February 6th, 2014

andrew potter

Gustavo Motta (June 20, 1944 - February 6, 1993)

Even in high school Gus Motta (Gustavo Alfredo Motta, Jr., June 20, 1944, Providence, Rhode Island - February 6, 1993, New York, New York) showed a passion for opera and an affinity for teaching, writing and directing. He organized trips to the Metropolitan Opera for his fellow students, and held "classes" for them beforehand so they would know what they were hearing. He directed and wrote incidental music for a student production of Macbeth. And the school literary magazine he founded and wrote for, The Laureate, still exists today. (Photo: courtesy Jo Marian Motta Going)

As a student at Georgetown University in the 1960s Motta wrote, directed and produced three original musicals — Gambit (1963), 571 B.C. (1964) and My Son Hamlet (1968) — with fellow undergraduate Richard Murphy, and wrote incidental music for productions of The Good Woman of Setzuan, Hetty and Mourning Becomes Electra.

Motta entered the graduate theater program in Stage Direction at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and received Shubert Fellowships in Playwriting in 1966 and 1967. He directed several student productions including Albee's Tiny Alice, and created a sensation with his modern production of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida. He also wrote and produced an anti-war play, Heresiarch, and founded and directed a student summer stock company. Some of the people he worked with in those years, such as set and costume designer John Wright Stevens and stage manager Margaret Peckham, along with Richard Murphy, remained his lifelong friends.

In 1969 Motta pursued postgraduate studies in playwriting at Columbia University and received another Shubert Fellowship in Playwriting. He directed his own modern adaptation of Die Entfuehrung Aus Dem Serail with members of the New York City Opera and Metropolitan Opera Studio in 1971, and wrote the music for an erotic puppet show, Kumquats, given by Wayland Flowers and "Madame" late at night at the Village Gate after performances of Jacques Brel.

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Source: www.artistswithaids.org/artforms/music/catalogue/motta.html
The stage director was a very affable, intelligent, and artistic soul named Gustavo ("Gus") Motta. I liked him immediately. It was obvious to me that we shared similar dreams of using the stage to make characters come to life. I felt like I could easily do the staging he wanted and also draw from my own preparation for this role. Gus was something of a rising star in Opera America. He was being seriously examined by the moguls who make or break careers, and the King mogul was there for the whole production, Matthew Epstein. Gus has done great research on Verdi and Rigoletto which made it easy for me to draw from my own research. I enjoyed being compliant with his concepts.
[...]
The system just could not stand Gus Motta's mistake in the staging of Rigoletto's ending... "because the... lower rungs of the profession are not congenial to the biggest mistakes, the more abrasive temperaments of the truly dramatic artists." Gus never worked in opera again.--GOOD DREAMS - Miracles In Opera And In Life by Joseph Shore
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More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics


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andrew potter

Richard Barnfield (June 13, 1574 – February 6, 1620)

Richard Barnfield (1574–1620), English poet, was born at Norbury, Staffordshire, and brought up in Newport, Shropshire.

He was baptized on 13 June 1574, the son of Richard Barnfield, gentleman. His obscure though close relationship with Shakespeare has long made him interesting to scholars. In November 1589 Barnfield matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and took his degree in February 1592. He performed the exercise for his masters gown, but seems to have left the university abruptly, without proceeding to the M.A.

It is conjectured that he came up to London in 1593, and became acquainted with Watson, Drayton, and perhaps with Edmund Spenser. The death of Sir Philip Sidney had occurred while Barnfield was still a school-boy, but it seems to have strongly affected his imagination and to have inspired some of his earliest verses. In November 1594, in his twenty-first year, Barnfield published anonymously his first work, The Affectionate Shepherd, dedicated with familiar devotion to Penelope Rich, Lady Rich. This was a sort of florid romance, in two books of six-line stanzas, in the manner of Lodge and Shakespeare, dealing at large with the complaint of Daphnis for the love of Ganymede. As the author expressly admitted later, it was an expansion or paraphrase of Virgil's second eclogue Formosum pastor Corydon ardebat Alexim.

Although the poem was successful, it did not pass without censure from the moral point of view because of its openly homosexual content. Two months later, in January 1595, Barnfield published his second volume, Cynthia, with certain Sonnets, and the legend of Cassandra, and this time signed the preface, which was dedicated, in terms which imply close personal relations, to William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby. This is a book of extreme interest; it exemplifies the earliest study both of Spenser and Shakespeare. Cynthia itself, a panegyric on Queen Elizabeth, is written in the Spenserian stanza, of which it is probably the earliest example extant outside The Faerie Queene.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Barnfield

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andrew potter

Ron Field (1934 – February 6, 1989)

Ronald Field (1934 – February 6, 1989) was an American choreographer, director, and dancer.

Field was born in New York City, New York where he made his Broadway debut as a child in Lady in the Dark (1941) with Gertrude Lawrence. He later danced in the ensembles of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), Kismet (1954), and The Boy Friend (1955) before deciding to concentrate on choreography. His first two efforts Nowhere But Up (1962) and Cafe Crown (1964) were flops, but in 1966 he won his first Tony Award for his dazzling work in the smash hit Cabaret, the first of several noteworthy successes.

During rehearsals for Stephen Sondheim's trouble-plagued Merrily We Roll Along in 1981, Field was unceremoniously dismissed from the creative team. It wasn't until a revival of Cabaret in 1987 that he would have another Broadway success. (P: Ronald Field, Kismet, between numbers)

In addition to his work on Broadway, Field staged such diverse projects as Las Vegas nightclub acts, the 44th Annual Academy Awards telecast in 1972, a Hollywood Bowl concert and television special with Bette Midler in 1977, the opening ceremonies for the 1986 Los Angeles Olympics, and an acclaimed revival of Kiss Me, Kate in London's West End. He also choreographed Martin Scorsese's New York, New York (1977).

On February 6, 1989, Field died of brain lesions in New York City at the age of fifty-five. Dancers Over 40 rounded up a gaggle of Broadway gypsies to honor him on October 21st, 2013, at St. Luke’s Theater in NYC.




Phyllis Newman, Producer Ron Field and Bernadette Peters

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Field

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andrew potter

John Rowell

John Rowell is a native of North Carolina who now teaches and writes theater criticism. He is also currently studying writing at Bennington College in Vermont, under the tutelage of such luminaries as Jill McCorkle, Susan Cheever, and Amy Hempel. He lives in New York City.

Further Readings:

The Music of Your Life: Stories by John Rowell
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 2, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743258037
ISBN-13: 978-0743258036
Amazon: The Music of Your Life: Stories
Amazon Kindle: The Music of Your Life: Stories

With a voice that is both sophisticated and deeply Southern, first-time author John Rowell evokes the memory of the great Truman Capote in this wonderful collection of short stories, peopled with unforgettable, endearing characters and filled with wry insights.

Drawn from the emotional well of a young man who grew up in love with the glittery, glamorous world of music and movies and theater -- far removed from his own more prosaic life in North Carolina -- and informed with honesty and compassion, the seven short stories that comprise The Music of Your Life mark the impressive debut of a remarkably gifted writer.
Compulsively readable and always accessible, each story takes the reader into the mind and heart of its central character, whether a young boy suffering from Lawrence Welk damage and teetering precariously on the edge of puberty ("The Music of Your Life") or a not-so-young-anymore man for whom fantasy and reality have become a terrifying blur and who finds himself slipping over the edge toward total meltdown ("Wildlife of Coastal Carolina").
Nostalgia plays a part in these stories as a somewhat jaded New York film critic looks back on his life and the movies that shaped him ("Spectators in Love"), and an aging flower-shop owner ruefully assesses the love he found and lost when, as an eighteen-year-old, he embarked on a Hollywood career that never soared but did include one particularly memorable appearance on the I Love Lucy television show ("Who Loves You?").
Sex and sexual identity are also major factors in these stories, as a choir director finds one of his altos trying to play matchmaker for him with a recent divorcée ("Saviors"), and a group of forty-something men find themselves in the awkward company of a lusty bunch of twenty-somethings ("Delegates") and reflect on how surely they were never that age.
These stories, along with "The Mother-of-the-Groom and I," a wonderfully wry look at a failed New York actor who has come home for his brother's wedding and who is given the task of helping his mother find the proper dress for the event, all create entire worlds within which the characters live and struggle to find their way.
Funny, touching, serious, and tender, these are tales sure to appeal to anyone who has ever known the awkwardness of being "different," and while life is often harsh for the stories' characters, the bold determination with which they persevere offers inspiration to all. Crafted with affecting sincerity, The Music of Your Life marks the beginning of what is certain to be an extraordinary career.

More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels


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andrew potter

It Happened Today: February 6

Arthur Gold & Robert Fizdale: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4183100.html

Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale were an American two-piano ensemble; they were also authors and television cooking show hosts. They met during their student years at the Juilliard School. In 1944, they formed a lifelong gay partnership based around their common interests of music, travel and cooking. They were fixtures in New York's artistic community, being friends with literary and cultural figures such as Truman Capote, James Schuyler, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, among others.

Gustavo Motta (June 20, 1944 - February 6, 1993): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4183423.html

Even in high school Gus Motta showed a passion for opera and an affinity for teaching, writing and directing. Following a diagnosis of full-blown AIDS, Motta returned to NYC and redoubled his efforts to ensure that his songs would be preserved and performed. He gave concerts at the LGBT Community Center, The Rheedlen Foundation, Manhattan Center for Living, Trinity School and Greenwich House Music School, and worked with such groups as OutMusic and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

John Rowell: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4184202.html

John Rowell is a native of North Carolina who now teaches and writes theater criticism. He is also currently studying writing at Bennington College in Vermont. He lives in New York City. With a voice that is both sophisticated and deeply Southern, first-time author John Rowell evokes the memory of the great Truman Capote in this wonderful collection of short stories, The Music of Your Life, peopled with unforgettable, endearing characters and filled with wry insights.

Lionel Blue & Jim: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4183604.html

Lionel Blue is a British Reform rabbi, journalist and broadcaster. Blue was the first British rabbi publicly to affirm his homosexual orientation and published Godly and Gay in 1981. He has been openly homosexual since the 1960s and has had three male live-in lovers. He met his most recent partner, Jim (born 1927), in 1981 through a personal advertisement in Gay Times. "We both knew what we wanted," says Lionel, "and we didn't want to be the oldest swingers in town. We wanted a home."

Richard Barnfield (June 13, 1574 – February 6, 1620): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3176401.html

Richard Barnfield, who wrote 2 volumes of homoerotic verse, was born in Norbury in 1574. The first biographical material on Barnfield is dated 1813, almost 2 centuries after his death. Although his 19-century biographer, Alexander Grosart, claimed that Barnfield married, there is in fact no evidence of the marriage. Andrew Worrall has discovered that the poet was disinherited by his father in favor of a younger brother.The poet died in obscurity, probably a bachelor, either in 1620 or 1626.

Ron Field (1934 – February 6, 1989): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4183924.html

Ronald Field (1934 – February 6, 1989) was an American choreographer, director, and dancer. In addition to his work on Broadway, Field staged such diverse projects as Las Vegas nightclub acts, the 44th Annual Academy Awards telecast in 1972, a Hollywood Bowl concert and television special with Bette Midler in 1977, the opening ceremonies for the 1986 Los Angeles Olympics, and an acclaimed revival of Kiss Me, Kate in London's West End. He also choreographed Martin Scorsese's New York, New York.

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andrew potter

2014 Rainbow Awards Submission: The Men of Jasper Hill

Gay Contemporary General Fiction
The Men of Jasper Hill by A. Scott Boddie

Paperback: 398 pages
Publisher: T Tocs Books LLC (October 6, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1938211154
ISBN-13: 978-1938211157
Amazon: The Men of Jasper Hill: Novel in Seven Stories
Amazon Kindle: The Men of Jasper Hill: Novel in Seven Stories

The Men of Jasper Hill A Novel in Seven Stories Six men living an embittered existence transmute to living out loud. What if you had different parents, born into a different family with different circumstances? What if you lived in a different city with different friends? What would your life be like? Have you wished for a different mother or father? Wished you were someone else to escape the pain, if only for one day? Does your family and friends accept you where you are standing today? The Men of Jasper Hill is a family. Ride along as strangers, from a variety of different social and economical situations, befriend, belittle, envenom, and live amidst each other in loving relationships. The Men of Jasper Hill tackles the urban themes of encroachment, friendship, execrable villainy, fierce loyalty, and generic families. Every character adds a layer of intrigue to personal, cinematic, expressive, and grim grace. Excerpt The Men of Jasper Hill In accents of menace and wrath; the Saviour house stood as a beacon for the perfect American family. Night after night the skies were wine-blue and bubbling with stars. Inside the house, behind closed doors the spirit was palpitating with rage and wounded sensibility. Every morning celebrated the ecstasy and festival of summer, and at dusk, deep within the house, yellowed-eyed demons prowled. The night Peter returned was a night of little ease, and every night after became a nightmare. Jeff Saviour was emancipated in 1969. The summer of Jeff--seven years old. 184 Brewster Place, Glen Clove, New York City, was incapable of verity. The calls were coming from inside the house. Life was slow to reveal, and it seemed intolerably tragic. Everyone in the family was aware of it. Father Saviour only cared about his millions, and mother Saviour never stayed sober after four-thirty. Summer was in full swing, and the heat was rising. Brewster street, once a lonely, empty playground, was now brimming with children. How do you paint a true picture with untrue words? How do you describe the emotions, and conflicts that are mixed with tragic intensity, when you wish it would go away? Sometimes the Universe makes mistakes. Sometimes you have to getaway, somewhere you can become the man that you were meant to be. It is called a dream. A dream of a better life, with real family made of friends. Happiness can be real, not like a thirty-minute sitcom, or a radio show, with exception to radio play of Skyline Pigeon, by Elton John, if you simply dream big. To survive, ill-bred insolence became the weapon of choice. Why care how they feel? They were aware of everything and did nothing.

Charities Donation program progress:
3$ COLORS: www.colorsyouth.org/giving
25$ Galop: www.galop.org.uk/donate/
50$ Ali Forney Center: www.aliforneycenter.org/index.cfm
60$ SAGE: giveto.sageusa.org/donate
125$ Cancer Research Institute: www.cancerresearch.org/how-you-can-donate-now
160$ UCAN: www.ucanchicago.org/donate/
TOTAL: 423$

2014 Rainbow Awards Guidelines: reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4162490.html

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andrew potter

2014 Rainbow Awards Submission: The Only One Who Knows

Gay Erotic Romance
The Only One Who Knows by Cat Grant & L.A. Witt

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (January 7, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: The Only One Who Knows

Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.

When Navy SEAL training pushed Lieutenant Josh Walker to his limit, Chief David Flint’s stern heart-to-heart—more like boot-to-ass—helped Josh realize his potential. When the holidays found them alone together and sharing a mutual attraction, they couldn’t help breaking a few regulations. And nearly breaking some furniture in the process.

Years after their short-lived fling, Senior Chief Flint returns to SEAL duty and finds himself under the command of the man he’s never been able to forget: Lieutenant Commander Walker. And Josh hasn’t forgotten David, either. Rules be damned, they can’t keep their hands off each other.

Despite their discretion, another SEAL catches on and threatens to expose their relationship, forcing Josh to bend to a blackmailer’s demands to avoid strife within the team just before a dangerous mission. David is the last man he can confide in…and the first to pick up on Josh’s tightly screwed-down stress.

When a life-or-death decision calls Josh’s leadership into question, coming clean could cost him what he values most. His coveted trident…and the man he loves.

Charities Donation program progress:
3$ COLORS: www.colorsyouth.org/giving
25$ Galop: www.galop.org.uk/donate/
50$ Ali Forney Center: www.aliforneycenter.org/index.cfm
60$ SAGE: giveto.sageusa.org/donate
125$ Cancer Research Institute: www.cancerresearch.org/how-you-can-donate-now
160$ UCAN: www.ucanchicago.org/donate/
TOTAL: 423$

2014 Rainbow Awards Guidelines: reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4162490.html

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andrew potter

Best LGBT Erotica : Can You Feel What I'm Saying? by James Earl Hardy

Considering that I’m not an huge fan of collections (I usually prefer longer novels) and that erotica is not really my cup of tea (I prefer sweet more than hot), I’m truly, but very much pleasantly, surprised of how much I enjoyed this one, to a level that I really love some stories, even the naughtier.

“The Last Picture. Show.” is about an young porn star who decides, exactly during a shoot, that it’s time to quit, and while the actor is engaging in his last gig, he wanders with his mind to the how and when he started, bringing the reader along, far from the current reality, that is not much appealing, not for the actor or the reader. But this is done with a light tone and in the end, help will arrive from the most unexpected ally.

“How Stanley Got His Back in Groove” is probably my favorite, along with “Can You Feel What I'm Saying?”. Very romantic and, well, sweet but sexy, is about almost 40 years old Stanley who embarks in a relationship with 20 years old Bobby, who is, by the way, one of his former elementary school students, from when Stanley did a 4 months stint as a PE teacher. Stanley was ending a 9 years self-imposed abstinence from sex, mainly cause, I suppose, he was disillusioned by it, but Bobby will teach him how to love again: the student becoming the teacher!

“Booty, By Jake” is the naughtier one I was referring to. Ray considers himself an A-list guy: handsome, with a good job and a long string of other A-list guys he can pick for a no strings attached booty call. Jake is only the super of his condo, an average guy, nothing special, B bordering C as Ray thought the first time he saw him. But Jake has hidden “qualities” that will have Ray promote him to the A+ level!

“Can You Feel What I'm Saying?” is the second romantic one, and another that I enjoyed. About an almost sweet romance between a blind man, Ellington, and his new friend, Antwan, a man he meets every morning while walking to work and who, Ellington decided, will be his birthday’s gift… and yes, that is exactly what he is meaning. Only that Antwan doesn’t consider himself to the level of Ellington, starting from his HIV positive status arriving to his no degree necessary job. It will be on Ellington to let him understand that those are irrelevant details in love.

This is the second time I had the chance to read a story by James Earl Hardy, and he is more and more convincing me to go back and read his B-Boy Blues classic series.

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: I A J Books (November 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0967832829
ISBN-13: 978-0967832821
Amazon: Can You Feel What I'm Saying?: An Erotic Anthology
Amazon Kindle: Can You Feel What I'm Saying?: An Erotic Anthology



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andrew potter

Debt Price by Dusk Peterson

I admit, I was ready to dislike this novella as soon as I started it: a young man in prison for a nefarious crime (killing children) has to pay his debt becoming a whore, first raped by the prison guards, and then sold to the relatives of the children he killed. I wasn’t sure what was worst, the crime he committed or the punishment he was enduring. Because the young man was basically stupid, used by others as a mean for the crime, a crime he committed not understanding the implications.

But one of those relatives, a young lord whose brother was one of the children, the older of the children to be killed, the one who was trying to save them all and died in doing so, decides to “buy” the prisoner’s debt: now the young man is living on the lord’s estate, not understanding what the lord wants from him, how he is supposed to repay him. Living on the estate, the young man has the chance to see the true from the other side, to recollect who was the young lord’s brother, how unselfish and kind he was, what great crime he committed in killing him, basically killing the whole joy of the estate and its inhabitants. For a simple boy like him, a commoner, worse than a commoner now, a slave, it seems impossible to be able to replace such loss.

I arrive to deeply care for both the young man and the young lord; towards the end, it seemed almost a fairy tale, a tragedy turned in romance… but that wasn’t surprising, cause, for what I remember, the best fairy tales are indeed tragic love stories.

Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press (June 21, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Debt Price (Master/Other)

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