Saturday, April 30, 2011

We Are What We Are - 5 - 'Kiss of the Spider Woman'

Kiss of the Spider Woman (musical)

Kiss of the Spider Woman is a musical with music by John Kander and Fred Ebb, with the book by Terrence McNally. It is based on the Manuel Puig novel El Beso de la Mujer Araña. The musical had runs in the West End (1992) and Broadway (1993) and won the 1993 Tony Award for Best Musical.

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Some coverage of the 1992 London opening of Spider Woman, featuring interviews with director Harold Prince, novelist Manuel Puig, and set designer Jerome Sirlin, pre-Broadway footage of the show, and at 4mins 25secs, the original promo commercial from before the show's Toronto opening.

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Brent Carver, Anthony Crivello, Chita Rivera and the original cast of Kiss of the Spider Woman.

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    Luis Alberto Molina, a transgender window dresser, is in a prison in a Latin American country, serving his third year of an eight-year-sentence for corrupting a minor. He lives in a fantasy world to flee the prison life, the torture, fear and humiliation. His fantasies turn mostly around movies, particularly around a vampy diva, Aurora. He loves her in all roles, but one scares him: This role is the spider woman, who kills with her kiss.
   One day, a new man is brought in his cell: Valentin Arregui Paz, a Marxist revolutionary, already in a bad state of health after torture. Molina cares for him and tells him of Aurora. But Valentin can't stand Molina and his theatrical fantasies and draws a line on the floor to stop Molina from coming nearer to him. Molina, however, continues talking, mostly to block out the cries of the tortured prisoners, about Aurora and his mother. Valentin at last tells Molina that he is in love with a girl named Marta.
   Again, Valentin is tortured, again Molina has to care for him afterwards. In his fantasies, Aurora is next to him, helping him do so.
The prison director announces to Molina that his mother is very ill and that Molina will be allowed to see her. Condition: He must tell the name of Valentin's girlfriend.
   Molina tells Valentin about his love: A waiter named Gabriel. Only a short while afterwards, Molina gets hallucinations and cramps after knowingly eating poisoned food intended for Valentin. He is brought to the hospital ward, talking to Aurora and his mother. As Molina is brought back, Valentin starts suffering from the same symptoms, also from poisoned food. Molina is afraid that Valentin will be given substances that might make him talk and so protects Valentin from being taken to the hospital. As Molina nurses him, Valentin asks him to tell him about his movies.
   Molina is happy to do so; Valentin also shares his fantasies and hopes with Molina. Molina is allowed a short while at the telephone with his mother, back he announces to Valentin that he's going to be freed for his good behaviour the next day. Valentin begs him to do a few telephone calls for him, Molina at first refuses, but Valentin knows how to persuade his cell mate...
   Molina is brought back the next day, heavily injured. He has been caught in the telephone call, but refuses to tell whom he has phoned. The warden draws his pistol, threatening to shoot him, if he doesn't tell. Molina confesses his love to Valentin and is shot. Aurora bends over him and gives her deadly kiss.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


My latest story, ‘The Beast Within’, was accepted by Silver Publishing. –grinning big-

This means I have one published, ‘Everyone’s Man’, plus three pending:

     ‘Lies and Misunderstandings’ (July 16th, 2011) - ‘Siblings’ Emile and Peter, with the help of two allies, must fight to remain safe from whoever is responsible for the disappearance and possible death of their mentor. In the process they find love despite the lies and misunderstandings that surround them.

     Hitman’s Creed’ (Sept. 10th, 2011) - Can two men, Joey Fairburn, a twenty-one year old Criminal Justice student, the other, Glenn Tanner, a thirty-four year hitman attempting to start a new life, find a common bond to stop a murderer and find love despite their disparate ages and occupations?

     ‘The Beast Within’ - A serial killer targeting gay men is on the loose. As a result four men’s lives - Devin's and Gary's, ex lovers - Vanni's, a gay-club habitué - and Hollis's, the detective in charge of the ‘Heartless Murders’ case - become intertwined. Can they stop a killer and find love in the process?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Today’s blog is a bit off-topic from my normal ones. I’ve written several stories, none published although I have posted them to my group, that revolve around or feature characters who live on the streets, especially teens. When my son was growing up he met, became friends with and sometimes brought home several homeless teens. They would stay with us on and off when they needed a place to crash for a day or three. Most of them respected the chance to have a warm place, safe place for a brief time. One didn’t and…well that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. In Denver there’s a newspaper called the Denver Voice which is sold on the street by homeless vendors. I pick up a copy as often as possible. This month’s issue has to do with hatred, hatred primarily aimed at LGBT people. If you are interested in reading some of the articles they can be found at - One article in particular, ‘Respect My Pronouns’, talks about being bullied in school. (

The video (below) tells a bit about the newspaper itself and the people who are vendors as well as those responsible for its being published


"Denver Voice mission: to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

We Are What We Are - 4

Thrill Me

Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story is a musical with a book, music, and lyrics by Stephen Dolginoff. It is based on the true story of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, the so-called "thrill killers" who murdered a young boy in 1924 in order to commit "the perfect crime." The story is told in flashbacks, beginning with a 1958 parole hearing.

The show had a small production in 2003 at the Midtown International Theater Festival in New York City. It was then staged as a larger Off-Broadway production in 2005 by the York Theatre Company/Jim Kierstead.

The Seattle Channel interviews writer/composer/actor Stephen Dolginoff, who reprises his off-Broadway role as "Nathan Leopold" in the ArtsWest Seattle production of THRILL ME. John Bartley co-stars as "Richard Loeb" in this feature story which includes rehearsal footage.

Plot summary

        It is 1958 at Joliet Prison, Illinois, where Nathan “Babe” Leopold faces the Parole Board for the fifth time. He tells them the facts of the “crime of the century” that sent him to prison thirty-five years earlier ("Why"). But this time he reveals more than ever, hoping it will lead to his release. In his memory, he goes back to 1924 Chicago, where, as a nineteen year old boy, he anxiously meets up with Richard Loeb, a classmate with whom he has shared friendship, sex and participation in minor crimes. Richard, who has been away at college, treats Nathan indifferently. Nathan begs to renew their relationship before separating again after the summer to attend different law schools ("Everybody Wants Richard"). Richard relents and allows Nathan to join in his activity for the evening – setting an abandoned warehouse on fire. In front of the blaze ("Nothing Like a Fire"), which arouses Richard, Nathan finally gets what he wants.
       The next day, Nathan implores Richard, who is voraciously reading Nietzsche, to stop the criminal activity. Instead Richard, now empowered by the theory of the Superman, threatens to drop Nathan completely unless they create "A Written Contract" detailing that Richard will satisfy Nathan’s sexual needs only in exchange for Nathan’s expertise as his accomplice in petty crimes. Reluctantly, Nathan agrees. They sign in blood and their crime spree continues until Richard fails to live up to his end of the agreement ("Thrill Me"). Richard explains that he is bored with the misdemeanors and wants to commit a “superior” crime: the murder of a young boy ("The Plan") and a phony ransom scheme after the killing. Richard insists that their intellect and meticulous plotting will prevent them from being caught. Nathan has no choice but to agree or risk Richard’s wrath.
       Back in 1958 at Joliet before the Parole Board, Nathan explains his feelings ("Way Too Far") as he recalls how Richard prepared the murder weapons and supplies: rope, a crowbar and a bottle of acid. Richard lures the victim by promising a ride in his "Roadster". While cleaning up the murder scene, Richard extols the virtues of being "Superior" (see video below) to a shaken Nathan. Back at Richard’s house they compose the bogus "Ransom Note" and proceed with their plans. The next day, the newspapers reveal that, despite their careful planning, the body has been found. As a few more days go by, Nathan’s missing eye-glasses are discovered near the scene of the crime. While Nathan panics, Richard tries to calm him ("My Glasses/Just Lay Low") over the phone. When the glasses are eventually traced to Nathan, Richard helps him concoct an emergency alibi and coaches him in how to answer the cops ("I'm Trying to Think"). After Nathan is successful with the police, Richard declares their relationship over so he can protect his future as a lawyer. He reminds Nathan that everything would have been fine if the glasses hadn’t been dropped. Feeling betrayed, Nathan cuts a deal with prosecutors, turning in Richard in exchange for a lighter sentence.
       When arrested, Richard realizes there is no way out and works his charms on Nathan ("Keep Your Deal With Me") by convincing him to give up the deal and accept the same punishment. While awaiting the penalty trail in his jail cell, Richard doesn't realize Nathan can hear him muttering to himself that he is truly "Afraid" despite his strong façade. Thanks to the cunning strategies of their lawyer, Clarence Darrow, they escape the death penalty and are sentenced to prison. Behind bars, Nathan finally reveals his own shocking plan: fearing the loss of Richard, he went along with the murder but stayed one step ahead the entire time, even deliberately planting his glasses, knowing that all this would ensure his desire to be together forever, or at least for "Life Plus 99 Years". Now that the whole truth has finally been exposed, back at Joliet prison Nathan is granted parole. It is a bittersweet victory; since Richard was murdered by another inmate years before, Nathan must face the outside world alone ("Finale").

From the PBS Broadcast of the 51st Annual Drama Desk Awards. Stephen Dolginoff and Doug Kreeger perform the song "SUPERIOR" from the nominated Off-Broadway musical THRILL ME: THE LEOPOLD & LOEB STORY by Stephen Dolginoff. The show was nominated for BEST MUSICAL and BEST MUSIC SCORE

Saturday, April 16, 2011

We Are What We Are - 3

The Rocky Horror Show is a long-running British horror comedy stage musical, which opened in London on 19 June 1973. It was written by English-born New Zealander Richard O’Brien, and developed by O'Brien in collaboration with Australian theater director Jim Sharman.
The play was adapted as the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This show tells the story of two clean cut kids, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, who run into car trouble and seek help at the site of light down the road. Little do they know it's coming from the place where Dr. Frank N Furter is in the midst of his maniacal experiments. The play is a rock musical, a spoof of science fiction movies, and a bizarre story of seduction and sexual confusion..(for some)

Full plot can be found at

From the show....

From the movie...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Muse -snorting-

Muse: the goddess or the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker, or the like.

It is a very personal aversion of mine but I truly dislike hearing the word ‘muse’ used as an excuse for not being able to write, such as ‘My muse isn’t talking to me at the moment’ or ‘I think my muse ran away because I can’t seem to get my story moving’. I envision a little pink elf-like creature who sits on someone’s shoulder when they’re writing and whispers the words into their ear as if the writer has no control over what is happening.

It’s not some pixie or goddess or any other such ‘creature’ inspiring or inhibiting the writer. Life inspires, ideas inspire, ‘what-if’s’ inspire, pictures inspire, many other things inspire, and all of those are in the writer’s mind and heart and soul. No Greek goddess came wandering in, sat down opposite the writer and said, “Today you will create such and such a story.” No, the author came up with it in their own fertile mind.

By the same token said Greek goddess, or however you envision a muse, did not decide to go off and play with her male counterpart and thus leave the author hanging by his or her fingernails as they wonder what should come next in the story they’re working on. Yes life can step in and mess things up and that’s an acceptable ‘excuse’. Or the author can look at a page and say “This is not working so I have to rethink it,” but it’s on the author’s shoulders to do that. To sit around and say ‘Where is my muse?” is, in my humble opinion, a cop out of the worst sort.

The author is his or her own ‘muse’, nothing more, nothing less.

End of rant.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

We Are What We Are - 2

La Cage aux Folles (musical)

La Cage aux Folles is a musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman. Based on the 1973French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, it focuses on a gay couple: Georges, the manager of a Saint-Tropez nightclub featuring drag entertainment, and Albin, his romantic partner and star attraction, and the farcical adventures that ensue when Georges' son, Jean-Michel, brings home his fiancee’s  ultra-conservative parents to meet them.
The musical's original 1983 Broadway production received nine nominations for Tony Awards and won six. The success of the musical spawned a West End production and several international runs. The 2010 Broadway revival was nominated for eleven Tony Awards, winning the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. "La Cage aux Folles" is the only musical which has won that award twice and the only show that has won a Best Musical award (Original and revivals) for every staged production.

La Cage Aux Folles (2010 Broadway Revival Montage)

2010 Tony Awards: La Cage Performance 


David Engel - I AM WHAT I AM - La Cage aux Folles 

Albin's Act I closing number from "La Cage aux Folles"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Words are worse than Sticks and Stones

We Are What We Are

As the title of this series of blogs is 'We Are What We Are'  from La Cage aux Folles the first video is from the

Tony Awards:La Cage Aux Folles " We Are What We Are " I am What I Am "Next Sunday there will be more from the show. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Raining Men is officially open

It is a collaborative effort between Michael Mandrake/Rawiya/Blmorticia, Blak Rayne, Ike Rose, Catriana Sommers, myself (Edward Kendrick), S.L. Danielson, and Andrew Grey, plus various guest authors to give a voice to M/M authors, artists, photographers and etc. 

Stories, articles, rants and raves, you’ll find it all when you visit ‘It’s Raining Men’. We hope to see you there.

This is the schedule:
Monday – Manlove Monday with Michael Mandrake and crew
Tuesday – Tasty Tuesday with Ike Rose
Wednesday – Wild Wednesday with Blak Rayne
Thursday – Thud Thursdays
            Odd Numbered days: Andrew Grey
            Even Numbered days: SL Danielson
Friday – Fantasy Friday with Catriana Sommers
Saturday – Spotlights every Sat except for the Second Sat with Michelle and Lisa Reviews
Sunday – Sunday Serials with Edward Kendrick