By Romeo San Vicente
Hugh Jackman spreads his Seed
No, he’s still not gay. But Hugh Jackman’s been such a willing part of queer culture – what with portraying the late Peter Allen on Broadway, camping it up at the Tony Awards, and playing bear pin-up Wolverine in the meta-queer “X-Men” movies – that his heterosexuality is easily forgettable. And he’s soon to give his queer audience exactly what it wants with his new Seed Productions shingle, co-run with colleague John Palermo (they worked together on “Van Helsing.”) Their first project? A possible Wolverine spin-off film. A script is already in the works, and tentative plans include shooting after “X3” wraps. Jackman and Palermo have also aligned with gay producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to develop musicals for the Aussie’s song-and-dance-man leanings. Now, what if the Wolverine movie was a musical? OK, maybe not.
Queer directors flock to ‘The L Word’
“The L Word” keeps attracting cool indie film and theater directors, just as it did in season two. The lineup behind the camera for the third year of Showtime’s ratings grabber includes Angela Robinson (“D.E.B.S.,” “Herbie: Fully Loaded”) Frank Pierson (“Soldier’s Girl,” “Dog Day Afternoon”), Kimberly Peirce (“Boys Don’t Cry”), Bronwen Hughes (“Harriet the Spy,” “Forces of Nature”), and Moises Kaufman (“The Laramie Project”). Returning “L”-helmers Rose Troche (“Go Fish,” “The Safety of Objects”) and Burr Steers (“Igby Goes Down”) will also revisit Los Angeles’ most fashionably dressed lesbians. No word on what story lines are coming up for the next cycle, or when the episodes will air, but Romeo is already planning Marc Jacobs-themed watching parties.
Drag docs dress up
Justin Bond and Kenny Mellman, also known as the cracked cabaret act Kiki & Herb, are the subjects of a new documentary, “Kiki & Herb Will Die for You.” Piano man Herb (Mellman) and his aging, drunken chanteuse Kiki (Bond) have been thrilling queer audiences for years with their strange take on cabaret conventions. Now their act can find a new home in art-house theaters and on DVD. Meanwhile, acclaimed playwright and drag legend Charles Busch is the subject of his own doc, called “The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch.” Featuring appearances by Boy George, Rosie O’Donnell, Kathleen Turner, and B.D. Wong, the film is – like Kiki & Herb’s – hitting the festival circuit now with hopes for wider release later.
‘A Chorus Line,’ meet ‘Jerry Springer’
With so few new shows opening on Broadway, the Great White Gay relies on revivals and imports to keep things interesting. Sometimes this pays off and sometimes not. So it will be interesting to watch how the period revival of the hugely popular ’70s musical “A Chorus Line” will play to new audiences. Groundbreaking in its day for its inclusion of gay characters, “A Chorus Line” will step back into its leg warmers in the fall of 2006. And for a more modern spin on queer visibility, “Jerry Springer: The Opera” will also come to Broadway next year to scandalize audiences. With its heightened, high-art celebration of America’s appetite for trash TV’s most queer-inclusive (especially transgender) talk-show host, it’s sure to make a splashy debut.