Features

In June 1969, a small group of social misfits, outcasts and pariahs had had enough.

The watering hole in which they were socializing among themselves, not hurting anyone, was being raided by the police — yet again. Out of frustration and anger, some of these people fought back. The watering hole was New York’s Stonewall Inn, and the resultant altercation escalated into a three-day riot that sparked the modern gay-rights movement.

And who was in the forefront of the Stonewall Riots, manning the barricades, fighting tear gas with mockery and chorus lines, standing up to police in riot gear?

Drag queens.

Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying at the scary, dysfunctional and outright stupid state of American politics these days. Luckily for us, a new podcast is trying to find the humor in the maelstrom.

“Let’s Get Civical,” hosted by New York City-based comedian Lizzie Stewart and gay political strategist Arden Walentowski, is equal parts civics class and comedy show. The duo is making it its mission to break down all the political action into easily understandable morsels.

Philadelphia’s LGBTQ film festival will screen more than 100 features, documentaries and shorts during its weeklong run March 25-31. Among this year’s qFLIX offerings are several local-interest titles, as well as appearances by filmmakers.

One of the opening films is the world premiere of Philly-set-and-shot romance “From Zero to I Love You.” This glossy drama, written and directed by Doug Spearman, has the married-with-kids Jack Dickinson (Scott Bailey) unexpectedly falling for Pete Logsdon (Darryl Stephens). Their relationship, which includes sex on the down low, comes to an expected head when Pete wants Jack to leave his wife, Karla (Keili Lefkovitz).

Creators of a musical to be staged in Philadelphia later this month took the contemporary abortion debate, with its economic and socio-political weight and its issues of misogyny and hypocrisy, and made it sing.

For at least three years, the Philly performance company Lightning Rod Special (LRS) has operated on the premise that the abortion debate and a woman’s right to control her own body could be put to music and a dark, satirical script. “The Appointment” is the result of that premise, and will premiere at the FringeArts High Pressure Fire Service Festival on March 20.

 Eric Ulloa didn’t set out to stage the aftermath of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults. 

“All I knew was I was growing tired of complacency and frustrated by what was happening in the world and in our country,” the out playwright said.

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