Ah, summer. So hot. So fast. Before you can blink, we’ll be cruising right into fall. For now, there’s plenty of time to dive into one (or all) of these things to do over the next couple of weeks. Enjoy scantily-clad dance parties, a super gay theater production, and dedicated “me time” at home with a new album or a sex-room show (seriously).
1. Laugh it Up at the Ringwald Theatre’s Gay Rom-Com
Need a good laugh? Head to the Ringwald Theatre, located inside Affirmations LGBTQ+ community center, for “You’ve Got Male,” a “gay rom-com jukebox musical parody mash-up” (say that three times fast).
The adventure is sure to offer a welcome escape from the real world — in a press release, one of the show’s playwrights, Matthew Arrington, said the production follows the Ringwald’s tradition of “campy, big, raucous summer parodies.” Vince Kelley, Arrington’s co-writer, added, “Non-binary actors Al Duffy and Rashna Sarwar show a queer love story that we haven’t had the opportunity to see in a mainstream rom-com — how fantastic is that?”
Through Aug. 8. Tickets at theringwald.com, $15 to $25. Masks and proof of vaccination required for entry.
2. Attend a Virtual Gender Embodiment Workshop
The Ann Arbor YMCA is offering a series of virtual gender embodiment workshops focused on “freeing the voice and body for the purpose of experiencing and expressing themselves in whatever way they choose — male, female, non-binary.”
Elizabeth Terrel, director of Voice & Movement at Western Michigan University Department of Theatre, leads the workshops. “What matters most to me is that folks know I create a safe and supportive space while also being a true voice professional,” she said in a statement. “There are so many factors that go into how our culture ‘genders’ voices. This exploration can be a lot of fun!”The workshops will be held July 21 and Aug. 4 and 18. Costs vary and financial assistance is available. Learn more at annarborymca.org.
3. Build a Sex Room This Summer
If shows like “Tidying Up” or “Bargain Block” motivate you to jump into home improvement projects, proceed with caution if you decide to binge Netflix’s new reno show, “How to Build a Sex Room.” Whips, suspension systems and sex-play cages can get pricey!
Cheeky naughtiness aside, the show brings an impotant message about queer sex positivity into a mainstream space, exploring the freedom and pleasure of dedicating a place to, well, freedom and pleasure. Get inspired by couples and a group involved in a polyamorous relationship as they create rooms that push boundaries and embrace human sexuality in healthy, safe, exhilarating environments certain to become conversation starters at your next dinner party. “How to Build a Sex Room” is streaming on Netflix.
4. Sexy Tea Party, Anyone?
If you haven’t made it out to one of Thots & Prayers’ ThotTea Garden Party this summer, get to it! Each Sunday at Marble Bar, DJs Theo and Jace M host an outdoor dance party featuring current and classic circuit music, and isn’t that just how you want to start your week? Each garden party focuses on a special theme, but all share a common goal of sweaty, bass-thumping good times. ThotTea Garden Parties are held 4-10 p.m. every Sunday through August at Marble Bar (1501 Holden St. near Midtown). Follow Thots & Prayers on Facebook.
5. Hear Gender-Neutral Pop Songs
Miki Ratsula’s “made for them” EP is not only, as Billboard describes, “warm” and “cozy,” but the Finnish-American artist’s gender-neutral covers of pop hits like Harry Styles’ “She” will get you thinking: Why are so many love songs so explicitly hetero when love is universal?
“made for them” features ethereal, indie-pop covers of songs from Styles, Phoebe Bridgers, One Direction, Dodie, Angus & Julia Stone. In a recent interview with everyqueer.com, Ratsula said they “want people in the LGBTQ+ community to finally have a love song they can relate to.” It’s an approach that is resonating with audiences. As Ratsula notes in a press release promoting the EP, “I didn’t realize how much it would mean for so many of you… There’s something special about feeling represented in music.”
Stream Ratsula’s EP on Soundcloud or your favorite service.