New York.

In his now internationally acclaimed play about AIDS, “The Normal Heart,” Kramer’s characters refer to what they claim was the unresponsiveness of the Koch administration in the early 1980s as they struggled to create a community organization to help gay men dying of AIDS.

The Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the organization that Kramer also helped to found in real life and in which his play depicts on stage, became the first of many community-based AIDS service groups to spring up across the country.

In an email exchange on Friday, the Blade asked Kramer if he thought Koch supporters had some merit in saying that Koch faced budget and funding constraints and did what he could in the early days of the epidemic to provide some city resources to address AIDS.

“Bullshit,” replied Kramer. “Evil deeds are evil deeds.”

D.C. gay activist Peter Rosenstein, who lived in New York and worked in politics at the time Koch first won election as mayor, said he supported Abzug over Koch in the hotly contested 1977 Democratic mayoral primary. In the run-off between Koch and Mario Cuomo, who later became New York’s governor, Rosenstein said he backed Cuomo.

“Ed Koch was an enigma,” said Rosenstein. “He was an egomaniac, brash and a bully. He did some good things but was horrendous when it came to dealing with HIV/AIDS.”

Many New York political observers, however, say Koch’s overall record as mayor is considered positive for the city and most of its residents. They note that his transformation from a liberal reform politician in the 1960s and 1970s into a moderate and, on some issues, a conservative Democrat when he ran for mayor alienated many liberals, who accused him of betraying the progressive cause. When he ran for his third term as mayor, he won the nomination of both the Democratic and Republican Party in New York.

“By the usual standards measuring a former mayor’s legacy – the city he inherited, the challenges he faced, the resources available to meet those challenges and the extent to which his work endured beyond his term – historians and political experts generally give Mr. Koch mixed-to-good reviews,” the New York Times said in its obituary on Koch.

“Most important, he is credited with leading the city government back from near bankruptcy in the 1970s to prosperity in the 1980s,” the Times obituary says. “He also began one of the city’s most ambitious housing programs, which continued after he left office and eventually built or rehabilitated more than 200,000 housing units, revitalizing once-forlorn neighborhoods.”

 

 

02
Feb
2013

Surviving Oscar

How to Survive a Plague, AIDS, HIV, gay news, ACT UP, Washington Blade

A scene from David France’s harrowing documentary ‘How to Survive a Plague.’ The film has its Oscar rendezvous Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood where its up for Best Documentary. (Photo courtesy Sundance Selects)

It sounds so straightforward — the New York Public Library had a collection of videotapes AIDS activists made decades ago with vintage camcorders back when they were heavy behemoths you had to rest on your shoulder with full-size VHS or Beta tapes inside. Filmmaker/journalist David France combed painstakingly through the clips to compose his powerful 2012 documentary “How to Survive a Plague.”

But how this was achieved — what format was the footage stored in? What condition was it in? Could anyone go in and check these out with a library card? How did France pull this off?

In some ways, it’s the least interesting part of the film’s story, which is told via a sobering chronology of video footage shot by angry protesters — the kind the Religious Right calls “militant homosexual activists.”

The film has been almost universally praised. The New York Times called it “inspiring” and crackling with “currents of rage, fear, fiery determination and finally triumph.” It has a 100 percent freshness rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes (a film quality-ranking site), several awards including “best documentary” from the Boston Society of Film Critics. This weekend it’s up for both an Independent Spirit Award and an Oscar. Gold Derby, a site that predicts entertainment industry awards, gives it a 4/1 chance at winning the Oscar (behind “Searching for Sugar Man” which it gives 13/8 odds). “5 Broken Cameras,” “The Gatekeepers” and “The Invisible War” (made by the “Outrage” team of Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering) are also nominated.

For “Plauge,” France took footage — some of which was housed at the New York Public Library — shot by 31 videographers and paces it chronologically to the story of the formation of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), a group that formed in March 1987 in a spirit of extreme frustration during a speech activist (and “Normal Heart” playwright) Larry Kramer gave at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York.

France, during a lengthy phone interview last weekend before he was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Tuesday, gladly shares the logistics behind “Plague’s” formation.

A veteran investigative journalist, author and GLAAD Media Award winner (for a GQ piece on gays in Iraq) who’s had his work published in everything from the New Yorker to Ladies’ Home Journal, France says he was a graduate student during the time AIDS hit in the early 1980s and having written about it extensively over the years, he knew activists had brought cameras to their protests. And yes, the process of crafting “Plague” was a lot more involved than simply checking tapes out of the library.

“The tapes from the library are actually just a small portion of the footage you see in the film,” France, who’s gay, says. “That’s really the first door I went through, this archive of AIDS activism video that’s housed in the Manuscript Division of the New York Library, where you go if you want to read Lincoln’s letters. It’s an exclusive corner of the library that’s not accessible to the general public and everybody’s going around wearing white gloves and handling antiquities. In one corner, they have a television and a VCR and you watch the AIDS footage recorded in those early days. It’s just raw footage, not really ever intended for public view. Some of it you’ll be watching and all of a sudden it will go to a gay porn video, which just happened to be on the same tape they recorded on.”

France says the library kept all the tapes — recorded in every home video format on the market in those years as one might imagine — but had transferred them all to the Betacam SP format, a higher resolution tape on larger cassettes that for years was the broadcast standard and is still in use today. France convinced the library to let him take select footage to a nearby production lab and have it digitized. He ended up with about 100 hours and says the process became difficult as the project moved along.

“They’re really not accustomed to working on a film production schedule, so trying to get them to hurry got more and more difficult as we went along,” he says.

And that was just the starting point — in the library footage, France saw other people holding video cameras. He started tracking them down one by one and eventually found a group of people, many long-time AIDS survivors themselves, who had videotape footage they had never revisited. Again, formats remained a challenge.

“We had all this stuff in so many different formats from private collections,” he says. “We were constantly scouring Craigslist and eBay for decks that would play these old tapes. We ended up with about 800 hours and that really became the building blocks of the film.”

And yes, France says it did take some persuasion to get these individuals to hand over their footage.

France says, “A lot of these people had moved on but I think now have started to see the real value in this footage. I think they gradually started to realize, that yes, enough time has passed and now is the time to really use it and this is the project.”

France said his project is timely and important because many of the other landmark AIDS pieces, from Kramer’s play to Randy Shilts’ “And the Band Played On” were written before the era of anti-retroviral therapy when HIV morphed into a more manageable condition.

He says the film is important for anyone interested in the AIDS fight to see.

“There were even people in ACT UP who didn’t know the outcomes of many of these things,” he says. “If you think you know the story of AIDS, this film will surprise you and that goes for just about everybody.”

WASHINGTON BLADE: Will this be your first time at the Academy Awards?

DAVID FRANCE: Yes. I’ve never gotten any closer before than my television screen.

BLADE: Have you watched very often over the years?

FRANCE: Oh yeah. My boyfriend and I always have an Oscar party. With ballots and everything. I’ve never won.

BLADE: What’s your favorite Oscar memory?

FRANCE: Tom Hanks’ acceptance speech when he won for “Philadelphia.” That’s really seared in my memory.

BLADE: What did you think of Michael Moore’s controversial speech when he won the category you’re up for? Ballsy or inappropriate for the occasion?

FRANCE: I think if you’ve got an audience of a billion people and you’ve got something to say, you need to say it. That’s not to say I’m intending any surprises should I have that opportunity.

BLADE: Have you seen the competition?

FRANCE: Of course. They’re all brilliant films.

BLADE: If you win, where will you put Oscar?

FRANCE? I’m not sure. I keep the other awards we’ve won in the production office so everyone on the crew can enjoy them and hopefully see their own contribution but if we get this little gold thing, I’m not sure. I have no idea.

BLADE: Do you feel AIDS, as horrible as it was and is, put gay issues on the national radar and that ended up being a silver lining to the cloud or is that an absurd oversimplification?

FRANCE? No, it’s absolutely true. Before that, gay people were entirely disenfranchised and we were not seen as being contributing members to the culture at all. We had no role whatsoever in civic life … From those ashes (of AIDS), now we have a president who acknowledges us as human beings and Stonewall is mentioned in the same breath as Seneca Falls.

BLADE: How did you feel when Dustin Lance Black won for “Milk”?

FRANCE: I felt it was incredible. He gave a great speech and I thought it was a very, very good movie.

BLADE: Did you plan all along to submit it for a nomination? What’s the process like?

FRANCE: There are all kinds of rules about it playing in New York and L.A. and being reviewed by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and that’s just the first threshold. I was lucky I had a distributor who saw the potential for the film early on and made sure we did everything we needed to do for both the Oscars and the Independent Spirit Awards. … Anytime you make a film, sure, you fantasize about getting an Oscar nomination and it’s really just because you want more people to see it. An Oscar bump is a tremendous thing.

21
Feb
2013

Year in review: Gems from the stage

From left are Chris Stezin, Liz Mamana, Kimberly Gilbert and Will Gartshore in ‘The Religion Thing.’ (Photo by C. Stanley Photography; courtesy Theater J)

From left are Chris Stezin, Liz Mamana, Kimberly Gilbert and Will Gartshore in ‘The Religion Thing.’ (Photo by C. Stanley Photography; courtesy Theater J)

Like so many past years, 2012 also saw an energetic pool of LGBT theater professionals contributing to the vitality and success of the ever-expanding local theater scene. The following gives you an idea.

Undoubtedly, one of the area’s hardest working theater folks throughout this year has been Signature Theatre’s gay associate director Matthew Gardiner. He’s also one of its most talented.

Gardiner staged four excellent and very different Signature productions beginning with “Really Really,” a comic tragedy about today’s mind numbingly self-absorbed youth. Next up, he directed and choreographed a well-executed production of the ‘70s campfest musical, “Xanadu.” In the fall, he helmed gay playwright Christopher Shinn’s “Dying City,” an intimate drama about life and death in the shadow of the Iraq War with strapping actor Thomas Keegan playing both the butch army officer and his more effusive gay identical twin. Gardiner finished the year directing and choreographing a first rate production of “Dreamgirls.” And if all that weren’t enough, sometime in early fall he made time to choreograph MetroStage’s notable production of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.”

Last spring’s “Twist Festival D.C.” gave local audiences were given an opportunity to experience the magic of gay puppeteer extraordinaire Basil Twist. The mini-fest kicked off at the Shakespeare Theatre Company with “Petrushka,” Twist’s trippy take on the classic Russian ballet about a love triangle involving three puppets: the eponymous clown, a ballerina and a Moor. Originally commissioned for New York’s Lincoln Center in 2000, the charming show featured pirouetting puppets and floating objects accompanied by real life Russian identical twins playing a reduction of Igor Stravinsky’s score on identical pianos.

Other festival productions included “Arias with a Twist” (Twist’s campy collaboration with legendary downtown New York drag performer Joey Arias); and “Dogugaeshi,” a Japanese-inspired journey of images accompanied by original Japanese lute compositions (at Woolly Mammoth and Studio Theatre respectively).

Over the year, art imitated life with gay actors giving memorable performances as gay characters including Tom Story and Chris Dinolfo as a mismatched but devoted couple in Roundhouse Theatre’s “Next Fall.” Rep Stage’s production of gay playwright Jon Marans’ “The Temperamentals” featured Rick Hammerly as Bob Hull, a founding member of the Los Angeles-based Mattachine Society (the first gay rights organization in the United States). And at Theater J, MaryBeth Wise played one half of a same-sex couple in Annie Baker’s comic drama “Body Awareness.”

Also at Theater J, Will Gartshore played an allegedly “ex-gay” Christian in “The Religion Thing” (penned by local playwright Renee Calarco and staged by her gay brother, director Joe Calarco). Gartshore’s layered performance gave dimension to a character that might otherwise have been perceived simply as a creepy stereotype.

Impressively, Gartshore performed three different one-man cabarets in just two weeks this summer: A mix of well-known and obscure tunes titled “Underappreciated & Overexposed” at Signature Theatre, “Dressed Up” the next weekend, then companion piece “Stripped Down” at Round House Theatre’s Silver Spring space. With his gorgeous tenor, talent for intimate storytelling and ability to put across both a painful breakup song and cheekily spun version of Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top,” with equal ease, Gartshore took his audiences on a gratifying and fun musical journey. D.C. is lucky to have him.

Local out actor Bobby Smith showed off his skill set in 2012. In the fall, Smith wowed audiences playing the title character in MetroStage’s topnotch production of “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” a musical revue celebrating the work of the late singer/songwriter known as the voice of postwar Paris. Smith was terrific as the world weary, cynical yet sentimental Brel.

Following “Jacques Brel,” Smith staged a charming take on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical “Cinderella” at the Olney Theatre Center (runs through Dec. 30).

In 2012, some openly gay actors played it straight. The versatile and nimble Alex Mills starred as the upstanding scientist and his terrifying alter ego in Synetic Theatre’s “Jeckyll and Hyde.” Broadway actor Nicholas Rodriquez returned to Arena Stage to play love-struck Freddy Eynsford-Hill, the Edwardian dandy who falls in love with Eliza in “My Fair Lady” (through Jan. 6). And Holly Twyford and Matthew Montelongo fought and fornicated in Studio Theatre’s world premiere of “Dirt,” Bryony Lavery’s play about morality and decay.

A highlight from this year was Arena Stage’s production of Larry Kramer’s stunning drama “The Normal Heart.” Considered a rant when it premiered in New York in 1985, Kramer’s autobiographical AIDS play has aged beautifully — still full of fury but also empathetic, loving and sad. This production was skillfully staged by gay director George C. Wolfe and featured a fabulous cast including Patrick Breen as Ned, the Kramer character, and handsome Luke MacFarlane as his lover who has been diagnosed with the virus.

For Shakespeare Theatre Company’s gay artistic director Michael Kahn, 2012 was a spectacular year. Not only did his company celebrating its 25th anniversary season, it was also honored with the prestigious Regional Theatre Tony Award. Not too shabby.

27
Dec
2012