THEATER: Justin Bond Blasts “New York Times” Critic For Being Transphobic

justin vivian bondV STRIKES BACK

Gender-nonconforming cabaret star Justin Vivian Bond, who prefers the pronoun “v”, isn’t thrilled with New York Times critic Stephen Holden, who  reviewed Bond’s recent holiday show, Snow Angel.

In a scathing post on v’s blog, Bond contemplates the writeup as a possible “hate crime,” because of Holden’s use of transphobic language—including the phrase “his/her self-described freakishness.”

Bond responds:

I never called myself a freak during the show but with his twisted worldview Mr. Holden translated my observations about the ‘nature vs. nurture’ argument and my open and direct discussion of my life as a transperson and my queer identity as “self-described freakishness”.

Among other slights: The Times review assumes Bond’s brilliant hair is a wig (it isn’t), suggests Bond sounds best “when I sing like ‘a man,'” and describes v as a campy drag send-up of Kim Novak. “There is a difference between being a drag queen and being a transgender cabaret performer,” Bond clarifies.

While Holden’s review is positive overall, Bond’s umbrage stems in how, just below the surface, it’s really a critique of v’s trans identity more than the show itself.

What are your views on the Times review? Is it merely one man’s innocuous interpretation, or is it indeed fueled by hate?



Rebecca producer Ben Sprecher hasn’t finished beating his dead horse of a musical. Despite the show’s dramatic demise before the curtain ever went up, Sprecher is still working to bring the spectacle to the Great White Way by Fall 2013.

He recently extended his rights to the show—now all he needs is the $4.5 million that fell through when his fictional main allegedly investor died of malaria.

The show is so dead in everyone’s mind—and Sprecher was so royally scammed—who would be crazy enough to invest now?

Any money men out there want to buy a burning Brooklyn Bridge? [New York Times]



Hard to believe it, but Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing, the cherished tale of gay teenage love set against UK housing projects, premiered in London 20 years ago. To celebrate the anniversary, Chicago’s Pride Films and Plays is producing the seminal coming-of-age story beginning January 17. The play, along with its deeply moving 1996 film version, is a seminal work in gay drama–the original nerd-meets-jock love story mimicked countless times since, and never as effectively. With high-school bullying such a hot-button issue, Beautiful Thing‘s relevance has only grown stronger. [Pride Films and Plays]


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