LATE NIGHT LAVENDER

LATE NIGHT LAVENDER

Thursday, March 28, 2013

CD Review: Teresa Fischer "LET IT GO"

CD Review: Teresa Fischer "LET IT GO"

"Let It Go", the long-awaited debut CD from singer Teresa Fischer, opens with "Half A Man".  Adorned only by piano and percussion, Fischer sings about her ultimate Mr. Right: "Cute butt.  Sexy eyes.  Tall and dark; I know what I like!  Heart o' gold, a brain to match; Ain't gonna settle for a wrestling mat!  One hundred percent loving, baby it's all or nothing!  Half a man... ain't enough!" Fischer is from Manhattan-- but with this opener, she establishes the persona of one of those tough gals from the world of country music: smart, sexy, and definitely NOT afraid of going after what she wants.  And, we just know she'll get it! But Ms. Fischer doesn't limit her musical influences to just one genre.  Throughout "Let It Go", the Titian-haired singer brings the listener a very eclectic mix of songs.  The album features everything from some truly unearthed musical gems from the classic era, to some overlooked modern pop tunes aching to be heard again, to a medley of emblematic classics for the finale.  Even with this motley crew of tracks, the singer's personality and delivery truly make each one her own.  Fischer may be a cabaret favorite in New York City, but don't expect a smoky-voiced, world-weary warbler: her voice is amazingly fresh and unblemished, and the clarity of that voice really captures the spirit of the intimate live performances which her fans know her for.

Her admirers also know Fischer for her idiosyncratic sense of humor, an important part of her persona.  There's plenty of humor throughout "Let It Go".  An example is a proudly absurd track on the album named "The Frying Pan" (about the experience of buying the titular cookware in Macy's basement. Really!) thrown in... just for grins and giggles.  The second track, the appealing "Row Row Row" (William Jerome/Jimmie V. Monaco), was originally heard in "Ziegfeld Follies" in 1912.  It's a reminder that many of the seemingly innocent songs from yesteryear had some truly naughty innuendo behind their lyrics ("And then he'd row, row, row; A little further he would row, Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!; Then he'd drop both his oars, take a few more encores, and then he'd row, row, row!")  With Teresa's (dare I say?) girlish voice and delivery to match, the song is so cleverly candied that it could make your teeth ache.  A fun time is also had with Frank Loesser/Jimmy McHugh's "Murder! He Says", a jazz standard popularized by Dinah Shore.  The listener will also appreciate the hilarious anti-love song "England 2, Columbia 0" ("You lied about your status, You lied about your life; You never mentioned your three children, and the fact you have a wife.  Now it's England 2, Colombia nil, and I know just how those Colombians feel!"), written by late British pop singer-songwriter Kristy MacColl.  Again, it's a well-chosen guilty pleasure and an expert choice for Teresa's sense of humor.


Her singing is backed by some truly expert piano (Paul Chamlin on nine of the twelve tracks, and Andrew David Sotomayor on the remaining three) and percussion (Hiroyuki Matsuuri on four songs).  Hugh Prestwood's "The Song Remembers When" is the first of several tracks on the album which showcases Fischer's well-trained vocal skills.  Adorned only by Chamlin's piano, it's a truly provocative moment: a musical testimony to the universal power of song.  Her rendition of Amanda McBroom's "No Fear" is just as moving.  Another highlight comes with "Crayola Doesn't Make A Color For Your Eyes" (Kristin Andrews/Megan Jones Downes).  It's quintessential Teresa: as cute as the title suggests, and likely to have you singing along for a while after you hear it.  Fischer clearly has as much fun with this one as a child with a box of new crayons.  Hands down, however, the highlight of the album is the title track, "Let It Go".  I challenge anyone to listen to this song and NOT feel an immediate lift in their spirits.  Likewise, I challenge any one not to be blown away when the singer reaches a particularly impressive note in the song's climax.  Listen to it, and you'll know what I mean!  The album's finale, "Love, Carole", is a medley of songs made famous by one of the singer's musical influences, Carole King-- including "Now and Forever", "I'm Into Something Good", "Natural Woman", "So Far Away", and more.  Arranged by her musical director Andrew David Sotomayor, it's eight and a half minutes of pure delight... and the perfect "Till we meet again!" for an album full of humor and heart. 

You can hear samples of Teresa Fischer's "Let It Go" and buy the album here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/teresafischer

Monday, March 25, 2013

PIA ZADORA'S MESSAGE TO HER GAY FANS.




PIA ZADORA'S MESSAGE TO HER GAY FANS.


On Thursday, February 7th at New York City's cabaret hotspot The Metropolitan Room, lovely singer/actress Pia Zadora opened her aptly-named show, "Back Again And Standing Tall", with the Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields fave "Pick Yourself Up" (You know the song: "Don't lose your confidence if you slip; Be grateful for a pleasant trip; And pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!"). Some culture vultures may view that classic as a well-chosen song for 58-year old Ms. Zadora, whose long career was often marked by stellar highs alongside some embarrassing lows-- sometimes, side by side.  Zadora's first film, when she was a child, was "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" in 1964, which is now a cult classic.  Pia also got to sing in the movie.  As an adult, she starred in two R-rated dramas, both with legitimate literary antecedents: "Butterfly", in 1982, was based on a 1947 novel by James Cain and co-starred Stacy Keach and Orson Welles.  "The Lonely Lady", released the next year, was based on a novel by best-selling author Harold Robbins.  Unfortunately, both movies were panned by critics, with an unfair preponderance of the blame thrown at Zadora.  Even Pia's Golden Globe win (Best New Artist for "Butterfly" in 1982 ) was met with considerable controversy.  It's a safe bet that most people today know of Zadora from her most successful song: a duet with Jermaine Jackson called "When The Rain Begins to Fall" in 1984.  The slick, high-priced (at the time) video for the song jumped on the MTV generation's desire to see a miniature cinematic experience with their music.  That video helped the song receive a lot of exposure at he time, and subsequently the duet reached The Billboard Hot Dance Club Charts in the U.S.  It was an even bigger hit in Europe, where the song reached #1 in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany.  Fans of quirky filmmaker John Waters (like me!) also remember Zadora from her appearance as a beatnik in Waters' 1988 favorite "Hairspray".

     Pia Zadora had more critical and commercial success with music than with her movie career.  Now living in Las Vegas, Zadora's love of live performing still shines through. She performs in her native Las Vegas as well as occasional dates in other cities, like the aforementioned show in New York City.  Her voice is as unblemished and fresh as ever, and she knows what the audience wants to hear.  Zadora's repertoire of standards that night including a wide range of crowd-pleasers, from the sexy and fun "C'est Si Bon"; to the high-spirited "The Lady Is a Tramp"; to a provocatively tender "All of Me"; to "For Once In My Life", "Maybe This Time", "How About You?", and more.  She closed with "I Am What I Am" (from "La Cage aux Folles"), which was clearly a musical shout-out to her gay male fans-- of which there were many in the audience that night.   After the show, Zadora told me me that at this point, she has no plans to release a new album: "I just want to sing, and be on stage, and just enjoy myself.  I just want to be who I am, and be out there, and make people happy!" Well, she clearly made a lot of people happy that night!  I asked the diminutive diva if she had a message for her GLBT fans.  She responded, "I just love you all!  You've always respected me for my singing and for standing by you guys!  Also, you forgave me for 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians'!.  And if it weren't for you guys, nobody would have seen 'The Lonely Lady'!"  With Valentine's Day only a week away, I was next going to ask her what her plans were for the American holiday of love.  But after meeting her handsome husband, Las Vegas police officer Michael Jeffries, I don't think I needed to ask! Still, Zadora offered, "I'm spending my Valentine's Day in handcuffs.  I know I'm gonna get feisty!"


How jealous am I?!


You an stay updated on Pia Zadora's schedule of performance dates and much more at Pia's official website, www.PiaZadora.com

Thursday, March 21, 2013

HIP HIP HOORAY: A Bone-A-Fit For Jackie Beat!




HIP HIP HOORAY:

A Bone-A-Fit For Jackie Beat!





 

"I want to dedicate this song to Joan Rivers.  It seems like every other day, she's getting herself into hot water by making a joke that people think is inappropriate.  Well, what the FUCK do you think you're supposed to joke about?!  Fun stuff?!  Unicorns and rainbows?!  No!  You're supposed to joke about the ugly stuff.  That's why we're still around as a fucking race.  Otherwise we'd all slit our wrists by now-- so GET OVER YOURSELF!" Jackie Beat.

In our voyeuristic world where there are hardly any taboos left to shatter, there are some counterculture warriors who still seem hellbent on finding new ways to shock us.  Make that, shock and DELIGHT us...!  Jackie Beat, genderfucking icon of the East Village NYC renaissance of the early '90s', knows a thing or two about breaking the rules-- and making us laugh in the process.   It's no surprise that one of her own icons is the hardest working woman in showbiz today, comedian and culture vulture Joan Rivers.  On Sunday, March 3rd, the men of Spin Cycle-- Chip Duckett and Ron
Lasko
-- presented "Hip Hip Hooray: A Bone-A-Fit for Jackie Beat" at New York City's music hotspot The Cutting Room.   This was a benefit for Jackie Beat's upcoming, much-needed double hip surgery. And, many of New York City's most colorful personalities-- from the worlds of drag, music, theater, burlesque, and more-- came to the rescue.  It was almost like a reunion of many of the movers and shakers from downtown NYC, circa mid-90's, when DIY fabulousness was the spirit of the day. (Murray Hill, one of the performers that night, even joked, "Everybody in this show tonight were at the peak of their talent 15 years ago!")  The audience was warmed up by the music of DJ Miss Guy, who knew how to dig out those closet classics just begging to be heard again like A-Ha's "Take On Me"... and (presumably as an "in joke") juxtaposing "Jackie Blue" alongside "Hips Don't Lie". Hmmm...   It was truly heartwarming and life-affirming to hear such praise for our beloved Jackie Beat throughout the night:

"I've known Jackie Beat now for 22 years.  I remember being a little girl.  I was about 10 going to see Jackie on stage with my two moms and being like, "Oh my God!  That's what I want to do when I grow up-- but I want to be FUNNY!"  Sherry Vine 

"Jackie Beat needs two new hips.  Well, this certainly isn't one of those cases of bad things happening to good people!"  Jackie Hoffman

"I'm so honored and happy to be here. Jackie Beat is one of my closest and dearest friends for over 20 years.  I've known her since she was a big, fat, drunk, annoying whore-- bitter and angry,  I've known her when she got skinny and sober-- bitter and angry.  Now she's gonna get two new hips and I'm sure she's gonna be-- bitter and angry.  But I wouldn't have her any other way.  And I'm here because I think Jackie deserves two new hips.  Do you know how horrible it is going down on somebody and not getting up?" Michael Formika Jones

"I just turned 30 last night, and now I'm doing benefits for friends that need new hips.  Great..." Mimi Imfurst

"She's the only person in showbiz that I know who actually has a job in Hollywood-- and she still has a benefit.  Isn't that amazing?!" Murray Hill

The show kicked off with Joan Rivers, who Jackie Beat works with on "Fashion Police".  After poking some deserved fun at the Kardashian sisters, Sarah McLachlan's ASPCA commercial, and more, Ms. Rivers plugged her brand new philanthropic cause: "If any of you are in a giving mood, and obviously you are because you're all here to give:  I have a new charity that I'd like you to think about after you've taken care of Jackie's fucking hips!  It's sex for older people and it's called 'Feels on Wheels'.  We go once a month to strangers' houses, ring the door, and just jerk 'em off!  If you go and do it, please bring a book-- because these men are a little older, and it takes a while."  It was then time for Jackie Beat, who declared, "Believe it or not, even though I have worked with Joan on 'Fashion Police' for quite a while now, she's never seen me perform... so I picked two songs that I think she would enjoy!"  One of those two songs was an oh-so-naughty spoof of Cyndi Lauper's "biggest and most annoying hit".  Even though I'm sure Cyndi has a great sense of humor, I  can't say any more about that one except that Sammy Davis Jr. is clearly rolling over in his grave! 

The night continued with one renegade, over-the-top act after another, including Jackie Hoffman, Mimi Imfurst, Murray Hill, The Glamazons, World Famous B*O*B, and Sherry Vine.  A motley crue indeed, although there did seem to be a recurring theme throughout the night (Sherry Vine's songs included the parody "I Love Cock and Hole", and Ms. Beat's included "Dildos Are Forever" and "Baby Got Front".  Two guesses about what that recurrent theme was won't be necessary...).  Also showing up were Debbie Harry, Fred Schneider, Robin Byrd, Frank DeCaro, Michael Formika Jones... and (via video) Margaret Cho and Parker Posey.

Jackie returned at the grand finale to deliver three more delightfully demented numbers, one of which was Nina Simone's searing race anthem "Four Women"-- but in this interpretation, the four women were Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia. OK, Jackie... It's one thing to make fun of race, religion, and big penises... but The Golden Girls?  Now, that's TRULY blasphemous!!



If you couldn't make the event but still want to donate to the cause, visit www.GiveForward.com/fundraiser/8lv1/JackieBeatHipHipHooray for more info.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

JUST SAY "GRRR!" The Green Country Bears Bring You "Tulsa Growl" This Spring!









JUST SAY "GRRR!"
The Green Country Bears Bring You "Tulsa Growl" This Spring!


This spring, the woofy men of The Green Country Bears are coming out of hibernation... in a BIG way!  As the largest Bear group in The Sooner State, this hirsute fraternity is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma but has members from Dallas to Wichita and all the surrounding areas.   Their social itinerary includes fun stuff all year long-- but their most highly anticipated event will be the Second Annual Tulsa Growl, from May 3-5: a weekend which promises to be a fun and furry time for Bears and Cubs and those who love them.   Conrad Sierra, President of The Green Country Bears, spoke with ALL BEAR's Jed Ryan about the origins of the club, the big weekend in May, and what's "Hot in Tulsa"...


JR:
Hi Conrad.  So, The Green Country Bears have become Oklahoma's largest Bear group.  Congratulations!  How was the group founded?
CS:
Hi Jed! Well, we are very proud to be the largest bear group in Oklahoma (...and a couple of surrounding states!). The group was formed back in May of 2010, but we had talked about this group over a year before it became a reality. I was fairly new to Tulsa, coming from a small town in Texas, and the circle of friends that I found myself always spending time with were all Bears. I remember going to the Tulsa Eagle and people calling us the "bear group".  A good friend of mine Brian, my now-husband Jimmy, and myself were sitting in the patio of the Tulsa Eagle and I made a joke about how we should start a real Bear group. Brian had the idea of calling ourselves the Green Country Bears and we talked about it for a bit.  After abandoning the idea for almost a year, we started to really talk about it.  As fate would have it, we were introduced to Dennis "Poppa Bear", and he knew a group of guys that were talking of a Tulsa Bear group. It took us a few months to get it going, but we very soon had Tulsa's new Bear group: The Green Country Bears. I still remember people telling us that  "There are not enough Bears in Tulsa to have a real group!".  I guess they were wrong (Laughs).  On our first anniversary, we had a big cookout at a park here in town and had over 60 people there.  Funny how four guys with an idea got something started like this! We are very proud of it.  We can now boast over 50 members with men from four different states being a part of us!

JR:
Very cool!  So, what are some of the events that you have going on throughout the year?
CS:
As for events that we attend and host, we manage to stay pretty busy. Summer always brings around the cookouts and pool parties!  Those are always fun.  We have a lot of birthday celebrations, movie days, going bowling, and going out to eat as a group-- which sometimes can be difficult to seat so many REAL men together! (Laughs)... as well as getting together for all of what Tulsa has to offer! We have our occasional fundraisers at the Tulsa Eagle or the Maverick Club, which sadly just closed.  We have cookouts, chili cookoffs, "Bear Prison", and silent auctions to help raise money. One of the biggest parts of our group is charity work. We spent the first year of our group just helping out all of our brother and sister organizations in Tulsa. I guess we were trying to get our "paw" in the social door of Tulsa.   We soon developed very strong and special relationships with PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbian And Gays), the ICAO (Imperial Court of All Oklahoma), the TULSA group (Tulsa Uniform and Leather Seekers Association), Tulsa Pride, HOPE testing, OYP (Open-Arms Youth Project), the SSRA (Sooner State Rodeo Association)-- WOOF!-- and the NCSF (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom)... just to name a few. All have proven very positive and very fun parts of our history as well as our future. And lastly but certainly not least, we have formed a real brotherhood with two of our brother Bear groups: The Wichita Bears and The Dallas Bears. We are always in anticipation for Wichita's "Bears in The Heat" Bear Run and Dallas' TBRU (Texas Bear Round Up)!... But I think it's safe to say that the biggest event that we attend is the one we host...Tulsa Growl! With this May 4-6 marking our second annual Bear Run, we are so excited to invite so many people that we truly consider family, and have them in OUR backyard, and show them a weekend of fun, fur, and maybe a little friskiness. (Laughs)

JR:
Just a little?! (Laughs) So, what makes the Green Country Bears unique?
CS:
What makes us unique?  This one makes me think a minute.  It is hard to put into words the thing that makes us different, special, and unique. But when I think of the group that has truly become by best friends, I see what makes us different is the members themselves. The Green Country Bears is composed of men from all over the US, from all age ranges, and from so many different backgrounds. We all have our own ideas, our own past experiences, and personalities! We may not always agree and we have to compromise from time to time, but that's what keeps us fresh! How boring would it be to all be the same? Well I can say, that's not us. We do always manage to come to a compromise and come to decision about what is on the table-- and we always have the same common goal: To make some friends, to look out for each other, and to have some fun!

JR:
Now, I gotta ask: Someone living in a city like New York, Los Angeles, or London may have preconceived notions about what it's like living in a city like Tulsa and a state like Oklahoma.  What is the GLBT, particularly the Bear community, like in your neck of the woods?
CS:
Tulsa has become quite the melting pot as we have a large influx of residents from both coasts. I talked to our Webmaster, Poppa Bear, who moved here from the Los Angeles area. Tulsa has major appeal with its affordable housing and low cost of living.  As I said, I moved here from a small farm town in Texas, and he from L.A., but I shared his concern at first about moving into the "bible belt", that gays are not accepted, and there would be not chance at a social life. There is a "don't ask, don't tell" attitude here-- and the religious right and gays, for the most part, live cohesively in our conservative State.  Most people are surprised with the fact that that we have eight gay/lesbian bars, along with one of the nicest and most active gay centers, the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. Socially, the Bear community is VERY active-- and weekly, there is some type of event that you can join the Bears for. Just search most of the internet social sites (Bear411, Growlr, Bearwww, Grinder, and Facebook) and you will likely see a large contingent from Tulsa!

JR:
I look forward to visiting!  So, while we're on the subject: What are some of the essential places to go or things to see when someone visits Tulsa?
CS:
Well, Tulsa does have a variety of fun things to offer. Of course, we have a few casinos to choose from and  there is always a big concert or comedy show in town. With our new BOK Center bringing in HUGE names in music and entertainment, there is never a loss of something to see or do. Summer bring with it some big, weekend-long music festivals and monthly events  But we also have some very nice museums and site-seeing activities. For a fun night out, we offer a huge choice of restaurants and eateries (or maybe the Bears are having a cookout!), followed by a drink at one our eight gay bars, which you will find the people friendly, open, and easy to talk to.  And in February you can attend the Green Country Bears' Great Chili Cook Off, our Spring Fling in April, and Tulsa Growl in May, which promises to be a great time! Regardless of what you decide to do, sometimes it all about the company you're with, so be sure to drop the GCB's a line and we would be glad to show you around!

JR:
Will do!  Lastly, without giving too much away: What are some of the surprises that you have in store for us at Tulsa Growl?
CS:
(Laughs) Well if I told, it wouldn't be a surprise!   But what I CAN tell you is that we are currently working very hard to make Tulsa Growl a very fun weekend full of laughter and memories (along with an occasional pool party and a drink or two if you like)!  I invite any of your readers to check us our at www.GreenCountryBears.com and www.TulsaGrowl.com. ; I give you my word, that if any of you join us for Tulsa Growl, that you will have a good time and make some new friends. What more can you ask for? (Laughs) Or if you are visiting Tulsa, give the Green Country Bears a heads up!  You will be greeted with a friendly smile and maybe a great big ole BEAR HUG!

JR: There's nothing better than a big ole Bear hug!  Thanks, Conrad!


Tulsa Growl
is from May 3-5.  Visit www.GreenCountryBears.com and www.TulsaGrowl.com for more info!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

DVD Review: "THE CASSEROLE CLUB"



DVD Review: "THE CASSEROLE CLUB"

"We're gonna have fun tonight.  I can feel it!" declares Jerome (Daniela Sea), the fabulously butch, sharply dressed  housewife who's one of the ten players in Steve Balderson's brightly colored retro-sexual comedy/drama "The Casserole Club".  Jerome declares this in the beginning of the movie, as five couples meet up for what starts out as a presumably innocent dinner at the home of (Get this...) Sugar and Conrad.   As it turns out, a lot of fun is ready to be had with this movie indeed-- especially for the viewer! 

"The Casserole Club" takes place in 1969.  If the opening music or the ladies' fashions don't immediately give it away, then the audience soon learns this because the radio announces that American icon Judy Garland has just died.  The director has gone through great lengths to duplicate the flamboyant look of the era-- complete with the supersaturated hues; the overindulgent hair, makeup, and costumes of the women; and the spot-on kitschy mod decor-- all set in the idyllic setting of sunny suburban California.   Many of the scenes seem hand-colored in pastel crayons.  But more important than the visual aspects of "The Casserole Club" is the vibe of the movie.  The director manages to capture the era's changing social and sexual mores which characterized the film's time period: The sexual revolution by now had pushed its way into American life, and the crazy, no-holes barred decade of the seventies was in clear view-- ready to be explored.  We meet five couples-- Jerome and Les; Kitty and Sterling; Marybelle and Max; Flo and Bert; and our happy hosts, Sugar and Conrad. They gather for a pot luck dinner where everyone gets to vote for the best recipe-- and their playful competition is soon dubbed "The Casserole Wars".  Dinner and drinks soon lead to R-rated conversation (The friends try to decide the "male" equivalent of the notorious C-word), tipsy party games, and then ultimately a night of drunken swimming, where clothes and inhibitions are soon lost.  

Up to this point, we may view "The Casserole Club"  as pure camp comedy.  Things start to segue into drama, however, when this gang of friends wakes up to their suburban reality the next day.  (One character declares, "The tension in here is as thick as Nixon!") Particularly fascinating is how each of the movie's five husband-and-wife pairings handle the proverbial "morning after"-- with emotions ranging from one couple avoiding the subject, to another bemoaning how long it took for the group festivities to happen in the first place.  Nevertheless, the parties continue-- with the sexual experimentation going even further.  The climax of the film occurs when, after another wild soiree, everyone wakes up to another sunlit morning of reality with a tragic discovery. 

All the characters deliver nicely nuanced performances, with a particularly standout being ex-Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson in his feature film debut: a fascinating example of dark tendencies hiding under middle class, white- bread affluence.  In Richardson's showcase scene, his character Conrad shows to be a rather troubled soul: at best regimented and at worst disturbed.  It's startling, and at times quite painful to watch.  Jennifer Grace is likewise a standout as vulnerable housewife Marybelle. It's worth mentioning again, however, that the entire cast is excellent and indeed fun to watch, playing a group of characters that are as colorful as the aforementioned set pieces.  At the risk of sounding square, let's say that director Steve Balderson has found a recipe for success with this "casserole club".    

"The Casserole Club" is now avaiable on DVD.  Visit www.BreakingGlassPictures.com for more.

DVD Review: "NATE AND MARGARET"

DVD Review: "NATE AND MARGARET"


Meet Nate (played by Tyler Ross).  He's a cute, innocent-looking film student, aptly described as "puppyish" by another character.  Nate has never yet had a steady boyfriend.  One of Nate's pals is Darla, a wild-eyed, free-spirited party girl (played by magnetic but underused actress Gaby Hoffman).  It may seem logical that the shy Nate and the sassy Darla would make a good comedy duo: something of a twenty-something version of  "Will and Grace, 2012" set in Chicago.  However, Nate's best friend is not Darla, but rather Margaret, the other half of "Nate and Margaret"'s title.  Margaret (Natalie West) is a self-described "52-year old spinster with a mug addiction and an extensive take-out Rolodex".  She works at a coffee shop but dreams of breaking into the serious world of stand-up comedy, drawing her schtick from her turbulent childhood and non-turbulent love life.  One of her bits is "Relationships are hard... I think I should try and find someone I like and have them kick my ass.  Then, if I still like 'em, maybe there's potential.  That's what my dad did, and my mom didn't seem to mind.  In my family, bruises were like kisses.  A black eye not only meant that Dad loved me, but that he loved me RECENTLY!"  Nate and Margaret make for an odd but devoted couple, riding bikes together and hitting thrift shops (Margaret's "mug addiction" described above is coffee mugs!) in their spare time. Their idiosyncratic relationship is put to the test when Nate starts dating a sexually aggressive but rather shallow and coarse party boy named James (Conor McCahill).  Unexpected emotions and tensions soon come to the surface.  The climax of the film occurs when an innocent good deed by one of the characters has unexpectedly disastrous consequences-- leading to a fight that threatens Nate and Margaret's friendship for good.

For decades, many filmmakers have tried to portray the dynamics of the unique friendship between gay men and straight women, both on the big and the small screen.  What makes "Nate and Margaret" stand out is that this relationship is nicely real and believable.  While director Nathan Adloff does include some crazy, over-the-top supporting characters for good measure, Nate and Marageret themselves are NOT caricatures created solely for laughs-- and they certainly are not stereotypes either.  Nate is not just another horny twenty-something whose sole quest is to find "Mr Right Now"; and Margaret-- although we suspect she may be lonely-- is not one of those desperate, so-called "fag hags" that we see so often in movies and TV.  Unlike previous incarnations of the same gay man/straight woman relationship story, the friendship between Nate and Margaret is not based around loud shopping trips to the mall or the joint ogling of handsome male passers-by.   When the mood of the movie switches from comedy to drama, the characters are so believable that the resultant emotions become very palpable.  "Nate and Margaret" will make you feel good-- without making you feel like you should have to feel good.

"Nate and Margaret"
is now available on DVD.  Visit www.BreakingGlassPictures.com for more info.