a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘homophobia’

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“Mothers & Sons” Best Play of the Year! Tyne Daly Best Actress!

The great Terrence McNally’s “Mothers and Sons” is the best new play of the year and the best new play on Broadway. And Tyne Daly as the mother is giving ANOTHER one of her greatest performances and in surely on her way to a Best Actress in a Play Tony nomination, if not a win. She won her first and only Tony(so far) for “Gypsy.”

“Mothers and Sons” is the kind of new play we should be seeing regularly on Broadway, but never do. It’s powerful. Immense, in its’ concentration on only four characters, or five, if you count the off-stage character of the late Andre Gerard, who is the real center of the play, and its’ uniting figure.

Andre is the handsome, sexy, 20-something young actor who dies twenty years before the play actually begins of AIDS.And by the way, we never see him. Except on a theater regional theater poster of him playing a rage-filled Hamlet.

It’s now two decades on and grief and time have brought his angry Republican mother, Katherine (Tyne Daly) and his surviving lover Cal (Frederick Weller) together in his semi-sumptuous Upper West Side apartment that overlooks Central Park.

She has come in her black, bulky fur coat and jewels to return her late son Andre’s diary to Cal. She can’t read it. And neither can he. She’s a dragon, breathing fire at Cal.

Yes, it’s another AIDS play. (I wrote one of the first one’s myself “Fever of Unknown Origin” in 1984, but that’s another story.) “Mothers and Sons” is set decidedly today. In a time when gay marriage is legal, and Cal has indeed moved on since the beloved Andre’s death to marry Will (Bobby Steggert) and they have a son Bud. This arrangement is seen as the highest point of gay achievement, and yes, perhaps it is. It certainly is a profound political and societal change.

Gay Marriage as well as AIDS is also front and center here because that too is what the play is addressing. Since the wonderful privilege of marriage for gay men was not even a serious thought or consideration when Andre died. But now it’s an inspiring fact of gay life.

And Bobby Steggert’s heart-warming, handsome young Wil can’t even imagine a time when it wasn’t this way. The rest of us all do. Wil is the younger generation who has missed the plague years, where literally someone I knew was dropping dead every day. It was like a war zone. It was a holocaust. It was ghastly. It was horrible beyond belief. Nearly everyone I knew died.

Frederick Weller’s Cal has lived through all of that era and nursed Andre through the horrible final stages of that illness that changed all our lives forever.

Weller has never been better and he has the daunting task of standing up to Tyne Daly’s formidable, homophobic monster of a mother. And he does.

Daly is a theatrical miracle in a career-topping performance. I saw her as Momma Rose in “Gypsy.” She was great. I saw her as Maria Callas in “Master Class” She was astonishing. And now her Katharine Gerard is an unforgettable portrait of a right-wing, Texas Republican mother who has all her anger and all her self-righteous conservative prejudices and confusion intact. And is still mourning the loss of her only son.

A seemingly impregnable, immovable slab of Mount Rushmore granite at the start of the play, she removes her black widow mink, to reveal a bright red dress that symbolizes her slow melt. And melt she inevitably does, and it is to Tyne Daly’s unending credit that she makes us like and UNDERSTAND this hostile harridan’s point of view.

And credit too to the great playwright McNally, who has always been one of my favorite American writers. He strips Katharine down to the bone as he has her reveal layer by layer, monologue by searing monologue, the depths of this woman’s despair and loneliness and sense of abandonment. Her husband, whom she didn’t love, has passed away, too, two weeks ago. And though she couldn’t stand him, his passing has sent her reeling into Cal’s CPW apartment to try to find….something….Something she doesn’t even understand she’s looking for.

And we find it with her, and what a journey it is! I can’t stop praising this great, new play and recommend it to one and all everywhere. It’s a great, great theatrical triumph.

Bravo and definitely BRAVA!

Homophobic Brett Ratt gone in 60 seconds from job as Oscar producer!

This happened so fast, I barely had time to absorb it, never mind write about it. I do have a weekly TV show, y’know, which you can see 24/7 at www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

Brett RATTner, who was the unusual choice to produce this year’s Oscar telecast, made the UNBELIEVABLE gaffe in a press situation by saying that “rehearsals are for fags.” And all hell broke loose in a day as the well deserved gay shitstorm blew this man out of his job.

Led I’m happy to say by www.awardsdaily.com Sasha Stone and Ryan Adams! They were both on top of this particular news cycle(while I was writing about “J.Edgar” and producing and editing my show) and then my TV went out and this one totally got by me, but Sasha, Oscar goddess that she is, really hit it out of the ball park on this one, and so did her trusty companion editor at Awardsdaily, Ryan.

They said it better than I could. Oh yes, and then my TV decided to die. So when I looked up all this had happened, and now it’s over. RATTner is gone. Resigned. You can also read about it at David Poland’s www.moviecitynews.com

David was on the right side of this argument, too.

I can only add that times HAVE changed. Back in the “Brokeback” days, I don’t think this would’ve happened. I’ll never get over the heartbreak and shock of it losing the Oscar that year to “Crash.” Sasha and I bonded over that one. I was bereft that night and so was she. I had been writing for her for quite a while before that, but that night…oh god…it was one of the most horrible experiences of my life…and hers, too…

She was so upset, I thought she would never  go back to Oscarwatch, as it was called in those days. But I, and others, many others encouraged her to go on. And GO ON SHE DID!

She also, full disclosure, was my Internet mentor and muse. I knew NO-THING about the Web, nor did I particularly want to know – at that time.

And now…

Well, Sasha told me YEARS ago. I mean, YEARS ago that I should do my own blog. And she was right! It took me something like six years to come around to her way of thinking about the ‘Net. Or more.

I’m still tech-tarded but I’m getting better.

And then my television died. So I nearly missed this.

THANK GOD THAT MAN IS GONE! Brett RATTner, I mean. I think he just ruined his own career. What a jerk! To put it very mildly…

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