Romeo and Juliet live happily ever after? Fortunately, that’s not how Michael Pink sees it.
With the colorful and bold word “Perv” printed on the book cover above the photograph of a sheep, readers of Jesse Bering’s newest book might choose to peruse it on a tablet, behind a faux cover or in private.
But “Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us” is about reclaiming the word and getting past condemning what we don’t understand or find disgusting. By chapter two, “Damn Dirty Apes,” a reader might feel free to be seen reading the book on the bus ride from work or at a Colectivo Coffee shop.
Take Romeo and Juliet, imagine them traveling in a time machine set for three distinctly different stops in the 20th century, and you’ll have some idea how Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet will bring the star-crossed lovers to the stage next spring.
The subject of Lily Keber’s fascinating documentary Bayou Maharaj: The Tragic Genius of James Booker, the late, queer New Orleans piano legend James Booker was a gifted performer with a serious substance abuse problem. He died at 43 in 1983. Booker was so unpredictable that he was able to make only a few studio albums. To coincide with the release of the documentary film about him, Classified, considered his masterwork, has been reissued as Classified: Remixed and Expanded. It’s an exceptional 22-track crash course in Booker. Almost half of the songs were previously unreleased, including the extraordinary Booker original “I’m Not Sayin’,” which says plenty about his talent.
Fewer LGBT characters are part of the new broadcast TV season following a record-setting year, while cable depictions continued to increase, according to a new study from a media advocacy group.
GLAAD's 18th annual "Where We Are on TV" report released on Oct. 11 says 3.3 percent of 796 regularly appearing characters on prime-time broadcast dramas and comedies are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
For baby boomers, Sally Struthers’ name conjures a host of memories from the groundbreaking 1970s television series All in the Family. Struthers played Gloria Stivic, the wholesome, idealistic wife of “meathead” Mike (Rob Reiner) and the daughter of armchair bigot Archie (Carroll O’Connor) and dingbat Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton). Caught between a sitcom marriage and the emerging feminism of her day, Struthers gave the nation its first liberated version of Miss American Pie, cheerfully speaking out against sexism, racism and homophobia as she helped set the dinner table.
"Quiet Dell" (Scribner), by Jayne Anne Phillips
In the 1930s, a man who called himself Cornelius O. Pierson began to correspond with a 45-year-old widow struggling to raise three young children in suburban Chicago. She had written to a matrimonial bureau - the Depression-era version of online dating - seeking someone with whom she might find "true friendship, fidelity and matrimony."
Reese Madigan and Greta Wohlrabe in Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s production of Venus in Fur, playing through through Nov. 3 at the Stiemke Studio. –Photo: Michael Brosilow